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WBC: Kalian Sams Sends Netherlands to Semifinals with Walk Off Win

WBC: Kalian Sams Sends Netherlands to Semifinals with Walk Off Win

Cuba 6, Netherlands 7

Box Score

Kalian Sams drove in the biggest run in Dutch baseball history on Monday night in Tokyo. Sams drove in the winning run with a bases loaded sacrifice fly sending the Netherlands to San Francisco and the semifinals.

The Netherlands rebounded a night after a 16-4 dismantling by Japan, pulling off the biggest victory to date for the Dutch.

The game was a seesaw battle as the two teams traded blows trying to eliminate the other.

Cuba fell behind in the bottom of the third inning. Randolph Oduber doubled to start the inning. Andrelton Simmons, who had a big day at the plate, followed up Oduber with a single. After a sacrifice bunt and a hit batter, Andruw Jones hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Oduber and get the scoring started.

Curt Smith followed up Jones with a RBI single. It was one of his three hits in the game and the Dutch led 2-0.

Cuba came back with two runs of its own in the top of the next inning. Yulieski Gurriel led off the inning with a double and scored on a Jose Fernandez single.

Dutch starter Orlando Yntema induced a double play right before Jose Abreu blasted a solo home run to straight away center field to tie the game up at 2.

Yntema tossed 3.2 innings allowing just two runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out one. It was his second appearance of the WBC.

The Netherlands once again took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. With Sams at third having reached on a walk and Oduber at first, Oduber showed off his speed by stealing second base. Then Simmons drove in his first run of the night on a sacrifice fly.

The Dutch got their second run of the inning on a defensive miscue by Cuba. Oduber took off from second base stealing third easily. Cuba catcher Frank Morejon came up throwing, but third baseman Gurriel didn’t move to cover third. Not expecting a throw, the ball got away from Gurriel allowing Oduber to score.

Then again trailing by two, Cuba came right back to tie the game.Sandwiched around a fly out, Luis Rivera and Alexi Bell singled setting up Gurriel to drive in two runs with a long double just out of the reach of Dutch center fielder Sams. The double tied the game at four where it would stay until the eighth inning.

In the top of the eighth, Cuba finally took the lead.

Shairon Martis was in his last inning of work. After giving up a walk and a single, Martis retired slugger Alfredo Despaigne and then was pulled.

Leon Boyd came on to pitch in relief of Martis and immediately gave up a RBI single to Yasmany Tomas giving Cuba their first lead. The next batter, Eriel Sanchez, drove in Abreu from third with a sacrifice fly.

As the seesaw battle went, the Dutch came right back in the bottom of the inning. Kalian Sams walked to lead off the inning.

Cuban reliever Noberto Gonzalez pitched well in relief. He threw 4.2 innings in relief of starter Vladimir Garcia. After walking Sams, Gonzalez struck out the next two batters. He struck out five total before being pulled.

With Sams on first, Andrelton Simmons came up and hit one of the biggest home runs in the country’s history. Simmons hit a 2-1 breaking ball over the left field wall to tie the game.

Loek Van Mil came in to pitch the ninth for the Dutch. He gave up a few singles, but was able to get out of the inning without giving up a run.

Noberto Gonzalez was relieved after getting the lead off hitter out in the bottom of the ninth. Yander Guevera came in to relieve Gonzalez but didn’t get an out. He allowed two runners to reach base, one on an error and the other on a single.

Raciel Iglesias replaced Guevera and faced only one hitter and gave up a single to Xander Bogaerts to load the bases. He was immediately pulled and replaced by Diosdany Castillo.

Castillo faced one hitter as well, Sams.

Sams hit a deep fly ball to center field easily driving in Andruw Jones with the winning run sending the Netherlands into the semifinals in San Francisco.

About Eric Bynum
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.

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