Where the Germans only needed three innings in Belgium’s first game of today, the team made the Netherlands go deep in the first four innings but eventually lost with big numbers as well. Nevertheless, Belgium made the Dutch go deep in the first four innings. After that the gas was out of the tank, which resulted in a double digit loss.
The Netherlands 22 – 4 Belgium
After the Dutch opened the score in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead in the Derby of the Lowlands, Belgium bounced back in the bottom of the first and took a 2-1 lead when it scored on a sac fly and a passed ball.
A 6-4 force out and two consecutive singles allowed the Dutch to take a 4-2 lead in the second inning. In the bottom of the next inning, a throwing error led to the third run for Belgium and almost to the game-tying run but Lou Meir was thrown out at home plate with a 3-2 play. But the Belgians managed to tie the game on a force out at second base on which Lars Verbeken could score.
With a one-run fourth inning, the Dutch regained the lead again. And from that moment on the team didn’t look back. From the fifth inning on, the Belgian defense collapsed and the Dutch walked away thanks to a four-run fifth inning and a thirteen-run sixth, which resulted in a flattering score that did not reflect the four strong innings Belgium played from the start of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, Belgium had a golden opportunity to come alongside as the team loaded the bases with only one out. But an inning ending double play let the Dutch get away with a scare.
Tristan Knol, who pitched three innings, earned the win. He allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits and three walks and struck out four. Despite keeping Belgium in the game for three innings, Lars Verbeken took the loss as he was credited for the go-ahead run of the Dutch in the fourth inning. In 3.1 innings, Lars gave up five runs on six hits and five walks.
The best hitter for the Netherlands was Ryan Bosch, who went 5 for 5 (!) with a double, five RBI, and a run scored.
Thanks to today’s win, the Dutch are only one win away from a spot in the semi-finals.