Tag Archive | "Netherlands"

Netherlands: Three Way Race for Top Two Spots Heading into Last Weekend of First Half


The first half of the Dutch Major League is about to conclude in the Netherlands. The race for the top spot is still up for grabs even with just a few games left in the first half. The Vaessen Pioniers lead the league so far with a record of 14-2-1 just a single point ahead of both the DOOR Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam.

Vaessen will face off with Amsterdam this weekend in a three game series. With the top two teams qualifying for the semifinals, this series will be huge as one team could knock the other out of the race. Vaessen will also have one make up game against UVV to end the first half. That game will be played next Tuesday.

While Vaessen and Amsterdam are battling it out, DOOR Neptunus will take on a 6-13 Mr. Cocker HCAW. The defending champs are set up nicely to qualify for the semifinals after the first half.

Dutch Major League Standings:

1. Vaessen Pioniers 14-2-1
2. DOOR Neptunus 14-4
3. L&D Amsterdam 14-4
4. Corendon Kinheim 12-7
5. Mr. Cocker HCAW 6-13
6. UVV 4-12-2
7. Ado Lakers 4-14-1
8. Mampey the Hawks 3-15

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Photos of New Baseball Complex in Hooddorp, Netherlands


The Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association held a press conference at the new stadium in Hooddorp, Netherlands recently. Photographer Rob Jelsma was there and was able to snap a few photos of the new facilities.

You can check out the photos here at www.robjelsma.nl

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Netherlands: DOOR Neptunus Faces Vaessen Pioniers in 2013 Holland Series


The championship series of the Dutch Major League, better known as the Holland Series, is set and there will be a new champion for the 2013 season.

The Vaessen Pioniers will face off with DOOR Neptunus in the Holland Series after finishing up the semifinals.

Door Neptunus finished off the semifinal round robin with a loss to the 2012 champion Corendon Kinheim, but advanced with a semifinal best record of 6-3. Vaessen earned its way into the championship with a 2-1 win over L&D Amsterdam last Sunday. With the win, Vaessen advanced due to tiebreakers after finishing in a three-way tie at 4-5.

DOOR Neptunus finished the regular season with the best record in the league at 34-8. However, Vaessen wasn’t too far behind with a 29-12-1 record.

In the relegation round, the Ado Lakers will take on the Oosterhout Twins to see who will play in the Dutch Major League next season.

2013 Holland Series Schedule:

Saturday September 14
2:00 pm Vaessen Pioniers at DOOR Neptunus

Sunday September 15
2:00 pm Vaessen Pioniers at DOOR Neptunus

Thursday September 19
7:30 pm DOOR Neptunus at Vaessen Pioniers

Saturday September 21
2:00 pm DOOR Neptunus at Vaessen Pioniers

Sunday September 22
2:00 pm DOOR Neptunus at Vaessen Pioniers

Saturday September 28
2:00 pm Vaessen Pioniers at DOOR Neptunus

Sunday September 29
2:00 pm Vaessen Pioniers at DOOR Neptunus

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Netherlands: DOOR Neptunus Sweeps L&D Amsterdam; Playoffs Start This Weekend


The Dutch Major League finished its regular season this past weekend. The top two teams, DOOR Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam played a three game series that would determine playoff spots. DOOR would wind up sweeping the series knocking Amsterdam down to the #4 seed heading into the playoffs.

Corendon Kinheim headed into the final week just a game and a half up on the Vaessen Pioniers. Both teams went into the final weekend playing some of the teams lower in the standings. And both would wind up sweeping their opponents to advance to the playoffs claiming the #2 and #3 seeds.

L&D Amsterdam Pirates 3, DOOR Neptunus 4
L&D Amsterdam Pirates 8, DOOR Neptunus 6
DOOR Neptunus 9, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 3

DOOR Neptunus set the tone of the series in Game 1 with a late inning walk-off comeback.

Both starting pitchers pitched well. Amsterdam’s Rob Cordemans started and pitching into the seventh inning. He finished 6.2 innings allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out seven. He left the game with it tied at two, but the Pirates came back after giving up the lead.

In the top of the eighth, Amsterdam took a 3-2 lead on a Percy Isenia (3-for-4) RBI single. That’s where the score would stay until the bottom of the ninth.

Pirates reliever Jurrian Koks came in to shut down Neptunus in the ninth, but the bats would get to him. Dwayne Kemp (2-for-4) led off the inning with a single. He was sacrificed to second but on the play Koks threw the ball away allowing both runners to be safe as Kemp advanced to third. Another error by the shortstop allowed a run to score and Gyenuar Lopez (0-for-3) to reach base.

And then the final stroke, the third error of the inning ended the game. Rudy van Heydoorn (0-for-4) reached on an error by the Pirates center fielder allowing the winning run to score from second.

Koks didn’t get an out but gave up two runs to take the loss.

Brenden Wise picked up the win in relief. DOOR starter Diegomar Markwell pitched well going 7.2 innings allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits.

DOOR would go on to take the next two games of the series setting up a rematch this weekend with Amsterdam in the first round of the playoffs. The top four teams in the standings advance to a round robin format. The two teams with the best record in the round robin will play in the 2013 Holland Series for the league championship.

Final Dutch Major League Standings:

1. DOOR Neptunus 34-8
2. Corendon Kinheim 31-11
3. Vaessen Pioniers 29-12-1
4. L&D Amsterdam Pirates 28-13-1
5. UVV 17-25
6. Mr. Cocker HCAW 14-27-1
7. Mampaey the Hawks 11-30-1
8. Ado Lakers 2-40

Dutch Major League Playoff Schedule:

Thursday August 22
7:30 pm DOOR Neptunus vs L&D Amsterdam Pirates
7:30 pm Corendon Kinheim vs Veaessen Pioniers

Saturday August 24
2:00 pm L&D Amsterdam Pirates vs DOOR Neptunus
2:00 pm Vaessen Pioniers vs Corendon Kinheim

Sunday August 25
2:00 pm DOOR Neptunus vs L&D Amsterdam Pirates
2:00 pm Corendon Kinheim vs Veaessen Pioniers

Thursday August 29
7:30 pm Corendon Kinheim vs L&D Amsterdam Pirates
7:30 pm DOOR Neptunus vs Vaessen Pioniers

Saturday August 31
2:00 pm L&D Amsterdam Pirates vs Corendon Kinheim
2:00 pm Vaessen Pioniers vs DOOR Neptunus

Sunday September 1
2:00 pm Corendon Kinheim vs L&D Amsterdam Pirates
2:00 pm DOOR Neptunus vs Vaessen Pioniers

Thursday September 5
7:30 pm Vaessen Pioniers vs L&D Amsterdam Pirates
7:30 pm DOOR Neptunus vs Corendon Kinheim

Saturday September 7
2:00 pm L&D Amsterdam Pirates vs Vaessen Pioniers
2:00 pm Corendon Kinheim vs DOOR Neptunus

Sunday September 8
2:00 pm Vaessen Pioniers vs L&D Amsterdam Pirates
2:00 pm DOOR Neptunus vs Corendon Kinheim

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Netherlands: Exciting Final Weekend in Dutch Major League


The Dutch Major League is headed into the last weekend of the regular season, and it is all set up for a final weekend showdown between the top two teams.

Heading into the weekend, DOOR Neptunus is leading L&D Amsterdam by 2.5 games with a three game set coming up. If Amsterdam can sweep the top team, they will finish in the top spot heading into the playoffs.

Corendon Kinheim sits just half a game back of Amsterdam. Corendon Kinheim will play the Ado Lakers which rank last in the league. So they could jump past Amsterdam in the final weekend if Amsterdam falters.

That’s not the only team that could pass Amsterdam if they play bad this weekend. The Vaessen Pioniers are sitting just two games back of Amsterdam as well. So there could be a lot of moving in the standings come this final weekend.

Dutch Major League Scores:

Ado Lakers 0, Vaessen Pioniers 3
Ado Lakers 0, Vaessen Pioniers 27
Vaessen Pioniers 15, Ado Lakers 0

DOOR Neptunus 3, Corendon Kinheim 8
DOOR Neptunus 2, Corendon Kinheim 1
Corendon Kinheim 3, DOOR Neptunus 11

Mr. Cocker HCAW 1, L&D Amsterdam 7
Mr. Cocker HCAW 2, L&D Amsterdam 3
L&D Amsterdam 2, Mr. Cocker HCAW 6

UVV 3, Mampaey the Hawks 6
UVV 8, Mampaey the Hawks 12
Mampaey the Hawks 0, UVV 10

Dutch Major League Standings:

1. DOOR Neptunus 31-8
2. L&D Amsterdam 28-10-1
3. Corendon Kinheim 28-11
4. Vaessen Pioniers 26-12-1
5. UVV 17-22
6. Mr. Cocker HCAW 13-25-1
7. Mampaey the Hawks 9-29-1
8. Ado Lakers 2-37

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Netherlands: DOOR Neptunus Leading Dutch Major League Late in Season


With just a few weekends left in the Dutch Major League regular season, DOOR Neptunus  is still leading the league with L&D Amsterdam and Corendon Kinheim not far behind in the standings.

However, during the last two weeks of the season DOOR Neptunus will play both Corendon Kinheim and L&D Amsterdam setting up the finish of the season to be an exciting one.

This past week only a few games were scheduled, but the league leaders had a pair of games with two different teams.

On Thursday, DOOR Neptunus downed the Ado Lakers 12-2. Tim Roodenburg pitched six shutout innings. He pitched great allowing just two hits and two walks.

Providing the offense for the Neptunus was Gianison Boekhoudt, Benjamin Dille, and Dwayne Kemp. Beokhoudt hit a solo home run going 1-for-3 with two walks. Dille had the biggest day going 4-for-4 with four doubles scoring four runs. Kemp went 2-for-5 driving in three runs in the game as the team pounded out ten hits.

On Saturday, DOOR Neptunus took on Mr. Cocker HCAW winning once again by ten runs. This time Neptunus won by a score of 14-4.

Diegomar Markwell picked up the win tossing six innings giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits. He walked two and struck out eight. Markwell improved to 9-2 on the year which ties him for the league lead in wins.

DOOR Neptunus pounded out 13 hits in the game with the 2-6 hitters all picking up two hits apiece. Rudy van Heydoorn doubled and drove in three runs going for 2-for-5. Dwayne Kemp doubled (2-for-4) scoring three runs and driving in two more.

In other league action:

Rob Cordemans gave up no runs and two hits in five innings winning for L&D Amsterdam. He improved his record to 9-1 putting him in a tie for the league lead in wins.

Wesley Connor had a huge game for Amsterdam. He went 4-for-4 with a double, two home runs, and seven RBI.

Jos de Jong had a nice day at the plate as well for Amsterdam going 3-for-4 ending up just a home run shy of the cycle.

Reginald Bomberg pitched well for the Ado Lakers tossing five innings allowing just one unearned run on four hits.

Dutch Major League Scores:

Thursday August 1
L&D Amsterdam Pirates 22, UVV 3 (7)
Ado Lakers 2, DOOR Neptunus 12 (7)

Saturday August 3
UVV 2, Ado Lakers 1
Mr. Cocker HCAW 4, DOOR Neptunus 14 (8)

Dutch Major League Standings

1. DOOR Neptunus 29-7
2. L&D Amsterdam Pirates 26-9-1
3. Corendon Kinheim 27-9
4. Vaessen Pioniers 23-12-1
5. UVV 16-20
6. Mr. Cocker HCAW 12-23-1
7. Mampaey the Hawks 7-28-1
8. Ado Lakers 2-34

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Cuba Claims 2013 World Port Title with Win Over the Netherlands


The 2013 World Port Tournament finished up earlier today with the championship match between the world’s #1 ranked Cuba against the host Netherlands.

The two teams split their first two matches with the Dutch winning the first game 7-0 but falling in the second game 4-0. Heading into the final day of the round robin play on Saturday, three teams were sitting at 3-2 in Cuba, Netherlands, and Chinese Taipei.

Cuba defeated Curacao 11-0 to finish at 4-2 and earn a spot in the championship. Then it came down to the winner of the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei to see who would face Cuba.

The Dutch got a great performance out of Diegomar Markwell who tossed 8.2 innings of shutout ball to pitch the Netherlands into the championship game.

So it was all set. Cuba against the Netherlands for the 2013 World Port Tournament Championship.

Cuba 4, Netherlands 0

Wilber Perez was outstanding on the hill for Cuba. He pitched 5.1 innings allowing just two hits to earn the win. Rasiel Iglesias came on to finish off the game and earn the save. Iglesias tossed 3.2 innings allowing just one hit and striking out four.

The Dutch bats were silenced by Cuba’s arms, but the Cuban bats showed up. Rob Cordemans didn’t pitch bad, but he got no support. He allowed four runs, just two earned, in 7.2 innings.

Alexander Malleta had a great day at the plate for Cuba. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Andy Ibanez chipped in with three singles, which was equal to what the entire Dutch team had, going 3-for-5. Jose Miguel Fernandez and Yadiel Hernandez both scored a run and went 2-for-4.

As a team Cuba led the tournament in every major category. They had the best ERA (1.73), team batting average (.276), and fielding percentage (.991) committing only two errors.

It was the ninth gold medal for Cuba, and thirteenth overall. The Dutch earned its eleventh medal and sixth silver.

Photo Courtesy WorldPortTournament.nl

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WPT: Cuba and Chinese Taipei Pick Up Wins on Day Four; Lead Tournament


Back to a full slate of games on Wednesday as all teams played at the 2013 World Port Tournament, the defending champion Chinese Taipei faced off with Curacao who was coming off its first win. The later game was a rematch between host Netherlands and the #1 world ranked Cuba.

Game 1 of the day saw a great pitching performance from Chinese Taipei’s Yank Jhih-long who tossed seven innings to earn the win. Over those seven innings he gave up just one run on three hits while striking out eight. Chen Yu-hsun came on to pick up his second save of the tournament pitching the final inning and a third.

Curacao starter Sherwenne Antersijn didn’t pitch bad, but didn’t pitch great. He tossed 6.1 innings giving up three runs on six hits taking the loss.

Neither team did too much offensively. Chinese Taipei took advantage of a late inning error to take on two unearned runs. Kuo Ming-jen had a nice day at the plate for Chinese Taipei. The shortstop went 2-for-4 in the game, scored a run, and drove in another.

Johannes Gregorius went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI for Curacao who fell to 1-3.

Game 2 featured Cuba and the Netherlands. The Dutch had defeated Cuba the first go around 7-0, but this time Cuba would get its revenge. It got a great start from Wilber Perez who shut down the Dutch offense for 7.1 innings. He allowed just four hits, walked six, and struck out seven as Cuba went on to win 4-0.

Rasiel Iglesias pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn the save.

It was a closer game than the score indicates. It was scoreless for the first seven innings as neither side could get to the opposing team’s starter until Cuba got two runs in the top of the eighth.

Dutch stater Orlando Yntema was touched up for a pair of runs in the eighth. After cruising through seven innings, Yntema walked the lead off hitter. After a sacrifice moved the runner to second base, Yadeil Hernandez came on as a pinch-hitter. On a 2-2 pitch, Hernandez hit a single up the middle to put Cuba on the board with a RBI single.

Yntema would be relieved but his relief, Leon Boyd, would immediately give up a double driving home Hernandez. That left Yntema with a line of 7.1 IP/5 H/ 2 R and the loss.

Cuba would take on some insurance runs in the top of the ninth on a Eriel Sanchez two-run single.

2013 World Port Tournament Schedule:

Sunday June 30
Cuba 3, Curacao 0
Netherlands 7, Chinese Taipei 2

Monday July 1
Chinese Taipei 4, Curacao 2
Cuba 0, Netherlands 7

Tuesday July 2
Curacao 3, Netherlands 2 (10)

Wednesday July 3
Curacao 5, Chinese Taipei 2
Netherlands 0, Cuba 4

Thursday July 4
19:30 Cuba vs Chinese Taipei

Friday July 5
14:00 Chinese Taipei vs Cuba
19:30 Netherlands vs Curacao

Saturday July 6
14:00 Curacao vs Cuba
19:30 Chinese Taipei vs Netherlands

Sunday July 7
14:00 Championship Game

2013 World Port Tournament Standings

1. Cuba 2-1
1. Chinese Taipei 2-1
3. Netherlands 2-2
4. Curacao 1-3

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WPT: Curacao and Netherlands Play Ten Inning Thriller


On Tuesday at the 2013 World Port Tournament there was only one game on the schedule. The host Netherlands played against the win-less Curacao team.

Both teams got great pitching performances from their starters. David Bergman went six innings allowing just one run on six hits for the Dutch. He struck out six Curacao batters but didn’t come away with the win.

Curacao starter Nick Veltkamp tossed six innings as well. He gave up two unearned runs on five hits while striking out five. But he too didn’t come away with the win. That’s because the bullpens would decide the outcome in extra innings.

Down 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Edinho Meyer came on as a pinch-hitter and he came up big. With two outs and runners at first and second, Meyer came up with a single to drive in the tying run. After neither team scored in the ninth, the game went to the tenth inning. And Meyer came up again.

Again with runners at first and second, Meyer once again came through. This time he came up with a walk off single to center field to end the game and put Curacao in the win column with a 3-2 win.

Kevin Kelly picked up the win tossing four innings of scoreless relief. He struck out six and allowed only three hits.

Johannes Gregorius had a big day at the plate for Curacao going 4-for-5 and stealing a base.

2013 World Port Tournament Schedule:

Sunday June 30
Cuba 3, Curacao 0
Netherlands 7, Chinese Taipei 2

Monday July 1
Chinese Taipei 4, Curacao 2
Cuba 0, Netherlands 7

Tuesday July 2
Curacao 3, Netherlands 2 (10)

Wednesday July 3
14:00 Curacao vs Chinese Taipei
19:30 Netherlands vs Cuba

Thursday July 4
19:30 Cuba vs Chinese Taipei

Friday July 5
14:00 Chinese Taipei vs Cuba
19:30 Netherlands vs Curacao

Saturday July 6
14:00 Curacao vs Cuba
19:30 Chinese Taipei vs Netherlands

Sunday July 7
14:00 Championship Game

2013 World Port Tournament Standings

1. Netherlands 2-1
1. Cuba 1-1
3. Chinese Taipei 1-1
3. Curacao 1-2

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WPT: Defending Champion Chinese Taipei Gets in Win Column on Day Two; Dutch Down Cuba


Day 2 of the 2013 World Port Tournament opened up with a close game between defending champ Chinese Taipei and Curacao and finished up with a game with host Netherlands and the #1 world ranked Cuba.

Chinese Taipei started off the tournament with a loss to the Netherlands, but they bounced back with a win over Curacao on day 2.

Curacao 2, Chinese Taipei 4

Chinese Taipei used a few bunt singles and a hit by pitch to take the lead in the seventh inning. The pitching did the rest. Chen Yu-hsun pitched the final two innings in relief to earn the save. He didn’t allow a hit and struck out four. Starter Sung Chia-hao didn’t last long pitching only 1.2 innings. He allowed a run on three hits. Chang Hsien-chih pitched well in relief giving up one run on one hit over 5.1 innings. He struggled a bit with control walking four but struck out six in the win.

Ruderly Manuel took the loss tossing six innings. He gave up four runs (two earned) on seven hits as Curacao fell to 0-2.

Curacao managed only four hits in the game. Two of them came from Christefer Obispo who doubled and went 2-for-4 in the loss.

Hueng Chia-wei picked up a pair of hits going 2-for-4 and driving in a run. Chen Wei-chih also went 2-for-4 scoring a run. The only extra base hit from Chinese Taipei came in the form of a double from Wang Po-jung (1-for-4).

The win evens Chinese Taipei’s record at 1-1. They will have a day off on Tuesday and then face Curacao again on Wednesday afternoon.

Netherlands 7, Cuba 0

The second game of the day continued to drive home the point that the Dutch can play with anyone in the world as they dismantled the #1 team in the world Cuba for the third time this year (twice during the World Baseball Classic).

Rob Cordemans, who didn’t face Cuba in the WBC, pitched a complete game shutout. He gave up just five hits and struck out two in the win.

The game was much closer than the score might indicate. The Dutch scored five runs in the final two innings to put the game away.

Bas Nooij had a nice day at the plate. He got the scoring started in the fourth inning with a RBI single. He would add another RBI single in the eighth and a sacrifice fly in the ninth finishing the day 2-for-4 with three RBI. Dwayne Kemp doubled, scored a run, and drove in another going 3-for-5 on the day.

The win puts the Dutch in the lead early on, but each team still has four games to go.

2013 World Port Tournament Schedule:

Sunday June 30
Cuba 3, Curacao 0
Netherlands 7, Chinese Taipei 2

Monday July 1
Chinese Taipei 4, Curacao 2
Cuba 0, Netherlands 7

Tuesday July 2
19:30 Curacao vs Netherlands

Wednesday July 3
14:00 Curacao vs Chinese Taipei
19:30 Netherlands vs Cuba

Thursday July 4
19:30 Cuba vs Chinese Taipei

Friday July 5
14:00 Chinese Taipei vs Cuba
19:30 Netherlands vs Curacao

Saturday July 6
14:00 Curacao vs Cuba
19:30 Chinese Taipei vs Netherlands

Sunday July 7
14:00 Championship Game

2013 World Port Tournament Standings

1. Netherlands 2-0
1. Cuba 1-1
3. Chinese Taipei 1-1
3. Curacao 0-2

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Dates for the 2014 Haarlem Baseball Week are Announced


As the 2013 World Port Tournament kicked off this week, the dates for the 27th edition of the Haarlem Baseball Week were announced.

With the Haarlem Baseball Week occurring every two years (in even years), the next edition will take place between Friday July 11 and Sunday July 20, 2014.

Participating countries will be announced later on as the planning committee continues to put together the bi-annual tournament. As they are announced, we will share them with you here.

In 2012, six teams competed with Cuba taking home the gold medal for the fifth time. Puerto Rico finished second earning its first medal in only its second appearance. Finishing third was the USA who beat the host Netherlands in the bronze medal game.

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World Port Tournament Opens with Wins from Cuba and Netherlands


As Prague Baseball Week and the Swiss Alpine Cup were winding down, another big tournament was just kicking off over in Rotterdam, Netherlands – the World Port Tournament.

This  year the WPT features just four teams, but they are some of the strongest in the world including the #1 ranked team from Cuba. Also playing are Chinese Taipei, Curacao and the host Netherlands.

Even before the tournament kicked off it was drawing attention from the world of baseball as a Cuban pitcher, Odrisamer Despaigne, defected on the flight to the Netherlands as the team make a stopover in Paris. This is the third straight time a Cuban player has defected at the WPT, which is played every two years.

The 2013 edition of the WPT kicked off with Cuba facing off with Curacao with Cuba starting off with a 3-0 victory. Cuban starter Ismel Jimenez pitched great tossing eight shutout innings. He gave up just six hits, walked one, and struck out ten to pick up the win. Rasiel Iglesias came in to pick up the save with a scoreless ninth.

Andy Ibanez had a great day at the plate for Cuba. He went 3-for-4 scoring twice. Yulieski Gourriel knocked in a run and scored once going 2-for-3 with a triple.

Raydell Isabella pitched well for Curacao tossing a complete game. He gave up just three runs (one run) on seven hits.

Game 2 saw the host Netherlands take on the defending champion Chinese Taipei.

Chinese Taipei jumped out in the third inning with a pair of runs to take an early lead. But that was it. The Netherlands came back in the fourth to take the lead and they would add on for a 7-2 win.

Diegomar Markwell picked up the win for the Dutch tossing seven innings giving up just two runs on eight hits.

Markwell got offensive support from a few sources. Lead off hitter Roeland Henrique may have went hitless, but he did his job by getting on base with three walks. Stijn van der Meer followed him up in the line up by picking up a pair of hits going 2-for-5. Hitting third was Danny Rombley who also went 2-for-5 scoring a pair of runs.

All three of these hitters set the table for the cleanup man, Bryan Englehardt who came through. Englehardt went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two RBI, and two runs scored.

Lin Wang-wei had a nice day at the plate for Chinese Taipei. The left fielder went 3-for-4 with a double and a RBI. Hsieh Jung-hao took the loss lasting just four innings while allowing three runs on six hits.

2013 World Port Tournament Schedule:

Monday July 1
14:00 Chinese Taipei vs Curacao
19:30 Cuba vs Netherlands

Tuesday July 2
19:30 Curacao vs Netherlands

Wednesday July 3
14:00 Curacao vs Chinese Taipei
19:30 Netherlands vs Cuba

Thursday July 4
19:30 Cuba vs Chinese Taipei

Friday July 5
14:00 Chinese Taipei vs Cuba
19:30 Netherlands vs Curacao

Saturday July 6
14:00 Curacao vs Cuba
19:30 Chinese Taipei vs Netherlands

Sunday July 7
14:00 Championship Game

2013 World Port Tournament Standings

1. Netherlands 1-0
1. Cuba 1-0
3. Chinese Taipei 0-1
3. Curacao 0-1

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Netherlands: DOOR Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam Sweep Weekend Series


The DOOR Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam Pirates both rolled through the weekend undefeated with sweeps to stay atop the league standings. The Pirates needed to keep pace as they are just a single game behind the Neptunus.

The Pirates will be off this weekend from league play as they participate in the European Cup in Regensburg, Germany this week.

DOOR Neptunus 11, Mampaey The Hawks 0
DOOR Neptunus 11, Mampaey The Hawks 1
Mampaey The Hawks 2, DOOR Neptunus 5

In Game 1, Diegomar Markwell pitched five shutout innings giving the Neptunus the win. He needed just 74 pitches to get through five frames allowing just three hits along the way. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter.

Shaldimar Daantji had a huge day going 3-for-6 with a two-run double and a home run driving in three runs. He also stole a base.

Orlando Yntema pitched well in Game 2 for the Neptunus going a solid eight innings. He gave up just one run on five hits while striking out nine to earn the win.

Raily Legito had a great Game 2 going 3-for-5. He doubled, walked, stole a base, and drove in three runs. Mourik Huijser also had a nice day with three hits. The Neptunus pounded out 14 hits in the game and also walked seven times.

Berend Ruben picked up three hits, half of the Hawks hits on the day, in the loss going 3-for-4.

Game 3 was a little closer but the Hawks dropped it getting swept by the league leading Neptunus. Tim Roodenburg picked up the win tossing eight innings giving up only two runs on six hits. Berry van Driel pitched the ninth to earn the save.

The Neptunus pounded out 12 hits but only one was for extra bases.

In other league action:

Kevin Heijstek pitched six shutout innings allowing just one hit in a win for the Pirates. He needed just 64 pitches for the six innings.

Bas de Jong has a huge weekend for the Pirates. He went 8-for-12 over the weekend including a 4-for-6 game. He drove in eight runs, doubled three times, tripled once, and walked three times.

David Bergman pitched well for the Corendon Kinheim going six shutout innings allowing just five hits while striking out seven to earn the win.

In Game 3 of the weekend for Corendon Kinheim, Ramiro Balentina had a great game. He went 4-for-5 scoring three runs in the win.

Dennis Burgersdijk had a great outing for UVV in the final game of their weekend series. He tossed seven shutout innings allowing just four hits while striking out eight in the process.

Ian Granados pitched well for Mr. Cocker HCAW picking up the win for them in Game 2 of the series. He tossed seven innings allowing just one run on four hits.

Granados’ teammate Jesus Latte led the team offensively going 4-for-5 with a double and a pair of RBI.

Dutch Major League Scores:

Thursday May 30th:
DOOR Neptunus 11, Mampaey The Hawks 0
Ado Lakers 0, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 9
Corendon Kinheim 0, Vaessen Pioniers 4
Mr. Cocker HCAW 1, UVV 4

Friday May 31st
Ado Lakers 0, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 15
Vaessen Pioniers 7, Corendon Kinheim 1

Saturday June 1st
Corendon Kinheim 9, Vaessen Pioniers 1
DOOR Neptunus 11, Mampaey The Hawks 1
Mr. Cocker HCAW 4, UVV 1
L&D Amsterdam Pirates 16, Ado Lakers 4

Sunday June 2nd
Mampaey The Hawks 2, DOOR Neptunus 5
UVV 4, Mr. Cocker HCAW 0

Dutch Major League Standings:

1. DOOR Neptunus 20-3
2. L&D Amsterdam Pirates 19-4
3. Corendon Kinheim 17-5
4. Vaessen Pioniers 13-11
5. UVV 12-12
6. Mr. Cocker HCAW 7-17
7. Mampaey The Hawks 4-20
8. Ado Lakers 2-22

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Netherlands: DOOR Neptunus Stays Atop League with Sweep of Vaessan Pioniers


The Dutch Major League finished up week four this past week, and the race for first is already heating up. DOOR Neptunus is leading the league, but only a game and a half separates the top three teams.

The three top teams in the league (DOOR Neptunus, Corendon Kinheim, and L&D Amsterdam) all swept their previous series.

DOOR Neptunus 11, Vaessen Pioniers 3
DOOR Neptunus 13, Vaessen Pioniers 12
Vaessen Pioniers 4, DOOR Neptunus 7

The league leading DOOR Neptunus started the weekend series off right with a big 11-3 win behind the strong pitching of Diegomar Markwell. He tossed 5.2 innings giving up just two unearned runs.

Dwayne Kemp had a big day at the plate. He went 1-for-5 but that one hit was a big three-run home run in the third inning. He would drive in five runs in the game.

Game 2 was a little closer with both teams having big innings. It was a back and forth battle between the teams as the Pioniers jumped out on top with three runs in the bottom of the first only to see DOOR come back with four of its own in the top of the second.

Seven different DOOR batters drove in runs in the game. Adrian Anthony (1-for-2) and Shaldimir Daantji (2-for-3) both drove in three runs apiece.

Mark-Jan Moorman homered for the Pioniers. He collected a pair of hits and drove in five runs.

Game 3 saw Tim Roodenburg pick up the win for DOOR tossing five innings giving up just three runs. He struggled with his control walking six Pioniers, throwing two wild pitches, and hitting a batter. Berry van Driel picked up the save pitching the ninth inning.

Kevin Minor took the loss pitching 4.1 innings giving up seven runs on six hits.

Raily Legito (3-for-4) homered for DOOR in the bottom of the first driving in two and giving the team an early 2-0 lead.

In other action:

Ivan Granados tossed a complete game win for Mr. Cocker HCAW giving up just two runs while striking out nine.

Linoy Croes went 5-for-13 and drove in six runs in the weekend series for Mr. Cocker HCAW.

Elton Koeiman pitched well in a loss for Mampaey the Hawks. He tossed a complete game (eight innings) giving up eleven hits but just two runs (one earned).

Jesse Aussems went a combined 7-for-14 for L&D Amsterdam including a two-run home run.

Kenny Berkenbosch went 6-for-10 over the weekend for L&D Amsterdam including a pair of 3-for-4 games.

Dutch Major League Scores:

DOOR Neptunus 11, Vaessen Pioniers 3
DOOR Neptunus 13, Vaessen Pioniers 12
Vaessen Pioniers 4, DOOR Neptunus 7

Ado Lakers 2, Mr. Cocker HCAW 14
Ado Lakers 2, Mr. Cocker HCAW 6
Mr. Cocker HCAW 12, Ado Lakers 6

Corendon Kinheim 6, UVV 2
Corendon Kinheim 13, UVV 0
UVV 2, Corendon Kinheim 5

L&D Amsterdam 8, Mampaey the Hawks 2
L&D Amsterdam 12, Mampaey the Hawks 2
Mampaey the Hawks 1, L&D Amsterdam 2

Dutch Major League Standings:

1. DOOR Neptunus 11-1

2. Corendon Kinheim 10-1

3. L&D Amsterdam 9-2

4. UVV 7-5

5. Vaessan Pioniers 3-9

6. Mampaey the Hawks 3-9

7. Mr. Cocker HCAW 3-9

8. Ado Lakers 1-11

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Netherlands: DOOR Neptunus and Corendon Kinheim Lead Standings After Week 2


The Dutch Major League is fully underway as all eight teams have two full weekends of play in hand. So far DOOR Neptunus and Corendon Kinheim are leading the way with 5-1 records. UVV sits in third place just a game out at 4-2 and three teams are tied at 3-3.

This past weekend saw Mr. Cocker HCAW stay winless losing a three game series to Vaessen Pioniers.

Mr. Cocker HCAW 4, Vaessen Pioniers 13
Mr. Cocker HCAW 1, Vaessen Pioniers 7
Vaessen Pioniers 3, Mr. Cocker HCAW 1

Game 1 saw the Pioniers go on a hitting barrage pounding out 20 total hits including seven for extra bases. Kevin Dirksen had a big day driving in three runs going 3-for-5 with a home run and a double. Five batters for Vaessen had three hits in the game and only one starter went hitless.

Philip Ortez added a pair of hits including a 3-run home run in the third inning. Linoy Croes added a solo home run for Mr. Cocker HCAW in the loss.

Sander Helmendach lasted only 2.2 innings taking the loss. Mika de Lincel pitched five innings allowing three runs to pick up the win for the Pioniers.

Game 2 saw a solid pitching performance from the Pioniers Josh Rickards who tossed seven innings allowing one run and striking out 10 to earn the win. The Pioniers pitching staff limited Mr. Cocker HCAW to just five hits in the game. Ivan Granados took the loss not pitching too bad in five innings of work.

Philip Ortez drove in another two runs with a double.

Game 3 was the closest of all as both teams got solid starts from their pitchers. Kevin Minor went six innings allowing just one run on five hits to pick up the win for Vaessen. Kaj Timmermans gave up only two hits over 5.1 innings but walked five and gave up three runs (two earned) taking the loss.

Both Dirksen and Ortez drove in runs for the Pioniers in the win.

UVV 6, DOOR Neptunus 0
UVV 2, DOOR Neptunus 3
DOOR Neptunus 6, UVV 4

Both teams headed into their weekend series at 3-0, but WBC star Diegomar Markwell didn’t have a good outing as he gave up six runs on seven hits in just five innings taking the loss for the Neptunus. He was out pitched by Jurjen van Zijl who tossed 6.2 scoreless innings giving up just one hit and striking out seven to earn the win for UVV.

UVV used a four run second inning to get out on top early and it all came with two outs in the inning. Daan Cornelissen singled with one out and was joined on the base paths an out later when Markwell walked both Joris van Ballegooy and Andy Raaf. The next batter, Norbert Jongerius, doubled to left field clearing the bases and putting UVV up 3-0. He would later score on a single by Dennis Ribbens.

UVV would add two more in the third inning and that was all that was need for the win.

Game 2 was a bit tighter as both starters pitched well limiting the scoring. Orlando Yntema pitched five inning for DOOR allowing just two runs while striking out eight. He would not factor into the decision as Jorian van Acker would pick up the win in relief.

Ian Delamarre pitched 5.2 innings giving up just a single run for UVV, but didn’t get the win. Jeremyh Angela took the loss for UVV giving up two runs in an inning of relief.

Game 3 was another close one that DOOR would come out on top of again. Aided by two errors, Neptunus scored six runs off of UVV starter Chris Mezger, but only two were earned. Mezger pitched 6.1 innings striking out seven but took the loss.

Jorian van Acker got the win in relief of starter Tim Roodenburg. Acker pitched two shutout innings. Berry van Driel picked up the save even though he gave up a run in the ninth.

Ado Lakers 8, Mampaey the Hawks 9
Ado Lakers 8, Mampaey the Hawks 9 (10)
Mampaey the Hawks 4, Ado Lakers 2

The Ado Lakers dropped a three game series to Mampaey the Hawks over the weekend losing three close games. Game 1 saw a late inning comeback by the Lakers fall just short. Fielding was an issue as the teams combined for nine errors. That spelled the doom for Lakers starter Ricky Voorn who took the loss tossing just one inning giving up four hits and allowing five unearned runs.

The Lakers would give up two more unearned runs late in the game and that would be the difference.

Kevin van Veen started and picked up the win for the Hawks as he pitched five innings allowing just three runs (two earned).

Shurendell Borgschot set the tone for the Hawks batting lead off and picking up a pair of doubles, a walk, a stolen base, and scoring three runs. Steven Wharwood picked up a pair of RBI going 2-for-4 on the day.

Rodney Michel homered for the Lakers in the loss.

Game 2 saw the Hawks win by the same score but this time they needed and extra frame to do it. Again fielding was critical in the game as both teams committed three errors.

Lakers starter Wimsley van Heyningen lasted just 3.1 innings giving up six runs on four hits and seven walks. Martijn Riphagen pitched well in relief lasting 5.1 innings allowing just one unearned run. However, a meltdown in the tenth inning gave Ludwin Obispo the loss after giving up two unearned runs.

Rodney Michel had a big day at the plate for Ado going 3-for-5 and driving in three runs in the loss.

Shurendell Borgschot had another big day setting the table for the Hawks. He went 2-for-3, drove in two runs, scored three runs, and stole two bases. Kevin Noordzij picked up the win in relief tossing 1.2 innings.

Game 3 saw the Hawks over come five errors to pick up the series sweep behind a strong performance from starter Elton Koeiman who tossed a complete game giving up just two runs (one earned) on six hits.

Timo van Ancum pitched well but took the loss for the Lakers.

Berry van Donselaar had a good day at the plate for the Hawks going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

L&D Amsterdam Pirates 6, Corendon Kinheim 3
L&D Amsterdam Pirates 4, Corendon Kinheim 7
Corendon Kinheim 11, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 8

Fielding errors plagued Kinheim in Game 1 as they gave up four unearned runs. Starter David Bergman tossed 5.2 innings giving up five runs (2 earned) to take the loss. Pirates starter Rob Cordemans got the win pitching six innings allowing just two unearned runs. Jurrian Koks picked up the save.

Rashid Gerard drove in a pair of runs and Jesse Aussems, Percey Isenia, and Koen Nooij added two hits apiece for the Pirates in the win.

Corendon Kinheim came back in Game 2 with a solid pitching performance from Steven van Groningen who gave up just two runs in six innings picking up the win.

Kevin Heijstek tossed seven innings allowing just four runs (two earned) taking the loss for Amsterdam.

Ramiro Balentina had a good day at the plate for Kinheim going 3-for-4 driving in a pair of runs.

Neither starter in Game 3 fared well. Both failed to make it through the fourth inning as the bats finally came alive in the series.

Dirk van’t Klooster drove in three runs going 3-for-5 with a triple. The 3, 4, 5, and 6 hitters for Kinheim all drove in two runs apiece including Quintin de Cuba who hit a lead off home run in the third inning.

Jos de Jong went 3-for-5 in the loss for the Pirates scoring two runs and hitting a double.

Standings:

1. DOOR Neptunus 5-1
2. Corendon Kinheim 5-1
3. UVV 4-2
4. L&D Amsterdam 3-3
5. Vaessan Pioniers 3-3
6. Mampaey the Hawks 3-3
7. Ado Lakers 1-5
8. Mr. Cocker HCAW 0-6

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International Players on the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects List – Numbers 71-80


Before the World Baseball Classic we took a look at some of the international players on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospect List. If you missed those, you can find #’s 91-100 here and #’s 81-90 here. Today we pick up where we left off with #’s 71-80.

Didi Gregorius, ss, ARI – #80

Hailing from Amsterdam, Gregorius was signed out of the Netherlands in 2007 as a free agent by the Cincinnati Reds. At age 18 in the Gulf Coast League, he hit just .155 in 97 at bats, but he didn’t give up there and last season got a taste of the Major Leagues.

He is a defensive middle infielder who was ranked at the #5 prospect in the Diamondbacks organization after the 2012 season. He was a part of the three team deal that saw the Reds, Indians, and Diamondbacks swapping players in December 2012. He is considered one of the top shortstop prospects in the game. It looks as though he will start the year at Triple-A Reno, but look for him to make an impact very soon at the big league level.

Luis Heredia, rhp, PIT – #78

Heredia, who was born in Mexico, is only 18 years old. He pitched the 2012 season in short-season A ball in the New York-Penn League for State College. In 14 starts Heredia was 4-2 with a 2.71 ERA.

Heredia signed in 2006 as a non-drafted free agent receiving a huge $2.6 million bonus from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has a huge frame at 6′ 6″ and 205 lbs, but he is still growing physically at only 18 years old.

He throws hard reaching 96 on the gun, but usually sits in the low 90s. He has good control so far, but he is still young and working on improving not only his fastball but his secondary pitches as well. He has huge upside, but only time will tell.

Look for him to start the year in Low-A ball with the possibility of moving up depending on his results.

Marcell Ozuna, of, MIA – #75

Ozuna, a power hitting outfielder from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, blasted 24 long balls in 2012 in High-A Jupiter in the Florida State League. He also exhibits another sought after trait for an outfielder, speed. He stole 17 bases in 2011 and covers a lot of ground in the outfield. Another tool he has is a strong arm. He has been rated with the best outfield arm in the Marlins system the past three seasons.

However, Ozuna will need to identify pitches better if he wants to continue up the ladder. He has strikeout totals of 116 and 121 the last two seasons, but he is still learning. One thing is for sure, when he hits the ball he hits it with authority.

Look for the 22-year old to spend most of the season in Double-A Jacksonville for the Marlins. He is the Marlins #5 prospect.

Avisail Garcia, of, DET – #74

The 21-year old outfielder from Venezuela got a taste of the big leagues last season with Detroit making the jump from Double-A Erie. And when he got the call, he excelled. In 23 games, he hit .319 in 47 at bats.

He is a solid defensive outfielder with a good arm. Baseball America rated him as the best outfield arm in the Tigers farm system the past two seasons. He has some power and speed and could turn into quite a threat in the Tigers lineup.

Look for Garcia to start the year in Triple-A. A heel contusion put him on the DL a few days ago, so he is a long shot to make the Opening Day roster.

Next up we will take a look at the international players from #61-70.

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WBC: Dominican Downs the Dutch; Will Face Puerto Rico in Championship


Dominican Republic Advances to WBC Final

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

The World Baseball Classic championship game will have a distinctly Caribbean flavour this year. The Dominican Republic fought off a gallant Dutch side to earn a 4-1 semifinal round victory and advance to the title match versus Puerto Rico. The undefeated Dominicans received a strong start from Edinson Volquez, who teamed up with three relievers on a four-hitter.

The Netherlands struck first in the win-or-go-home contest. Vólquez exhibited his usual first inning control problems, walking Andrelton Simmons and Jurickson Profar to start the game. They advanced on a ground ball and Simmons scored on a tapper to short by Wladimir Balentien.

Diegomar Markwell, who induced a number of key grounders in his last start, also against a power-hitting lineup in Cuba, started off well for the Orange. The southpaw gave up a hit to Robinson Cano in the inning, extending the Dominican second baseman’s streak to seven games, but was otherwise untouched.

Both starters matched zeroes through the next three frames. Vólquez, in particular, looked strong, retiring 11 batters consecutively beginning in the first frame. The streak ended with two outs in the fourth when Andruw Jones had the Netherlands’ first hit of the game.

Markwell was solid, picking off a batter in the second and getting out of the third after Miguel Tejada forgot to check the scoreboard before popping up a bunt with two down. The veteran Dutch pitcher finally ran into trouble in the fifth, though.

With one out, Markwell gave up back-to-back doubles to Carlos Santana and Moises Sierra, who had made a spectacular leaping catch on a fly ball that landed two seats into the stands in left field to end the first inning. Markwell registered the next out, but needed eight pitches to get it and the hurler was clearly tiring by the time he faced José Reyes.

The Dominican leadoff hitter worked the count full before blooping a single just over Markwell’s head that scored Sierra with the second run in the inning. Markwell stayed in to face Tejada, who stroked another hit over second base and the Dominicans continued to rally.

With Canó, a left-handed hitter, at the plate, Netherlands skipper Hensley Meulens pulled Markwell, who by WBC pitch restrictions could have faced the slugger as his last batter. Meulens inserted right-hander Tom Stuifbergen, who threw a wild pitch to score an elated Reyes.

Tejada moved to second, and with first now open, Stuifbergen gave Canó an intentional pass. That set the stage for Edwin Encarnacion to plate Tejada with yet another one-base hit to centre. With two outs, Canó was hustling on the play and tried to advance to third on the shallow single, but Roger Bernadina gunned him down with a perfect strike to Jonathan Schoop at third.

The damage was done, however, and Dominican Republic manager Tony Pena turned the ball over to his dominant bullpen. Kelvin Herrera pumped in 98-mph/158-kmh fastballs in scoreless sixth and seventh innings, working around a double to Balentien in the former.

Peña’s hitters were unable to put together another rally in the game, and with the score still 4-1, Fernando Rodney entered to pitch the ninth. The Classic record-holder added another save to the books with a 1-2-3, two-strikeout final frame and his teammates flooded the mound to congratulate him.

Vólquez earned his first win of the WBC with five innings of one-run ball. He gave up two hits and a pair of walks, striking out five. Herrera struck out three in two scoreless frames and Strop tossed a scoreless eighth. Rodney nailed down his sixth save, a Classic record for tournament and career.

Markwell fell to 2-1 in the Classic and was charged with all four Dominican runs on six hits and one base on balls. He threw 4 2/3 innings and did not strike out a batter. Stuifbergen, Leon Boyd, and Loek Van Mil finished off the game.

Dominican pitching scattered three free passes and four safeties over its nine innings. The Orange struck out 10 times and was hitless with runners on base. The victors collected nine hits and reached base 12 times while only whiffing once. Reyes and Tejada both had two hits for Peña, while Canó reached base in three plate appearances. The club was 3-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

The Netherlands failed in its bid to defend its world title, achieved in 2011. Still, the fourth-place finish is the best-ever by a European nation in the WBC. The Dominicans also earned revenge after the Dutch beat them twice in the 2009 Classic to prevent the team from advancing out of the first round.

With Japan, the two-time World Baseball Classic champion, also eliminated, this year’s title game will be the first all-Caribbean world title game since 1990, when Cuba defeated Nicaragua. Both the Dominican Republic (1948) and Puerto Rico (1951) last won a world title more than 60 years ago. Those two world championships are the only two times that Caribbean teams have met to crown a champion without Cuba represented in the game.

The Dominican Republic is the first team ever to win its first seven games in a Classic. The only other squad that was undefeated after two rounds, Korea, lost in the 2006 semifinals. Puerto Rico has earned its trip to the final the hard way, staving off elimination in the second round. They are 5-3.

The two Caribbean heavyweights will contest the world championship on Mar. 19 at 8 p.m. EST in AT&T Park in San Francisco. Tune in for all the coverage of the World Baseball Classic’s final game of 2013 and continued analysis after the new champion is crowned.

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WBC: Dominican Republic vs Netherlands Pitching Match Up


The Dominican Republic is looking for a little revenge on Monday night in the World Baseball Classic. In 2009, the Netherlands bounced the Dominican out of the first round after upsetting them twice. This go around the teams are much different. But who will they both be starting on Monday?

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic will give Edinson Volquez the start. He has made two starts so far in the WBC. His first start came against Venezuela where he only pitched one inning due to a 50-minute rain delay. His next start came against Italy. In that start he pitched 4.1 innings but struggled at the start.

In the first inning against Italy, he walked the first three hitters. He would go on to give up four runs in the first inning but settled down after that.

He will look to have a strong start in this game against a very good hitting Netherlands team.

Netherlands

The Dutch are starting their top starter on Monday, Diegomar Markwell.

Markwell has won both of his starts and pitched a total of 10 innings so far. Over those 10 innings he has giving up one run for an ERA of 0.90. He has done a great job getting ground ball outs and keeping the ball in the park. He will need to do more of that on Monday if he hopes to keep the Dutch in the game.

The left-handed pitches is the cousin of teammate Andruw Jones. After spending a few years in the minor leagues, Markwell has done quite well in the leagues of Europe.

In 2012, he pitched in the Dutch Major League as was brilliant. He compiled an 11-1 record and an ERA of just 1.34 pitching in just over 80 innings for the Neptunus Rotterdam.

So far he has beaten South Korea and Cuba and now turns his sights toward the Dominican Republic.

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World Baseball Classic Finals Preview: Netherlands


Going through our previews of the teams in the 2013 World Baseball Classic we come to the pair of teams that play in the semifinals Monday night. First, let’s start with the Netherlands.

Netherlands

WBC History

The Netherlands didn’t make it out of the first round in 2006 finishing 1-2 in the pool play. In 2009, the Dutch were the talk of the WBC. They defeated the Dominican Republic twice in the first round to advance for the first time. The bowed out quickly in Round 2 losing to the US and Venezuela. Then came 2013.

To get to the Championship Round, the Dutch finished second to Chinese Taipei in Pool B in Round 1 where they upset the 2009 runner-up South Korea. In Round 2, the Netherlands defeated Cuba twice to make their way into the semifinals.

The Hitters

The Netherlands feature a lot of really good young talented position players. They are led by the young Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons who has proven to be a force in the Classic so far. In addition to hitting two home runs, Simmons has posted a .370/.400/.704 line.

But Simmons is not alone. Newly signed to a minor league deal with the Minnesota Twins is first baseman Curt Smith who has put up solid numbers as well. Smith, second on the team in hits, has one home run and a .375 average. Not to mention Jonathan Schoop (two home runs), and Andruw Jones (.348/.467/.391).

One player that has struggled is Washington Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina who is hitting only .111 so far.

Plus the Dutch are adding another young bat to the lineup with the addition of Jurickson Profar. Profar, the top rated prospect in baseball, will join the team in San Francisco. He is expected to play second base and bat second in the lineup.

The Pitchers

Monday nights starter Diegomar Markwell has been the ace of the staff so far this Classic. He has started two games, winning both. In ten innings, he has posted an ERA of just 0.90. He has done a great job getting ground ball outs.

The other starters have struggled at times including Rob Cordemans, David Bergman, and Tom Stuifbergen. However, some of the relievers have done quite a good job. Leon Boyd has allowed just a single run in 5.2 innings of relief. Orlando Yntema has pitched good in relief tossing three scoreless innings.

Loek Van Mil has also looked good in relief. He has pitched three innings, finishing three games, earning one save.

The bullpen was bolstered by the Los Angeles Dodgers Kenley Jansen. The hard throwing righty was one the starting catcher for the Netherlands back in 2009. He was converted into a relief pitcher later that year and has turned into a formidable presence in the bullpen striking out 99 batters in just 65.0 innings with Los Angeles in 2012.

The Outlook

The Dutch are facing one of the toughest teams in the Dominican Republic. But these two teams have history. The Netherlands upset them not only once but twice in 2009, and this years team is much better. It will be a huge task to down the Dominican again, but don’t say it can’t be done. This might turn out to be a match for the ages.

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WBC: Jurickson Profar Joins Dutch Team in San Francisco


The World Baseball Classic features the best talent in the world, and now it features baseball’s top prospect, Jurickson Profar.

After declining the Netherlands invite to be included on the roster in order to fight for a spot on the Texas Rangers Opening Day roster, Profar will replace the injured Yurendell de Caster.

The Netherlands made it through the first two rounds and are the #2 seed from Pool 1 heading into the Championship Round in San Francisco. They will face the winner of Pool 1 in the semifinals.

Profar, widely thought of as the top prospect in baseball, has been participating in spring games in Arizona with the Rangers. The infielder has played in 16 Cactus League games. Over those games he has 36 at bats picking up eight hits (.222 avg.) with seven walks and ten strikeouts.

Profar will add an additional bat to the Dutch lineup that has played well so far during the WBC making it to the semifinals.

The Netherlands play next on Monday March 18 at 9 pm EST. They will face the winner of Pool 1.

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WBC: Shinnosuke Abe Powers Japan Past Netherlands


Abe’s Two-Homer Inning Propels Japan in Win

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

Shinnosuke Abe set a World Baseball Classic that will likely never be broken, stroking two home runs against the Netherlands in an eight-run second inning. Japan made the early lead hold in a 10-6 victory that gave the Samurai a No. 1 seed in the semifinals. The Netherlands will join them in San Francisco and take on the top team from Pool Two in Miami.

It was the Netherlands who went on top first. Andrelton Simmons led off the game by crushing the second pitch he saw into the left centre field seats. It was his second longball in two days. Japanese starter Kenji Otonari immediately settled down, striking out the side.

David Bergman, a veteran of the Honkbal Hoofdklasse in Japan, looked strong in a 1-2-3 first inning. Otonari continued where he left off in the second, getting two more strikeouts.

Samurai Japan exploded in the second against Bergman. Abe led off with a solo shot to right field to tie the game, and Bergman loaded the bases on a walk, a hit batter, and a bunt single that Katsuya Kakunaka beat out. Nobuhiro Matsuda drove home one with a safety, but Hisayoshi Chono upstaged him with a bases-clearing double into the left field corner.

With the score at 5-1, Bergman looked to right the ship, getting the second out but walking Hirokazu Ibata. Dutch manager Hensley Meulens yanked his starter and inserted Jonatan Isenia to stop the bleeding.

With two on, Abe stepped to the plate and blasted Isenia’s pitch to almost the exact same location as his first longball, collecting three RBI and giving Japan an 8-1 lead. That was all in the inning, but the damage was done.

Both sides were quiet from the third through the sixth innings. Isenia was solid in two innings of relief and Mark Pawelek overcame a wild warmup to through 1 1/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

Koji Yamamoto, Japan’s manager, received superb relief work during the middle frames. Otonari exited after three innings, striking out six, walking one, and allowing only the dinger to Simmons. Hirokazu Sawamura, Mashiro Tanaka, and Takeru Imamura followed with shutout frames. Tanaka in particular was impressive, whiffing two with unhittable stuff.

The Orange finally narrowed the gap in the seventh against Masahiko Morifuku. Curt Smith drew a walk to start the inning, Kalian Sams doubled, and Xander Bogaerts plated Smith on a slow bouncer to second that the speedy infielder beat out for a hit. Randolph Oduber hit a sacrifice fly to score Sams with the Netherlands’ third run.

Kevin Heijstek threw his second straight scoreless inning in the bottom of the frame, and the Netherlands rallied in the eighth. Hainley Statia, started for the injured Wladimir Balentien, reached on an infield hit to the hole on the left side and went to second on a walk to Jonathan Schoop. Two straight grounders almost ended the threat, though the second by Smith scored Statia.

Sams stepped up to the plate and drilled a single to centre to knock out Morifuku and score Schoop. Bogaerts greeted Tetsuya Yamaguchi with a line drive into the left field corner. Bogaerts legged out two bases and the Orange had two runners in scoring position.

Quintin de Cuba, a defensive replacement in the fifth, stroked his first hit of the Classic to plate Sams, and the Netherlands were only down by two with runners once more on the corners. Oduber, who had a key double in the Dutch victory over Cuba the night before, struck out to end the threat with the Netherlands now trailing only 8-6.

With the Dutch suddenly rallying, Japanese refocused in the bottom of the eighth. Sho Nakata led off with a single and was erased on a poor sacrifice bunt attempt by Katsuya Kakunaka. Kakunaka created his own threat, though, stealing second and advancing to third on a passed ball.

Nobuhiro Matsuda worked a free pass and went to second on defensive indifference, and Chono collected two more RBIs with a safety to left. Chono was caught stealing to end the frame, but Japan had rebuilt their lead to four.

The Orange attempted a comeback against Kazuhisa Makita in the ninth, but it fell short. Statia hustled for another infield hit with one out and moved up on a Schoop single. Andruw Jones stepped up to the plate still looking for his first hit of the day after eight in the previous six games, but grounded to second to force Schoop at the keystone sack. The Netherlands had one final chance with runners on the corners, but Curt Smith could not catch up to a Makita fastball and struck out.

Otonari earned his first win of the tournament and seven other hurlers finished off the game. Bergman took the loss, surrendering seven runs on four hits and two walks in 1 2/3. The Dutch bullpen threw 7 1/3 innings, scattering six baserunners and allowing only one earned run.

Japan’s offence, which came alive in the second round, banged out nine hits, one fewer than the Netherlands, but made the most of them. The Samurai left only three runners on base and were 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Abe, Chono, and Matsuda all had two hits, with Chono pacing the team in RBI with five. Abe hit the first two home runs of his Classic career, but lost out on Pool 1 MVP honours to Ibata, who hit .556 and was a consistent performer when Japan’s bats were scuffling.

Statia, Sams, and Bogaerts all had two hits for the Netherlands. Sams was the only player to score twice and his double was the third for him in the WBC. The Orange left eight runners on base and struck out 13 times.

Japan will take on the Pool 2 runner-up from Miami on Mar. 18 at 1 a.m. GMT in San Francisco. The Netherlands will face the winner 24 hours later, with the victors in both games playing for the world championship a day later.

Stay tuned for coverage of the second round pool in Miami and the World Baseball Classic finals in AT&T Park.

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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.

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WBC: Japan Routs Netherlands; Ties Home Run Record


Japan’s Six Homers, Maeda Demolish Dutch, 16-4

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

Japan tied a World Baseball Classic record with six home runs, breaking out of a tournament long slump and taking it out on an overwhelmed Netherlands team. The 16-4 victory ended in the seventh on the mercy rule, and the Samurai qualified for the semifinals in a sold out Tokyo Dome.

After hitting only .256 with a .271 slugging percentage in its first four games, Team Nippon unloaded against the Netherlands, sending no fewer than five batters to the plate in any inning. Japan scored in every inning, falling two short of tying their own WBC mark for runs in a game. Its total was the highest in the 2013 tournament, while the 17 hits tied Italy’s mark for highest in 2013. Japan did set a Classic record for total bases (38) and extra-base hits (10). Only Cuba can claim to have knocked six four-baggers in a game.

Takashi Toritani was the first Japanese player to send one yard, leading off the game with a four-bagger to right centre. The diminutive infielder is not known for his power, so his homer might have been considered to be a harbinger of the display to come.

Japan knocked veteran Orange starter Rob Cordemans out of the game in the second. Nobuhiro Matsuda hit a two-run homer and was followed by a double from the bat of Toritani. After a walk to Hirokazu Ibata, Seiichi Uchikawa sent them all home with a longball just to the left of dead centre. With the score 5-0 and still only one out, Cordemans hit the showers.

Kenta Maeda started for Japan and pitched remarkably. While Japan piled on run after run, Maeda set down the first five batters of the game before allowing the only hit against him in the second. Working low in the zone, he mixed breaking pitches with a strong fastball that was consistently in the low-90s/high 140s.

Atsunori Inaba became the oldest player to homer in the World Baseball Classic in the third, hitting a solo shot to make it 7-0. Though Maeda was pitching as if he had a one-run lead, Japan put the game utterly out-of-reach in the following frame. Yoshio Itoi, who had Japan’s only extra-base hits entering the game, blasted a dinger that travelled well over 400 feet to right centre.

Despite a 10-0 lead, Japan kept piling on, scoring without hitting a home run in an inning for the first time in the fifth. Ibata had a double and scored on a Shinnosuke Abe two-bagger.

After the Curt Smith safety in the second, Maeda sent down the next 10 Orange hitters and left after five complete innings and only 66 pitches. The right-hander struck out nine, one shy of Ubaldo Jiménez’s 2009 high-water mark.

Japan made it 12-0 in the sixth on a single by Sho Nakata and a two-bagger by Matsuda. Matsuda joined Toritani as Samurai to collect more than one extra-base hit in the game.

With Maeda out of the game, the Netherlands seized the opportunity to put a few runs on the board against Tetsuya Utsumi. Kalian Sams walked to start the frame and moved to second on a single by Andrelton Simmons. Roger Bernadina was plunked to load the bases, bringing up Wladimir Balentien, who hit over .300 against Utsumi in Japan in 2012.

The right fielder for the Orange delivered a bases-clearing blow to dead centre, legging out a double to make it 12-4. Andruw Jones drove home Balentien with a single, but got caught trying to stretch and was thrown out. The rally temporarily prevented the mercy rule from being effected, as it states that a team must be ahead by 10 or more after seven innings.

Japan but a final seal on the rout in the seventh, getting four runs of their own with only one swing. After singles by Ibata and Abe and a hit batter of Itoi, Hayato Sakamoto drove a pitch to deep left centre for a prodigious grand slam.

Maeda earned his second win and has yet to allow a run in 10 innings, striking out 15. Utsumi gave up all of the Orange’s runs in two-thirds of a frame, and Tetsuya Yamaguchi and Hideaki Wakui finished off the game.

Cordemans took the loss after giving up six runs on three homers, a double, and a single in 1 1/3. Tom Stuifbergen pitched two innings, striking out three, but gave up three earned runs on five hits. Kevin Heijstek did well in 2 2/3 frames, giving up one earned run on four hits, but avoiding the longball while striking out two. Berry Van Driel and Jonny Balentina finished off the game for the losers.

The Dutch will have to face Cuba for the right to go to the semifinals. They will square off again on Mar. 11 at 11 a.m. GMT. Japan will face the winner to determine seeding for the third round of play. Stay tuned for coverage of that important matchup and all other World Baseball Classic games.

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WBC: Netherlands Continues to Roll; Downs Cuba with the Long Ball


Stellar Defence Sparks the Netherlands in Cuba Upset

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

The Netherlands tied a World Baseball Classic record with five double plays and coupled it with a slugging offence to shock top-ranked Cuba in a 6-2 victory. The Orange ripped six extra base-hits and eight singles and kept Cuba off balance for the entire game to move one out away from the WBC semifinals.

Diegomar Markwell did just enough to keep Cuba from mounting a rally, working low in the zones and inducing grounder after grounder. In his six innings, 13 of 18 outs were recorded on a groundball and the Netherlands tied the double play record by the sixth inning. The orange-and-black had a twin killing in each of the first four frames, an unofficial record.

Both clubs were on the basepaths for the entire game. The Netherlands started the contest by loading the bases against Ismel Jiménez, Cuba’s ace, but could not push a run across. The red-and-blue had a similar fate against Markwell in the bottom of the frame, but the southpaw worked around a José Fernández double to keep the game scoreless.

Both teams would get on the board in the second. Curt Smith led off the inning with a home run to left centre to give the Dutch a lead, and Kalian Sams followed with a double. Andrelton Simmons, who excelled in the field all afternoon, drove him home with a single. A one-base hit by Schoop would end Jiménez day early, though Simmons was thrown out at third by Guillermo Heredia, the centerfielder.

Alfredo Despaigne cancelled out Smith’s dinger with one of his own, crushing the first pitch he saw from Markwell into the right centerfield seats. Markwell would get out of the inning on a double play.

Both teams failed to score for the next three innings. Markwell, who had been up in the zone during the first two frames started working his breaking ball downward to much success, though he allowed at least one hit in every inning. The barrage of bouncers kept Cuba from finding a rhythm, but Cuba’s reliever Freddy Alvarez also settled the Orange down during the middle innings.

Álvarez ran out of steam in the sixth after throwing four full innings. Sams, who was hitless in the first round, had his second two-bagger of the game with one out, though Álvarez would follow him with out number two. The right-hander’s night was over after walking Simmons, and Yadier Pedroso entered.

Schoop, who had a dynamic home run in Fukuoka only days earlier, drove Pedroso’s second pitch over the left centre field wall for a three-run blast and a shocking 5-1 lead for the Netherlands.

Markwell finished his night in the bottom of the frame and prevented the red-and-blue from rallying back from Schoop’s four-bagger.

The Orange looked ready to break the game open in the seventh, loading the bases on three straight hits with no one out. Two of the safeties were of the infield variety, with Xander Bogaerts beautiful bunt the most notable. Reliver Yander Guevara somehow escaped the jam and turned things over to the Cuban hitters for the bottom of the inning.

Víctor Mesa, Cuba’s manager, gathered his entire team before they hit the dugout, speaking passionately with his usual animation. The talk appeared to be especially inspirational for Yuliesky Gourriel, who entered the day 1-for-13 in the Classic. Gourriel ripped the first pitch he saw for a solo shot to left centre, tying teammate Frederich Cepeda and Korea’s Seung-Yeop Lee for the all-time lead in homers.

Reliever Leon Boyd was hit hard in the frame, giving up two more hits, but got out of the eighth with a 5-2 lead.

Simmons and Schoop teamed up once more to take away Cuba’s run in the next frame. Simmons laced a pitch off the wall in left centre and Schoop planted a double in the left field corner to drive him home. That was all for the Orange, but the run gave them a four-run cushion against Cuba’s vaunted offence.

Boyd looked better in the eighth, retiring all three men to face him, but not without a little performance from Smith. With two out, the Netherlands’ first baseman raced into the camera well to try and catch a foul ball and fell into a cameraman, coming up with the ball. The umpires did not cover the Tokyo Dome’s enormous foul territory so quickly and ruled it as the third out, but replays showed he did not actually catch the ball.

The Dutch once more loaded the bases in the ninth, but could not come up with any more insurance runs. Loek Van Mil did not any additional help in closing the game out for the Netherlands, mowing Despaigne, Gourriel and Yosbany Peraza down 1-2-3.

With the victory, the Netherlands moves onward in the double-elimination bracket to face Japan in the Dome. They will do battle on Mar. 10 at 11 a.m. GMT. Cuba will have less time to regroup against Chinese Taipei in a 10 a.m. GMT contest on Mar. 9.

Six Orange hitters had multiple hits, led by Schoop’s 3-for-6, four RBI performance. He finished a single short of the cycle. Simmons, Sams, and Andruw Jones all got on base three times, with the first two both scoring a pair of runs.

Gourriel and Fernández each finished with a brace of hits. Fernández is hitting .583 for the tournament, but Cuba’s 4-5-6 hitters were only 2-for-11, leaving five men on base. The team hit only .154 with runners on, leaving six stranded after Markwell’s double play magic erased five additional baserunners.

The Dutch won without striking out a batter. Markwell got the victory for his six innings of one-run ball. He walked one and allowed nine hits. Jiménez was charged with loss, lasting only five outs and surrendering two runs on five hits and two walks. Six other hurlers finished the game, with Raicel Iglesías the only to retire more than one batter without giving up a run.

Cuba will have to beat Taiwan to avoid their worst finish in the World Baseball Classic and one of their most meagre showings in their long history. Check back for more about that fixture and the rest of the World Baseball Classic.

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