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Updated: July 3, 2017
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2017 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)

Netherlands empty-handed in WPT-opener against Chinese Taipei

ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - The Netherlands Baseball Team (or Netherlands Kingdom Team) opened the 16th edition of the bi-annual World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands) on Saturday-evening (July 1) with a small 2-1 loss against Chinese Taipei. In the afternoon, there also was an one-run difference score, as Cuba nipped Curaçao 3-2. It was a cloudy and chilly day in Rotterdam, which more looked to be in the Fall, instead of in the Summer. In its first game, the young Netherlands squad opened the score right away in the bottom of the first inning. Lead-off hitter Chris Garia reached on a throwing error, moved on a walk and a double play-grounder, then scored on a wild pitch. That would be the lone run for the Orange-squad, which is managed this tournament by Sidney de Jong.

For the Netherlands, Diegomar Markwell started and threw seven scoreless innings, then Berry van Driel added a scoreless eighth. In the ninth inning, Taipei struck with two runs off of new pitcher Loek van Mil to turn the game its way.

In the opening-game on a windy afternoon, Cuba was outhit 11-7 by Curaçao, but nevertheless won 3-2. Cuba, which left 13 runners behind, scored its first run in the first inning on sacrifice fly by Osvaldo Vasquez. Curaçao stranded 10 runners and came alongside in the third on an error, but Cuba re-took the lead in the bottom of the third, thanks to a grounder by Jorge Luis Peña. Despite having hit no basehits yet, Cuba led 2-1 after three innings. Cuba added an insurance run in the fifth when veteran Frank Morejón delivered a runscoring single. Curaçao got a chance to turn the game its way in the top of the ninth inning. With two outs and two runners on base, a run was scored on a single by Shurendell Mujica, then a flyout ended the game.

(July 1)

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The Netherlands appeared to be off to a good start with a successful first at bat. Starting pitcher Diegomar Markwell retired the side in the top of the first inning. He was then supported with a run, as the Orange-squad opened the score in its first at bat without hitting a basehit.

Chris Garia led off for the Netherlands and reached on an error. Hereafter, Taiwanese starter Yao-Tso Kao walked Stijn van der Meer, but then got a double play-grounder from Dwayne Kemp. On this, Garia advanced to third base, but there were two outs. Moments later, Garia scored on a wild pitch. The pitch was way high, the catcher didn't know where the ball was, the pitcher came in too late and Garia simply was fast enough to score. Kao closed with a strikeout, but the run he gave up was to be the lone one in the game for a long time. And even appeared to the decisive. But that changed in the ninth inning.

In the next innings, the Netherlands got only three more runners in scoring position and recorded only three basehits.

In the second inning, with one out, Nick Urbanus doubled, but was left behind on second base. Kao retired the side in the third (two strikeouts), then the Taipei-defense turned another double play in the fourth.

With one out in the fifth, rookie Rowan van Hoek reached on an infield-hit, then Rachid Engelhardt was hit by a pitch with two outs. They also stranded.

Chih-Hung Cheng took over the Taipei-pitching in the sixth and he also retired the side. The Orange got into scoring position again in the bottom of the seventh. Dudley Leonora led off with a bunt-single and Rowan van Hoek walked with one out. But again, these runners were left behind.

The Netherlands was unable to take more distance, was retired in order again in the eighth and was still leading only 1-0 when the ninth inning began.

On the other hand, Chinese Taipei also got several oppportunities to do some scoring, but was held scoreless for eight innings.

Orange-starter Diegomar Markwell threw seven solid innings. In the second through fifth inning, the lefthander got several baserunners, but the defense prevented them to score.

In the second at bat, two Taiwanese baserunners were eliminated after a pick-off by Markwell. Taiwan got into scoring position from the third inning on. The Asian squad left a runner behind on second base in the third. In the fourth, Markwell gave up two singles with two outs, but the lead runner was then forced out at third base. In the fifth, Taiwanese runners were left behind on first and second base. Markwell then retired the side in the sixth and seventh inning.

With an 1-0 lead, Berry van Driel took over the Orange-pitching in the eighth. With two outs, he hit a batter, then gave up a single, but this inning also ended with a force out at third base.

And so, Taipei had left seven runners behind in the first eight innings and had not reached third base yet.

In the ninth inning, Taipei struck and turned the game its way. Loek van Mil took the mound for the Netherlands and ran into problems quickly. The righthander had been sidelined with a back-injury for most of the season and had made only two appearances for Curaçao Neptunus in the previous two weeks. He also pitched one inning last Wednesday in the exhibition-game against Germany. In the ninth, Van Mil gave up a lead-off single to Chia-Wei Huang, who moved on a sacrifice bunt, then reached third base on a passed ball. Hereafter, .Chun-Kai Liao singled, enabling Huang to score the tying run. Yi-Hung Chen then followed with another single, which led to runners on first and third base. A sacrifice fly by Tzu-Chieh Lin gave Taipei a 2-1. When Van Mil walked next batter Ju-Liang Tai, he was relieved by Mike Bolsenbroek. He also walked Ching-Han Ko, which loaded the bases, but then closed the at bat with a strikeout. However, the Netherlands now trailed 2-1!

In the bottom of the ninth, Chih-Hung Cheng, who had given up only one basehit in the previous three innings, retired the side to end the game.

Netherlands - Chinese Taipei 1-2
Chinese Taipei000000002-291
pitchers Chinese Taipeiinn.SOBBHRER
Yao-Tso Kao55221-

Chih-Hung Cheng, W (1-0)4311--

pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Diegmar Markwell7125--

Berry van Driel, H (1)11-1--

Loek van Mil, BS (1), L (0-1)0.2-1322

Mike Bolsenbroek0.111---
Box Score
HP-Roy van de Wateringen (Neth.), 1B-Fabrizio Fabrizi (Italy),
2B-Winfried Berkvens (Neth.), 3B-Edwin Louisa (Neth.).
Official Scorer-Brendy De Smet (Belgium).
Play-by-Play Scorer-Huub Nelissen (Neth.).
Technical Commissioner-Johan Brandsma (Neth.).
Public Address Announcer-Hélène van Eijk.
Scoreboard Operator-Lex Looijen.
Starting Time-7:06 PM.
Time Played-2:35 hrs.
Site-Neptunus Familiestadion, Sportpark Abraham van Stolkweg, Rotterdam (site Neptunus).

Game Notes:

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