2022 Holland Series
The 2022 Holland Series was the 36th Holland Series. After six straight Series featuring the Amsterdam Pirates and Neptunus, there was a different matchup. Neptunus was back, but HCAW made their first Series since 2005. HCAW made the most of the appearance, sweeping the more storied club with dominant pitching of three straight shutouts from Games 2 to 4.
Neptunus had won five of the last eight Holland Series and had the best regular-season record at 21-3, then were 15-8 in the next rounds. They were second in the regular season in both runs (185) and fewest runs allowed (85). They were managed by Raily Legito. Former major leaguer CF Roger Bernadina led the league in average (.378) and was among the top five in RBI (35), runs (39), hits (62), doubles (15), walks (33), OBP (.477) and slugging (.482). 2B Dwayne Kemp (.317/.378/.344) was 4th in steals (17), SS John Polonius (.333/.405/.456) led in runs (46) and was second in hits (65), 3B Stijn van der Meer (.328/.428/.397) was 5th in hits (57), LF Jiandido Tromp (.263/.352/.359) tied for third with 14 doubles and RF Christian Diaz (.290/.365/.369) led with four triples. Juan Carlos Sulbaran (10-2, 2.48) tied for the most wins while Kaj Timmermans (8-2, 2.89) tied for 4th. Kevin Kelly (5-1, 5 Sv, 1.63) was second in saves and fourth in ERA while Misja Harcksen was 5-2 with a 2.11 ERA.
HCAW, managed by Danny Rombley, finished only a game behind Neptunus in the regular season and were 14-9 in the next rounds. They allowed the fewest runs (65) in their regular season while the offense was 4th with 157 R. CF Jeandro Tromp (.335/.425/.422) was their top hitter while 2B Brendly Martina (.293/.357/.343) led in steals (31) and was second with 44 runs. Lars Huijer (10-1, 0.68) led in ERA, K (123) and wins (tied) while Dennis Burgersdijk (10-2, 1.64) tied for first in wins, was 5th in ERA and led with five complete games. Their third starter was Jim Ploeger (6-4, 4.13) while Nick Keur led the league with six saves but was 0-3 with a 6.61 ERA.
Game 1 in Neptunus Familiestadion
|Win: Huijer (1-0) Loss: Sulbaran (0-1) Save: Mortensen (1)|
HCAW had a successful return to the Series, though Huijer had trouble early on. In the bottom of the 1st, LF Jiandido Tromp, SS Polonius and RF Bernadina hit three straight singles and a sac fly by DH Junior Martina made it 2-0. HCAW tied it two innings later. C Julian Goins, the #9 hitter, reached on an error by 3B van der Meer and advanced on a wild pitch, then 2B Brendly Martina drew a walk from Sulbaran. RF Victor Draijer's fly scored Goins, Brendly Martina stole and CF Jeandro Tromp tied it with a single.
HCAW then got the winning rally in the 4th. 1B Quintin de Cuba drew a lead-off walk and 3B Max Draijer drew a one-out walk. With two outs, SS Bob van der Meer walked as well to load them up. Goins doubled in one run and Brendly Martina doubled in two to chase Sulbaran. Aaron de Groot pitched shutout ball for the next 5 1/3 IP, allowing two hits, but the damage had been done.
Neptunus got back one run in the 5th on a double by Bernadina and a single by Junior Martina. Huijer wore out a bit in the 8th as Bernadina got his third hit and Junior Martina singled in. 2B Kemp bunted into a run-scoring error by de Cuba, but was out trying for second. Huijer recovered to retire CF Diaz and C Dashenko Ricardo to maintain the now-slim lead.
In the 9th, Huijer was relieved by former Team Canada hurler Jared Mortensen, who had spent much of the year playing in Germany. He struck out 1B Sheadion Jamanika but Stijn van der Meer singled. Jiandido Tromp grounded him over but Polonius flew out to end the game.
Game 2 in Rob Hoffmann Vallei
|Win: Burgersdijk (1-0) Loss: Timmermans (0-1)|
In a complete game effort by both starting pitchers, Burgersdijk outduels Timmermans as HCAW goes to 2-0. Neptunus got two men in scoring position in the top of the 2nd when Burgersdijk struck out C Ricardo and retired RF Diaz. Their only other close call came in the 7th when they got two and Burgersdijk again struck out former Orioles/Giants farmhand Ricardo in the clutch. In the bottom of the third, Dennis got all the support he needed when C Goins walked, 2B Brendly Martina singled and CF Jeandro Tromp hit a one-out single. They doubled the lead in the fourth when LF Phildrick Llewellyn reached on an error by 2B Kemp, followed by a single from 1B de Cuba and a sacrifice fly from 3B Max Draijer.
Game 3 in Neptunus Familiestadion
|Win: Ploeger (1-0) Loss: Kelly (0-1) Save: Mortensen (2)|
HCAW's pitching is again dominant. This time, Ploeger rose to the occasion after his mediocre regular season, allowing six hits and one walk in eight shutout innings without any serious challenges. Kelly was also excellent, striking out 11 and allowing only three hits and one walk. One of the hits, though, was a solo homer from RF Victor Draijer in the 7th for the game's only run. In the bottom of the 9th, Mortensen took over for Ploeger and allowed a leadoff single to LF Jiandido Tromp, bringing up the heart of the order. Polonius grounded out, though, Bernadina went down swinging and Junior Martina hit into a force to end it.
Game 4 in Rob Hoffmann Vallei
|Win: Huijer (1-0) Loss: Kelly (0-2)|
HCAW got its third straight shutout as Huijer followed Burgersdijk and Ploeger in firing zeroes past Neptunus. Facing a team with seven players with US pro experience (one with MLB experience), the only hits Huijer gave up today were to the 8 and 9 hitters, C Ricardo and 1B Jamanika (back-to-back to open the third). He walked two and struck out five in the gem and took home Holland Series MVP for his work. He got all the offense he needed in the second. LF Llewellyn was hit by a pitch with one out, then 1B de Cuba and 3B Max Draijer both singled for the 1-0 lead. It remained that way until the 8th when CF Jeandro Tromp walked, DH Kevin Dirksen singled him to third and Llewellyn drove in Tromp on a fielder's choice.