2006 Holland Series
The 2006 Holland Series saw a major change. After seven straight titles by DOOR Neptunus, they fell to the Konica Minolta Pioniers in the playoffs. The Pioniers advanced to the finals to face Corendon Kinheim, the best team in the regular season. Six Kinheim players topped .400 as they won the Series, while Mark Duursma hit .478 in a losing cause.
Kinheim was 33-7 to dominate the 2006 season. They allowed a league-low 117 runs while scoring 251 runs, second-most behind Neptunus. They had not won a title since 1994. The offense was led by C Tjerk Smeets, the MVP. He hit .349/.446/.454 with a league-high 36 RBI. 2B Roel Koolen, SS René Cremer and RF Dirk van 't Klooster all topped .300 as well. The team ERA of 2.27 was led by Patrick Beljaards (12-1, 1.76), David Bergman (12-1, 1.94), Michiel van Kampen (1-2, 11 Sv, 2.30) and Duko Jansen (4-1, Sv, 2.31).
Konica Minolta Pioniers
The Pioniers had finished third in the regular season at 25-17 but then upset DOOR Neptunus in the playoffs to earn their ticket to the Series. They scored 231 runs and allowed 200. LF Glenn Romney (.352/.420/.394) led the team in average while brothers SS Mike Duursma (.274/.433/.306, 12 SB) and C Mark Duursma (.296/.321/.395) tied for the league lead with 33 walks. Their top pitchers were Erik-Jan Lind (2-3, 2.65) and 37-year-old Richard Orman (6-4, 3.55). Their last title had come in 1997.
Kinheim had won all six regular-season matches by a composite score of 48-11, but they would be in for a tough Series here. Over 2,000 fans showed up at Pim Mulier Stadium to watch the opener.
In the first, Kinheim loaded the bases against Baltimore Orioles signee Conrad Orman with one out, but 1B Edward Illidge ground into a double play to end the inning. The Pioniers would turn four double plays in the first six innings. The team took the lead in the third on a double by CF Danny Rombley and a single by SS René Cremer.
The Pioniers tied it in the 4th off David Bergman when C Mark Duursma singled, CF Glenn Romney doubled and 1B Dè Flanegin hit a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the 4th, Kinheim retook the lead on a single by Illidge, an Orman wild pitch, a grounder by Koolen and a sac fly by 3B Vince Rooi, a former AA player in the US.
In the 5th, the Pioniers took the lead for good. LF Norbert Lokhorst, the #9 batter, singled, then Mark Duursma doubled and Romney singled them both home. They would score every inning from the 4th through the 9th to finish with an easy 10-5 win. Bergman, who had gone 12-1 in the regular season and 1-0 in the playoffs, had a poor outing and took his first loss since June.
Patrick Beljaards did his share to bring Kinheim back, going the distance and allowing only one late run. In the meantime, Richard Orman, a longtime Hoofdklasse star, took the defeat. C Mark Duursma was 4 for 4 for the Pioniers in an otherwise poor showing by his team at Sportpark Toolenburg.
Kinheim went from a great effort by a starter to a lousy one as Jean-Paul Gulinck was knocked out in the second by allowing five runs; in 1 1/3 innings, he walked five and allowed two hits. Overall, the Pioniers drew nine walks. Roger Kops was not much better for the Pioniers, giving up four runs in 3 2/3 innings but relievers Erik-Jan Lind and Dave Draijer combined to shut out Kinheim the remainder of the way, Lind getting the win. 3B Marcel Venema was 3 for 4 with three runs and a RBI for the Pioniers.
With their backs to the wall, Kinheim turned to Patrick Beljaards again. He was not as sharp but was good enough, picking up his second win of the Series, with Michiel van Kampen notching the save. Erik-Jan Lind, the game 3 victor, took the loss in relief of Richard Orman by allowing two runs in three innings.
The Pioniers went ahead with one run in the first but Kinheim had scored 10 by the end of the third to cruise to victory. Roger Kops took the loss with six runs in two innings of work. David Bergman again struggled (10 H, 5 R in 4 IP) and the win went to reliever Duko Jansen, who tossed 3 1/3 shutout frames. C Mark Duursma again shone in a losing effort, going 3 for 5, while CF Danny Rombley led the victors. The former Expos minor leaguer was 3 for 5 with a double, run and 3 RBI.