(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)
Orange shuts out Italy to close 2nd Round; Spain wins Bronze
BRNO (Czech Republic) -
The Netherlands Baseball Team and Italy faced each other tonight (Saturday, September 20) in the closing game of the Second Round, which is also known as Championship Round, or Play-Offs.
The winner of the game will remain unbeaten and will close the Second Round in first place and with that will be the home team in the final on Sunday.
And that honor went to the Dutch Team, which shutout Italy 5-0 behind the strong pitching of Mike Bolsenbroek, who went the distance.
Yurendell de Caster and Hainley Statia accounted for the offensive highlight with homeruns.
Earlier today, Spain won 10-5 vs. France to capture the Bronze Medal.
Later in the afternoon, host Czech Republic met Germany and lost 5-2 in a game that decided fourth through sixth place.
The two teams ended up in a tie with France.
Mike Bolsenbroek and Yomel Rivera were the starting pitchers in the 125th match-up between the two European rivals.
Both pitchers retired the side in the first inning, but then the first batters started to reach base.
And the Dutch were the first to score.
In the second inning, the first two batters flied out, but then Yurendell de Caster drove the ball over the fence down the leftfield-line for a homerun.
In the second Italian at bat, Alex Sambucci led off with a double, but he stranded on second base.
In the third inning, the Orange squad appeared to add its second run.
After lead-off hitter Dashenko Ricardo (who did the catching tonight) struckout, Nick Urbanus tripled.
However, he was left at third base, as Rivera then also struckout Randolph Oduber and Hainley Statia.
The Dutch Team left another runner in scoring position in the fourth inning.
With one out, Gianison Boekhoudt singled and was awarded second base on a balk, then Kalian Sams walked.
But the two runners were left, when next batters Yurendell de Caster and Sharlon Schoop both popped the ball up, ending the at bat.
The Orange squad took more distance in a productive fifth inning, scoring three runs.
Lead-off hitter Dashenko Ricardo reached on an error after appearing to be out at first base on a throw from third baseman Alex Liddi.
However, first baseman Joseph Mazzuca, who had just entered the game, made an error and Ricardo was ruled safe.
Probably during this play, Liddi injured himself, as he left the game moments later.
After a new third baseman was inserted, Ricardo advanced when Randolph Oduber singled with one out.
Hainley Statia then followed with a 3-run homerun to lift the lead to 4-0.
Next, Curt Smith reached on a dropped fly ball, then Gianison Boekhoudt walked.
That brought in new pitcher Nicholas Morreale, who then saw Kalian Sams reach on the third Italian error in the inning.
With the bases loaded, the Italian defense then avoided more runs when it turned a double play on a comeback-grounder by Yurendell de Caster to Morreale.
...Mike Bolsenbroek went the distance and threw his...
...second complete game of the tournament...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Dutch Team added its fifth run in the seventh inning.
With one out, Curt Smith doubled, moved on a single by Gianison Boekhoudt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kalian Sams.
In the meantime, Bolsenbroek encountered no problems.
He walked a batter with one out in the third inning, but the Dutch defense then turned a double play.
In the fourth, another one-out walk followed, but that runner stranded at second base.
In the fifth, Gabriele Ermini and Marco Sabbatani singled with one out, but then the second Dutch double play followed.
Starting with the double play, Bolsenbroek retired the last 13 batters he faced!
And so, the righthander went the distance, dominated, gave up only three hits and struckout five batters six days after he threw the first National Team Perfect Game in 50 years.
With the win, the Dutch Team became the home team tommorow in the final.
Manager Steve Janssen has Rob Cordemans, Tom Stuifbergen and Orlando Yntema left over to start.
Jurrian Koks, who started against Russia four days ago, David Bergman and Wendell Floranus are also fresh and available in the bullpen.
The Dutch win was only the second in the last seven games against Italy.
The last win was recorded on October 23, 2010 when the Dutch shutout Italy 10-0 during the Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan.
Looking back earlier, tonight was only the third Dutch win in the last 10 games.
In the previous two European Championship, the Dutch was left empty-handed twice in both 2010 and 2012.
The Dutch line-up was as follows:
Randolph Oduber (CF, 1-for-5), Hainley Statia (2B, 1-for-5), Curt Smith (1B, 1-for-5), Gianison Boekhoudt (DH, 2-for-3), Kalian Sams (LF, 0-for-2), Yurendell de Caster (RF, 1-for-4), Sharlon Schoop (SS, 1-for-3), Dashenko Ricardo (C, 1-for-4), Nick Urbanus (3B, 1-for-4).
Michael Duursma (0-for-1) replaced Schoop in the seventh inning and Danny Rombley (0-for-0) took over for De caster in the eighth.
...Manager Steve Janssen, his coaches and the players...
...listen to the National Anthems...
...Alex Liddi, the first Italian to reach the Major League...
...Liddi played in 61 games for Seattle Mariners in 2011-2013...
...Jens Waider (3B, Germany), Mojmír Jankovič (2B, Slovakia),...
...Dana Beszczynski (HP, Austria), František Přibyl (1B, Czechia)...
...Italian starter Yomel Rivera...
...Yurendell de Caster homered in the 2nd inning...
...Hainley Statia is greeted after his 5th inning homerun...
...Mike Bolsenbroek threw his second complete game...
...Bolsenbroek is congratulated after the game by his teammates...
...Technical Director Robert Eenhoorn is completing his last...
...activity for the Royal Dutch Baseball & Softball Association....
...Next month, he becomes the General Manager of...
...soccer club AZ in the Dutch Honor Division...
...Veteran pitchers Rob Cordemans, David Bergman...
...and Diegomar Markwell...
|(© All Photos: Henk Seppen)|
In the other games today:
BRNO (Czech Republic)
In today's first game, Spain struck early and never looked back.
Trailing 1-0, the team scored four runs in the first inning, then rallied for six more in the second inning and went on to win 10-5 vs. France to win the Bronze Medal.
France initially took an 1-0 lead in the first at bat off of starter Remigio Leal on a an RBI-triple by René Leveret.
But in the bottom of the first inning, French hurler Nicolas Dubaut saw the first six Spanish batters reach base, five of them with a basehit.
Daniel Martínez led off with a single and scored the tying run when Oscar Angulo followed with a double.
Next, Francisco Figueroa reached on a bunt-single, which was followed by a throwing error, leading to the second Spanish run.
A hit batter followed, then Fernando Martínez and Jesus Ustariz both singled in a run to make it 4-1 and that marked the end for Dubaut.
In the second inning, Spain scored six runs off of reliever Owen Ozanich.
Like Dubaut, he also saw the first six batters reach base safely.
He walked lead-off hitter Daniel Sanchez and that was followed by a bunt-single by Daniel Martínez, RBI-single by Oscar Angulo, RBI-double by Aritz García, 2-run double by Jesus Golindano and RBI-single by Fernando Martínez, lifting the lead to 9-1.
The next two batters flied out, but then a walk led to the next runner and a single by Daniel Sanchez (in his second at bat in the inning) made it 10-1.
In the remainder of the game, Spain was held scoreless, but kept on reaching the bases, but left six runners, including the bases loaded in the eighth.
However, the damage had been done, as France was unable to get back into the back or turn it its way.
The team added four more runs in the middle innings, but ended up short.
In the fifth, France scored three runs on two errors, a sac-fly by Leveret and a double by Andy Paz.
In the sixth, a stolen base-situation led to the next run.
Dutch umpire Henri van Heijningen was behind the plate in this game.
Later in the afternoon, Germany closed the tournament with a 5-2 win vs. Czech Republic on 13 hits, including three by Max Boldt, Ludwig Glaser and Christoph Ziegler.
Starting pitcher Jan-Niclas Stoecklin gave up only four hits in seven innings, then Markus Solbach completed the game.
Germany opened the score in the first inning on a grounder by Boldt, then added three runs in the fourth inning.
With one out, Simon Gühring walked and Christoph Ziegler singled.
A sacrifice fly by Moritz Buttgereit then brought in a run.
Germany then got runners on first and third base when Shawn Larry singled, followed by a single by Max Boldt that made it 3-0.
That led to a pitching change, but the new pitcher was greeted with an RBI-single by Ludwig Glaser.
The Czechs then got back into the game by scoring runs in the fifth and sixth inning to narrow the deficit to 4-2.
In the fifth, Jakub Malík led off with a homerun and in the sixth, a run was scored on a single by Jakub Hajtmar.
Germany then scored an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Glaser and held onto the lead.