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Updated: July 8, 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 wins vs. Cuba to finish in fourth place

ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - The Netherlands Baseball Team has finished in fourth place on the World Port Tournament by winning 3-1 against Cuba on Saturday-evening (July 8). With the loss, Cuba finished in fifth place. Cuba had finished in first place after the preliminary round with three victories.

In the afternoon, Japan shutout Curaçao 15-0 in seven innings to become the second finalist. Japan collected 15 basehits and now will face Chinese Taipei in the Final on Sunday. Curaçao, which won only one game in the event, finishes in third place.

Before the evening game, pitcher Rob Cordemans and Dwayne Kemp were honored. The two recently have played their 100th official international game for the Netherlands National Team. Since a few years, the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB) honors players who reach this milestone with a special shirt with their name and 100 on it.

Cordemans made his National Team-debut in 1995, while Kemp played his first game for the Orange-squad in 2009. Through the years, Cordemans participated in four Olympic Games with the National Team and also was with the team during all four World Baseball Classics. The righthander also participated in seven World Championships, ten European Championships, one Premier12, 11 Haarlem Baseball Weeks and 11 World Port Tournaments.

Kemp was the squad during this years World Baseball Classic and also during the Premier12. He also played for the Orange in one World Championship, four European Championships, four Haarlem Baseball Weeks and four World Port Tournaments.

(July 8)

Complete Schedule

After both teams were retired in order in the first inning, it was Cuba that reached base first in the second at bat. With two outs, Yoelquis Guibert hit the ball through the middle for a single. Orange-starter Diegomar Markwell fell down and landed on his back while getting out of the way of the line drive, but luckily was able to continue. Moments later, Markwell picked off Guibert at first base, who was then eliminated in a rundown to end the inning.

The Netherlands got its first three batters on base in the bottom of the second inning off of starter Cesar Raul Garciá. Gianison Boekhoudt led off with a double, but then was eliminated at third base trying to advance on a grounder to short by Dudley Leonora. Hereafter, Nick Urbanus singled, but the two runners were left behind as a strikeout and flyout followed.

In the top of the third inning, Elicier Griñan led off with a rare pop-fly triple. Griñan hit the ball up in the air near the foul-line behind first base. There, first basemanDudley Leonora, second baseman Max Draijer and rightfielder Rachid Engelhardt attempted to catch the ball. However, it landed on the ground between them, then jumped away towards rightfield, enabling Griñan to reach third base. He didn't stayed long there, as next batter Franklin Aballe lined the ball to third baseman Dwayne Kemp. He then dove to third base, reaching it inches before Griñan was able to return to complete a great double play. A grounder then ended the inning.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Netherlands opened the score. Rookie Nick Peels led off with a single, then pitcher García made a fielding error on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Garia. A bunt-single by Stijn van der Meer loaded the bases and two runs were scored when Dwayne Kemp followed with a single down the rightfield-line. Van der Meer then scored the third run in the inning when Gianison Boekhoudt grounded into a double play. Cuba got into scoring position again in the fourth inning. With one out, Dainer Galvez singled. Hereafter, Dutch Manager Sidney de Jong brought in new pitcher Jim Ploeger to replace Diegomar Markwell. Ploeger was greeted with a double from Yusniel Ibañez, which put runners on second and third base. Next batter Osvaldo Vazquez lined out to second baseman Max Draijer and another unassisted double play was in the making. But this time, runner Ibañez was back on base in time before Draijer had reached it. The two Cuban runners stranded, as a grounder ended the at bat.

Cuba scored its first run in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, Anibal Medina singled and Dainer Galvez walked. Medina then scored when next batter Yusniel Ibañez singled into centerfield. While the ball was thrown back to short stop Stijn van der Meer, Medina just continued running and scored. The bases then got loaded when Osvaldo Vazquez walked, but Ploeger avoided giving up more runs. The three runners were left behind, as a pop-fly in leftfield and a grounder followed to end the inning.

The Orange-squad got its next scoring opportunity in the bottom of the seventh, which followed a live performance of 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game' by Lou Prince and Ray Martin. With two outs, the bases got loaded off of reliever Alexander Rodriguez when Stijn van der Meer walked, Dwayne Kemp singled and Gianison Boekhoudt also walked. That led to another pitching change, as Luis Enrique Castillo took over from Rodriguez. However, the inning ended when Dudley Leonora flied out.

In the top of the eighth inning, Orange-reliever Kevin Kelly got two line drives. First, pinch-hitter Humberto Bravo lined out to third baseman Dwayne Kemp. Hereafter, Dainer Galvez lined the ball towards short stop Stijn van der Meer, who jumped up to make a nice catch. It also marked the end for Kelly, who had retired five consecutive batters. Mike Bolsenbroek took over and closed the inning with a strikeout.

In the top of the ninth, Bolsenbroek retired the side to close the game.

Netherlands - Cuba 3-1
pitchers Cubainn.SOBBHRER
César Raúl García, L (0-1)63-931

Alexander Rodriguez0.2-21--

Luis Enrique Castillo1.111---

pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Diegomar Markwell3.1--3--

Jim Ploeger, W (1-0)2.232311

Kevin Kelly, H (2)1.21----

Mike Bolsenbroek, SV (1)1.12----
Box Score
HP-Ken Macri (Belgium), 1B-Martijn Bosschaart (Neth.),
2B-Stenar van Groningen Schinkel (Neth.), 3B-Henri van Heijningen (Neth.).
Official Scorer-Huub Nelissen (Neth.).
Play-by-Play Scorer-Brendy De Smet (Belgium).
Technical Commissioner-Johan Brandsma (Neth.).
Public Address Announcers-Hélène van Eijk, Jason Houtkamp.
Scoreboard Operator-Lex Looijen.
Starting Time-7:06 PM.
Time Played-2:24 hrs.
Site-Neptunus Familiestadion, Sportpark Abraham van Stolkweg, Rotterdam (site Neptunus).

Game Notes:
Ceremonial first pitch thrown by Juni Francisca, Head Coach of the Netherlands National Women Softball Team that captured the European Championship-title a week before.
Rob Cordemans and Dwayne Kemp honored before the game for playing their 100th international game in the Netherlands National Team.
'Take Me Out To The Ball Game' performed by Lou Prince and Ray Martin.

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Copyright © 1997-2017 Marco Stoovelaar / Grand Slam * Stats & News.