The Netherlands will face Germany in the final of the 2017 U15 European Championship. Germany beat the Czech Republic 9-8 in the first semi final. The Netherlands clinched an easy victory over France. Chris Stuart was the tormentor of the French lineup as he cruised through six innings and guided the Netherlands to a 6-2 win.
Chris Stuart was clearly the man of the match. He kept the French limited to three hits and struck out eight in six innings. But the Dutch could not push for some runs in the first three innings either even though they had a runner on third in the first inning.
French starting pitcher, Lucas Khemache kept the Dutch from scoring in the second and third inning as well.
But in the fourth inning, the Dutch bats woke up. Khemach was pulled after walking the lead off hitter and that was the start of something beautiful for the Netherlands. With runners in scoring position, a force out at second and a 4-3 groundout drove in Jesse Velders and Jason Netten to give the Dutch a 2-0 lead.
Louis Focaud, who replaced Lucas Khemach, lasted only one inning and was replaced by Anatole Coste, who would give up three runs. In the fifth inning, Emile Haswell led off with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on Chris Stuart’s single. When Haswell tried to score on Ayran Araya Lemaire’s groundball to second base, he was thrown out at the plate. When Jesse Velder tripled down the right field line, he drove in Stuart and Araya Lemaire for a 4-0 lead. Another hit down the right field line, this time by Nick Boxelaar, drove in Jesse Velder.
The Dutch would score one more run in the sixth before the French finally got on the board in the seventh. Consecutive walks and a passed ball put runners in scoring position for France. Back-to-back singles by Julien Monks and Arthur Bidaut drove in two runs for France. But that was all they could do.
It won’t come as a surprise that Chris Stuart earned the win.
Best hitter for the Netherlands was Nick Boxelaar, who went 2 for 2 with a RBI.
Other hitting results for the Netherlands:
Chris Stuart: 2 for 3 with a run scored.
Jesse Velders: 1 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Emile Haswell: 1 for 3
Raydley Legito: 1 for 4 with a RBI and a run scored.
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