Port Tournament Down to the Finals

The Netherlands holds two big tournaments played every other year. During the even numbered years you have the Honkball tournament played in Haarlem, Netherlands. Myworld was actually there a couple years ago to witness one tournament. During the summer months day time lingers a bit longer in the Netherlands so when a 7 PM ends at about 10 PM you are still walking back to your car or hotel in day light. The port tournament is held in Amsterdam during the odd numbered years.

Five teams competed in the Port tournament, Curacao, Japan, Netherlands, Taiwan and Team USA. The teams from Japan and Taiwan are composed of college level players or players who participate in the industrial leagues. The United States team is composed of minor league ball players, though the names of these players would not be familiar to many.

For the first round the final standings were 1) Taiwan 3-1, 2) Netherlands 2-2, 3) Curacao 2-2, 4) United States 2-2 and 5) Japan 1-3. The United States learned that being a minor leaguer holds no stock to how competitive you would be in this tournament, losing to Curacao 20-2. They committed six errors in the game that was halted after seven innings because of the slaughter rule.

Taiwan continued their dominance in the second round by defeating Curacao 7-6. The United States was again humiliated with a 13-3 loss to Netherlands. Lars Huijer got the win for the Netherlands by pitching five innings. In the Dutch League playing for Hoofddorp Pioniers he has been unhittable with a 0.80 ERA in 12 starts limiting the opposition to a .139 average. He has also whiffed 108 hitters in just 90 innings. The United States was able to tag Lars for six hits and three runs but their pitching let them down. Josh Collmenter got the start for the United States and was battered around for nine runs in just 2.1 innings. This was another game that was ended after seven innings because of the slaughter rule. The United States played and lost the two games that were ended early because of the slaughter rule.

In the second round Curacao will play Japan in a losers bracket game. The United States appears to have been sent down to the bracket to see who finishes fourth, which knocks them out of any championship hope. They will play the loser of the Curacao/Japan game. The winner of the Curacao/Japan game will advance to play the loser of the Taiwan/Netherlands game. The winner of that game will play the winner of the Tawain/Netherlands game for the championship. The only team that appears to have been eliminated from the championship game so far has been the United States.

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