May 14-16 was
the Whitsunday weekend in the Netherlands, and that’s traditionally when the three-day
Zeister Slot Tournament, the oldest men’s fastpitch competition in Europe, is hosted
by HSVPhoenix in the town of Zeist.
Seven teams took part in the tournament, which has been played for the past 33 years: the Dutch National Team, the newly-established German National Team, the U-19 National Team from the Czech Republic and four club teams, including Horsholm Hurricanes (DEN), Chicaboos (BEL), Meteors (GBR), and Caribenos de la Laguna (ESP).
The teams presented the usual blend of old and new, experience and talent. As always, the atmosphere at the tournament was competitive but friendly.
The event began with a full round-robin, with all seven teams playing each other. The weather was a bit of a let-down -- only 12°C and quite windy -- but it didn’t stop the players giving it their best.
After the two days of round-robin games, the Czech U-19 Team, who used the tournament as a part of their preparations for this year’s Junior Men’s World Championships in Midland, Michigan, USA, remained undefeated, followed by the Dutch National Team.
On Monday, the play-off games were scheduled.
In the first quarter-final, Germany took a quick 4-1 lead against the Netherlands. But after a long struggle, the Netherlands secured their spot in the semi-finals by a score of 20-12. The Hurricanes beat the Chicaboos 8-0 and the Caribenos played a close game against the Meteors, prevailing by 6-4.
The Caribenos were clearly the stronger team in their semi-final against the Netherlands.
The other semi-final was a thriller between the Hurricanes and the Czech U-19s. The game was tied after seven innings, but the Hurricanes managed to score the necessary run in the tie-breaker and made it to the final.
In the final, the Caribenos’ offense prospered against Danish pitching, and the Spanish team won by 7-1.
1. Caribenos de la Laguna (ESP)
2. Horshol Hurricanes (DEN)
3. Czech Republic U-19 National Team
4. Netherlands National Team
5. Chicaboos (BEL)
6. Meteors (GBR)
7. German National Team
Best Rookie: Oscar Mukherjee (Hurricanes)
Most Stolen Bases: Jeff Delfina (NL)
Home Run King: Glennsig Polonius (NL)
Best Hitter: Wout Cnops (Caribenos)
Best Pitcher: Martin Holmberg (Hurricanes)
MVP: Juan Carlos Macias (Caribenos)
For all results and photos, check out the Zeister Slot Tournament’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Zeister-Slot-Tournament-...
Next year’s Zeister Slot Tournament will take place on the weekend of 3-5 June.
/photos by Hellen van der Maazen/