United States and Mexico Win Premier 12 Openers

The long ball was popular yesterday in the openers of the first round of the Premier 12s. The United States used it in their 9-0 win over Netherlands. Veteran changeup artist Rob Cordemans got the start for the Netherlands but he did not fool enough people with his changeup. He lasted just three innings and gave up two long balls to put the Netherlands in an early a hole.

Drew Waters sent his first pitch over the right field wall to give the United States an early lead. The United States scored another run on a sacrifice fly infield popup in the second inning. Juremi Profar caught a popup with his back to the plate and Jacob Cronenworth had the speed to tag up from third and score. Jo Adell took Cordemans deep in the third inning to make it 3-0.

Lars Huijer tried his luck in the fourth. He held the United States scoreless in that inning but in the fifth the Netherlands walked Daulton Varsho to load the bases to face slugger Bobby Dalbec. Dalbec blasted a pitch deep over the centerfield wall for a grand slam homer and a 7-0 United States lead. Brent Rooker finished the homerun derby with his two run shot in the eighth off Jim Ploeger.

The Netherlands could not solve Cody Ponce, who pitched five shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five. Four different relievers followed Ponce, each working one inning without giving up a hit.

Mexico got a grand slam from Esteban Quiroz in the third inning to beat the Dominican Republic 6-1. Efren Navarro and Matt Clark punctuated the win with back to back jacks in the sixth. The game lasted only six innings with Humberto Castellanos throwing the last two innings and getting the win.

The Dominican Republic got their only run in the first inning on an RBI single from Carlos Peguero. Ex-major league reliever Enny Romero got the start for the Dominican Republic and faltered in the third inning after pitching two solid innings. Other than the third inning when he gave up three of his five hits Romero was strong. He struck out 10 hitters in just 4.1 innings. Luis Perez gave up the back to back homers in the sixth.

Mexico will play the United States today with the winner guaranteed of advancing to Japan for the second round. Mexico has always been a thorn in the United States side. They eliminated them from appearing in an Olympic in the past. The Dominican Republic plays the Netherlands with the loser being virtually eliminated from advancing to Japan for the second round. The Netherlands has been a thorn in the side of the Dominican Republic in World Baseball Classic events.

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