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Updated: September 9, 2014
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2014 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch Team nips France to win Yoshida Challenge
LIEUSAINT (Seine-et-Marne), SÉNART VILLE NOUVELLE (France) - The Netherlands Baseball Team tonight (Tuesday, September 9) won the Yoshida Challenge after winning only 3-2 against host France. The Dutch Team trailed 1-0 after seven innings, then scored twice in the eighth to turn the game its way. After adding a run in the ninth, France narrowed the score to only 3-2. With the tying run on second base, the Dutch escaped when two strikeouts ended the game.

On Wednesday, Manager Steve Janssen will announce his 24-man roster for the upcoming European Championship, which opens next Friday. The Dutch Team plays its games in the preliminary round in Ostrava (Czech Republic) and meets Croatia on Friday-afternoon in its first game. For the Dutch Team, the tournament in France was the final preparation for the Championship.

The day after suffering its first loss against France in 77 years, the Dutch Team again had its hands full with the French squad.

The Dutch Team reached base only three times in the first seven innings. In the second, Kalian Sams singled with one out and stole second base. Yurendell de Caster then struckout and after Sams had advanced on a wild pitch, he stranded on third base when next batter Sharlon Schoop also struckout.

In the fourth inning, Curt Smith walked with one out, but then Gianison Boekhoudt grounded into a double play.

In the fifth, Sharlon Schoop singled with two outs, then stole second base, but was left there as the inning ended when Danny Rombley flied out.

French starter Nicolas Dubaut had a good outing, striking out four batters and giving up only two hits in the five innings he pitched. He was succeeded by Yoann Vaugelade, who retired the first six batters he faced.

In the meantime, French was productive in the first inning, getting runners on second and third base with two outs off of starter Rob Cordemans, who only threw the first inning. Hereafter, Jurrian Koks took over and was supported with a double play in the third inning. David Bergman became the third Dutch pitcher when he took over in the fourth and gave up a French run. René Leveret (who a productive outing the evening before) led off with a double and scored on an one-out single by Omar Williams, which was followed by an inning-ending double play. But France had once again taken the lead and hold onto it for seven innings! By the way, Williams, who is from the French part of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, plays for DOOR Tridents, the Rookie League-team of Dutch big league-club DOOR Neptunus, where he is the leading hitter of the team and also leads with 39 runs batted in.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Kevin Kelly (who was added to the team a few days ago) took over the pitching for the Dutch. He saw a batter reach with one out, but then the Dutch defense turned another double play.

Kelly then went on to become the winning pitcher, as he teammates scored twice with two outs in the top of the eighth inning off of Vaugelade. First, pinch-hitter Michael Duursma reached on an error, but was forced out on a grounder by Sharlon Schoop. The latter advanced on a grounder, then scored the tying run when Dashenko Ricardo singled. Next, the bases got loaded when Gilmer Lampe and Nick Urbanus also singled. However, only one run was added after Curt Smith delivered the fourth consecutive single, as the inning ended with a flyout.

The Dutch Team added an insurance run (which it indeed needed) in the ninth inning. With one out, Michael Duursma singled, moved to third base on a single by Sharlon Schoop and scored on a single by Danny Rombley. Dashenko Ricardo followed with an infield-fly, then the bases got loaded when Gilmer Lampe was hit by a pitch. But the three runners were left behind when a grounder by Nick Urbanus ended the at bat.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Arshwin Asjes took over the pitching for the Orange squad. He was greeted with a homerun by René Leveret (there he is again). With one out, a single followed and a pinch-runner stole second base. But with the tying run on second base, Asjes recovered and struckout the next two batters to seal the win and earn a save to complete tonight's narrow escape!

The Dutch line-up was as follows:
Gilmer Lampe (LF, 1-for-4), Nick Urbanus (2B/3B, 1-for-5), Curt Smith (1B, 1-for-3), Gianison Boekhoudt (DH, 0-for-4), Kalian Sams (CF, 1-for-4), Yurendell de Caster (3B, 0-for-2), Sharlon Schoop (SS, 2-for-4), Danny Rombley (RF, 1-for-4), Dashenko Ricardo (C, 1-for-4). Michael Duursma (2B, 1-for-2) was pinch-hitter for De Caster and took over at 2nd base, which moved Urbanus to 3rd base.

(September 9)

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