U23 Baseball World Cup 2018: Czechs surprisingly beat Dutch

The Kingdom of the Netherlands got off a wrong start in the consolation round as the team was beaten 4-3 by the Czech Republic.

The Czechs took an early lead on a sac fly to left field and a two-run homer hit by Jakub Grepl.

For five innings, the Dutch lineup was kept in check by Czech starting pitcher Lukas Hlouch but in the sixth inning, the orange squad fought their way back to tie the game.
Singles by Rowan van Hoek and Francinel Martina, followed by a towering home run by Shèrten Apostel tied the game at three.

Overall, the Dutch pitching did not do a bad job. Even Nelmerson Angela, who gave up three runs in the first inning, kept the Czech Republic limited to one more hit in the remaining innings of his four-inning outing. Angelo Wicklert pitched three strong innings in which he gave up three hits, walked one and struck out one but did not allow a run. Mike Groen was tabbed with the loss even though he gave up only one run in two innings.

The winning run of the Czechs came after Dutch shortstop Francinel Martina committed an error that allowed Martin Kalabek to reach first base safely. A 6-3 groundout, allowed Kalabek to advance to second and Martin Cervinka’s single to right field drove him in to give the Czechs the decisive lead even though the home plate umpire called Kalabek out in the first place but after an instant replay, the run was awarded.

Jiri Varusa pitched 3.1 perfect innings for the win in which he struck out two.

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