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Updated: March 1, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Softball Men
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch Team opens Championship with shutout-loss
AUCKLAND (New Zealand) - The Dutch Men Softball Team opened the World Championship in New Zealand on Friday with a 7-0 shutout-loss in six innings against Japan, which finished in sixth place on the last Championship in 2009 in Canada. The Dutch Team didn't qualify for that event. On Saturday, the Dutch Team, which reached base only twice today, meets Mexico. The day started with a surprise 2-0 shutout-win by Samoa vs. Great Britain.

...Dutch starter Jeroen Mulder...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar
Dutch starter Jeroen Mulder started the game good by striking out the lead-off hitter, but then gave up a triple to next batter Jun Taniguchi on a full-count. Moments later, Taniguchi scored on a passed ball to give Japan an early lead, but then a flyout and groundout ended the inning.

In the first Dutch at bat, Enrique Javier walked with two outs, but was left behind and was the lone runner until the fifth inning.

Japan reached base again in the second inning, but Mulder gave up no runs. The lead-off hitter walked, but was picked off first base. A walk and an error gave Japan two runners with two outs, but a force play ended the at bat.

After the Dutch side was retired in order in the bottom of the fourth, Japan put the game almost out of reach by rallying for five runs to increase the lead to 6-0 in the top of the fifth inning. Mulder began with a strikeout, but then Masateru Matsuoka doubled and Kenji Nakamura followed with a homerun to make it 3-0. Hereafter, Jeffry Visser was brought in as new pitcher. A bunt then accounted for the second out, but an error, single and hit batter loaded the bases hereafter. A wild pitch led to a run and a single by Hikaru Matsuda brought in two more runs and lifted the lead to 6-0. Veteran Erwin Visser then became the third Dutch pitcher and saw a grounder end the at bat.

With one out in the bottom of the 5th inning, the Orange broke the No-Hitter of pitcher Hiraku Matsuda when Randy Lo-A-Tjong singled with one out, but then two strikeouts followed.

In the sixth inning, Japan reached the 7-run difference on a single by Yu Nishimori and as three Dutch batters were retired in order moments later, the game ended.

Other games today:

Game 1: Samoa vs. Great Britain
The tournament began with a 2-0 win by Samoa, which scored in the third and fourth inning. In the third, Kallan Compain walked and scored on a 2-out single by Tony Niu. In the fourth, Michael Niu walked with two outs and then his pinch-runner Aaron Knight scored when Gerald Long doubled. It was a low-hitting game, as Samoa collected only three basehits, while winning pitcher Thomas Enoka gave up two and struckout eight batters. In 2009, Samoa didn't qualify for the Championship in Canada, while Great Britain reached the Play-Offs. In 2004, when the event also took place in New Zealand, Samoa finished in sixth place.

Game 2: Colombia vs. the Philippines
Colombia, which is labeled as an unknown opponent, started the tournament with a 4-1 win vs. the Philippines. Both are playing in the Dutch pool. Initially, the Philippines opened the score in the fourth inning on an error, but then Colombia answered with three runs in the home of the fourth. Yerson Santana led off with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Federico Gomez. Colombia, which collected eight hits, then took a 2-1 lead when Luis Pren connected for a 2-run homerun. Cesar Velez then singled and later scored on a single by Gari Pacheco to make it 3-1. The fourth run was scored in the fifth at bat on a single by Yerson Santana.

Game 3: Czech Republic vs. Indonesia
The Czech Republic had a strong start, winning 10-3 vs. Indonesia in five innings on 10 basehits. The Czechs scored three runs in the first inning thanks to a homerun by Patrick Kolkus. Two runs were added in the second inning. Jiri Nezbeda led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch, then a double by Vaclav Svoboda made it 5-0. Indonesia then narrowed the deficit to 5-3 by scoring twice in the third inning and adding a run in the fifth inning. But in the home of the fifth inning, the Czechs rallied for five runs to gain a 7-run lead and end the game through the mercy-rule. In this at bat, Karel Kadecka contributed with a 2-run double, then a run was scored on a single by Jiri Nezbeda. An error then accounted for the next two runs and ended the game.

Game 5: South Africa vs. Venezuela
Venezuela shutout South Africa 6-0 and Ramon Jones went the distance, struckout eleven batters and threw a No-Hitter. Herwins Querales opened the score in the third inning with a homerun, then two errors led to two runs in the next at bat. In the seventh inning, Venezuela added three more runs, thanks to a single, error and sac-fly. South Africa committed eight errors.

Game 6: Argentina vs. Canada
Canada, which won the bronze medal four years ago, needed extra innings to win 2-1 vs. Argentina. A single by Gustavo Guerrinieri accounted for an 1-0 lead for Argetina in the first inning and it appeared that this would be the lone run in the game. But Canada avoided a surprise loss and tied the score in the top of the seventh inning. Brad Ezekiel led off with a single, then two outs followed. Ezekiel then advanced on a wild pitch and scored when Bryan Abrey singled to make it a 1-1 score. In the Argentinian seventh, Francisco Sabate led off with a double, but then three strikeouts followed. Canada won the game by scoring in the ninth inning on an error.

Game 7: Australia vs. USA
Reigning world champion Australia defeated the USA (which finished fourth in 2009) 6-0 in its opener. Pitcher Adam Folkard held the Americans to only two basehits and struckout 12. An error and a 2-run single by Joel Southam gave the Aussies a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Singles by Timothy Crome (3rd inning) and Southam (4th) plus a sac-fly (5th) lifted the lead to 6-0.

Game 8: New Zealand vs. Mexico
Host New Zealand, which won the silver medal four years ago, shutout Mexico, 5-0 to close Day 1 of the event. In the first inning, Tyson Byrne tripled and Donny Hale singled to five the Kiwis an early lead. Three runs were added in the second inning when Jarrad Martin led off with a homerun and runs were scored thanks to a basesloaded hit batter and walk. The final run was scored in the fourth inning on a double by Nathan Nukunuku, who in December last year married with former Tex Town Tigers-player Katrina Stockford.

(March 1)

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