Tag Archive | "Belgium"

Belgium: Namur Angels Take Two from Brasschaat Braves


BELGIUM – Justin Latta worked eight scoreless frames and the Namur Angels blanked the Brasschaat Braves 6-0 Saturday in the Belgian League

Cleanup hitter Angel Rosario Williams drove in Mike Perkins with a single up the middle in the first, and later scored on a passed ball to put the Angels up 2-0.

Namur struck again the next inning when Florentin Goyens drilled a three-bagger to right field, andlater scored on a wild pitch. Goyens also singled and scored in the eighth.

The Angels whipped the Braves 13-10 in Antwerp the following day to finish off the weekend series sweep. American catcher Mike Perkins had a career day, going 5-5 in the game with 3 runs scored and an RBI triple as Namur plated seven runs in the opening frame.

Saturday, May 21st
Namur Angels 6 – Brasschaat Braves 0
Hoboken Pioneers 10 – Mortsel Stars 3
Merchtem Cats 16 – Deurne Spartans 1
Borgerhout Squirrels 6 – Royal Greys 5

Sunday, May 22nd
Namur Angels 13 – Brasschaat Braves 10
Royal Greys 12 – Borgerhout Squirrels 8
Mortsel Stars 14 – Hoboken Pioneers 12
Deurne Spartans 6 – Merchtem Cats 4

BELGIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Royal Greys 11 03 Won 1
Borgerhout Squirrels 09 05 Lost 1
Namur Angels 09 05 Won 5
Hoboken Pioneers 08 06 Lost 1
Deurne Spartans 06 08 Won 1
Brasschaat Braves 05 09 Lost 2
Mortsel Stars 05 09 Won 1
Merchtem Cats 03 11 Lost 1

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Belgium: Namur Angels Take Two from Merchtem Cats


BELGIUM – Justin Latta threw his first complete game of the season as the visiting Namur Angels defeated the Merchtem Cats 4-3 Saturday in the Belgian League.

Latta, who walked six and struck out seven, surrendered three runs on six hits in an impressive outing.

The Angels put the finishing touches on their second sweep of the season the following day by routing the visiting Merchtem Cats 15-5. With the win, the Angels moved into third place in the Belgian League and improved their season record to 7-5.

Saturday, May 14th
Royal Greys 5 – Mortsel Stars 3
Namur Angels 4 – Merchtem Cats 3
Deurne Spartans 2 – Brasschaat Braves 1
Borgerhout Squirrels 8 – Hoboken Pioneers 5

Sunday, May 15th
Namur Angels 15 – Merchtem Cats 5
Brasschaat Braves 4 – Deurne Spartans 3
Royal Greys 11 – Mortsel Stars 1
Hoboken Pioneers 5 – Borgerhout Squirrels 2

BELGIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Royal Greys 10 02 Won 4
Borgerhout Squirrels 08 04 Lost 1
Hoboken Pioneers 07 05 Won 1
Namur Angels 07 05 Won 3
Brasschaat Braves 05 07 Won 1
Deurne Spartans 05 07 Lost 1
Mortsel Stars 04 08 Lost 3
Merchtem Cats 02 10 Lost 8

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Belgium: Brasschaat Braves Sign American Pitcher


BELGIUM – The Brasschaat Braves have announced the signing of American right-hander Ulysses Roque for the upcoming 2011 season. The Braves finished the regular season last year in fourth-place with a 13-10 record.

The 26-year-old attended Bellevue University in Nebraska before stints in both the Frontier League and the American Association. The Florida product has a 5-9 professional record with a 4.63 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 81-plus innings.

BELGIAN LEAGUE TO OPEN APRIL 9

The two-time reigning Belgian champion Hoboken Pioneers will begin defense of their crown on April 9 with a season-opening matchup against the Merchtem Cats. The Pioneers limited opposing teams to just 64 runs in 22 regular season games a year ago to claim back-to-back titles.

The surprising Deurne Spartans, which reached the championship series last season after being promoted from the second division, will square off against the Mortsel Stars. Other games on slate includes the Borgerhout Squirrels tangling with the Namur Angels, and the Brasschaat Braves squaring off against the Port of Antwerp Greys.

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Belgian League Transfers


BELGIUM – National team outfielder Steven De Lannoy is leaving the Hoboken Pioneers to join the Borgerhout Squirrels next season in the biggest move after the first transfer deadline (players from the Dutch-speaking clubs) in Belgium’s top league. De Lannoy, one of the league’s premier hitters, played a key role in helping the Pioneers capture back-to-back championships.

The 27-year-old torched opposing pitchers to the tune of .506 (41-for-81) as the Pioneers swept the surprising Deurne Spartans in the Belgian Series. The multi-talented centerfielder, who posted an impressive .620 on base percentage, also tallied 10 doubles,25 walks, 24 stolen bases and scored 41 runs,

De Lannoy batted .368 (7-for-19) with four doubles and two steals with the national team at the 2010 European Championships in Germany. The smooth-swinging, left-handed slugger finished second at the European Cup with a .471 batting average (8-for-17) with a trio of two-baggers and three stolen bases.

The Pioneers also suffered another defection when outfielder Thomas De Wolf, the lone Belgian national in the U.S. minor leagues, opted to transfer to the Brussels Astros. The left-handed hitter, who will turn 21 on Dec. 22, hit .250 (51-for-204) with 11 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 25 RBIs in 69 games for the New York Mets Rookie squad in the Dominican Summer League.

Other players leaving Hoboken includes Francisco Quinorero (Brussels Astros), Gianni Russo (Borgerhout Squirrels) and Kevin Vervloet (Borgerhout Squirrels).

BRASSCHAAT BRAVES
New skipper Filip van der Meiren welcomes Aneudy Garcia (1-1, 6.56 ERA) and Jeroen Swers (.180) from the Deurne Spartans while Gert Pissierssens and Mika Uten will suit up for the Antwerp Eagles next year.

DEURNE SPARTANS
An exodus of players and coaches – Wesley Verelst (1-1, 4.50 ERA), Harold Castillo (.333), Manuel Holguin, Maxim Arnots (.115), Elias Lugo, Manuel Martinez (.275) – to the Merchtem Cats has resulted in a roster overhaul for the 2010 league runner-up.

MORTSEL STARS
Added Andy Ruelle of the Port of Antwerp Greys while losing Craig (coach) and Jacub Huffman (2-2/.188) to the Namur Angels, and Stijn Janssens (.231) and Michael Somerlinck to Hoboken.

BORGERHOUT SQUIRRELS
Upgraded the offense significantly with the addition of batting champion Steven De Lannoy. Also added former Hoboken players Russo and Vervloet.

PORT OF ANTWERP GREYS
Former champion lost two players, David Herssens (.228), Jason Foek (.261), to the Merchtem Cats while Ruelle transferred to the Stars. Kevin Knollenburg (.268), Nick Vanthillo (.438) and Dennis van Hoof (.348/4-1, 1.70 ERA) all hung up their cleats.

MERCHTEM CATS
Lost Jonas Verhaevert but added a large cast of newcomers including Jason Foek (Port of Antwerp Greys), Carlos Martinez Yan (Brussels Astros), and the Deurne Spartans’ Manuel Martinez, Manuel Holguin and coach Elias Lugo.

NAMUR ANGELS
Ronny Heymans announced his retirement and will remain with the club as a coach. Welcomes Jacub and Craig Huffman from Mortsel.

The second deadline for players from the French-speaking clubs to announce their transfers will expire this week.

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Belgium: Hoboken Pioneers Up 2-0 in Finals


BELGIUM – The Hoboken Pioneers will be looking to wrap up their second consecutive national crown when the reigning Belgian champion host the Deurne Spartans on Saturday in Game 3 of the league finals. The Pioneers leads the best-of-five title series two games to none.

Hoboken opened the series with a convincing 10-0 shutout win on Oct. 2 against the upstart Spartans, which reached the finals in their maiden season in the first division. One day later, the Pioneers captured a high-scoring 17-9 road win to inch closer to back-to-back championships.

Steven de Lannoy has enjoyed another stellar campaign at the plate for Hoboken with a .506 batting average while leading the team in hits (41), runs (41), doubles (10), walks (25) and stolen bases (24). Other top hitters are Dennis Ribbens (.395), Sammy Lauwers (.387), Greg Lambrechts (.359), Dennis De Quint (.337) and Randy Giorgiadis (.321).

American Terence Antonacci, who punched out 62 in 59 innings, is the staff ace going 8-0 with an 0.92 ERA. Kenny van den Branden (6-1, 1.38 ERA) and Tom Lorrentop (4-1, 2.50 ERA) round out the league’s top-ranked pitching staff.

Johan Silva and Alexis Marquez are the leading sluggers for Deurne. Silva hit .400 (32-for-80) and clubbed five homers and drove in 23 runs, while Marquez – who anchored the pitching unit with a 4-6 record – batted .364 with four dingers.

BELGIAN SERIES AT A GLANCE:

Game 1: Hoboken 10, Deurne 0

Game 2: Hoboken 17, Deurne 9

Game 3: at Hoboken, Oct. 9

Game 4: at Deurne, Oct. 10*

Game 5: at Hoboken, Oct. 16*

(Hoboken leads series 2-0)

* If necessary

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Belgium: Brasschaat Turns Back Greys


BELGIUM – The Brasschaat Braves clinched the final postseason berth in the Belgian League with a pair of wins against the Port of Antwerp Greys this past weekend. The Greys (14-8), which captured four consecutive league titles from 2005-08, suffered their fourth loss in a row. The Braves lorded over Belgian baseball with four straight national championships from 2001-04.

Brasschaat (13-10) claimed a 3-1 road win over the Greys on Saturday before returning home the following day to notch a narrow 8-7 victory. The Braves, who split a two-game set against Port of Antwerp in April, took the season series three games to one.

Reigning Belgian champion Hoboken disposed of The Merchtem Cats twice, 11-1 and 14-1, to improve to 19-2 on the season. The Pioneers are scoring a whopping 10 runs per contest, while limiting opposing teams to just three runs a game.

The surprising Duerne Spartans continued their impressive debut in Belgium’s top league with two lopsided wins, 20-3 and 11-1, against the Mortsel Stars.

BELGIAN LEAGUE SCOREBOARD:

Saturday, July 3
Hoboken Pioneers 11, The Merchtem Cats 1
Brasschaat Braves 3, Port of Antwerp Greys 1
Deurne Spartans 20, Mortsel Stars 3

Sunday, July 4
Hoboken Pioneers 14, The Merchtem Cats 1
Brasschaat Braves 8, Port of Antwerp Greys 7
Deurne Spartans 11, Mortsel Stars 1

Team Won Lost Streak
Hoboken Pioneers* 19 02 Won 4
Port of Antwerp Greys* 14 08 Lost 4
Deurne Spartans* 13 09 Won 3
Brasschaat Braves* 13 10 Won 2
Namur Angels 10 12 Won 1
Mortsel Stars 05 17 Lost 7
The Merchtem Cats 03 19 Lost 8

* Clinched playoff berth

Photo courtesy of Brasschaat Braves

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MLB Stars To Conduct European Clinics


NETHERLANDS – Eight Major League Baseball stars will participate in a number of clinics from Saturday, November 6 through Sunday, November 13 for youth baseball players in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

The MLB stars includes Chase Utley (Philadelphia Phillies), Johnny Damon (Detroit Tigers), Barry Zito (San Francisco Giants) and Josh Johnson (Florida Marlins) will be there to make some dreams come true for many young baseball players in Europe.

The event is a Rick VandenHurk initiative (Florida Marlins) to promote baseball in Europe, to stimulate the return of baseball to the Olympics, to support the Baseball Academies, and to bring the dream, that turned into a reality for Rick, closer to many youth baseball players.

European Big League Tour Clinic Dates:

November 06 – Indoorsportcentrum, Eindhoven (Belgium)
November 07 – Extran Hal, Haarlem (Netherlands)
November 10 – Sporthal, Rotterdam (Netherlands)
November 13 – Nixdorff Sporthal, Paderborn (Germany)

For additional information visit www.europeanbigleaguetour.com

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Namur Angels Surprise Hoboken Pioneers


BELGIUM – The Namur Angels kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a clutch 8-3 victory against the Hoboken Pioneers Sunday in the Belgian League. The Angels, who do not play again until August 7, must sweep second-place Port of Antwerp Greys on the final weekend of the regular season.

Gracjan Kraszewski led Namur (10-12) with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate, while the trio of Thomas Vandenabeele, Theodore De Bellefroid, and Ludovic Geuquet tallied two hits apiece. Steven De Lannoy paced Hoboken (15-2) with a pair of hits.

Cedric Desmedt worked eight-plus innings of three-run ball to notch the key win.

The Pioneers picked up a series-opening 6-1 victory on Saturday behind a stellar outing by ace pitcher Terrence Antonacci. Dennis Ribbens led the reigning Belgian champion with two hits.

Namur’s Japanese starter Shouta Ichinosek was pinned with the loss despite limiting Hoboken to just seven hits.

The Greys swept a weekend series against the Mortsel Stars, 9-7 and 15-9, while the Brasschaat Braves beat the Deurne Spartans 9-6 on Saturday before rain washed out the game the next day.

Photo courtesy of Namur Angels

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Merchtem Cats Add American Southpaw


BELGIUM – The Merchtem Cats of the Belgium League has signed former Carleton College left-hander Aaron Troyansky for the remainder of the 2010 season. The West Texas native will replace American Reid Jackson who returned home last month.

Troyansky was the Knights’ workhorse in 2009, when he compiled a 6-2 record and led the Minnestoa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and set a school record with 19 appearances.

NAMUR ADDS AMERICAN DUO
The Belgian club Namur Angels recently added former Harvard outfielder/pitcher Matt Brunnig. The right-hander went 12-9 with a 4.78 ERA and 93 strikeouts in in 43 games.

The Angels will also add former Columbia University catcher Thomas Stevens to its roser later this month. In 52 games, he batted .290 with 21 RBIs and 31 runs scored.

Photo courtesy of Eric Sieger/Carleton Athletics

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Hoboken Unbeaten In Belgian League


BELGIUM – The Hoboken Pioneers claimed a pair of wins, 4-1 and 9-2, against the Namur Angels last weekend to remain unbeaten in the Belgian League. The reigning league champion is averaging 8.6 runs a game while limiting opponents to just 2.3 scores.

Hoboken tagged Namur starter Shouta Ichinoseki for five hits in a four-run first before the Japanese right-hander buckled down to silence the Pioneers’ lineup. Ichinoseki blanked Hoboken the final eight frames, including retiring 16 straight hitters during one stretch.

But, Hoboken starter Tom Lorrentop also brought his “A” stuff. Lorrentop opened the game with five hitless frames, and finished a seven-inning outing with just one run and three hits as the Pioneers took the opening game.

Steven Delannoy went 4-for-4 and Dennis DeQuimt added a pair of hits as Hoboken unleashed a 15-hit barrage in the second matchup to complete the sweep. Dennis Ribbens, Kevin Verloet, and Sammy Lauwers each posted two-hit games for the home team.

Theodore De Bellefroid and Gracjan Kraszewski tallied two hits apiece for the Angels.

Terrence Antonacci struck out seven with no walks over seven innings to pick up the win.

BELGIAN LEAGUE:
1-Hoboken (7-0) 2-Port of Antwerp (6-2) 3-Deurne (5-3) 4-Namur (5-5) 5-Brasschaat (3-6) 6-Mortsel (2-6) 7-Merchtem (1-7)

Saturday, May 8
Hoboken Pioneers 4, Namur Angels 1
Mortsel Stars 7, Port of Antwerp Greys 1
Brasschaat Braves 16, Deurne Spartans 13

Sunday, May 9
Hoboken Pioneers 9, Namur Angels 2
Port of Antwerp Greys 8, Mortsel Stars 3
Deurne Spartans 12, Brasschaat Braves 7

Photo courtesy of Namur Angels

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Namur Angels Fall To Deurne Spartans


BELGIUM – The K. Deurne Spartans overcame a five-run deficit with a six-run sixth to slip past the Namur Angels 6-5 Saturday in the Belgian League. The Spartans finished off the weekend sweep on Sunday with a 4-2 victory.

Despite building a 5-0 lead after five innings, the Namur Angels were unable to recover from the six runs put up in the top of the sixth by visiting K. Deurne as they dropped their first game since the season opener.

Losing pitcher Shouta Ichinoseki (pictured) pitched very well for the hometown Angels only to have his performance undone by some shaky defense.

The opening game on Saturday started very promising for Namur as leadoff hitter Gracjan Kraszewski deposited the second pitch of the game over the right-field wall for a leadoff home run. A pair of singles by Thomas Vandenabeele and Theodore De Bellefroid put Namur up 3-0 in the first, and the game would continue on smoothly and uneventfully until the game-changing sixth. Capitalizing on a mixed bag of hitting and defensive lapses by the Angels, K. Deurne scored all the runs it would need.

Starting pitcher Alexis Marquez went the distance picking up the win for the Spartans while both Morris De Vriendt and Johan Silva contributed two hits at the plate.

The Angels had seven players hit safely on the afternoon headlined by first baseman Ludovic Geuquet who went 3-for-5.

The two teams concluded the weekend series on Sunday with Deurne capturing a 4-2 win at home on an unseasonably cold and blustery afternoon. Both starters pitched exceptional as Namur righty Cedric Desmedt allowed only two runs (both unearned) in six innings of work, while Spartan lefty Roger De Saedeleer carried a no-hitter into the seventh.

Heading into the top half of the seventh and down 2-0, Namur answered when Gracjan Kraszewski doubled to left-field to leadoff the inning. Jerome Sana brought him in with an RBI groundout to first, followed by another double to left by shortstop Theodore De Bellefroid.

De Bellefroid would even the score moments later on a heads-up play from Angels left-fielder Adrien Geuquet. After reaching on a walk to put runners on first and third, Geuquet broke for second and intentionally got in a run-down to allow De Bellefroid time to score from third.

Although Geuquet also reached second safely he was unable to advance further and the teams headed to the bottom of the seventh tied 2-2.

The score remained unchanged until the bottom of the eighth when Alexis Marquez hit a two-run home run off Angels’ reliever Harold Gerard that proved to be the difference. Relief pitcher Sharlon LeBacks picked up the win with Gerard (2-1) suffering his first loss of the season.

Hits were hard to come by as only four players from both teams combined were able to reach base by such a result. De Bellefroid and Kraszewski tallied a hit apiece for Namur, while Marquez and Johan Silva paced Deurne with two hits each.

BELGIAN LEAGUE:
1-Hoboken (5-0) 2-Port of Antwerp (5-1) 3-Deurne (4-2) 4-Namur (5-3) 5-Brasschaat (2-5) 6-Mortsel (1-5) 7-Merchtem (1-7)

Saturday, May 1
Hoboken Pioneers 13, Brasschaat Braves 1
Port of Antwerp Greys 9, The Merchtem Cats 1
Deurne Spartans 6, Namur Angels 5

(A.P. Beauregard is a writer for the Namur Angels website.)

Photo courtesy of Namur Angels

Source: www.namur-angels.be

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Hoboken Pioneers To Battle Brasschaat


BELGIUM – The Hoboken Pioneers will be looking to avoid an upset when the reigning league champion tangle with the Brasschaat Braves this weekend in the Belgian League.

Hoboken (4-0) claimed a pair of hard-fought wins against the Mortsel Stars a week ago to remain unbeaten, while Brasschaat (2-4) dropped an 8-7 nail-biting affair to the Namur Angels in the opening game of a sweep.

Namur (5-1) will be looking to extend its five-game winning streak against the Duerne Spartans (2-2), and the Port of Antwerp Greys (3-1) will clash with the Merchtem Cats (1-5), which has lost five consecutive games.

STANDINGS:
1-Hoboken (4-0) 2-Namur (5-1) 3-Antwerp (3-1) 4-Deurne (2-2) 5-Brasschaat (2-4) 6-Merchtem (1-5) 6-Mortsel (1-5)

Saturday, May 1
Brasschaat Braves at Hoboken Pioneers
Deurne Spartans at Namur Angels
Merchtem Cats at Port of Antwerp Greys

Sunday, May 2
Hoboken Pioneers at Brasschaat Braves
Namur Angels at Deurne Spartans
Port of Antwerp Greys at Merchtem Cats

Photo courtesy of Port of Antwerp Greys

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Hoboken Pioneers Seeking Fast Start


BELGIUM – The Hoboken Pioneers will be looking to remain unbeaten on the young season when the reigning Belgian champion square off against the Mortsel Stars this weekend.

Hoboken (2-0), which had a bye week on the 2010 Belgian League Opening Day two weeks ago, swept the Merchtem Cats last weekend. The Pioneers captured a pair of convincing wins, 16-6 and 9-3, to begin their title defense on a winning note.

Mortsel (1-3) was dealt two losses by a strong Namur Angels squad last weekend. However, after suffering an 8-3 setback in the series opener, the Stars lost a 17-14 heartbreaker after mounting a furious late rally that fell just short.

Namur (3-1) has opened the season playing extremely well and will battle a Brasschaat Braves (2-2) team that split a pair of games with Belgian heavyweight Port of Antwerp Greys last weekend.

The final matchup on this weekend’s slate has the Merchten Cats (1-3) colliding with the winless Deurne Spartans (0-2)

STANDINGS:
1-Hoboken (2-0) 2-Namur (3-1) 2-Port of Antwerp (3-1) 4-Brasschaat (2-2) 5-Mortsel (1-3) 5-Merchtem (1-3) 7-Deurne (0-2)

Saturday, April 24
Hoboken Pioneers at Mortsel Stars
Deurne Spartans at Merchtem Cats
Namur Angels at Brasschaat Braves

Sunday, April 25
Mortsel Stars at Hoboken Pioneers
Merchtem Cats at Deurne Spartans
Brasschaat Braves at Namur Angels

Photo courtesy of Namur Angels

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Namur Angels Sweep Mortsel Stars


BELGIUM – Japanese pitcher Shouta Ichinoseki fanned nine in a complete-game effort and the Namur Angels opened last weekend with an 8-3 victory at home against the Mortsel Stars in the Belgian League. The Angels finished off the sweep on the road Sunday in a high-scoring 17-15 victory.

The Stars took a 1-0 lead in the second and appeared to be in good shape with starter Bryan Beutels carrying a no-hitter into the fourth. However, Jerome Sana’s clutch two-run single with the bases loaded put the Angels in front, 2-1.

The Angels put the game out of reach with a three-run seventh, and added three more scores the following inning to close out the series opening win.

Namur second baseman Florentin Goyens led the Angels at the plate with a 2-for-5 game, while Mortsel first baseman Scott Bolcoa paced the visitors with a pair of hits.

Ichinoseki (1-1) went the distance and tallied nine strikeouts for his first win in Belgium.

The Angels built a comfortable 16-4 lead in the series finale the next day before the Stars put together a staggering comeback bid with 10 late runs that just fell short.

Namur racked up 16 hits and had six players with multiple hits. Jerome Sana and Ludovic Geuquet would highlight the bunch with three hits apiece, and it was Sana who played the lead in a 3-for-4 showing that also saw him score three runs and collect four RBIs.

Right-hander Cedric Desmedt, pitching in relief of starter Harold Gerard, picked up the win in a game that featured a combined six pitchers.

In other Belgian League action, the Hoboken Pioneers opened defense of its 2009 league title with two wins, 16-6 and 9-3, against the Merchtem Cats, and the Brasschaat Braves toppled Port of Antwerp Greys 7-6 Saturday before wasting a 10-run lead in Sunday’s 19-11 setback.

STANDINGS:
1-Hoboken (2-0) 2-Namur (3-1) 2-Port of Antwerp (3-1) 4-Brasschaat (2-2) 5-Mortsel (1-3) 5-Merchtem (1-3) 7-Deurne (0-2)

Saturday, April 17
Hoboken Pioneers 16, Merchtem Cats 6
Brasschaat Braves 7, Port of Antwerp Greys 6
Namur Angels 8, Mortsel Stars 3

Sunday, April 18
Port of Antwerp Greys 19, Brasschaat Braves 11
Hoboken Pioneers 9, Merchtem Cats 3
Namur Angels 17, Mortsel Stars 14

Photo courtesy of Namur Angels

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Hoboken Opens Against Merchtem


BELGIUM – The reigning Belgian champion Hoboken Pioneers will begin defense of their title on Saturday when the Merchtem Cats come to town. The Pioneers, who were idled last week, will travel to Merchtem Sunday for the weekend finale.

The Port of Antwerp Greys (2-0) will be looking to remain unbeaten when the Belgian powerhouse clash with the Brasschaat Braves (1-1), and the Mortsel Stars (1-) will collide with the Namur Angels (1-1). The winless Deurne Spartans (0-2) will have the weekend off.

STANDINGS:
1-Antwerp (2-0) 2-Brasschaat (1-1) 2-Merchtem (1-1) 2-Mortsel (1-1) 2-Namur (1-1) 6-Hoboken (0-0) 7-Duerne (0-2)

Saturday, April 17
Port of Antwerp Greys at Brasschaat Braves
Merchtem Cats at Hoboken Pioneers
Mortsel Stars at Namur Angels

Sunday, April 18
Hoboken Pioneers at Merchtem Cats
Brasschaat Braves at Port of Antwerp Greys
Namur Angels at Mortsel Stars

Photo courtesy of Namur Angels

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Namur Angels Split With Merchtem Cats


BELGIUM – The Namur Angels rebounded from an Opening Day loss on Saturday to rout The Merchtem Cats 13-2 and salvage a split in the two-game weekend series.

Merchtem (1-1) slipped past the Angels 4-3 in the season opener behind a three-run uprising in the fifth and a strong outing by American pitcher Reid Jackson (1-0). The former Suffolk University hurler struck out 12 batters to put the Cats in the win column.

The Angels Japanese pitcher Shota Ichinoseki (0-1) was charged with the loss after giving up four unearned runs.

Namur (1-1) regrouped the following day and trounced Merchtem for their first won of the new season. Both Remi Gillet and Jerome Sana jacked home runs for the Angels, and Harold Gerard worked five scoreless innings to pick up the win.

In the other opening weekend matchups in the Belgian League, 2009 runner-up Port of Antwerp Greys swept the Deurne Spartans, 6-0 and 7-5, to move into sole possession of first place, and the Mortsel Stars and Brasschaat Braves split a pair of high-scoring affairs.

Mortsel darted out to a commanding 11-0 advatange in the first encounter on Saturday and held on to capture a 21-16 slugfest. However, Brasschaat continued their torrid start with the sticks on Sunday to claim a 12-9 victory.

STANDINGS:
1-Antwerp (2-0) 2-Brasschaat (1-1) 2-Merchtem (1-1) 2-Mortsel (1-1) 2-Namur (1-1) 6-Hoboken (0-0) 7-Duerne (0-2)

Saturday, April 10
The Merchtem Cats 4, Namur Angels 3
Port of Antwerp Greys 6, Deurne Spartans 0
Mortsel Stars 21, Brasschaat Braves 16

Sunday, April 11
Namur Angels 13, The Merchtem Cats 2
Port of Antwerp Greys 7, Deurne Spartans 5
Brasschaat Braves 12, Mortsel Stars 9

Photo courtesy of Namur Angels

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Namur Angels Add Japanese Pitcher


BELGIUM – The lone Division 1 club from the South of Belgium has just signed a player from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Namur’s manager Chris Dassy established a good communication with Japanese agent Yohkoh Kobayashi and a deal was completed for Shouta Ichinoseki, a 22 year old right-handed pitcher from Hokkaido, to play overseas with the Angels.

Originally looking for a Dutch or Italian club for his client, Kobayashi agreed with the young hurler that Belgium would be a good place to start his European journey.

Ichinoseki played collegiate baseball in Japan for the strong Aomori University baseball program.

During his college career, the six-foot pitcher posted a 2.20 ERA with 119 strikeouts in 98 innings and only 32 walks.

The Aomori standout suffered an injury last season which has reduced his 90 mph fastball to the mid-80s range. However, Ichinoseki’s main asset is his pinpoint control of an array of pitches.

In his Europe debut, the Japanese pitcher silenced the former Dutch Major League team RCH for three innings to protect a 1-0 lead and propel the Angels to a spot in the final of the Frans Van der Meer Tournament in the Netherlands.

A strong asset for Namur, Ichinoseki is signed for a 3-month contract. The talented hurler is hoping to climb the ladder and play for a Dutch Major League or Italian Baseball League (IBL) squad later this season.

Photo courtesy of Namur Angels

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2010 Belgian League Season Preview


BELGIUM – The Belgian League will celebrate its 2010 Opening Day with three matchups on Saturday. The Namur Angels will be on the road opposite the Merchtem Cats, while the Brasschaat Braves will host the Mortsel Stars, and the Port of Antwerp Greys will visit the Deurne Spartans.

The reigning league champion, the Hoboken Pioneers, have a bye week and will open the season on April 17 against the Merchtem Cats.

Hoboken, which added former Brasschaat shortstop Randy Giorgiadis during the offseason, claimed their first league title in 29 years with a sweep over the four-time defending champion Greys in last year’s Belgian Series. Kenny Van den Branden will get the starting nod each Saturday while Terence “TJ” Antonacci will be on the hill on Sunday’s.

Port of Antwerp and Brasschaat endured major losses this past winter. The Greys bidded farewell to offensive stalwarts Gert Rosiers and Filip van der Meiren, who both hung up their cleats. The Braves lost Giorgiadis to Hoboken and signed Alberto Valerio to replace the talented middle infielder.

The Namur Angels were victims of the Belgian immigration policy in 2009. The American duo of Zachary Potter and Henry Perkins had Coach Chris Dassy’s squad contending for a title before their visas expired. The Angels finished the season in fourth and will be in rebuilding mode this season with a slew of youthful prospects.

BELGIAN LEAGUE: WEEK ONE

Saturday, April 10
Namur Angels at The Merchtem Cats
Mortsel Stars at Brasschaat Braves
Port of Antwerp Greys at Deurne Spartans

Sunday, April 11
The Merchtem Cats at Namur Angels
Brasschaat Braves at Mortsel Stars
Deurne Spartans at Port of Antwerp Greys

Bye Week: Hoboken Pioneers

Photo courtesy of Port of Antwerp Greys

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Belgian League Opens On April 10


BELGIUM – The Hoboken Pioneers will begin their quest for back-to-back Belgian championships against the Namur Angels on April 10. The Pioneers topped the Port of Antwerp Greys in last year’s Belgian League title series.

The Greys, one of Europe’s most successful clubs over the past decade, will battle the Brasschaat Braves on Opening Day. The lone other matchup features the Mortsel Stars sqauring off against the promoted K. Deurne Spartans while the Merchtem Cats are idled.

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BELGIAN LEAGUE SEASON OPENERS:

Saturday, April 10
Port of Antwerp Greys at Brasschaat Braves
Mortsel Stars at K. Deurne Spartans
Hoboken Pioneers at Namur Angels

Bye Week – Merchtem Cats

Photo courtesy of Port of Antwerp Greys

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Belgian League: Namur Angels Add Youthful Trio


BELGIUM – The Namur Angels of the Belgian League will welcome a trio of young players – Théodore De Bellefroid, Rémi Gillet, and Cédric Desmedt – for the 2010 season. All three players played for the Brussels Kangaroos this past season.

De Bellefroid, a middle infielder, hit .284 with 12 RBIs and 27 runs scored in his second season in Belgian’s top league in 2009.

Gillet batted .161 and scored 15 runs in his first full season in the Belgian League, while Desmedt posted a 5-11 record with a 6.62 ERA and 75 strikeouts this past season for the Kangaroos.

The Angels, which finished fourth this year, were serious title contenders until the club had to replace their original American import players during the latter stages of the season due to visa regulations.

Photo courtesy of Namur Angels

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Belgium: Merchtem Inks American Hurler


BELGIUM – The Merchtem Cats of the Belgian League has signed American pitcher Ethan Guevin for the 2010 season. The right-hander attended Carleton College (Northfield, MN) of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which features the 2009 NCAA Division III National Champion St. Thomas Tommies.

Guevin (pictured) posted a 4-5 record with a 3.18 ERA last spring while fanning 37 in 65 innings. He also led the MIAC with nine pick-offs while limiting opposing batters to a .267 batting mark.

A dual threat, Guevin is also an infielder who hit .363 with seven double and 17 RBIs for the Knights in 2009.

BELGIAN POWERHOUSE LOSES TWO TO RETIREMENT

The Port of Antwerp Greys have announced that veteran infielders Filip Van Der Meiren and Gert Rosiers will retire and not be available for the 2010 season. The Greys had been the Belgian League top team for several years until the Hoboken Pioneers dethroned the Antwerp club this past season.

Van Der Meiren completed his 14th season in Belgium’s highest division in 2009 and batted .259 with 27 RBIs and 32 runs scored. The second baseman intends to focus on his work at the Flanders Baseball Academy.

Rosiers played 15 seasons in the Belgian League, the past eight years with the Greys. The third baseman hit .323 with four homers, 24 RBIs and 26 runs scored in 2009.

VETERAN PAIR LEAVE NAMUR ANGELS

Dutch Antillean slugger Juny Gressman and Belgian outfielder Philip van Woensel will not return to the Namur Angels next year.

Gressman, 41, ended a six-year stint with the Belgian League club and will look to catch on with a team in the Antwerp area. The outfielder/designated hitter hit .448 with eight RBIs in limited action this past season.

Van Woensel, 35, is departing after two years in Namur to join the Antwerp Eagles. He batted .152 and scored 13 runs for the Angels in 2009.

Photo courtesy of apps.carleton.edu

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Brussels To Host 2009 EBCA Convention


BELGIUM – The 2009 European Baseball Coaches Association (EBCA) Convention will take place from Nov. 20-22 at the Courtyard Marriott in Brussels.

The event will feature a great mix of speakers from Europe and the U.S. – from the youth to the professional level – in order for every coach to learn something he can use to improve the game on the old continent.

The EBCA, with the help of International Sports Group, has assembled a great line-up of speakers that will include:

• Jim Jones
Has over 40 years of baseball coaching experience at the youth, high school, college, semi-pro and international (Czech Republic, France, Spain, Holland) levels. He served as assistant coach at Stanford University before becoming head coach at the University of Wyoming and St. Mary’s College (CA). Presently he is retired from teaching and serves as President of International Sports Group, Inc.

• Mike Lane (pictured)
Has 1,000 Career wins in collegiate coaching career with 24 consecutive winning seasons at University of North Alabama, and 10 GSC Divisional Titles. Coached 18 All-Americans, 45+ pro players, and five Major League players. A member of the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, Lane has been a featured speaker at numerous conventions in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

• Mauro Mazzotti
The only coach in Italian history to win four championships with three different clubs (Rimini 1999, Bologna 2003-2005, Grosseto 2007). Between 1994 and 2006 he coordinated the scouting activities of the Seattle Mariners in Europe and works in the same position with the Houston Astros since 2007. This season, his club team, Telemarket Rimini made it to the IBL play-offs, and finished the regular season tied for first place.

• Steve Janssen
A former catcher in the Belgian leagues, he began his career in 1987 at age 15. He played on seven national champions in Belgium before retiring in 1997. Janssen coached in Belgium for two years. From 2000-2002, he coached the DOOR Tridents in Eerste Klasse. He then was pitching coach for DOOR Neptunus through 2005, helping the team win a Holland Series each year he held that job. He was also a pitching coach for the Dutch national team at times from 2002-2005.

• Brian Farley
Pitched six seasons in the minor leagues, after which he became active in Dutch baseball. He went to the Netherlands in 1988 as a player-coach for a team in Eerste Klasse. In 1992, he moved to Oosterhout and made his Hoofdklasse debut with them. He remained a player-coach for the club through 1996. In 1998, Brian came to HCAW as their head coach, a position he held for three seasons.

• Vaughn Robinson
Has just completed his second season as a strength and conditioning coach in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. He is also active in Europe during the Winter as he is working with all the top prospects from the European Academies.

The Courtyard Marriott offers a special EBCA rate of 75 euros per room (per night including breakfast) for guests making their reservation prior to Nov. 1.

Click here to reserve a room at the “special” EBCA rate.

Price for the Convention and the 2010 EBCA membership is 50 euros. The clinic will start Friday, Nov. 20 and end Sunday, Nov. 22. For clinic registration, please send an e-mail to dassy@baseball-in-europe.com with the following details:

Name:
Title (coach, scout, board member, etc.):
Organization:
Country:
Phone:
E-mail:

If you are making a reservation for more than one person, please include the above information for every participant. After submitting the registration e-mail, the EBCA will send an e-mail with all the payment details for the Convention.

Photo courtesy of www.roarlions.com

Source: Confederation of European Baseball (CEB)

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Around Europe: Hoboken Nears Title


BELGIUM – The Hoboken Pioneers opened the 2009 Belgian Series with a pair of tough wins over the Port of Antwerp Greys last weekend to move within one win of their first league title in 39 years.

The Pioneers, which lost to the four-time reigning Belgian champion Greys in last year’s finals, can sew up the best-of-five championship series this weekend.

Hoboken claimed a tense-filled 5-4 win in 10 innings in Game 1 last Saturday. Port of Antwerp overcame a 2-1 deficit with three ninth-inning scores to go on top, 4-2. But Dennis Ribbens drove in a pair of scores with a clutch, two-out RBI hit to send the game into extra innings, and Matthias Group finished off the comeback win with a run-scoring hit the following frame.

The Pioneers broke a 4-4 deadlock in the eighth with three runs to capture a 7-4 win in Game 2. A well-executed suicide bunt by Johnny Peerens gave Hoboken a one-run cushion, and Steven de Lannoy and Dennis Ribbens added RBI doubles to clinch the victory.

2009 Belgian Series Results/Schedule:

10/03: Hoboken Pioneers 5 – Port of Antwerp Greys 4
10/04: Hoboken Pioneers 7 – Port of Antwerp Greys 4
10/10: Port of Antwerp Greys at Hoboken Pioneers
10/11: Hoboken Pioneers at Port of Antwerp Greys*
10/17: Port of Antwerp Greys at Hoboken Pioneers*

(Hoboken Pioneers leads series 2-0)

AUSTRIA: WANDERERS ON TRACK FOR ABL CROWN

The SUPERFUND Wanderers opened the Austrian Baseball League (ABL) championship series with two wins, 12-4 and 5-4, over the Schwaz Tigers last weekend. The Wanderers will be looking to capture their first league title in 19 years when the two teams clash in Game 3 on Saturday in Vienna.

2009 Austrian Baseball League Finals:

10/03: SUPERFUND Wanderers 12 – Schwaz Tigers 4
10/03: SUPERFUND Wanderers 5 – Schwaz Tigers 4
10/10: Schwaz Tigers at SUPERFUND Wanderers
10/10: Schwaz Tigers at SUPERFUND Wanderers*
10/11: Schwaz Tigers at SUPERFUND Wanderers*

(Wanderers lead Series 2-0)

CZECH REPUBLIC: DRACI BRNO BACK IN FINALS

Czech powerhouse AVG Draci Brno swept three games from Skokani Olomouc to advance to the 2009 Czech League title series. The 14-time reigning Czech champion will meet the Ostrava Arrows in quest of the 15 straight crown since 1995.

Draci outscored Skokani Olomouc 29-2 (12-0, 12-0 and 5-2) in the three-game sweep, while the Arrows needed five games to dispose of Technika Brno, which won back-to-back titles (1993 and 1994) before Draci began their Czech League dynasty.

The Arrows dropped the series opener 9-1 before claiming a pair of one-run victories (8-7 and 7-6). Technika evened the series with a 5-2 win in Game 4, but Ostrava prevailed 2-0 in Game 5 to advance to the championship series.

Czech League Semi-Final Results:

09/26: AVG Draci Brno 12 – Skokani Olomouc 0
09/27: AVG Draci Brno 12 – Skokani Olomouc 0
10/03: AVG Draci Brno 5 – Skokani Olomouc 2

(Draci Brno wins series 3-0)

09/26: Technika Brno 9 – Ostrava Arrows 1
09/27: Ostrava Arrows 8 – Technika Brno 7
10/03: Ostrava Arrows 7 – Technika Brno 6
10/03: Technika Brno 5 – Ostrava Arrows 2
10/04: Ostrava Arrows 2 – Technika Brno 0

(Ostrava Arrows wins series 3-2)

SWITZERLAND: THERWIL FLYERS EYEING SWISS TITLE

The resurgent Therwil Flyers followed a 16-2 rout last Saturday over the Bern Cardinals in Game 1 with a methodical 4-2 win on Sunday to move closer to their first Swiss crown in six seasons.

Therwil, making their first finals appearance since 2004, lead the best-of-five championship series two games to none. The Flyers will try to dethrone the four-time defending Swiss champion Cardinals in Game 3 Saturday at Kanelmatt 1 in Therwil.

2009 Swiss NLA Finals Results/Schedule:

10/03: Therwil Flyers 16 – Bern Cardinals 2
10/04: Therwil Flyers 4 – Bern Cardinals 2
10/10: Bern Cardinals at Therwil Flyers
10/11: Bern Cardinals at Therwil Flyers*
10/17: Bern Cardinals at Therwil Flyers*

(Therwil Flyers lead series 2-0)

* if necessary

Photo courtesy of Therwil Flyers BSC

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Around Europe: Can Therwil Flyers Rebound?


SWITZERLAND – The second week of the Swiss League Playoffs takes place this weekend with a pair of evenly-matched first round series.

The top-seeded Therwil Flyers steamrolled the fourth-seed Zurich Challengers 10-2 in Game 1 last weekend behind a strong outing by 19-year-old Lukas Croton. However, American James Sanders pitched the Zurich squad to a 9-5 victory in Game 2.

The four-time defending Swiss champion Bern Cardinals dropped a 11-10 contest in 11 innings to the Lausanne Indians before getting back on track with a lopsided 13-1 win in the second game of the best-of-five series. But, the postseason picture remains murky for the two teams as Game 2 was stopped early due to the 10-run rule which does not apply in the playoffs.

August 29
Therwil Flyers 10 – Zurich Challengers 2
Lausanne Indians 11 – Bern Cardinals 10

August 30
Zurich Challengers 9 – Therwil Flyers 5
Bern Cardinals 13 – Lausanne Indians 1

Saturday, September 5
Therwil Flyers vs Zurich Challengers
Lausanne Indians vs Bern Cardinals

Sunday, September 6
Zurich Challengers vs Therwil Flyers
Bern Cardinals vs Lausanne Indians

Saturday, September 19
Therwil Flyers vs Zurich Challengers*
Lausanne Indians vs Bern Cardinals*

* if necessary

BELGIUM

The Hoboken Pioneers lead the Belgian round robin playoff format with a 4-0 record, while the upstart Brasschaat Braves reside in the second slot with a 2-2 mark. The defending league champion Port of Antwerp Greys and the reeling Namur Angels have identical 1-3 records.

Saturday, September 5
Port of Antwerp Greys vs Brasschaat Braves
Namur Angels vs Hoboken Pioneers

Sunday, September 6
Port of Antwerp Greys vs Brasschaat Braves
Hoboken Pioneers vs Namur Angels

FRANCE

The French League Playoffs will get underway this weekend with the top four squads competing in a nine-game round robin. The top two teams will battle for the national championship.

The reigning league title-holder Rouen Huskies finished the regular season with a 25-3 record and will enter the postseason as the favorite to win another French title. But, the second-ranked Montpellier Barracudas (21-5) have also enjoyed a stellar campaign and are a legitimate threat to the Huskies title hopes.

Saturday, September 5
Savigny Lions vs Rouen Huskies
Senart Templiers vs Montpellier Barracudas

Sunday, September 6
Savigny Lions vs Rouen Huskies (DH)
Senart Templiers vs Montpellier Barracudas (DH)

Saturday, September 12
Rouen Huskies vs Senart Templiers
Montpellier Barracudas vs Savigny Lions

Sunday, September 13
Rouen Huskies vs Senart Templiers (DH)
Montpellier Barracudas vs Savigny Lions (DH)

Saturday, September 19
Montpellier Barracudas vs Rouen Huskies
Savigny Lions vs Senart Templiers

Sunday, September 20
Montpellier Barracudas vs Rouen Huskies (DH)
Savigny Lions vs Senart Templiers (DH)

Photo courtesy of Bern Cardinals

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