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Updated: March 6, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

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

Big loss Dutch Team vs. New Zealand
AUCKLAND (New Zealand) - The Dutch Men Softball Team on Wednesday was shutout 11-0 by host New Zealand on Day 6 of the World Championship. The Dutch Team produced only three basehits and will play its last game on Thursday against Canada.

The final day of the preliminary round will be desive in many ways. Great Britain and the USA recorded important wins on Day 6 to set up an all-deciding game between the British and Americans on Thursday. The winner of that game might qualify directly for the next round at the end of the day or might end up in a tie with other teams, which could be not in their favor. The loser of that game also might end up in a 4-way tie for fourth place, meaning the tie-break formula can be a decisive factor to decide the final ranking. And so, Pool A can end up in a 4-way tie for second place, a 3-way tie for third place or a tie that has no influence on the top-4. Six teams still have chances of reaching the Play-Offs with the right combination of wins or ties with other teams. But it also just can end very simply with a win that put teams in the Play-Offs. In Pool A, only Australia has clinched a spot in the championship pool, while Indonesia is eliminated.

In Pool B, the situation is much clearer, Canada and New Zealand qualified for the Play-Offs today, while the Netherlands and the Philippines already were eliminated. Today, Mexico became the third team to be eliminated, leaving three teams in contention for the remaining two spots. On Thursday, Colombia and Argentina meet in a decisive game. When Argentina wins, it will go to the Play-Offs, but when Colombia wins, it has to wait for the result of Japan against Mexico later in the day. When Japan wins it clinches the Play-Offs and will be joint by Colombia when it beats Argentina. With a win by Colombia and loss by Japan, they end up in a 3-way tie with Argentina, meaning the score of the game between Colombia and Argentina will be of influence for the tie-breaking formula.

...Arjan Baanen...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The Dutch Team collected only three basehits off of Jeremy Manley, who struckout eleven batters. But despite that, the Orange held New Zealand to only 3-0 after four innings, but then the organizing team struck.

Dutch starter Jeffry Visser gave up two singles in the first inning that led to a quick 2-0 deficit. Ben Enoka led off with a single, moved on an outfield-error and reached third a grounder. After a walk, the two runners were batted in by Jarrad Martin with a single.

The Dutch Team was retired in order in its first at bat, then saw the Kiwis add a run in the second inning on a sac-fly that made it 3-0.

In the home of the second inning, Enrique Javier led off with the first Dutch basehit, but then two strikeouts followed and the inning ended when he was caught stealing.

After walking the lead-off batter in the third inning, Jeffry Viser retired the next six batters in a row. But in the meantime, the Orange was unable to do something back. In the third inning, three batters struckout in order, then Mike den Braven walked to lead off the fourth. But then, the next two batters also struckout and Den Braven was called out for leaving first base too early.

New Zealand then struck with eight runs, highlighted by three homeruns, in the fifth inning to take a commanding lead. Tyson Byrne led off with a single and scored when Rhys Casley followed with a homerun. Jarrad Martin then walked and this time Wayne Laulu homered. This led to the departure of Visser, who was relieved by Arjan Baanen, but he also was greeted with a homerun, as Patrick Shannon connected well also. A walk was then followed by two groundouts, but a new walk then gave New Zealand another runner. Tyson Byrne then registered his second single in this at bat and brought in the next run. Hereafter, Rhys Casley, who homered in his first at bat in this inning, then followed with a double that brought in two more runs and lifted the score to 11-0, before a grounder ended the long at bat.

The Dutch Team appeared to score a run of its own in the bottom of the fifth inning when it got two runners on base with one out. Pinch-hitter Marlon Comenencia first struckout, but then pinch-hitter Merlijn Brink and Eldrick Dijkhoff singled. However, the two stranded, as Randy Lo-A-Tjong also struckout and René Koelink flied out to end the game.

other games today:

...Renier Viljoen...
Game 41: Indonesia vs. South Africa
Day 6 of the World Championship began with a 6-1 victory of South Africa vs. Indonesia. After two scoreless innings, South Africa scored twice in the third at bat on singles by Phomolo Phaladi and Gregory Barrett. A wild pitch then accounted for the the lone Indonesian run in the fourth inning to narrow the deficit to 2-1. South Africa then decided the game in the sixth inning. Duncan Small led off with a single and Grant Olivier walked. The two advanced on a sac-bunt, then a strikeout accounted for the second out. The bases got loaded when Tyrone Young was hit by a pitch and then Renier Viljoen followed with a grand slam homerun to make it 6-1. Winning pitcher Grant Olivier struckout 10 batters.

Game 42: Venezuela vs. USA
The USA won 9-3 vs. Venezuela, which had only lost one of its five previous games. A win would have secured Venezuela a spot in the Play-Offs. Venezuela is still in a good spot to reach the championship pool, but all kind of ties are also possible. With the win, the USA moved closer towards the fourth place, but they need an additional win on the final day. The Americans opened the score in the first inning, scoring two runs on back-to-back doubles by Matt Palazzo and Joshua Johnson. Four runs were added in the third inning, highlighted by a 2-run single by Frank Degroat. A basesloaded walk gave Venezuela a run in the fourth inning, but the USA got it back in the fifth when Palazzo homered. Venezuela then scored twice in the sixth, but in the seventh, the USA scored also two more runs on a single by Mark Tan.

Game 43: Japan vs. Philippines
Japan shutout the Philippines 9-0 to move into third place in their pool. The Asians scored three runs in the first inning, thanks to a double by Yohei Ono, single by Masateru Matsuoka and an error. A groundout added a run in the second inning, then Japan rallied for five runs in the fourth at bat. With one out, Kengo Kidani singled and Tomoki Shimada followed with a 2-run homerun. An error and a walk then led to the next two runners and this time Naoaki Kawadi belted a 3-run homerun.

Game 44: Great Britain vs. Czech Republic
Great Britain, which had a poor start of the tournament, won 7-4 vs. the Czech Republic, which had a good start of the event . But after this game, the two are now tied for what is becoming an interesting race for the Play-Offs and could end up in a tie between several teams. The Czechs took an 1-0 lead in the first inning on a basesloaded walk, but left two runners. The British scored twice in the second inning when Darrin Newson hit a 2-run homerun. Two runs were added in the next at bat via an error and a single and two more runs were recorded in the fourth to make it 6-1. The Czechs narrowed the deficit to 6-3 in the sixth inning when two runs were scored on a double by Tomas Vobornik. Great Britain got the runs back immediately in its sixth at bat when James Chalmers hit a 2-out homerun. A 2-out homerun by Patrick Kolkus accounted for the final Czech run in the seventh inning. Winning pitcher James Darby struckout 10 batters. With the win, Great Britain moved into a tie with several teams, including the USA, which also recorded an important win earlier in the day.

...Sean Cleary...
Game 45: Colombia vs. Canada
Canada shutout Colombia 8-0 to become the first team in their pool to secure a spot in the Play-Offs. For Colombia, the loss means they can now end up in a tie with several teams. Canada scored its first run in the second inning on a double by Ryan Boland and added four runs in the third at bat on a single by Brad Ezekiel, double by Stephen Mullaley and another single by Boland. A 2-run homerun by Andy Skelton made it 7-0 in the fourth and a 2-out homerun by Jeff Ellsworth accounted for the final run in the fifth. Pitcher Sean Cleary threw a Perfect Game and struckout 10 batters.

Game 46: Australia vs. Samoa
Australia won 3-2 vs. Samoa, scored the winning runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and remainded unbeaten, registering its sixth win. For Samoa, which had a great tournament-start, the loss means, they are now tied with three other teams in third place of their pool. So the final day on Thursday will be decisive in this pool. Samoa took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. With two outs, Joel Harris singled and scored on a triple by Gene Robinson, who then scored himself on a single by Kallan Compain. Australia got one run back in the third on a single by Zenon Winters, but had to wait until the seventh inning to decide the game. Nick Shailes and Jeff Goolagong then walked, which led to a pitching change. The bases then got loaded when Andrew Kirkpatrick also walked. A sac-fly by Nathan Jones then tied the score and moved the runners. With first base open, Timoty Crome was walked intentionally and then Mark Harris followed with a walk-off, runscoring single that made it 3-2.

...17 SO's...
Game 47: Argentina vs. Mexico
Argentina shutout Mexico 2-0, which meant elimination for the Play-Offs for the Mexicans. With the win, Argentina moved closer to clinching a spot in the championship pool. Argentina scored its runs in the fourth and fifth inning, both on sacrifice flies by respectively Gusatavo Guerrini and Nicolas Bittor. Winning pitcher Maximiliano Montero struckout 17 (!) batters and gave up only four hits.

(March 6)

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