2021 World Cup U23: Dutch Don’t Stand a Chance vs Nicaragua

In their final game of the tournament, the Kingdom of the Netherlands did not stand a chance against Nicaragua. It wasn’t a blowout score, but one cannot expect a team to win when it produces only three base hits.

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Nicaragua  6  –  1  Kingdom of the Netherlands
NCA flagThe Dutch lineup was kept in check by the Nicaraguan pitching staff. The Nicaraguan lineup on the other hand, collected nine runs. 
After a scoreless first inning, Nicaragua struck first when Elian Miranda hit a leadoff home run of Gio de Graauw. With a sac fly and a single to left field, Nicaragua added two runs in the second. In the next two innings, the Dutch pitching kept the Central Americans from scoring but in the sixth and the seventh inning, Nicaragua repeated the pattern of the second and third inning as it scored three runs. 
After being shutout in the first six innings, the Dutch finally got on the board in their final at-bat. Shean Michel singled to shortstop, advanced to second on a catcher’s indifference and to third on a wild pitch. Eventually, a 4-3 groundout allowed Michel to score the only Dutch run. 
Oscar Rayo, who pitched two innings in relief, earned the win. He gave up a hit and a walk and struck out three. Gio de Graauw took the loss after just 1.1 inning. He allowed one run on a hit and two walks. 
DH Alvaro Rubi was the best hitter for Nicaragua as he went 2 for 4. Shean Michel was responsible for 2/3 of the hits the Dutch collected as he went 2 for 3 with a run scored. 

With this loss, the Dutch are eliminated from advancing to the super round. It means that Gio de Graauw, Kevin Bakker, and Delano Selassa will be back in time for the upcomingNED flag Holland Series between L&D Amsterdam Pirates and Curaçao Neptunus. Aaron de Groot and Naut Kragt may return to their club to play the Holland Series but since the two are playing college ball in the USA, there is a big chance they will join their college team.