2019 Olympic Qualifier: Dutch need two big innings to shove Italy aside

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On the final day, Italy hosted the Kingdom of the Netherlands as both countries faced each other for the second time in a week. Where the Dutch only had one big inning last week, the team had two this time as they beat Italy 8-3.

In the bottom of the third inning, with a runner on third and two outs, Gavin Cecchini hit towards third base where Dwayne Kemp committed an error that allowed Mattia Regionato to score the opening run.

In the top of the fourth inning, Dwayne Kemp struck out but could get on base thanks to a wild pitch. He was followed by Roger Bernadina who got the Dutch first hit as he doubled down the right-field line to put runners in scoring position. Hendrik Clementina then drew a walk to load the bases. Then Kalian Sams hit the ball towards shortstop Gavin Cecchini, who could only block the ball and make the force out at the second base, so Sams was save at first and Kemp could score the game-tying run. Sicnarf Loopstok loaded the bases once more as he was hit by a pitch. Yurendell de Caster followed with another hit up the middle that was fielded by Cecchini who juggled but couldn’t get a proper grip on the ball that allowed all runners to move up a base and give the Dutch a 2-1 lead. Sharlon Schoop made Kalian Sams and Sicnarf Loopstok score with a single to center field and extend the Dutch lead by two runs. That was the signal for manager Gerali to replace Alessandro Maestri with Angelo Palumbo.

With two outs in the sixth inning, Alessandro Vaglio hit a towering two-run homer off Orlando Yntema to bring Italy within a run from the Netherlands.

A wrong pickoff in the top of the ninth, allowed the Dutch to score once more when they had runners on the corners. A bit later when the Dutch had runners on the corners again, Ademar Rifaela doubled down the right field line to drive in the Dutch sixth run. Kalian Sams followed with a single to left field and drove in two more runs to build a secure 8-3 lead.

Orlando Yntema earned the win after 5.2 innings in which he gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk and struck out two. Manager Van ‘t Hoen used four more pitchers (Tom Stuifbergen, Kevin Kelly, Diegomar Markwell and Juan Carlos Sulbaran) who limited the Azzuri to two hits.

Kalian Sams and Sharlon Schoop both went 2 for 4. Both scored once. Sams did a tad better with driving in runs as he drove in three and Schoop two.

With this win, the Dutch end in second place and still have a chance to advance to Tokyo early 2020 with the last (global) qualifier where the runners up of the regional qualifiers will meet.


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