(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)
Dutch U21 Team closes World Championship with loss vs. Italy
TAICHUNG (Taiwan) -
The Netherlands Under 21 Team today ended the first 21 Under Baseball World Cup with a 4-3 loss against Euopean archrival Italy.
With the loss, the Dutch Team finished in a somewhat disappointing ninth position, while Italy ended up in seventh place.
In the Championship Pool (the Super Round Robin), the Czech Republic lost its third game, losing 7-4 to Nicaragua.
The Czechs now will meet Australia tomorrow in the game that will decide fifth and sixth place.
Dutch Umpire Winfried Berkvens was at second base today in the match-up between Venezuela and Mexico.
When there is one confrontation that is a much-win situation for both teams, it is the match-up between the Netherlands and Italy.
Whether it is on the youth level or on senior level, in baseball and softball, the games between these two dominating baseball-countries in Europe have always been very interesting.
And most of them end in a close score.
As was the case today in Dou-Liou Baseball Stadium.
The Dutch Team trailed from the first inning on, was able to narrow the deficit, but in the end was left empty-handed, losing 4-3.
...National Team Manager Steve Janssen...
...led the 21Under-squad in Taiwan...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The starter for the Dutch Team was Vincent Anthonia, who also was the starter in the team's third game of the event against Nicaragua five days ago.
For the Dutch Team, Kevin Moesquit walked with two outs in the first inning, but then was caught stealing.
In the home half of the opening at bat, Italy struck with two runs.
With two outs, Anthonia gave up a single to Alberto Mineo, who then scored when Federico Celli followed with a triple.
A single by Alessandro Grimaudo then brought in the next run.
Italian starter Filippo Crepaldi retired the side in the second inning, then was supported with a double play after he had given up a lead-off single to Aldair Adamus in the third at bat.
But with one out in the fourth inning, Crepaldi gave up the first Dutch run when Dudley Leonora hit the first homerun of the team during the event.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Italy immediately took more distance by adding two runs.
Alessandro Grimaudo and Mattia Mercuri led off with singles to put runners on first and third base.
Mercuri then stole second base and as the throw from the catcher went errant, Grimaudo was able to score.
After the next batter struckout, Italy added a run on a single by Sebastiano Poma.
Hereafter, Maickel Rietel relieved Anthonia, was greeted with a single by Leonardo Colagrossi, but didn't gave up additional runs.
Rietel then silenced the Italian offense and held it scoreless.
In each of the next three innings, Rietel saw a batter reach base with two outs.
In the fifth and sixth, Grimaudo and Colagrossi respectively doubled, but stranded.
In the seventh, Celli singled with two outs, but also was left behind.
Rietel then retired the side in the eighth at bat.
In its next four innings, the Dutch Team managed to score two more runs, but ended up short.
In the fifth, Cezan Rafaela led off with a walk, but then Aldair Adamus grounded into a double play.
The Dutch squad then scored its next run in the sixth.
With two outs, Dudley Leonora doubled and scored when Kevin Moesquit followed with a single.
After a pitching change, the inning ended with a pop-up.
In the seventh inning, the Orange narrowed the deficit to 4-3.
Milton Croes led off with a walk, then Aldair Adamus walked with one out, but was forced out on a grounder by Steven Wharwood.
Croes advanced to third base, then the bases got loaded when Jules Peters also walked.
That led to a pitching change.
Andrea Pizziconi took over and was greeted with an RBI-single by Kirvin Moesquit, that brought in Croes.
But the inning ended when Wharwood, who also was waved home trying to score on Moesquit's single, was thrown out at the plate.
In the eighth inning, the Orange got a final scoring opportunity.
Dudley Leonora (who was 3-for-4) led off with a single (missing only the triple for the cycle) and advanced on a 2-out single by Milton Croes.
But the game then ended when Cezan Rafaela struckout.
Leonora, who plays for Santa Maria Pirates on Curaçao, was one of the six players in the Dutch squad who were 23 or younger.
All teams were allowed to have six 23-under players on its 21-under roster.
Besides Leonora (22), the others were Kevin Weijgertse (23), Daniel Fernandes (22), Reggie Bomberg (22), Scott Ronnenbergh (22) and Kevin Moesquit (23).
Before returning to Curaçao, Leonora had played four seasons professionally from 2009-2012 in the organization of the Baltimore Orioles.
He made his professional debut at age 17 when he played in the Dominican Summer League-team (Rookie League).
In following years, Leonora promoted to Single-A, where he played during the 2012 season.
In March 2013, Leonora was released by the Orioles.
Today's starting line-up was as follows:
|Vincent Anthonia, L 0-1)||3.1||3||1||8||4||4|
Kirvin Moesquit (SS, 1-for-4), Dudley Leonora (1B, 3-for-4), Kevin Moesquit (2B, 1-for-3), Daniel Fernandes (CF, 1-for-4), Milton Croes (RF, 1-for-3), Cezan Rafaela (3B, 0-for-3), Aldair Adamus (C, 1-for-3), Steven Wharwood (DH, 0-for-4), Jules Peters (LF, 0-for-3).
This was the lone game in which Manager Steve Janssen made no changes, except for bringing in one reliever.
Thursday, November 15
Taiwan vs. Japan, 2-6
South Korea vs. Australia, 8-7
Nicaragua vs. Czech Republic, 7-4
Venezuela vs. Mexico, 1-5
Italy vs. Netherlands, 4-3