In the opening game for team Kingdom of the Netherlands U23, the team did not stand a chance against Venezuela. The Venezuelan manager juggled with his pitchers and that kept the Dutch rather off balance. The Czech Republic, on the other hand, pulled off the first surprise of the tournament.
Kingdom of the Netherlands 4 – 9 Venezuela
Venezuela used five different pitchers. Wikelman Ramirez pitched the most innings (2.2), Oscar Abreu the least (0.1). This juggling with pitchers kept the Dutch lineup off balance.
The Dutch were limited to four runs on four hits.
When the Dutch got on the board in the second inning, Venezuela had a 3-0 lead already. After a throwing error and two walks, Dave Janssen doubled to right center field to drive in Junior Martina and Shean Michel. But with another runner at third, the Dutch failed to tie the game at three. Venezuela answered by scoring four runs in the bottom of the second as Scott Prins struggled through the second. A three-run homer signalled his and. Jiorgeny Casimiri did not start his outing well as he hit the first batter he faced with a pitch which eventually would lead to the fourth run for Venezuela.
In the next two frames not much happened but in the fifth, both teams would score some runs. The Dutch scored on a fielding error after a “hit” by Max Kops. Venezuela scored twice, once on a wild pitch and once on a single.
The Dutch had the final say in the game. In the top of the sixth, they loaded the bases but could only score on a walk.
Wikelman Ramirez earned the win after 2.2 innings. He gave up a walk and struck out three. Scott Prins took the loss. In 1.1 innings he allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits.
Dave Janssen was responsible for the half of all Dutch hits as he went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI.
Czech Republic 5 – 1 Mexico
This game was clearly like the world turned upside down. The Czech Republic pulled off stunt vs Mexico. The European champion of 2019, limited Mexico to only one run on 6 hits. The Czechs on the other hand collected only two hits but scored five runs.
The two Czech hits came in the third inning when Vojtech Mensik singled to left field and drove in Martin Zelenka, followed by a double down the left field line by Marek Chlup, that drove in three runs.
The fifth runs for the Czechs was scored when Jakub Grepl drew a leadoff walk, and advanced thrice on a wild pitch.
Three of the six Mexican hits resulted in a run in the sixth inning.
Ondrej Satoria earned the win. In 5.2 innings, he gave up one run on six hits and a walk and struck out five. Saul Castellanos took the loss after three innings in which he allowed five runs on two hits and three walks, as he struck out two.
Marek Chlup was the best Czech hitter, going 1 for 2 with a double and three RBI.