(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Freek Bouw/Phrake Photography)
Netherlands Baseball Team closes exhibition series in Arizona with loss
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (USA) -
The Netherlands Kingdom Team played its fifth and final exhibition game during its stay in Arizona on Saturday-afternoon (February 25).
The Orange squad again faced LG Twins, one of the South Korean professional teams that are currently in Arizona to prepare for the new season in the Korean Baseball Organization.
The first game on Friday ended in a 6-6 tie after nine innings, today, the Netherlands squad lost 7-4.
The exhibition series began with a 5-2 loss against KT Wiz and a 10-9 loss against NC Dinos a week ago.
The third game was played against the Geckos, the team of GateWay Community College.
After the game rained out on Monday, it was re-scheduled for Thursday and the Netherlands then recorded an easy victory, winning 15-0.
In today's game, played at the Spring Training-complex of the San Francisco Giants, the Netherlands trailed 4-1, but came alongside in the seventh.
The Korean opponent then scored three runs in the eighth to take a decisive 7-4 lead.
In today's game, righthander Rob Cordemans made his second start and had a good outing.
The veteran gave up a run in the first inning, which he then closed with two strikeouts, then added a scoreless second inning.
Trailing 1-0, the Orange squad came alongside immediately in its first at bat.
Randolph Oduber led off with a walk, moved to third base on a single by Stijn van der Meer and scored on a sacrifice fly by Yurendell de Caster.
Hereafter, three scoreless innings followed.
Two former Major League-pitchers succeeded Cordemans on the mound.
First, Jair Jurrjens pitched two solid innings in relief of Cordemans, then Shairon Martis took over in the fifth.
But he ran into some problems.
The righthander gave up two runs (one earned) in the fifth, then another one in the sixth.
A double play ended the sixth inning, but the Koreans now led 4-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Kingdom Team got one run back.
Phildrick Llewellyn led off with a double and was batted in by Curt Smith, who later in the at bat was eliminated at the plate himself.
Initially, Llewellyn was not on the Arizona-roster, but he was added to the group in the first days of the trainingcamp.
After a scoreless seventh inning by Kevin Heijstek (who made his third appearance), the Netherlands came alongside in the bottom of the seventh.
With Gianfranco Wawoe on the bases, Phildrick Llewellyn delivered a runscoring single.
It was the second time during this series that Llewellyn collected two basehits.
He also had two in the second game of the series.
Llewellyn went on to score the tying run on another sacrifice fly by Yurendell de Caster.
Llewellyn entered the game in the fifth, as a replacement for short stop Stijn van der Meer.
Llewellyn moved to leftfield to take over for Gianfranco Wawoe, who became the new short stop.
Nick Urbanus, who was hit by a pitch in the game against GateWay Community College, didn't play in the last two games.
However, the 4-4 score was broken in the top of the eighth inning when new pitcher Tom de Blok got the bases loaded and gave up a 3-run triple that made it 7-4.
Loek van Mil completed the game in the ninth inning.
The players who were selected for the World Baseball Classic will travel to South Korean capital Seoul on Monday.
There, two more exhibition games will be played to prepare for the World Baseball Classic, which also has the status of World Championship.
The Netherlands opens the event on March 7 against South Korea.
The non-selected players will return home to the Netherlands or their respective professional organization.
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)