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Updated: March 2, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch Team opens WBC with shutout-win
TAICHUNG (Taiwan) - The Dutch National Baseball Team opened the third edition of the World Baseball Classic with a 5-0 shutout-win against South Korea. It was a match-up between champions, as the Dutch Team is the reigning World Champion, capturing the title in Panama in 2011, while Korea is the reigning Olympic Champion, winning the event in 2008 in Beijing (China). The latter happened in the last Olympic baseball-tournament, as the sport currently is no part of the Olympics. This was the first-ever meeting between the two countries in WBC-play.

On Sunday, the Dutch Team meets Taiwan, which opened on Saturday with a 4-1 win vs. Australia.

Before the start of this years Classic, South Korea was labeled as the favorite in Pool B, so today's win was a major upset to start the event. Four years ago, the Asians reached the final of the second WBC, but then lost to Japan, which repeated as WBC-champion. Japan also had a tough opening day on Saturday, winning only 5-3 to Brazil in the opener of Pool A in Fukuoka (Japan).

...A happy winning pitcher Diegomar Markwell...
...during the press conference after the game...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
On a cold and foggy night (it had rained earlier in the day), the Dutch Team got great pitching today and also was the better team offensively, outhitting South Korea 10-4. Besides that, the defense contributed with several nice plays.

The Dutch Team collected 10 basehits in the three hours, 24 minutes game, including three by lead-off hitter Andrelton Simmons and two each off the bats of Andruw Jones and Dashenko Ricardo. Simmons also scored twice, while Roger Bernadina had two runs batted in.

Dutch starter Diegomar Markwell threw the first four innings, gave up only two hits and struckout two batters to become the winning pitcher. Orlando Yntema took over in the fifth, added three strong innings and also allowed only two basehits. Hereafter, Leon Boyd and Mark Pawelek closed the game for the Dutch. Korea used seven pitchers in this game, who saw their defense commit our errors, costing them a run.

The Dutch Team opened the score in the second inning. Andruw Jones led off the at bat with a double down the leftfield-line, then advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Xander Bogaerts. Moments later, the former Major Leaguer scored on a sacrifice fly by Curt Smith to give the Dutch an early lead.

Hereafter, the Dutch pitching and defense controlled the game. The Koreans did reach the bases, but were unable to move them around. In the top of the fourth inning, Markwell walked a batter with one out, then gave up a single. The lead runner advanced to third base on a flyout, but a grounder to first baseman Curt Smith ended the inning.

The Dutch Team then added two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Dashenko Ricardo singled and Andrelton Simmons followed another basehit. The bases got loaded when Jonathan Schoop walked. Next, Roger Bernadina grounded into a force play that eliminated Schoop, but Ricardo scored the second run. Hereafter, Wladimir Balentien singled to make it 3-0.

Yntema retired the side in the fifth, then gave up a lead-off single in the sixth at bat. But then, third baseman Xander Bogaerts turned a nice double play on a following grounder.

In the seventh inning, Korea appeared to do something back, as a walk and basehit put the first two hitters on base. But then, a force out, strikeout and pop-fly followed.

The Orange increased the lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Andrelton Simmons led off with a double and advanced on a passed ball and Jonathan Schoop reached base after being hit by a pitch. Simmons then scored on a double by Roger Bernadina, which brought Schoop to third base. After a pitching change, Wladimir Balentien walked. Andruw Jones then grounded to pitcher Taehyon Chong, who threw out Schoop at the plate. While sliding into home plate, Schoop hit catcher Minho Kang, who made an errant throw to first base trying to eliminate Jones and complete a double play. The ball ended up in rightfield, enabling Bernadina to score the fifth Dutch run.

Leon Boyd then pitched a perfect eighth inning. A productive Dutch at bat followed, but no runs were added. Kalian Sams led off and reached on an error, then Dashenko Ricardo singled. Moments later, Sams was caught stealing at third base. A double by Andrelton Simmons put runners on second and third base, but after another Korean pitching change, two strikeouts ended the at bat.

In the top of the ninth, Boyd got two quick outs, then walked a batter and was relieved by lefthander Mark Pawelek, who finished the game with a strikeout.

Dutch Manager Hensley Meulens made no changes to his starting line-up in today's game. ,,We played a good game of defense and we got a very, very good start from Diego. The big boys did their job today'', Meulens reacted afterwards.

Pitching Stats
Diegomar Markwell, W4212
Orlando Yntema, H3122
Leon Boyd1.2010
Mark Pawelek0.1100

Playing in today's game were:
Andrelton Simmons (SS, 3-for-5), Jonathan Schoop (2B, 0-for-3, walk), Roger Bernadina (CF, 1-for-5), Wladimir Balentien (RF, 1-for-3, walk), Andruw Jones (DH, 2-for-4), Xander Bogaerts (3B, 0-for-2, walk), Curt Smith (1B, 1-for-2, walk), Kalian Sams (LF, 0-for-4), Dashenko Ricardo (C, 2-for-4).

...Dutch starter Diegomar Markwell gave up only 2 hits...

...2B Jonathan Schoop completes a double play...

...Xander Bogaerts puts down a bunt...

...Manager Hensley Meulens and Bench Coach Robert Eenhoorn have fun...

...Andruw Jones is about to be tagged out...

...Jonathan Schoop is out at home, but touches the right leg...
...of the Korean catcher, leading to an error and a run...

...Leon Boyd took over in the 8th inning...

...The first win is in the books...
(© All Photos: Henk Seppen)

(March 2)

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