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Updated: September 15, 2012
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Copyright © 1997-2012
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2012 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch Team ends up short vs. Italy
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - The Dutch Team closed the Final Round of the European Championship on Saturday-evening with a 4-3 loss vs. reigning champion Italy in a game that decided the home and away teams for the Final. On Sunday, Italy now will be the home team in the Final with the Dutch being the visitors.

The win means the third in a row for Italy against the Orange, dating back to the last two games of the 2010 European Championship in Germany. The win was the 50th ever by an Italian team against the Netherlands, which has won 72 of the 123 games played between the two countries. One game ended in a tie.

The Dutch Team opened the score in the second inning when Kalian Sams led off with a double down the leftfield-line. He then advanced on a grounder by Wesley Connor and scored on a sac-fly by Bryan Engelhardt.

Italy answered with three runs in the third inning. Dutch starter Orlando Yntema then gave up five basehits, including RBI-doubles by Juan Carlos Infante and Chris Colabello.

Trailing 3-1, the Dutch came alongside in the fourth. With one out, Wesley Connor singled, then Dwayne Kemp homered with two outs to make it a 3-3 score.

In the top of the ninth inning, the Dutch got the bases loaded and then Kemp drove the ball into deep leftfield, but it ended up on the wrong side of the foul pole, missing a grand slam homerun. Moments later, Kemp struckout to end the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Italy also got the bases loaded. Berry van Driel, who had come into the game in the seventh inning, walked lead-off hitter Juan Carlos Infante and was relieved by David Bergman. The latter then made a fielding error on a sac-bunt. A force play followed, then with runners on first and third base, it was opted to walk Chris Colabello intentionally to load the bases and set up a force play. Next batter Mattia Reginato, who had just entered the game in the top of the ninth as the new catcher, then drove an 1-2 pitch of Bergman over rightfielder Quintin de Cuba for a walk-off single to give Italy a 4-3 win.

(more later)

(September 15)

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