Premier 12: Kingdom of the Netherlands – USA, one disastrous inning makes the difference

Tom Stuifbergen lasted 3.2 innings

Today team Kingdom of the Netherlands took on the USA in the quarter-finals.
After dealing with quite some bad luck (family matters for Andruw Jones, injuries of several players), the team was hit by bad luck again. Proposed starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens had to return home due to family matters. He was replaced by Tom Stuifbergen who injured his ankle in a previous game. Stuifbergen pitched a solid game through 3.2 innings before he was replaced by Jim Ploeger, who made the final out of the fourth inning. Stuifbergen allowed two runners on base and he was pulled out of precaution.

In the top of the third inning, the Dutch had taken the lead when Kalian Sams scored from third base as Randolph Oduber struck out swinging and the wild pitch got away from catcher Dan Rohlfing.

In the fourth inning, the Dutch were hit by another injury. When making a swing at bat, catcher Shawn Zarraga hurt his wrist and left the game. Catcher Dashenko Ricardo finished the at bat.

But in the fifth inning,the Duch had a disastrous inning that started with a catching error in left field by Curt Smith. Then Jim Ploeger was replaced by Orlando Yntema who started with a throwing error towards third base on a bunt laid down by Dan Rohlfing. The USA followed with two more bunts and in both occasions, Yntema committed a throwing error again. This resulted in three runs in the fifth inning for the USA.

In the seventh inning, Berry van Driel replaced Orlando Yntema. Van Driel didn’t start well as he hit Jacob May with a pitch. On a double by Adam Frazier, May scored all the way from first as he beat the throw from left field. Frazier advanced to third on the throw to home plate. A fly out by Matt McBride drove in Adam Frazier from third to extend the US lead to 5-1.

One inning later the USA scored one more time to reach the final score of 6-1.

It remains to be seen if without the bad fifth inning, the Dutch would have won. The US pitchers were really strong today. Zack Segovia and Brooks Pounders gave up only one walk and allowed four hits to the Dutch, compared to the eight hits that the Dutch pitchers gave up. The Dutch scored one earned run and the Americans three.

Quarter-final, Semi-final and final games in tournaments like this are always a bit of a lottery, but the outcome of this one was a huge anti-climax for the Dutch.

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