Netherlands Walk Off with Win and Walk into Round 2
The Netherlands got the scoring started in the 2nd inning. Wladimir Balentien singled to start the inning. After a fly out from Jonathan Schoop, Didi Gregorius just missed a home run lining a double off the right field wall that put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Curt Smith grounded into a fielder’s choice but Dashenko Ricardo came through for the Dutch with a single to center scoring Smith from 3rd to give them a 1-0 lead.
However, Chinese Taipei came right back in the top of the 3rd inning to take the lead. The first run came on a wild pitch by Jair Jurrjens that tied the game. Chih-Sheng Lin then followed that up with a RBI single to put Chinese Taipei up 2-1.
In the back-and-forth game, the Netherlands went back on top 3-2 on a 2-run double by Didi Gregorius scoring both Balentien and Schoop, both who had singled. Ricardo followed that up with a RBI single to right to score Gregorius, and they continued to threaten. Randolph Oduber was then hit by a pitch putting runners at 1st and 2nd as the Dutch lineup came back around to the top of the order. However, Chinese Taipei was able to get out of the inning after getting Andrelton Simmons to ground into a double play.
And as the game went Chinese Taipei bounced right back with 3 runs of its own in the top of the 5th to go up 5-4. The Dutch would tie the game in the bottom of the 8th setting up the walk-off win in the 9th inning.
With the bases loaded, Jurickson Profar was the hero once again. He took a 3-2 pitch high and outside for the walk-off walk.
The win puts the Netherlands and Israel into Round 2 in Tokyo.
Didi Gregorius finished the game with 3 RBI, 2 runs scored, and 3 doubles to lead the Dutch offense.
Wladimir Balentien went 4-for-4 in the game raising his average so far in the WBC to .714.
Mike Bolsenbroek pitched solid out of the pen for the Dutch. He tossed 3.0 shutout innings in relief.
On the Chinese Taipei side, Chih-Hao Chang went 3-for-5 including a 2-run home run.
Pool A Standings from Seoul, South Korea:
- Israel 2-0
- Netherlands 2-0
- South Korea 0-2
- Chinese Taipei 0-2
Israel and the Netherlands will play to see who gets the no. 1 seed from Pool A going into Round 2.
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.