On the second day of the U23 European Championship, the teams that beat their previous opponents in mercy rule fashion, faced each other. The winner of this game would clinch a spot in the semi-finals.
Germany 1 – 10 the Netherlands
In another battle of neighboring countries, Germany was no match for the Netherlands. The Germans opened the score in the top of the first inning. Two walks, a passed ball and a 5-3 ground out led to the first run for Germany.
But in the bottom of the first inning, the Dutch tied the game. Julian Rip showed why he earned a selection to this Dutch team. He led off with a triple and scored on a sac fly to right field. Dutch starting pitcher Gio de Graauw had some trouble to find his groove. In the first three innings, he walked four batters, and allowed a single. But with the help of his teammates, he pitched well enough to keep the Germans limited to only one run.
With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, Florian Seidel started to struggle with hit control. He hit Max Kops and Delano Selassa with a pitch and walked Tommy van de Sanden. That was the sign for manager Steve Janssen to replace him with Joe Cedano de Leon. With the new pitcher on the mound, Sheadion Jamanika grounded to the German third baseman who committed a throwing error that allowed Max Kops to score the go-ahead run for the Dutch. Apparently still upset with his throwing error, the German third baseman committed a fielding error as well when Ruendrick Piternella grounded to third. Thanks to the error, Delano Selassa scored the third Dutch run.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Dutch extended their score once more. With the bases loaded, Delano Selassa drove the ball to right-center field for a double on which Jeandro Tromp and Julian Rip scored. Max Kops tried to score all the way from first but was thrown out at home plate.
The Dutch eventually walked away in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, Jeandro Tromp singled down the left field line and drove in two runs. But with those two runs the threat wasn’t over yet. The Netherlands loaded the bases again before Max Kops singled to center field and drove in another run. The bases remained loaded and the runs kept coming. When the Germans made the final out, the Dutch had scored a total of five runs in the fifth inning.
Aaron de Groot earned the win. In 1.1 innings in relief, he allowed three hits and struck out three. A total of four pitchers (Gio de Graauw, Aaron de Groot, Raf Cocu, and Jasper Elfrink) limited the Germans to only six hits. Florian Seidel took the loss. In 2.2 innings, he gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk and struck out one.
Delano Selassa was the best Dutch hitter. He went 2 for 2 with a double, four RBI and a run scored.
Thanks to this win, the Netherlands clinch a spot in the semi-final. Tomorrow, the final opponent of the round robin will be Ukraine, that lost to Belgium today.