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Updated: July 2, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Curaçao upsets Dutch Team with 10-inning win
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Curaçao registered an upset 3-2 in in 10 innings against the Dutch National Team on Tuesday-evening to win its first game of the World Port Tournament. Curaçao had lost its first two games, while the Dutch had won its first two.

The Dutch Team initially trailed 1-0, then took a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning, but the bullpen then failed to hold the lead.

Initially, it was a 6-inning pitching duel between David Bergman (Netherlands) and Nick Veltkamp (Curaçao), who are teammates at Dutch reigning champion Corendon Kinheim. Veltkamp is one of two 'Dutch' pitchers on the Curaçao-roster, the other being Duko Jansen, who has pitched also for the National Team of the Netherlands Antilles in the past. Like Veltkamp, Jansen pitches in the Dutch big league, playing for UVV.

Two years ago, the Dutch Team shutout Curaçao 6-0 and 9-0 during the previous edition of the WPT. In the last game, Jansen started for Curaçao, while Veltkamp then pitched in relief for the Dutch.

Veltkamp was given the ball as starter by Curaçao Manager Johnny Balentina, as the lefthander of course knows the hitters best. And he indeed silenced the Dutch offense for six innings, giving up only four basehits. In the first inning, he gave up an one-out single to Michael Duursma, but then a double play followed. In the fourth, the same happened. This time, Duursma led off with a single, but then again next batter Danny Rombley grounded into a double play.

In the fifth, Veltkamp gave up a lead-off single to Dwayne Kemp. With one out, he walked Jesse Aussems, but he was picked off first base by catcher Ramiro Balentina (another player of Kinheim), while Kemp was on his way to third base, where he stranded.

In the sixth, Rombley doubled with two outs. Gianison Boekhoudt was then walked intentionally, but a force out followed.

In the meantime, Curaçao had taken an 1-0 lead in the third inning off of Bergman. Curaçao already threatened in the first inning when the first two batters singled, but both were eliminated on the bases on following grounders. In the second, Bergman gave up a lead-off single to Johnny Gregorius, but then struckout the next three batters.

In the third, Bergman walked Raywendley Van Gurp, who then stole second base. He moved to third on a single by Quincy Ascencion, then scored on a force play-grounder by Michaelangelo Trinidad.

This would be the lone run in six innings, but then the Dutch Team appeared to turn the game around in the seventh. Dwayne Kemp led off with a single, then scored all the way from first base when Nick Veltkamp threw the ball passed first base into rightfield on a sacrifice bunt by Jeffrey Arends, who ended up on third base. Veltkamp was then relieved by Kevin Kelly, who retired the next two batters, but then gave up a single to speedy Roelie Henrique, who beat out a grounder to short to give the Dutch a 2-1 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, when Chris Mowday had relieved Bergman, centerfielder Shaldimar Daantji made a nice running catch on a drive by Van Gurp. Shurendell Mujica followed with a double, but was left behind and so, the Dutch Team appeared to have taken control over the game.

However, the situation changed again in the eighth at bat. With one out, Gianison Boekhoudt singled into centerfield, then tried to advance to second base when centerfielder Rojean Cleofa overran the ball. Cleofa quickly recovered and threw Boekhoudt on second base. Rudy Van Heydoorn followed with a single, but was left behind.

Curaçao then came alongside in the bottom of the eighth. Mowday walked Trinidad and Christefer Obispo and was relieved by Berry van Driel. The closer began with a strikeout, but then gave up a single to pinch-hitter Edinho Meyer that tied the score.

In the ninth inning, Kevin Kelly struckout the Dutch side. For Curaçao, Van Gurp led off the ninth with a walk, but was picked off, then two outs followed, meaning the game went into extra innings.

Normally, the tenth inning would gave been the tie-break, but the tournament rules state that the tenth inning will be played according to a 'normal' situation with the tie-break coming into effect from the eleventh inning on.

In the top of the 10th inning, Kelly got two quick outs, then the game was interrupted briefly by rain. After a 12-minute delay, the game resumed and the third Dutch out followed.

Curaçao then struck in the home of the 10th off of new pitcher Bayron Cornelissen. He walked lead-off hitter Rupert ustasia, who then was forced out on a grounder by Amir Daou. Next, Johnny Gregorius connected for his fourth basehit of the evening to bring Daou into scoring position. And then it was Edinho Meyer, who delivered again. After his score-tying pinch-hit single in the eighth, he now connected for a walk-off, single that brought in Daou with the winning run!

Johnny Gregorius hit four of Curaçao's 10 basehits. He is the brother of Amsterdam-born Mariekson 'Didi' Gregorius, who plays in the Major League for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

(July 2)

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