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Updated: October 30, 2010
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2010 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch in Intercontinental-final on 10th inning walk-off homerun!
TAICHUNG (Taiwan) - The Dutch National Baseball Team on Saturday-afternoon defeated Taiwan 5-3 in 10 innings on a walk-off, 2-run homerun by Mariekson Gregorius to again reach the final of the Intercontinental Cup. The final will be a repeat of four years ago, when the Dutch also faced Cuba. Back then, Cuba won the final in eleven innings.

The homerun of Gregorius also set up the rest of the program for Sunday. Because of the Dutch win, Japan was eliminated. With the win, the Dutch finished in a tie with Taiwan and the two could get company from Italy (which led after four innings, but trailed after six) when it should beat Cuba, but that didn't happen, as Cuba won 5-3. In any case, the Dutch are off to the final, as they have beaten both countries, whatever the ranking. It also means that Italy and Taiwan will face each other in the bronze medal-game, while Japan meets Korea for fifth place.

In the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, the Dutch Team got its first player on base right away in the first inning when Eugène Kingsale led off with a walk. However, he was left as three outs followed.

The Dutch then opened the score in the second inning, but scored only once despite getting the bases loaded with no outs! Again, the lead-off hitter reached base. And not only the first batter, the first three batters reached base safely. Sharlon Schoop and Raily Legito started with singles, then Danny Rombley walked, loading the bases. Next, Bas de Jong grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, but that enabled Schoop to score. The inning then ended when Shaldimar Daantji grounded out.

...Starter Diegomar Markwell...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the next three innings, Taiwanese starter Kuan-Yu Chen held the Dutch scoreless. He gave up a 2-out single to Sidney de Jong in the third, but then retired the side in the fourth. In the fifth, Shaldimar Daantji singled with one out, but he was forced out on a grounder by Eugène Kingsale, who then was picked off to end the at bat.

In the sixth inning, the Dutch doubled their lead, as, with two outs, Curt Smith homered to make it 2-0. When next hitter Sharlon Schoop walked, Chih-Lung Huang became the new pitcher for the Asians. Raily Legito then reached on an error, but was forced out on a grounder by Danny Rombley.

Dutch starter Diegomar Markwell threw six scoreless innings. The lefthander, who made his first start of the tournament, got two quick outs in the first bat bat, but then saw the next hitter reach base when leftfielder Eugène Kingsale dropped the ball. Markwell struckout the next hitter to end the inning.

Markwell retired the side in both the second and fourth inning and also encountered no problems in the other innings when he got baserunners. In the third, he walked lead-off hitter Chih-Kang Kao, but then picked him off first base and two more outs followed. In the fifth, Markwell gave up a lead-off double to Chun-Hsiu Chen and the runner stranded, as three outs followed. In the sixth, he gave up an one-out single and then a double play ended the at bat.

But in the seventh inning, Taiwan came alongside with two outs. Chun-Hsiu Chen then singled and advanced to third base when Kuo-Hui Lo doubled. Next, Kuo-Ching Kao also doubled to bring in both runners. Markwell was relieved by Arshwin Asjes, who then finished the bat. In the Dutch seventh, Shaldimar Daantji singled with one out, but was forced out on second base.

...Mariekson Gregorius...
...walk-off homerun...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the eighth inning, Orlando Yntema became the third pitcher for the Dutch. He walked lead-off hitter Chen-Yu Chung, but he stranded as two grounders and a foul-out followed. In the home of the eighth, Sidney de Jong led off with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Dwayne Kemp, but then Curt Smith flied out and Sharlon Schoop grounded into a double play.

The Dutch got another scoring opportunity in the ninth inning. Raily Legito led off with a single and advanced on a grounder by Danny Rombley. Next, Bryan Engelhardt walked, whereafter Ching-Lung Lo became the new pitcher, who was then supported with another double play.

That meant the game went into extra innings and the tie-break rule came into effect in which runners are put on first and second base.

In the tenth inning, Taiwan took a 3-2 lead. With the two runners on base, Orlando Yntema struckout the first two batters, but then walked next hitter Yung-Chi Chen. Chih-Sheng Lin followed with a single to give Taiwan a 3-2 lead, but the inning ended when Chen-Yu Chung, the tie-break runner from first base, who had advanced on the walk, was thrown out at the plate 7-6-2 as he also tried to score.

Now trailing 3-2, the Dutch ended the game spectacularly. Speedy Shaldimar Daantji was put on second base and Eugène Kingsale on first with Mariekson Gregorius being the hitter. First, the two runners advanced on a wild pitch, then the two moved on a passed ball that tied the score. Next, Gregorius, who fouled off three balls, drove the seventh delivery of Ching-Lung Lo into rightfield for a 2-run, walk-off homerun that gave the Dutch a 5-3 victory and clinched the final!

Also on Saturday:

At Taichung Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Thailand won 6-5 vs. Hong Kong to finish in ninth place in an attractive game. Hong Kong had a 3-0 lead after four innings, but the Thailand scored twice in the fifth. After Hong Kong added a run in the sixth, Thailand answered with three runs (including two on a throwing error) in their sixth to take a 5-4 lead. Hong Kong came alongside in the eighth on a triple by Kam Tao Ip, but then Thailand scored what would be the decisive run in the home of the eighth without hitting a basehit. Lead-off hitter Kongsabai Teerasak was hit by a pitch, then his pinch-runner Sudsawad Anukul stole second base, advanced on a flyout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Srisaipet Jirapod.

Also at Taichung Baseball Stadium, Nicaragua won 11-5 vs. the Czech Republic to finish in seventh place. Nicaragua had 14 basehits, only one more than the Czechs, who committed three errors. After leading only 3-2 after the first inning, Nicaragua started to take more distance from the second inning on. Trailing 11-2, the Czechs added three runs in the ninth.

At Douliu City, Italy took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning and added a run in the fifth vs. Cuba, which then rallied for five runs in the home of the fifth and that was all they needed. Hector Olivera had three of Cuba's 11 basehits, including two doubles. In the fifth, Cuba had five basehits, including a 2-run double by Alexander Malleta. Dutch umpire Henri van Heijningen was at third base and Feiko Drost was one of the Official Scorers in this game.

At Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, South Korea surprised with a big 8-1 win vs. Japan on eleven basehits, including the third homerun in the event by Jae-Hwan Kim. After scoring twice in the first inning, the Koreans rallied for five unearned runs in the third inning, including three on a triple by Soo-Bin Jung. Japan scored their lone run in the eighth inning.

(October 30)

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