In the first quarter final of today, Belgium took on Spain. Likely not many would have thought the Belgians could beat a team loaded with South and Central American players of which some have MLB experience. Belgium lost but played a good game and doesn’t need to be ashamed about the result.
Belgium 2 – 5 Spain
Right in the first inning, Spain took an early lead when a single by Edison Valerio and a double by Oscar Angulo led to the first run of the game. For three innings, Lowuin Sacramento kept the Belgian lineup in check but in the fourth inning, Belgium got a grip on his pitches. A single by Axel Poesmans, a fielding error on a hit by Robin Roevens and a groundout to first base by Benjamin Dille put runners in scoring position. With two outs, Dennis de Quint came through with a single to center field. Axel Poesmans scored from third and Belgium came close to take the lead but thanks to a 8-1-2 play, Robin Roevens was thrown out at home plate.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, an RBI double and a fielders choice allowed Spain to score twice to retake the lead again. That lead was extended by a run in the seventh inning and one in the eighth.
Belgium scored one more run in the top of the eighth when Drew Janssen drew a walk, advanced to second on a single by Robin Roevens, advanced to third on a single by Benjamin Dille, and touched home plate on a single by Dennis de Quint. Unfortunately, that was all Belgium was capable of but nevertheless, it was a result, the team can be proud of. Losing only 5-2 against a team that contains many players with MiLB experience and even a few with MLB experience, it not bad at all.
Jorge Balboa earned the win after pitching 2.1 innings in relief in which he gave up a hit and a walk and struck out two. Artuur Driessens took the loss after 6.2 innings in which he gave up four runs on ten hits and a walk and struck out four.
Oscar Angulo was the best hitter for Spain as he went 3 for 4 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored. Zion de Brauwer was the best hitter for Belgium as he went 3 for 4 as well.