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Updated: October 8, 2011
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Copyright © 1997-2011
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2011 by Marco Stoovelaar

Canada hand Dutch first loss in 11-inning game!
PANAMA CITY (Panama) - The Dutch Baseball Team suffered its first loss of the World Cup on Saturday-afternoon, October 8, as the squad ended up short in an 11-inning contest vs. Canada, which won 5-4 and became the third team in this group to secure a spot in the Second Round. With this, there are now only two unbeaten teams remaining, Cuba in Group 2 and in Group 1 Panama, which is the opponent of the Dutch on Sunday in the closing game of the preliminary round.

In Group 1 (the 'Dutch' group), the final decision who will become the fourth team to reach the Second Round might fell on Monday, a day after the final day of the preliminary round. It could have fell on Saturday-evening, as the two teams involved, USA and Puerto Rico were both scheduled to play. A Puerto Rican loss would have clinched a spot for the USA, but instead Puerto Rico shutout Japan 6-0, while the game of the Americans vs. Panama rained out after an almost 2-hour waiting period. The USA-Panama game was re-scheduled for Monday and the American now have to win both of their final two games to advance to the Second Round.

While the Dutch, Canada and Panama now all are secured of a spot in the next round, the final ranking will be decided during the last games on Sunday.

In Group 2, Cuba became the first team to reach to Second Round by winning 8-2 vs. Germany, which therefore became the first team to be eliminated in this division. All other six teams are still having a chance to advance. There even is a theoretical chance of finishing with a 5-way tie!

In today's game, the Dutch failed to hold onto an early 2-0 lead, them came back twice from an one-run deficit, except in the 11th inning, ending up empty-handed.

Today's loss ended a 10-game winning streak of the Dutch Team that started this Summer during the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands). Before winning its first five game at the World Cup, the Dutch won four exhibition games, as well as its last game of the WPT, a 9-0 shutout vs. Curaçao. The Dutch last loss came on July 1, when the team was shutout 2-0 by the Cuban B-squad in Rotterdam.

Juan Carlos Sulbaran made his second start for the Orange and encountered no problems in his first four innings, then gave up two runs in the fifth that tied the score.

For the Dutch Team, Danny Rombley (back in the line-up) led off the first at bat with a single, stole second base when Sidney de Jong struckout and accounted for the second out, but then was left behind as a groundout followed.

...Danny Rombley - 4 times on base, single, run...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
After the Dutch were retired in order in the second inning, they opened the score in the third. After giving up Rombley's single, Canadian starter Kyle Lotzkar retired the next eight batters in a row, but then ran into problems in the third. Lotzkar started with a strikeout and groundout, but then suddenly lost his control, as he hit Danny Rombley with a pitch, loaded the bases by walking Mariekson Gregorius and Sidney de Jong, followed by another walk, this time for Curt Smith, which brought in the first run. It also marked the end for Lotzkar, who was replaced by Andrew Albers. However, Bryan Engelhardt, the first batter to face Albers reached on an error, which gave the Dutch its second run. But three runners were then left behind when Sharlon Schoop grounded out.

Juan Carlos Sulbaran walked his lead-off batter in the first inning, then allowed him to reach third base due to a failed pick-off. But the righthander then followed with two strikeouts and ended the inning himself by fielding a comeback grounder. In the second inning, Sulbaran gave up a 2-out single, but ended with a strikeout. In the third, he walked a batter with two outs, but this time the inning finished with a groundout.

After Sulbaran retired the side in the fourth, he gave up two runs to Canada (which has several Triple-A players on its roster) in the fifth inning. First, Cole Armstrong led off with a homerun. Then, with one out, Jonathan Malo walked, moved on a 2-out walk for Brock Kjelgaard and scored the tying run when an error was made on a grounder by Tim Smith.

Sulbaran then retired the side in the sixth, but in the seventh inning, he was relieved by Orlando Yntema, who then gave up a run. Yntema walked lead-off batter Marcus Knecht, who then advanced on a sac-bunt and went on to score on two wild pitches.

The Dutch Team got two runners on base in the fourth when Kalian Sams reached on an error and Shaldimar Daantji singled (both with one out), but a force play-grounder and flyout then followed. In the sixth, Jonathan Schoop doubled with one out, but was left behind.

...Curt Smith - 4 times on base, single, double, RBI...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Dutch Team then tied the score in the home of the seventh. With one out, Mariekson Gregorius walked, then advanced to second base when a pick-off failed. The bases then got loaded when Sidney de Jong walked and Curt Smith singled. This led to a pitching change, as Mark Hardy was brought in as fourth Canadian pitcher. But the new hurler walked pinch-hitter Xander Bogaerts to bring in the tying run (3-3). Hardy was quickly replaced and new pitcher Dustin Molleken ended the at bat when Sharlon Schoop grounded into a double play.

The Dutch Team left seven runners in scoring position in the first seven innings, then left two more in the next two at bats. In the eighth, with one out, Kalian Sams singled and stole second base with two outs, but then Danny Rombley struckout. In the ninth, with two outs, Curt Smith doubled and this time, Bogaerts followed with a groundout. In the eighth Canadian inning, Leon Boyd became the new pitcher for the Dutch, replacing Orlando Yntema. Boyd retired the side in the eighth, but saw two fellow-Canadians reach base (while he holds a Dutch passport, Boyd is born and raised in Canada). In the ninth, he walked a batter with one out and gave up a single with two outs and then was replaced by Berry van Driel, who ended the inning with a flyout. And as the Dutch also didn't score in their ninth at bat, the game went into extra innings and thus the tie-break.

Both teams scored a run in the tenth inning. And both did it the same way. The two tie-break runners advanced on a sac-bunt, the bases were loaded with an intentional pass and a sac-fly accounted for the run. For the Dutch, Manager Brian Farley opted to start with Mariekson Gregorius as his lead-off batter in the tenth inning, meaning the two previous batters became the baserunners, being Shaldimar Daantji at second base and Danny Rombley at first base. Dwayne Kemp then entered the game as pinch-runner for Rombley and the two runners moved on a sac-bunt by Gregorius. To create a force play, Sidney de Jong was walked intentionally and then Daantji scored on a sacrifice fly by Curt Smith. Another pitching change then followed, but the inning ended when Xander Bogaerts popped up.

In the eleventh inning, Canada scored another run off Berry van Driel. Again, the tie-break runners moved on a sac-bunt and the bases were loaded with an intentional walk, then a single by Emerson Frostad gave Canada a 5-4 lead. The Dutch Team was unable to answer with a run, leaving the bases loaded. This time, tie-break runners Curt Smith and Xander Bogaerts were not moved with a sacrifice bunt. Instead, Sharlon Schoop's attempt ended in a foul-fly, then Jonathan Schoop flied out. The bases then got loaded after all when Kalian Sams walked, but the inning (and the game) ended when the sixth Canadian pitcher Jimmy Henderson struckout Shaldimar Daantji.

Today's starting line-up was as follows:
Danny Rombley (LF, 1-for-4), Mariekson Gregorius (SS, 0-for-3), Sidney de Jong (C, 0-for-3), Curt Smith (1B, 2-for-4), Bryan Engelhardt (DH, 0-for-3), Sharlon Schoop (2B, 0-for-5), Jonathan Schoop (3B, 1-for-5), Kalian Sams (RF, 1-for-4) and Shaldimar Daantji (CF, 1-for-5).
The following changes were made:
Xander Bogaerts (0-for-2) entered as pinch-hitter for Engelhardt in the seventh inning and remained in the game as the new DH; Dwayne Kemp (no at bat) was used as pinch-runner for Rombley in the 10th inning and became the new leftfielder.

Also on Saturday:
Australia shutout Venezuela 15-0 in a 5-inning game on 13 hits, including homeruns by Mitchell Dening (2-run), Justin Huber (2-run) and Tom Brice (3-run), who this season played in the Dutch Majors for DOOR Neptunus. Playing for Venezuela was Dirimo Enrique Chavez, who also played in the Dutch big league this year for Mr. Cocker HCAW. Wuillians Martin Vasquez, who played for HCAW last season and this year in Italy, also played for Venezuela.

Germany took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a 2-run homerun by Donald Lutz against Cuba, but in the end lost 8-2. The Cubans collected 14 basehits, including a solo-homerun by José Dariel Abreu. Dutch umpire Henri van Heijningen officiated in the third base-area.

The game between Greece and Taiwan was stopped in the top of the third inning because of heavy rain. At the time the game was canceled, Taiwan was leading 7-0 and had runners on first and second base with one out. A make-up date has not yet been announced.

In the evening, the Dominican Republic won big in six innings vs. Nicaragua, 16-1 on 18 hits, while Nicaragua hit only two.

(October 8)

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