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Updated: March 12, 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 ends up short in extra innings against Japan

TOKYO (Japan) - The Netherlands Kingdom Team ended up short in an 11-inning game against Japan on Sunday (March 12) in the second game of Pool E in the Second Round.

Japan took the lead three times in the regular nine innings, including having a 5-1 lead in the third inning. The Netherlands came alongside each time, tying up the game at 8-8 in the bottom of the ninth.

In the eleventh, Japan took the lead for the fourth time by scoring twice via the tie-break rule. This time, Japan hold onto the lead and won 10-8 in a game that lasted almost five hours and was played in the noisy Tokyo Dome. More than 44,000 spectators attended the game and traditionally made a lot of noise, cheering and singing their favorites.

The Netherlands got several scoring opportunities, but failed to break the tie three and turn the game its way.

Earlier today, this Pool opened with another surprise victory for Israel, which won 4-1 against Cuba. In the second inning, Alfredo Despaigne homered for Cuba off of Jason Marquis, who made his third start of the tournament. The 15-year Major League-veteran today threw 5 2/3 strong innings, struckout four batters and gave up only four hits to the powerful Cuban squad. In the remainder of the game, Cuba added only one more basehit off of three relievers.

Israel came alongside in the fourth on a 2-out double by Ryan Lavarnway. In the sixth, the team took the lead on a runscoring single by Zach Borenstein, then added a run on a 2-out double by Blake Gailen. Israel added an insurance run in the eighth on a sacrifice bunt/squeeze by Gailen.

On Monday, the Netherlands play against Israel.

The Netherlands finished in second place in the First Round in Pool A behind surprising winner Israel, which stayed unbeaten and won three games. The Orange squad opened on Tuesday with a 5-0 shutout-win against South Korea. On Wednesday, the team won 6-5 against Chinese Taipei on a walk-off walk to secure a spot in the Second Round. On Thursday, the Netherlands ended up empty-handed against Israel in its final game in Pool A and lost 4-2.

(March 12)

Complete Schedule

Related Articles:
WBC-wins for Colombia, Venezuela & Dominican Republic. (March 11)
USA needs extra inning to win; Puerto Rico wins big. (March 10)
Cuba advances to Second Round WBC; Australia eliminated. (March 10)
Italy wins opener on walk-off single; Dominicans win big. (March 9)
Netherlands empty-handed vs. Israel; finishes 2nd in Pool. (March 9)
Orange in 2nd Round WBC after walk-off win; Israel also in. (March 8)
Netherlands opens WBC with shutout vs. South Korea. (March 7)
Israel upsets South Korea in WBC-opener with 10-inning win. (March 6)
Netherlands Team closes WBC-preparations with loss. (March 5)
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)
Orange roster announced for World Baseball Classic. (February 8)
Netherlands Team to prepare in Arizona. (February 8)

Netherlands vs. Japan
...Orange Bullpen Coach Steve Janssen...
...hands a Netherlands-shirt to Aart Jacobi, the...
...Ambassador of the Netherlands in Japan...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Netherlands Team-Manager Hensley Meulens made one change in its starting line-up, as he switched Jonathan Schoop and Didi Gregorius in his batting order. Schoop batted fifth in the first three games, while Gregorius batted sixth. Today, it was the other way around.

Rick van den Hurk, who pitched in Nippon Professional Baseball the past two seasons, was the starting pitcher for the Kingdom Team. The righthander pitched for Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, with whom he won the Championship-title in 2015. In his first season, Van den Hurk was 9-0. Last year, he began the season with four more victories. His 13 consecutive victories tie a 50-year old record for most consecutive wins at the start of a career in Japan. In 1966, Tsuneo Horiuchi (Yomiuri Tokyo Giants) had done the same in his NPB-debut. Van den Hurk also wins his next game to set a record with 14 wins in a row. The streak ends on May 17 when he is the losing pitcher for the first time in his Japanese career.

Van den Hurk knew the Japanese hitters, but of course, they knew the righthander. And they collected seven basehits and score five runs off of him in the three innings he pitched.

In the first inning, he gave up a 2-out double, but closed with a strikeout. But in the next at bat, Japan opened the score. Sho Nakata led off with a double and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Hayato Sakamoto. Hereafter, Tetsuto Yamada walked and stole second base. A sacrifice fly by Shogo Akiyama gave Japan the lead, but it also left a runner, as Van den Hurk closed with another strikeout.

In the bottom of the second inning, the Netherlands came alongside immediately when Jonathan Schoop homered with two outs off of starter Ayumu Ishikawa.

Japan broke the tie in the top of the third and rallied for four runs with two outs to take a 5-1 lead. This time, Van den Hurk began with a strikeout, but then gave up singles to Rysosuke Kikuchi (who stole second base) and Norichika Aiki. Another strikeout followed, but then powerhitter Sho Nakata connected well and hit a 3-run homerun. Next batter Hayato Sakamoto walked, advanced on a single by Tetsuto Yamada and scored on a single by Shogo Akiyama to make it a 5-1 score.

The Japanese lead didn't last long, as the Orange squad staged a 4-run rally of its own in the bottom of the third. With one out, Randolph Oduber doubled and scored on a following single by Andrelton Simmons. Next batter Jurickson Profar also singled to put runners at the corners, then Xander Bogaerts brought in a run with a sacrifice fly. Hereafter, it was Wladimir Balentien, who drove the ball into the outfield for a 2-run homerun that tied the game at 5-5. Balentien played in Japan the past six seasons for Yakult Swallows

...Netherlands Team-Manager Hensley Meulens greets...
...Wladimir Balentien during the player introductions...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the top of the fourth, Diegomar Markwell took over from Van den Hurk. With one out, he gave up a double, then walked the next batter. A line out followed and hereafter, Markwell was relieved by Shairon Martis, who closed the inning with a strikeout.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Netherlands was retired in order by new pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano, who struckout two batters.

Japan took the lead for the third time in the fifth. Shairon Martis gave up a lead-off single to Hayato Sakamoto, who advanced on a passed ball and a grounder, then scored on a 2-out single by Seiji Kobayashi to make it 6-5.

Again, the Netherlands appeared to come back immediately. New pitcher Kodai Senga was greeted with a lead-off single by Andrelton Simmons, then Jurickson Profar doubled. But Senga struckout the next two batters and a grounder ended the at bat.

In the bottom of the sixth, Curt Smith doubled with one out for the Netherlands, advanced on a grounder, but stranded on third base.

In the top of the seventh, Japan also got into scoring position again. With two outs, Shogo Akiyama walked and stole second base. Hereafter, Mike Bolsenbroek relieved Martis and closed the at bat with a strikeout.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jurickson Profar walked with one out. Next batter Xander Bogaerts then lined the ball up the middle, but second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi made a great diving stop and tossed the ball to short stop Hayato Sakamoto. A close play at second followed, while Profar slid into the base. It appeared that Sakamoto might not have been in touch with the base when he received the ball, but replays showed he did very briefly. American Major League-umpire Cory Blaser immediately and clearly made the out-call, which left Profar somewhat surprised. Hereafter, Ryo Akiyoshi became the new Japanese pitcher and he closed the inning by striking out Wladimir Balentien.

Tom de Blok then pitched the eighth inning for the Dutch and retired the side, closing with a strikeout.

...Wladimir Balentien celebrates his 2-run homerun in...
...the 3rd inning that tied the score at 5-5...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Netherlands got a big scoring opportunity to come at least alongside in the bottom of the eighth inning. Off of new pitcher Naoki Miyanishi, Didi Gregorius and Jonathan Schoop led off with singles. After Curt Smith struckout, the bases got loaded when Dashenko Ricardo walked. Another pitching followed. Hirotoshi Masui took over and struckout Randolph Oduber. The inning ended when Ricardo was forced out on second base on a grounder by Andrelton Simmons.

In the top of the ninth, Loek van Mil became the sixth Orange-pitcher. With two outs, he gave up a single, but then closed with a strikeout.

In the bottom of the ninth, Takahiro Norimoto became the eighth pitcher for Japan. The righthander struckout Jurickson Profar, but then walked Xander Bogaerts. Hereafter, a single followed from Wladimir Balentien, who was then replaced by pinch-runner Dwayne Kemp. Next batter Didi Gregorius lined the ball into leftfield, but it was caught by leftfielder Norichika Aoki. With two outs, Jonathan Schoop singled to centerfield to bring in Bogaerts and tie the score again. Kemp advanced to third base and moments later, Schoop reached second on a fielder's choice. With runners on second and third base, Norimoto closed by striking out Curt Smith. And so, the game went into extra innings.

Loek van Mil returned to the mound in the top of the tenth. He gave up an one-out single to Seiji Kobayashi, then pinch-hitter Seiichi Uchikawa doubled. With runners on second and third base, Tom Stuifbergen took over the pitching. The righthander began with an intentional walk for Ryosuke Kikuchi to set up a force play. With the bases loaded, the inning ended when Norichika Aoki grounded into a double play.

As three Dutch batters were retired in order in the bottom of the tenth, the game went to the eleventh inning. And with that, the tie-break rule came into effect for the first time during this tournament, meaning the inning began with runners on first and second base.

Japan took the lead for the fourth time in the top of the 11th. The two tie-break runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt, then both scored on a single by Sho Nakata to make it 8-6. Another single followed, then a double play ended the inning, but the Netherlands trailed again.

In the bottom of the 11th, with Randolph Oduber on second and Andrelton Simmons on first base, the first out was recorded when Jurickson Profar popped up for an infield-fly. Hereafter, Simmons was forced out on second base on a grounder by Xander Bogaerts. That brought Oduber to third base and Kalian Sams in the batter's box. Sams was inserted for Dwayne Kemp and had replaced Wladimir Balentien in rightfield. With a full count, the powerhitter popped the next delivery up into foul territorty. There, the ball was caught by catcher Seiji Kobayashi to end the long game.

The following players got into action:
Andrelton Simmons (SS, 2-for-6, run, RBI, strikeout), Jurickson Profar (CF, 2-for-5, double, run, walk, 2 strikeouts), Xander Bogaerts (3B, 0-for-4, run, RBI, walk, strikeout), Wladimir Balentien (RF, 2-for-5, homerun, run, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts), Dwayne Kemp (PR, 0-for-0), Kalian Sams (RF, 0-for-1), Didi Gregorius (DH, 1-for-4, walk), Jonathan Schoop (2B, 3-for-5, homerun, run, 2 RBIs), Curt Smith (1B, 1-for-5, double, 2 strikeouts), Dashenko Ricardo (C, 0-for-4, walk, 2 strikeouts), Randolph Oduber (LF, 1-for-5, run, double, 3 strikeouts).

...Players and coaches of the Netherlands Kingdom Team listen to the National Anthem in the Tokyo Dome...
...The huge indoor-stadium is filled with more than 44,000 enthousiastic spectators...

...Left: Rick van den Hurk was the starting pitcher for the Netherlands...
...Right: Jonathan Schoop is greeted after his homerun in the 2nd inning...

...Left: Andrelton Simmons scores for the Netherlands in the third inning...
...Right: Wladimir Balentien hits hits 2-run homerun in the third inning to make it a 5-5 score...

...Left: Diegomar Markwell took over the pitching in the fourth inning...
...Right: Jurickson Profar celebrates his double in the fifth inning...

...Left: Shairon Martis threw three innings for the Netherlands squad...
...Right: Jurickson Profar is forced out in the 7th inning; Short stop Hayato Sakamoto is off the...
...base, but was briefly in touch while receiving the ball, as seen by 2B Umpire Cory Blaser...

...Left: Tom de Blok pitched a perfect eighth inning...
...Right: Tom Stuifbergen celebrates an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the 10th inning...
(© All Photos: Henk Seppen)

Netherlands - Japan 6-8 (11 inn.)
Japan014010000 02-8150
Netherlands Kingdom Team014000001 00-6120
pitchers Japaninn.SOBBHRER
Ayumu Ishikawa311555

Yoshihisa Hirano12----

Kodai Senga, H (1)23-3--

Yuki Matsui, H (1)0.211---

Ruo Akiyoshi, H (1)0.11----

Naoki Miyanishi, H (1)0.1112--

Hirotoshi Masui, H (1)0.21----

Takahiro Norimoto, BS (1)121211

Kazuhisa Makita, W (1-0)21----

pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Rick van den Hurk342755

Diegomar Markwell0.2-11--

Shairon Martis322211

Mike Bolsenbroek0.11----

Tom de Blok11----

Loek van Mil1.11-3--

Tom Stuifbergen, L (0-1)1.2-122-

Homeruns: Netherlands: Jonathan Schoop (1)(2nd,solo,off Ishikawa), Wladimir Balentien (1)(3rd,2-run,off Ishikawa); Japan: Sho Nakata (1)(3rd,3-run,off Van den Hurk).
WBC Scores
WBC Schedule
HP-Felix Tejada (Dominican Republic), 1B-Larry Vanover (USA, Major League),
2B-Cory Blaser (USA, Major League), 3B-Trevor Grieve (Canada).
Starting Time-7:08 PM (local time).
Time Played-4:46 hrs.
Site-Tokyo Dome, Tokyo (Japan).

Game Notes:
45th game in history of the Netherlands against Japan.
37th loss for the Netherlands against Japan.
Fourth game Netherlands Kingdom Team on World Baseball Classic 2017.

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