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Updated: March 5, 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; Photos by Henk Seppen)

Netherlands Baseball Team closes WBC-preparations with loss

SEOUL (South Korea) - The Netherlands Kingdom Team closed its preparations for the World Baseball Classic on Sunday (March 5) with a 4-2 loss against the Sangmu Baseball Team (KBO Army). The fourth edition of the World Baseball Classic opens on Monday in the South Korean capital Seoul with host South Korea playing against Israel, which will make its WBC-debut. On Tuesday (March 7), the Netherlands gets into action and then will play against the Korean squad. On the following days, the Orange squad meets Chinese Taipei and Israel. The two best teams will advance to the Second Round, which will be played in Tokyo (Japan).

Today's exhibition game was the second and last one the Netherlands squad played in Seoul after having played during a 2-week trainingcamp in Arizona (USA). On Friday, the Orange squad won 11- against the Sangmu Baseball Team (KBO Army) and today was to play against the Korean Police Baseball Team (KBO Police). However, that was changed and so, the Netherlands faced the Army-team again today. Both the KBO Army and KBO Police Teams are affiliated and overseen by the professional Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) and play in the KBO Futures League.

In total, the Netherlands Kingdom Team played seven exhibition games. The team of Manager Hensley Meulens won two of them, a 15-0 shutout against the team of GateWay Community College and an 11-1 win last Friday against KBO Army. Four of the other five games ended in a loss, the fifth game ended in a 9-inning tie. In four of these games, the Netherlands was having a lead, but failed to hold onto it.

(March 5)

Related Articles:
Netherlands Team wins big in Korean exhibition game. (March 3)
Netherlands closes exhibition series in Arizona with loss. (February 25)
First game Netherlands vs. Twins ends in tie. (February 24)
Netherlands Team wins big in exhibition game vs. Geckos. (February 23)
Exhibition losses Netherlands Team in Arizona. (February 20)

Netherlands vs. Sangmu Baseball Team (KBO Army)
In today's game, Didi Gregorius was the starting short stop for the Orange squad, while Andrelton Simmons was the designated hitter. That was the other way around in the game on Friday. There also was a switch at first base, where Yurendell de Caster started instead of Curt Smith. On Friday, Smith started and De Caster took over halfway.

...Today's game was played again at...
...the Gocheok Sky Dome...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Earlier in the day, Dashenko Ricardo returned after a long travel-day from Curaçao, where he had attended the funeral of his father. Ricardo started today's game as catcher. As Ricardo was not with the team on Friday, Chadwick Tromp entered the game as a replacement for starting catcher Shawn Zarraga. Tromp is with the team as Bullpen Catcher and also will have that position during the WBC. During the trainingcamp in Arizona, Tromp was one of the players on the Netherlands roster. Last year, Tromp, who plays in the organization of the Cincinnati Reds, made his debut in the Netherlands Team and was part of the squad that captured the title at the European Championship in Hoofddorp (Netherlands).

Today's game was played again in Gocheok Sky Dome, the immense indoor stadium in Seoul, which also will be the site for the games during the Classic.

The Kingdom Team opened the score and took an early lead in the first inning. Andrelton Simmons led off with a double and scored on a single by next hitter Jurickson Profar. However, the Korean opponent came alongside in the bottom of the first inning off of starter Orlando Yntema. Eung-min Kim and Seung-min Choi led off with singles to put runners at the corners. Choi was then caught stealing, but with two outs, Kim scored the tying run on a triple by Dae-in Hwang.

After being retired in order in the second, the Netherlands got the bases loaded in the third innning. With two outs, Jurickson Profar singled, Xander Bogaerts reached on an error and Wladimir Balentien walked. But hereafter, Jonathan Schoop struckout.

The Netherlands re-took the lead in the fifth inning. Randolph Oduber led off with a single, then scored on an one-out double by Jurickson Profar, who had three hits today and batted in both Dutch runs.

However, the Netherlands offense was unable to take more distance in the following innings. The Netherlands outhit the Korean opponent 10-7, but left too many runners behind. With two outs in the sixth, Yurendell de Caster doubled and Dashenko Ricardo was hit by a pitch, but were left behind. In the seventh, Xander Bogaerts singled with two outs and stranded. In the eighth, Jonathan Schoop stranded on second base.

Yntema threw the first two innings for the Netherlands and then was relieved by Lars Huijer. He retired the side in both innings he pitched and struckout two batters.

Hereafter, Juan Carlos Sulbaran took over in the fifth inning. With one out, Yong-ye Choi singled, then Sulbaran gave up a 2-run homerun to Sang-chul Moon, which made it 3-2 in favor of the Korean opponent.

After Sulbaran had retired the side in the sixth, Tom de Blok became the next pitcher for the Netherlands in the seventh. De Blok saw the KBO Army Team add another run. He gave up a lead-off single to Chang-jin Lee, who then scored with one out on a sacrifice fly by Yong-ye Choi, which made it a 4-2 score.

Jim Ploeger and Loek van Mil then closed the game on the mound for the Orange squad. Both gave up a basehit, but no additional runs.

Trailing 4-2 in the top of the ninth, the Netherlands got the bases loaded again. With one out, Andrelton Simmons singled, then Sharlon Schoop reached on a fielder's choice and Stijn van der Meer walked. But the inning ended when Kalian Sams grounded into a double play.

The following players got into action today:
Andrelton Simmons (DH-SS, 2-for-5, double, run), Jurickson Profar (CF, 3-for-3, double, 2 RBI's), Sharlon Schoop (CF, 0-for-2, strikeout), Xander Bogaerts (3B, 1-for-4, strikeout), Stijn van der Meer (3B, 0-for-0, walk), Wladimir Balentien (RF, 0-for-2, walk, strikeout), Kalian Sams (RF, 0-for-2, strikeout), Jonathan Schoop (2B, 1-for-4, double, strikeout), Didi Gregorius (SS-DH, 1-for-4), Yurendell de Caster (1B, 1-for-3, double), Curt Smith (1B, 0-for-1), Dashenko Ricardo (C, 0-for-2, hit by pitch), Shawn Zarraga (C, 0-for-1), Randolph Oduber (LF, 1-for-3, run, strikeout), Dwayne Kemp (LF, 0-for-1).

...Left: Jurickson Profar slides into third base; Profar had three basehits and two RBI's today...
...Right: Outfielder Wladimir Balentien catches a ball...

...Action at the bases...
...2nd baseman Jonathan Schoop (left) and short stop Andrelton Simmons eliminate a baserunner...
(© All Photos: Henk Seppen)

Sangmu Baseball Team - Netherlands 4-2
Netherlands Kingdom Team100010000-2100
Sangmu Baseball Team (South Korea)100020100-471
pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Orlando Yntema2-1311

Lars Huijer22----

Juan Carlos Sulbaran, BS (1), L (0-1)2--222

Tom de Blok111111

Jim Ploeger1--1--

Loek van Mil11-1--
pitchers Sangmu Baseball Teaminn.SOBBHRER
Gyeong-chan Moon & Hyung-jin Yang9621022
Homerun: Sangmu Baseball Team: Sang-chul Moon (5th,2-run).
Location-Gocheok Sky Dome, Seoul (South Korea).

Game Notes:
Seventh exhibition game Netherlands Team to prepare for the World Baseball Classic.

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