U23 World Cup Baseball: Dutch move on to consolation round

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor U23 World Cup Baseball

Despite two consecutive wins, the Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue the U23 World Cup tournament in the consolation round. The results against Colombia is a disadvantage for the Dutch as they start with a 1-1 record in the standings of the consolation round, while Colombia is starting with a 2-0 record.

The Australians also start with a 1-1 record and Puerto Rico will start with a 2-0 record as well.

The Dutch surprisingly beat Taiwan 10-9 in a game in which the team could not cling on to a 7-2 and later an 8-4 lead. Starting pitcher, Misja Harcksen, who started the rained out game vs Australia a day earlier, started this game as well as he threw only one inning in the rained out game. In five innings, Harcksen gave up five runs on eleven hits and struck out two. He got plenty of run support as the Dutch scored eight runs when he was out on the mound. It all started in the first inning when Shertèn Apostel hit a home run to deep right field with two men on. With that home run, Apostel was the main run producer for the Dutch as he went 3 for 5 with four RBI.

Eventually, Taiwan managed to tie the game in the eighth inning and as no team scored in the ninth, extra innings were needed. Taiwan took the lead for the first time in the tenth inning when with runners placed on first and second (tie-breaker rule), Angelo Wicklert issued two walks. But the Dutch showed some flexibility.

With Tommy van den Sanden placed on first and Delano Selassa placed on second, Paul Brands bunted both runners over. After an intentional walk, given up to Aldirch de Jongh, Francinel Martina hit a sac fly down to right field to drive in Selassa for the game-tying run. After another intentional walk, given up to Shertèn Apostel, Tijmen Takke became the game-winner in an unlikely fashion as he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the winning run.

The game vs South Africa started at an ungodly hour. Because it was rained out two days earlier and there was another rained out game scheduled, it started at 8 o’ clock in the morning (!). The game continued where it stopped on Tuesday in the second inning because of inclement weather.

It took the Dutch until the third inning to open the score. Two consecutive HBPs and a sac bunt put runners in scoring position before Tijmen Takke singled to center field and drove in Rowan van Hoek and Aldrich de Jongh. With a run in the fourth, two in the sixth and eighth inning, the Dutch could walk away to seven runs. All South Africa could do was scoring three runs in the sixth.

The best hitter for the Dutch in this game was Tommy van de Sanden, who went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Winning pitcher was Kaj Timmermans, who “started” the game in the second inning and pitched five frames in which he gave up three runs on five hits, struck out six and walked three.

For Misja Harcksen and Ruar Verkerk, the upcoming game vs Australia may be a highlight as they will face their 2018 teammate of De Glaskoning Twins, Sam Kennelly.

Other opponents for the Dutch will be Puerto Rico and the Czech Republic. The Dutch will tee off the consolation round vs the Czech Republic, the team they beat last year in the U23 European Championship game.

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