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Updated: July 1, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch Team shuts out Cuba
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - The Dutch Baseball Team on Monday-evening shutout Cuba 7-0 in a great pitching performance by veteran Rob Cordemans, who went the distance for the Orange squad. On Sunday, the Dutch squad opened with a 7-2 win vs. Taiwan, which today won 4-2 vs. Curaçao, which led twice in the game. Curaçao led 1-0 in the first inning and 2-1 in the fifth, but both times, the Asians came alongside, then scored twice in the seventh to decide the game.

For the Dutch Team, this was another victory against the multi-world champion. In March of this year, the Dutch Team defeated Cuba twice during the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo (Japan). With that, the Dutch eliminated Cuba and clinched a spot in the semi-final in San Francisco (USA).

Before the start of the game, there was an impressive moment of silence to remember Cuba pitcher Yadier Pedroso, who passed away in March in a car-accident shortly after returning home from the World Baseball Classic. During the Classic Pedroso threw what would be his last game against the Dutch Team. In 2005, he was a member of the Cuban Team that captured the World Championship-title in Rotterdam and two years ago, he was named Best Pitcher during the previous World Port Tournament.

...Rob Cordemans goes the distance...
...first NL complete game since 1999...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
It has frequently been said that 'pitching is the name of the game'. Tonight, that phrase was underscored by Rob Cordemans, who threw a complete game shutout and gave up only five basehits. The righthander threw only 110 pitches.

Another important ingredient to be successful is of course the defense. The Dutch Team had a much better start than the day before. Against Taiwan, three errors were made in the first three at bats. Tonight, the Dutch defense played very strong from the beginning.

With one out in the first inning, Rob Cordemans walked a batter, but then a nice 5-4-3 double play from Dwayne Kemp-to-Michael Duursma-to-Vince Rooi followed. In the second at bat, with one out, the righthander gave up singles to José Miguel Fernández Díaz and Yasmani Tómas Bacallao. But hereafter, Cordemans retired the next 15 batters in a row, was supported with some nice defensive plays and was supported with a 2-0 lead when he allowed the next Cuban batter to reach base in the seventh inning.

In the bottom of the third inning, with one out, Dwayne Kemp, who already had started the double play in the first inning, made a great play on a hard grounder by Guillermo Heredia Molina, then Cordemans finished with a strikeout.

...Running catch Shaldimar Daantji...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The third ingredient to win is timely hitting and that also was done by the Dutch tonight. In the top of the fourth inning, the Dutch opened the score. And it was only appropriate that it was Dwayne Kemp, who scored the first run. With two outs, Kemp doubled, moved on a single by Michael Duursma, then scored on a single by Bas Nooij.

In the bottom of the fourth, another defensive highlight followed. After two outfield flyouts, Fernández hit the ball up in the air towards the leftfield-foulline. There, leftfielder Roelie Henrique sprinted towards the ball and made a sliding, shoestring catch to end the inning.

And did Kemp score the first run, Henrique scored the next one. As lead-off hitter in the fifth, he was hit by a pitch, then beat the throw to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Stijn van der Meer and scored on a double by Danny Rombley to make it 2-0.' That led to a pitching change and the bases were loaded by walking Bryan Engelhardt intentionally. It not only showed respect for the power of Engelhardt, but of course also set up a force play. And that's what happened on a grounder by next hitter Vince Rooi back to pitcher Jorge Hernández Monteagudo. The Cuban defense then did turn a nice 1-2-3 double play of its own and ended the at bat with another grounder.

Trailing 2-0 and after 15 batters were retired in order by Rob Cordemans, Cuba reached base again in the bottom of the seventh inning. With one out, José Dariel Abreu Correa singled, but was forced out on a grounder by Fernández, who then advanced on a single by Tómas. The runscoring threat ended when centerfielder Shaldimar Daantji made a great running catch on a drive by Alexander Malleta Kerr to end the inning.

In the eighth inning, the Dutch Team added two insurance runs off of Hernández, who had retired nine batters in a row. With one out in the eighth, Vince Rooi walked and advanced on a wild pitch. With two outs, Rooi moved on a single by Michael Duursma, then scored on a single by Bas Nooij. Shaldimar Daantji followed with an RBI-double that made it 4-0, before a grounder ended the inning.

That 4-0 lead was all Cordemans needed, as the game now definitively belonged to him. With two outs in the eigth, he gave up his fifth and last basehit, then a pop-fly ended the Cuban at bat.

The Dutch Team then added three more runs in the ninth inning to lift the lead to 7-0. With one out, Danny Rombley was hit by a pitch, then Bryan Engelhardt singled to bring him to third base. But a throwing error also followed, enabling Rombley to score. Next, Vince Rooi walked and Dwayne Kemp followed with an RBI-single, his third basehit of the evening. That brought in another Cuban pitcher, who then hit Michael Duursma with a pitch to load the bases. The seventh run was then scored on a sac-fly by Bas Nooij, who had three runs batted in.

Leading 7-0, Rob Cordemans was given the opportunity to finish the game by Manager Steve Janssen. And Cordemans kept on dominating, as he retired the side, including a strikeout, to end the game.

For the 38-year old Cordemans, this was his first complete 9-inning game in the Dutch Team in 14 years! He went the distance last year during the European Championship in Rotterdam during a 15-0 win vs. France, but that game lasted only 4½ inning due to the mercy-rule. On July 30, 1999, Cordemans threw 9 innings in a 7-0 shutout win against Russia in the semi-final of the European Championship in Bologna (Italy). Back then, the catcher was Johnny Balentina, who now is the Manager of team from Curaçao during this WPT. Also playing in the Dutch Team during the 1999 Championship were Evert-Jan 't Hoen, who now is one of the coaches of the Dutch Team during the WPT, as well as current Technical Manager Robert Eenhoorn.

...Sliding catch Roelie Henrique...

...Dwayne Kemp - 3 Hits, double, run, RBI...
(© Photos: Henk Seppen)

(July 1)

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