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.
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.
...Outfielders Kalian Sams, Randolph...|
...Oduber and Wladimir Balentien...
...celebrate the huge win vs. Cuba...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
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.
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.
...Wladimir 'Coco' Balentien is very...|
...popular in Japan...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
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).