Netherlands 4 Cuba 1
There appears to be a new juggernaut in International baseball and they are the Netherlands. It was an interesting battery that the Netherlands decided to throw against Cuba. Sidney de Jong had done the bulk of the catching and needed a break. He was put at DH while the usual DH Bryan Engelhardt went to right field with Kalian Sams moving to center. Orlando Yntema was given the start, his first start of the tournament after two disappointing relief appearances. Shawn Zarraga was called to catch. It all worked to perfection, showing the improvement of the depth on the Netherland’s team.
Orlando tossed five innings of four hit ball, giving up only one run. Shawn Zarraga caught a good game and even contributed a crucial single ahead of the 2-run homerun by Kalian Sams, his second homerun in two days. Bryan Engelhardt also hit a 2-run homerun in the second inning to give the Netherlands an early 2-0 lead. The Netherlands had beaten Korea earlier on two homeruns and one run pitching and used that formulae again to defeat Cuba.
The key to the game was in the fourth inning when Frederich Cepeda and Alfredo Despaigne started the inning with back to back doubles. Yulieski Gourriel singled to move Despaigne to third with nobody out. Tntema beared down and struck out slugger Jose Abreu for the first out. Giorvis Duvergel pinch hit for Rudy Reyes and bounced one in front of the plate for an out. Gourriel was able to advance to second but Despaigne had to freeze at third. Yosvani Alarcon pinch hit for veteran catcher Ariel Pestano and grounded out to second.
Netherlands called on Leon Boyd to pitch the last two innings and after putting the first two runners on base in the sixth he was able to entice two routine flyouts and a whiff of Alarcon to snuff the rally. He retired the side in order in the seventh to pick up the save. The game was shortened to seven innings because of the rain and the doubleheaders needed to be played by yesterday’s rainouts.
Netherlands 2 Australia 1
In a continuation of yesterday’s game that was called after a 1-1 tie, the Netherlands managed to score a run in the first inning of the continuation of play. An errant pickoff throw advanced the runners to second and third where a ground out allowed the go ahead run to score. David Bergman pitched the last two plus innings to get the win.
Shairon Martis and Dushan Ruzic had squared off in a six inning pitcher’s duel before the rain halted the game. Both teams scored in the second inning. Australia scored first on a Brad Harman double and the Netherlands countered after a Jonathan Schoop double allowed the Netherlands to advance a runner to third where a Sharlon Schoop ground out scored the tying run.
United States 2 Australia 1
Another tough loss for Australia, this one a seven inning shortened game. Clayton Tanner got the start for Australia and pitched all six innings. Drew Smyly matched him shutout for shutout for the first five innings. The United States struck first in the sixth after an error put the leadoff man on. Joe Thurston continued his clutch hitting of the tournament with a single to drive in the first run, while Chad Tracy drove in the second run with a fly ball out. Joel Naughton lined an RBI single to close the game to 2-1 in the seventh and final frame, but it ended when Scott Wearne lined into a double play to end the game.
Canada 7 Venezuela 0
Kyle Lohtzar tamed the Venezuelan bats with a 5 inning 3-hitter and Mike Johnson retired all six hitters he faced to complete the shutout. Brock Kjeldgaard hit his second homerun of the tournament, a 2-run shot to close out the scoring in a 5-run first. Canada added two more in the second, then cruised for the victory.
Canada 4 South Korea 0
If South Korea can not beat Panama it will be a 6-0 sweep by Group 1, which will benefit Cuba since they will still end up with the best record of Group 2. Andrew Albers extended his shutout streak to 15 innings with five innings of 4-hit shutout ball against South Korea and Dustin Molleken closed it out for the last two innings. Canada scored all four of its runs in the fifth inning, two errors and a wild pitch by Korea allowing three of the four runs to be unearned.
Korea 5 Panama 4
Ji Young Lee started the sixth inning with a solo homerun to close the game to within one, then Korea erupted for three more to carry them on to victory and a possible bronze medal game. The loss will make it difficult for Panama to advance, with a game against Cuba on the horizon. Joo Hwan Choi had the clutch 2-run single that broke the 3-3 tie in the sixth. Seung-Wan Moon struggled for the last two innings and was bailed out by his shortstop Kyoung-Min Hur who robbed Fernando Seguinol of a hit with a nice diving play. After a Carlos Quiroz 2-out RBI single to close the game to within one, Ji-Woong Yoon was called on to pitch the ninth and almost threw his first pitch to the backstop. On a 3-2 pitch he got pinch hitter Cesar Quintero to fly to left to end the game. Jose Macias and Fernando Seguinol both hit solo homeruns for Panama in a losing cause.
So Canada’s loss to Australia puts the Netherlands in the driver’s seat for the gold medal battle with Cuba. Netherlands has to beat a weak Venezuela team, but as one of their players stated, those are the type of teams we have historically lost to. Panama can put the pressure on the Netherlands by beating Cuba. Australia will be fighting with Korea for the number two team in grouping 2, which is an opportunity to fight for the bronze. Korea holds the advantage as a result of their victory over Australia when Australia could not score any runs. Korea must play the United States while Australia goes to battle against Panama, both tough teams. The more deserving teams appear to be Canada and Panama to do battle for the bronze if the Netherlands advances to the gold round.a0d