The Kingdom of The Netherlands, that clinched a spot in the semi-finals with yesterday’s win vs France, won its final game of the round robin vs Lithuania.
Where all other opponents crushed Lithuania with double digits, the Dutch only scored six runs in today’s match. Manager De Bruin used some players that did not see much action so far, likely to give the regulars some rest. With a spot in the semis clinched already, the Dutch likely took it slow today.
After two scoreless innings, the Dutch got on the board thanks to a balk and a single that drove in two runs. But Lithuania boldly tied the game at two in the top of the fourth inning. After two quick outs, Connor Prins struggled with finding the strike zone. A single, an HBP, and three walks, allowed the Baltic state to score two runs.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Dutch took a decisive lead when Matis Crouwel scored on Paris Aguilera Zayas’ single through the right side.
In the fifth inning, Kingdom of the Netherlands added some insurance runs to its total. With runners on first and second, Emilson Haswell tripled to center field to drive in Raidley Legito and Mees Robberse. Haswell could score the third run of the inning when Jesse Velders grounded out 4-3.
Connor Prins earned today’s win. In six innings, he allowed two runs on two hits and three walks and struck out five. Mees Robberse pitched a perfect seventh in which he struck out two. Average-wise, Mart Blijleven was the best hitter as he went 1 for 1. With two, Emilson Haswell drove in the most runs.
Tomorrow, Team Kingdom of the Netherlands will face the winner of group B, Germany, that beat title candidate Spain 1-0 today. Perhaps a good advice for manager De Bruin: Watch the German bats closely. There were strong rumors they used composite KR3 bats vs the Czech Republic.