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Updated: March 11, 2013
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar


Dutch off to 'Frisco' after beating Cuba!
Nederlands
TOKYO (Japan) - The Dutch Baseball Team has qualified for the final round of the World Baseball Classic after beating Cuba (again) on Monday with a 7-6 score on a walk-off sacrifice fly by Kalian Sams. The Dutch now will play against Japan on Tuesday to determine who will finish in first and second place in this second round pool. Then, it's off to San Francisco, where Manager Hensley Meulens will play a home game, as he is the Hitting Coach of World Series-champion San Francisco Giants.

Before today's game, there was a moment of silence. Today is the day of remembrance in Japan for the victims of the devastating earthquake, followed by a tsunami that hit the eastcoast of the country near Sendai exactly two years ago.


...Kalian Sams celebrates after his game-winning sac-fly...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
After the big 16-4 loss against Japan on Sunday, the Dutch Team recovered greatly and turned around to the winning shape it showcased in the previous games. The Orange led twice, but Cuba tied the score both times. Then, in the eighth inning, the Dutch Team trailed for the first time, but then came alongside itself on a 2-out, 2-run homerun by Kalian Sams to set up a tense ninth inning. After Cuba stranded two runners, the Dutch got the bases loaded, then Kalian Sams decided the game with a sacrifice fly. And that gave the Dutch a spectacular win in one of its best games played in history, if not the best (so far).

The Dutch Team won on character, as it suffered some blows before and during the game. The Dutch Team had to do without its regular centerfielder and its number 3 hitter Roger Bernadina, who was hit on his wrist yesterday against Japan. During the game, Manager Hensley Meulens lost two more players, as Wladimir Balentien and Yurendell de Caster left due to injuries. This meant that the Dutch had to without its number 3 (Bernadina) and number 4 (Balentien) hitter of their line-up since the third inning. Besides replacing Balentina, Meulens had made another change in his starting line-up, as Yurendell de Caster played at third base, instead of Xander Bogaerts. Kalian Sams, who was the regular leftfielder in the previous games, took over in centerfield for Balentina, while Randoloph Oduber played in leftfield.

Orlando Yntema made his first start for the Dutch Team. He pitched in relief in the first game against South Korea on March 2 in Taichung (Taiwan). The righthander threw some fine innings, giving up only one basehit in the first three at bats. He retired the side in the first, then gave-up a lead-off single to Frederich Cepeda, who was caught stealing moments later. After a strikeout, he walked Alfrede Despaigne, but he was left behind. Yntema then retired the side again in the third.

Cuban starter Vladimir Garcia held the Dutch offense to two hits in the first two innings. In the first at bat, Wladimir Balentien singled, but then pulled a groin muscle. Balentien initially remained in the game, but was replaced in the third inning by Hainley Statia, who went on to play at third base, while Yurendell de Caster moved to rightfield. In the second inning, De Caster singled with one out, but was left behind.


...Andrelton Simmons is greeted after his...
...2-run homerun that tied the score in the 8th...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Dutch then scored twice in the third at bat. Randolph Oduber led off with a double, then Andrelton Simmons singled to short, which held Oduber at second base. The two runners advanced on a sac-bunt by Jonathan Schoop, then the bases got loaded when Hainley Statia was hit by a pitch. Next, Oduber scored on a sac-fly by Andruw Jones and Curt Smith followed with an RBI-single to make it 2-0.

Cuba came back immediately to tie the score in the fourth inning. Yulieski Gourriel led off with a double and scored when Josť Fernandez followed with a single. The Dutch defense then turned a double play on a grounder by powerhitter Frederich Cepeda, but Josť Abreu followed with a homerun to make it 2-2. Yntema then hit next batter Alfredo Despaigne with a pitch and was then relieved by Shairon Martis, who struckout Yasmany Tomas to end the inning.

The Orange came back on top right away in the home of the fourth. Kalian Sams led off with a walk and advanced on a grounder by Dashenko Ricardo. Then everyone was safe on a grounder to short by Randolph Oduber, which moved Sams to third base. Oduber then stole second base and a following sacrifice fly by Andrelton Simmons then put the Dutch back on top, 3-2. Next, Oduber also stole third base and scored when a throwing error followed.

Again, Cuba was able to come alongside immediately in their next at bat. Cuban Manager Victor Mesa used three consecutive pinch-hitters and that paid off. Pinch-hitter Luis Rivera led off with a single, then next pinch-hitter Yosbany Peraza flied out, but the third pinch-hitter Alexei Bell then singled to put runners on first and second base. Veteran Yulieski Gourriel then drilled the ball over centerfielder Kalian Sams that scored Rivera. As Sams couldn't get control over the ball right away, Bell also scored to tie the score. Gourriel then advanced to third base on a grounder and Frederich Cepeda walked, but Shairon Martis closed the inning with a strikeout.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Andruw Jones led off with a single, but was forced out on a grounder by Curt Smith. Next, Yurendell de Caster grounded into a double play, but apparently pulled a hamstring, while running to first base. He was on the ground in pain and had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. And so, Hensley Meulens lost another player. Xander Bogaerts was brought in to replace De Caster and took over at third base, while Hainley Statia became the third Dutch rightfielder in the game. And Bogaerts became the third third baseman. By the way, at this point in the game, Cuba had only one more player left on its bench, because Victor Mesa had already made five changes.


...Celebration time...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Cuba was then retired in order in the sixth inning, while the Dutch left a runner in its sixth at bat. In the seventh, Alexei Bell led off with a walk for Cuba, but then Yulieski Gourriel popped out on a bunt-attempt and Josť Fernandez grounded into a double play to end the inning.

In the home of the seventh inning, the Dutch threaten again. Jonathan Schoop led off with a single, but then was caught stealing. Hainley Statia was then retired on a nice defensive play by the Cuban defense, but Andruw Jones and Curt Smith then followed with singles. But Norberto Gonzalez then struckout Xander Bogaerts to end the inning.

The eighth inning was then productive for both teams. In the top of the eighth, Frederich Cepeda walked and Josť Abreu singled, then a flyout followed that moved Cepeda. Leon Boyd then took over for Shairon Martis, but gave up an RBI-single to b>Yasmany Tomas, then Eriel Sanchez followed with a sac-fly that made it 6-4 for Cuba. A pop-fly then ended the at bat.

In the bottom of the eighth, Kalian Sams led off with a walk, but then Dashenko Ricardo and Randolph Oduber both struckout. Next, Andrelton Simmons drilled a homerun into leftfield to make it another tie score, 6-6.

Closer Loek van Mil took over in the ninth inning and began with a strikeout for Alexei Bell. The tall righthander then gave up singles to Yulieski Gourriel and Josť Fernandez to put runners at the corners. But Van Mil then struckout Frederich Cepeda and the inning ended when Josť Abreu flied out.

In the home of the ninth, Hainley Statia led off with a flyout, then Yander Guevara was brought in as new pitcher. Andruw Jones was then safe on an error and Curt Smith followed with a single, which led to another pitching change. Raciel Iglesias was greeted with a single by Xander Bogaerts, that loaded the bases. Hereafter, Diosdany Castillo became the new Cuban pitcher. Kalian Sams then hit an 1-2 delivery to centerfield for a walk-off sacrifice fly that enabled Jones to score the winning run!

Pitching Stats
pitcherINNSOBBHRER
Orlando Yntema3.211422
Shairon Martis3.223544
Leon Boyd0.200100
Loek van Mil, W120200

Playing in today's game were:
Andrelton Simmons (SS, 2-for-4), Jonathan Schoop (2B, 1-for-3, walk), Wladimir Balentien (RF, 1-for-1), Hainley Statia (3B-RF, 0-for-3, hit by pitch), Andruw Jones (DH, 2-for-4), Curt Smith (1B, 2-for-4), Yurendell de Caster (3B-RF, 1-for-3), Xander Bogaerts (3B, 1-for-2), Kalian Sams (CF, 0-for-2, 2 walks), Dashenko Ricardo (C, 0-for-3, walk), Randolph Oduber (LF, 1-for-4).


...Going to San Franscisco!...

...Moment of silence before the game to remember the victims...
...of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011...

...Dutch starter Orlando Yntema...
...pitched the first 3 2/3 innings...

...Shairon Martis took over in the fourth inning...

...Randolph Oduber stole three bases...

...Yurendell de Caster is carried of the field in the 5th inning...

...Randolph Oduber steals 2nd base in the 6th inning...

...Leon Boyd came on in the 8th inning...

...Dutch players' wives and girlfriends on the scoreboard...

...Andrelton Simmons tied the score in the 8th inning...
...with his 2-out, 2-run homerun...

...Andruw Jones got on base in the 9th inning...
...and went on to score the winning run...

...Bench Coach Robert Eenhoorn and Manager Hensley Meulens...
...congratulate each other...

...Manager Hensley Meulens is showered...
...by Quintin de Cuba...

...The players thank the spectators...


...Andrelton Simmons, Hensley Meulens and Kalian Sams...
...during the press conference...
(© All Photos: Henk Seppen)

(March 11)


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