U18 European Championship: Dutch Win Semi-Final

U-18 European Baseball Championship 2021

In a pitching duel, the Dutch stayed at the right side of the score. Not a very convincing victory but a victory nevertheless. Going into the bottom of the sixth, the Dutch had a comfortable 4-0 lead when Germany rallied for two runs and had a runner in scoring position when the inning-ending out was made.

NED flag

For most of the game, the Kingdom of the Netherlands had a slim 1-0 lead over the Germans. In the first inning, Raidley Legito hit a leadoff single, then stole second, moved to third on a 6-3 groundout and scored on Jesse Velders’ single.

The Germans had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the first when they loaded the bases with one out but Christopher Jay Hanson hit into an inning-ending double play. Dutch pitcher Dorian Lippens got a lot of help from his defense as they turned inning-ending double plays in the second and third innings as well.

After four scoreless innings, the Dutch offense stepped on it. Back-to-back doubles by Emilson Haswell and Jesse Velders and a single by Pastor Luca drove in a run and put runners in scoring position after a throwing error by the German left fielder. A German pitching chance did not pan out well. Sem Kuijpers drew a walk to load the bases and Jesse Velders scored on a wild pitch. With two outs, Raidley Legito drove in another run on a single to center field. These run appeared to be very useful as Germany’s offense caught fire in the sixth as well.

GER flag

A fielding error and an HBP put runners on first and second for the Germans. Then Moritz van Bergen singled to right field to drive in Germany’s first run. After a Dutch pitching change, Ben Siemer drove in another run with a single through the left side, which put a runner on second. But the game ended how the first, second, and third German innings ended as well: with a double play.

Dorian Lippens earned the win. In four innings, he gave up four hits and three walks and struck out three. Moritz van Bergen took the loss. He also pitched four innings but gave up the first run of the Dutch on three hits and two walks and struck out four.
Jesse Velders and Raidley Legito both went 2 for 3 but Velders drove in two runs and Legito one. Both scored once.

The Dutch will now face the winner of the second semi-final game, Spain or Italy.

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