No Olympic Ticket For Team Kingdom of the Netherlands

In a do-or-die game for both teams, it was especially Team Kingdom of the Netherlands that did not do and so they fell to Venezuela in seven innings. As a result the road to Tokyo ended in Puebla for the Dutch and the Venezuelans advanced to the winner-take-all game against the Dominican Republic.

Schermafbeelding 2021-06-23 om 09.24.07

In the first inning, Venezuela took a 1-0 lead when Hermán Pérez scored from second base on a single by Alexander Palma. In the second inning, Jair Jurrjens kept the Venezuelans from scoring but in the third, the floodgates opened. With two outs and a runner on first, Jurrjens could not get out of the inning as he gave up a walk, two singles and a home run that drove in five runs.

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Lars Huijer, who replaced Jurrjens after the latter gave up the home run in the third, kept Venezuela on a leash for three innings but still was replaced by Kevin Kelly in the seventh. That move did not pan out well as Kelly gave up a two-run homer to Engelb Vielma. Then Kelly was replaced by Juan-Carlos Sulbaran, but he gave up a two-run shot that ended the game prematurely.

Did the Dutch literally do nothing offensively? Well, almost. Only once, they got a runner in scoring position. In the top of the fifth, Yurendell de Caster got on second base after a single by John Polonius. But that was about it. In four of the seven innings, the Dutch side was retired. The team was limited to only two hits.

Henry Centeno pitched a “complete” game for the win. In seven innings, he allowed only two hits, walked one, and struck out six. Jair Jurrjens took the loss. He lasted 2.2 ininings in which he allowed six runs on five hits and two walks and no strikeouts.

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Hernán Pérez was the best Venezuelan hitter as he went 3 for 4 with a double and a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. John Polonius was the best Dutch hitter as he went 1 for 1.

Looking at the bright side of this disappointing tournament; now the Dutch are not going to Tokyo, the Dutch hoofdklasse doesn’t need to be rescheduled. Otherwise, the seasonal schedule for the Dutch ball players would have been very tight.

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