A game that was a semi final worthy. A close affair in which the Kingdom of the Netherlands barely ended up at the right side of the score. The only thing that marred this semi final, were the three errors the Dutch committed.
Kingdom of the Netherlands 9 – 8 Spain
It goes too far to say that after taking the lead in the third inning, the Dutch never looked back. In the final inning, Spain came this close, the Dutch must have looked over their shoulder a couple of times.
Spain took a 2-0 lead on a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning off Mike Bolsenbroek, who was replaced after by Kevin Kelly after two innings. The home run played an important role in this game as eight of the seventeen runs that were scored by both teams, crossed home plate thanks to the long ball.
After Sharlon Schoop cut Spain’s lead in half with a single in the third inning, on which Jiandido Tromp scored, Dashenko Ricardo homered to right field and took two runners with him. Spain reacted by scoring a run in the bottom of the same inning on a sac fly by Daniel Jimenez.
A single by Ray-Patrick Didder and a sac fly by Dwayne Kemp in the fourth inning, drove in two more runs for the Dutch.
The two runs that were scored on the single by Sharlon Schoop in the top of the eighth inning, appeared to be real insurance runs. After the three run homer by Lesther Galvan in the bottom of the eighth inning, Spain trailed by only three runs. In the bottom of the ninth, back-to-back singles by Oscar Angulo and Jesus Ustariz brought Spain within a run of the Dutch. But Daniel Jimenez hit into a force out at second base for the final out of the inning.
Kevin Kelly earned the win after one inning in which he allowed an unearned run on a walk and struck out one. Despite giving up two runs (one earned) in the ninth inning, Wendell Floranus earned the save. Carlos Sierra took the loss. In 2.1 innings, he allowed four runs on four hits and three walks and struck out three.
Ray-Patrick Didder was the best hitter for the Dutch. Despite hitting 3 for 5, he drove in only one run. Both Sharlon Schoop and Dashenko Ricardo drove in three runs.
Thanks to this win, the Dutch advance to the final in which they will face the winner of tonight’s game between Italy and Israel.