(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
Big loss Netherlands Juveniles; eliminated for Final
VLEUTEN (Neth.) -
The Netherlands Juveniles Team suffered a big 13-3 loss against France on Friday-evening (July 14) on the last day of pool-play on the European Championship Juveniles in Vleuten.
The result of the Netherlands vs. France game, combined with the 16-1 win of Germany against Austria resulted in a 3-way tie in Pool A for the Netherlands, France and Germany.
As the head-to-head results of these three teams ended in a new tie, the Team Quality Balance had to be used for the final ranking.
That resulted in France finishing in first place, Germany in second and the Netherlands in third place.
With that, France qualified for the Final on Saturday in which it will meet Italy, the winner of Pool B.
Germany, which last year captured the title, now will play for the Bronze medal, meeting the Czech Republic.
The Netherlands will play for fifth and sixth place at 5 PM on Saturday.
The team will meet either Ukraine or Russia.
These two teams will play against each other on Saturday-morning after their match-up rained out on Friday.
The winner will meet the Orange-squad.
When the Netherlands had won its game against France, it would gave won Pool A and reached the Final, while France then had to play for fifth and sixth place.
On Friday-evening, Italy and the Czech Republic played a very attractive and well-played game against each other with Dutch umpire Jan-Willem van der Paauw behind the plate.
Italy led 6-3 after six innings, but the Czechs came alongside in the top of the seventh inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Italy won 7-6 on a walk-off single by Emanuele Carima.
With that, Italy won Pool B and reached the Final!
The Netherlands led 3-0 halfway the second inning and 3-1 after three innings, but failed to hold onto the lead.
The team was held scoreless in the remainder of the game, while France scored 12 runs from the fourth inning on to register a mercy-rule, 10-run difference victory and advance to the Final.
In the top of the first inning, the Orange opened the score.
Miquel Willem led off with a single, then scored with two outs on a single by Jamie Beerman.
The team added two runs in the second at bat and again scored with two outs.
Amarensio Franka then walked and Leandro Mata struckout, but reached on a wild pitch.
An outfield-error following on a single by Miquel Willem enabled both to score, but that would be the last Orange-runs in this game.
France got one run back in the bottom of the second inning, then came alongside in the fourth.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Netherlands got a chance to re-take the lead.
The team got the bases loaded with one out, which led to a pitching change.
However, the three runners were left behind when an infield-fly and a foul-out ended the at bat.
Moments later, France rallied for six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to turn the game its way.
Only one of the six runs was earned, as two errors led to the other five.
France added four more runs in the sixth to reach a 10-run difference and end the game.
A wild pitch ended the game.