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Updated: February 24, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch shutout Cuba in exhibition game
TAICHUNG (Taiwan) - The Dutch Baseball Team on Sunday played its eighth exhibition game to prepare for the World Baseball Classic and its second on Taiwanese soil. In an international match-up, the Dutch team shutout Cuba, 5-0 and collected eleven basehits.

The Dutch Team will play two more exhibition games in the coming days. On Tuesday, the team meets Industrial All Stars and on Thursday, the University All Stars. The Dutch Team plays its first WBC-game on March 2 against South Korea.

In 2011, the Dutch Team beat Cuba twice during the World Championship in Panama, including a 2-1 victory in the final to claim the world title. In the following game between the two countries, Cuba shutout the Orange 4-0 during last years Haarlem Baseball Week and today, the Dutch held Cuba scoreless.

In the first two innings, only Yurendell de Caster reached base, thanks to a single, but then the score was opened in the third at bat. With one out, Michael Duursma then singled, moved on a grounder by Randolph Oduber and scored when Hainley Statia followed with a single.

...Wladimir Balentien...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The lead was enlarged to 3-0 in the fourth inning. First, Wladimir Balentien led off with a homerun. With one out, Kalian Sams doubled and that meant the end for Cuban starter Ismel Jimenez. His successor Freddy Alvarez was greeted with a single, which plated Sams and then Dashenko Ricardo grounded into a double play to end the inning.

In the seventh inning, two unearned runs were added off of Alvarez. Curt Smith led off with an infield-hit to short and advanced when a throwing error followed. Next, the same situation happened to Bas Nooij, who had just entered the game, as he also reached on an infield-hit followed by a throwing error, this time by the third baseman. Smith was able to score in this situation and make it a 4-0 score. Hereater, Nooij was eliminated at third base on a grounder by Michael Duursma. The latter then moved moments later on a grounder by Randolph Oduber and scored when Hainley Statia followed with his third single of the game. The inning ended when Statia was caught stealing.

In the eighth inning, new Cuban pitcher Danny Betancourt retired the first two batters he faced, then was relieved by Vladimir Garcia to face Andruw Jones. The former Major Leaguer had struckout in his previous three at bats, but this time walked and advanced to third base when Kalian Sams followed with a single. But then, a force out ended the at bat.

Cuba collected eight basehits off of four Dutch pitchers. Starter Diegomar Markwell gave up a lead-off single to Guillermo Heredia, but then turned a double play himself on a comeback grounder by next batter Raul Gonzalez. In the second inning, the lefthander gave up a 2-out double to Yasmani Tomás, but then the third out followed. Markwell then retired the side in the third and fourth inning and faced only four batters in the fifth.

In the sixth inning, Kevin Heijstek took over and faced only six batters. In the seventh, he gave up an 1-out single, but then the defense turned an inning-ending double play. Jonathan Balentina then pitched the eighth inning and gave up a lead-off single to Tomás, but he then picked him off first base. With two outs, an error led to a Cuban runner, but was forced out moments later.

Leon Boyd pitched the ninth inning. With two outs, he gave up singles to Yulieski Gourriel and Frederich Cepeda, but they both were left behind.

Pitching Stats
Diegomar Markwell, W53-4
Kevin Heijstek2001
Jonathan Balentina1001
Leon Boyd1102

Playing today were:
Randolph Oduber (LF, 0-for-4), Hainley Statia (2B, 3-for-4), Dwayne Kemp (2B, did not bat), Yurendell de Caster (3B, 1-for-4), Wladimir Balentien (RF, 1-for-2), Quintin de Cuba (RF, 0-for-2), Andruw Jones (DH, 0-for-3), Kalian Sams (CF, 2-for-4), Curt Smith (1B, 2-for-4), Dashenko Ricardo (C, 0-for-2), Bas Nooij (C, 1-for-1), Michael Duursma (SS, (1-for-3).

(February 24)

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