Grand Slam * Stats & News
Updated: March 15, 2017
Scores & Statistics
Baseball Scores & Stats
Softball Women Scores & Stats
Copyright © 1997-2017
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
International Baseball
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2017 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)

Huge win Netherlands against Cuba; in Semi-Final after win Japan

TOKYO (Japan) - The Netherlands Kingdom Team registered a huge 14-1 victory in seven innings against Cuba on Wednesday-afternoon (March 15) in Pool E in the Second Round of the World Baseball Classic. On Wednesday-evening, Japan closed Pool E against Israel and won 8-3.

Thanks to the win by Japan, everything was decided in Pool E. Japan not only remained, it also advances to the Final Round. The win by Japan also meant that the Netherlands will go to the Final Round for the second consecutive time.

The Netherlands now will play in the first Semi-Final coming Monday at Dodger Stadium, the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. By reaching 'LA', closer Kenley Jansen will be added to the pitching staff of the Netherlands. He will either replace Mike Bolsenbroek or Orlando Yntema, who are part of the so-called Designated Pitcher Pool.

With today's (third) loss, Cuba was eliminated for the Final Round. Four years ago, Cuba also was eliminated by the Netherlands.

The 14-1 loss is one of the biggest ever for a Cuban National Team, which hit only five basehits. The Orange-squad collected 13 basehits, including three by Jurickson Profar and Wladimir Balentien. The latter had a major contribution, as he hit two homeruns. Balentien scored three runs and batted in five. Yurendell de Caster and Kalian Sams also homered.

While The Netherlands was in a good position, it had to wait for the outcome of the evening-game between Japan and Israel.

A victory by Japan meant that Japan and the Netherlands would advance to the Final Found. However, when Israel would have won, it would have created a 3-way tie between the Netherlands, Israel and Japan. The runs-allowed formula then would have decided the ranking for these three. The team in first place then advanced to the Semi-Final, but the other two teams would have to play a tie-breaker to decide who will be the second semi-finalist. The Netherlands had the leading run-against-average, thanks to the 12 runs it scored against Israel, but it's average was close to Japan. The Netherlands could have dropped to second place in case Israel and scored four or less runs. In that case, Japan would end up in first place and the Dutch then would have to play a tiebreaker against Israel.

...Wladimir Balentien hit 2 homeruns for the Netherlands...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
It didn't come that far, as Japan won to decide the ranking without the tiebreaker-rule. On Wednesday-evening, the game between Japan and Israel remained scoreless for five innings. Japan then rallied for five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a decisive lead. Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh led off with a homerun and later in the at bat, runs were scored on a double by Nobuhiro Matsuda, singles by Seiji Kobayashi and Ryosuke Kikuchi and a basesloaded hit by pitch for Norichika Aoki. Three runs were added in the eighth, two of them on a double by Seiichi Uchikawa. Israel scored its three runs in the top of the ninth, two on a double by Ryan Lavarnway.

At the same time as the Netherlands vs. Cuba game, there also was a game going on in the other Pool in the Second Round. Puerto Rico was playing against the Dominican Republic in Pool F in San Diego, California (USA). With that, two games in the Second Round were played at the same time, however on two different days. It was just after 12 at noon on Wednesday-afternoon in Tokyo when the Netherlands and Cuba started their game, but in San Diego it was still Tuesday-evening.

(March 15)

Complete Schedule

Related Articles:
Puerto Rico defeats Dominicans in Second Round-opener. (March 14)
Japan wins vs. Cuba, but Pool is not decided yet. (March 14)
Venezuela comes from behind & eliminates Italy. (March 13)
A dream come true for Dutch WBC-umpire Winfried Berkvens. (March 13)
Netherlands wins convincingly against Israel. (March 13)
Three teams qualify for 2nd Round; Tie-breaker Italy vs. Venezuela. (March 12)
Netherlands ends up short in extra innings vs. Japan. (March 12)
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. Cuba
For today's game, Manager Hensley Meulens kept his starting line-up of Tuesday's game against Israel almost intact. That meant that Shawn Zarraga did the catching again and that Yurendell de Caster was the first baseman. There was however one change, as Kalian Sams made his first start of the tournament. He played in leftfield, instead of Randolph Oduber, who had played there in all five previous games.

...Outfielders Kalian Sams, Randolph...
...Oduber and Wladimir Balentien...
...celebrate the huge win vs. Cuba...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Cuban National Team of course lost several players in the past few years, who went on to play professionally in the Major Leagues. The latest two who joined Major League-clubs were the brothers Yulieski Gurriel and Lourdes Gurriel. The first made his big league-debut last season with the Houston Astros.

The Orange-squad took an early lead thanks to a big swing in the top of the first inning off of starter Lazaro Blanco. With one out, Xander Bogaerts walked, then advanced on a wild pitch. Bogaerts advanced another base when Jurickson Profar followed with a single. Hereafter, Wladimir Balentien went after the first pitch he saw and connected for a 3-run homerun!

Netherlands-starter Diegomar Markwell retired the side in the bottom of the first and got three grounders. It was the first start for the lefthander, who had pitch in relief in two earlier games. He threw in the opener against South Korea in the First Round, then took over the pitching in the match-up against Japan on Sunday in the Second Round.

The Netherlands added another run in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Kalian Sams doubled and scored on a single by Andrelton Simmons. When next batter Xander Bogaerts also singled, it led to an early pitching change for Cuba. Vladimir Garcia took over from Lazaro Blanco and ended the inning.

In the third inning, the Orange-squad showed some more offensive power. First, Wladimir Balentien led off with his second homerun in his second at bat. With two outs, Shawn Zarraga was hit by a pitch by an high inside pitch that hit his shoulder and possibly the backside of his head. Zarraga was examined, but stayed in the game. He then scored when it was Yurendell de Caster, who drilled the ball over the wall for a homerun! And so, the Netherlands was having a very comfortable 7-0 lead halfway the third inning!

Cuba got into scoring position for the first time in the third inning. Markwell gave up a lead-off double to Jeferson Delgado. Three grounders followed and so, Delgado stranded on third base.

The Orange-scoring continued in the fourth inning. Andrelton Simmons led off with a walk, advanced on a flyout and scored on a single by Jurickson Profar. Another pitching followed and Yosvani Torres took the mound for Cuba to face Wladimir Balentien. The powerhitter grounded to short and Profar appeared to be force out, but an error followed and so, there were two Dutch runners on base. After Didi Gregorius flied out, Jonathan Schoop singled to bring in another run. The inning wasn't over yet, as next batter Shawn Zarraga walked. Hereafter, Jonder Martinez became the next Cuban pitcher. He also was unable to stop the Dutch scoring, as he was greeted with a 2-run single by Yurendell de Caster that lifted the lead to 11-0. Martinez followed with a wild pitch that enabled Zarraga to score the twelfth run, before a flyout finally ended this long and productive inning.

...Wladimir 'Coco' Balentien is very...
...popular in Japan...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
After Diegomar Markwell was supported with a double play in the bottom of the fourth, the Netherlands added another run in the fifth off of new pitcher Leandro Martinez. With two outs, Jurickson Profar doubled, then his pinch-runner Randolph Oduber scored on a single by Wladimir Balentien.

Trailing 13-0, Cuba managed to score its first run in the bottom of the fifth inning. In this inning, Stijn van der Meer entered the game as new short stop, taking over for Andrelton Simmons. With this, Van der Meer made his first appearance of the tournament. He was added to the roster at the end of the trainingcamp in Arizona (USA), just before the team left for South Korea where it played the First Round of the event. Also, Dwayne Kemp and Randolph Oduber became the new third baseman and centerfielder respectively. Kemp had been inserted as a pinch-hitter in the top of the fifth, while Oduber had been a pinch-runner. With one out, Markwell gave up a double to William Saavedra, who then scored on a 2-out double by Victor Mesa.

The Netherlands was held scoreless for the first time in the top of the sixth when it was retired in order. In this at bat, Sharlon Schoop entered the game as pinch-hitter for his brother Jonathan Schoop. In the bottom of the sixth, Markwell returned to the mound and also retired the side.

After being held scoreless in the sixth, the Orange-squad scored again when Kalian Sams led off the seventh with a homerun, which the fourth one for the Dutch in this game.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Shairon Martis took over the Orange-pitching from Markwell, who did very well and gave up only four hits in six innings. Martis gave up a 2-out single to William Saavedra, but hereafter, a grounder ended the game via the mercy-rule!

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

...Wladimir Balentien hits his first homerun in the game in the first inning with two runners on base...
...At right, he is greeted by 1B Coach Wim Martinus...

...Wladimir Balentien is greeted after his first homerun in the game in the first inning...

...Left: Wladimir Balentien greets Japanese fans after hitting his first homerun...
...Right: Jurickson Profar connects; he was 3-for-4 with a double...

...Left: Diegomar Markwell threw six strong innings for the Orange-squad...
...Right: Wladimir Balentien is greeted after hitting his second homerun in the 3rd inning...

...Left: Shawn Zarraga is being examined after being hit by a pitch in the third inning...
...Looking on are Physical Therapist Pepijn van Ingen, 1B Coach Wim Martinus and Manager Hensley Meulens...
...Right: Moments later, Zarraga scores on a homerun by Yurendell de Caster, who is greeted by Kalian Sams...

...Left: After announcing some changes, Orange-Manager Hensley Meulens chats with Major League HP Umpire Todd Tichenor...
...Right: 3B Dwayne Kemp eliminates a Cuban batter...

...Left: Kalian Sams is greeted after his homerun in the 7th inning by Stijn van der Meer, who played in his first game...
...Right: All smiles for Wladimir Balentien and Manager Hensley Meulens during the press conference afterwards...
(© All Photos: Henk Seppen)

Cuba - Netherlands 1-14 (7 inn.)
Netherlands Kingdom Team3135101-14130
pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Diegomar Markwell, W (1-0)61-411

Shairon Martis1--1--

pitchers Cubainn.SOBBHRER
Lazaro Blanco, L (0-1)1.211544

Vladimir Garcia1.211354

Yosvani Torres0.1-113-

Jonder Martinez0.1--1--

Leandro Martinez32-322

Homeruns: Netherlands: Wladimir Balentien 2 (3)(1st,3-run, off Blanco; 3rd,solo,off Garcia), Yurendel de Caster (1)(3rd,2-run,off Garcia), Kalian Sams (1)(7th,solo,off L. Martinez).
WBC Scores
WBC Schedule
HP-Todd Tichenor (USA, Major League), 1B-Trevor Grieve (Canada),
2B-Felix Tejada (Dominican Republic), 3B-Larry Vanover (USA, Major League).
Starting Time-12:08 PM (local time).
Time Played-2:19 hrs.
Site-Tokyo Dome, Tokyo (Japan).

Game Notes:
50th game in history of the Netherlands against Cuba.
Eighth victory for the Netherlands against Cuba.
Sixth game Netherlands Kingdom Team on World Baseball Classic 2017.

Thank you for visiting this site.
Mail your suggestions and questions to
Copyright © 1997-2017 Marco Stoovelaar / Grand Slam * Stats & News.