Tag Archive | "Netherlands"

Chinese Taipei wins 2017 World Port Tournament


Chinese Taipei wins 2017 World Port Tournament with a 3-2 extra inning win over Japan. It is Chinese Taipei’s 2nd title in Rotterdam after winning in 2011 over Cuba. That is the 7th medal for Chinese Taipei. Japan won its 2nd medal and 2nd silver.

The game got exciting in the top of the 9th when Japan tied it at 2 to force extra innings. Ryoto Maeda came through in the 9th with an RBI single for Japan just after a catcher’s interference call put runners on the corners. Japan had a chance to take the lead but Togo Tada grounded out ending the inning.

It remained tied until the bottom of the 10th inning when Chinese Taipei put runners at 1st and 2nd. Then perhaps the biggest play of the game happened. Chia Yu Lin hit a fly ball to left field which would have been the 2nd out of the inning, but leftfielder Yudai Nakanishi dropped the ball which loaded the bases. The next batter Hsin Chuan Wang singled up the middle to bring home the winning run.

Chinese Taipei used five pitchers. Cheng Ho Wang picked up the win pitching 3.1 innings of relief. Takahiro Yamamoto took the loss for Japan tossing 1.1 innings of relief giving up the winning run.

Individual Awards:

Best hitter: Takuya Okura – Japan (.423 avg)

Home Run King: Yi Hung Chen – Chinese Taipei (1)

Best Pitcher: Daisuke Yamagami – Japan (2-0/0,60 ERA/15 k’s in 15 IP)

MVP: Dwayne Kemp – Netherlands (.421 avg/6 RBI)

Most Popular: Koya Araki – Japan (led tournament with 7 runs scored)

Press Award: Shurendell Mujica – Curacao (.429 avg/5 RBI)

Final 2017 World Port Tournament Standings:

  1. Chinese Taipei
  2. Japan
  3. Curacao
  4. Netherlands
  5. Cuba

For more information on the tournament go to WorldPortTournament.nl or for more posts on the tournament from us click here.

Chinese Taipei Wins 2017 World Port Tournament

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Japan and Chinese Taipei in Championship at World Port


Japan Chinese Taipei Championship World PortJapan and Chinese Taipei face off in the championship of the World Port Tournament today. Japan is looking for its first gold medal in the event having only made the championship once before in 1985. Chinese Taipei is looking for its 2nd gold after winning in 2011.

Japan had to get here through Curacao, and they did so in grand fashion winning 15-0. Japan scored early and often en route to the win. They pounded out 15 hits while limiting Curacao to just 6.

Japan and Chinese Taipei split their two matches so far. Japan won the first match 2-1 on Tuesday. Chinese Taipei go their payback on Friday downing Japan 4-2 to earn its way into the championship game. And now they are here for a winner-take-all championship.

Netherlands Take 4th Place

In the 4th/5th place game, the host Dutch took down Cuba 3-1. The Netherlands pounded out 10 hits to pick up the victory behind 4 solid outings from the pitching staff. Diego Markwell started and went 3.1 scoreless innings. Jim Ploeger picked up the win in relief going 2.2 innings allowing just 1 run. The game was finished off by Kevin Kelly and Mike Bolsenbroek who picked up the save.

Through a weird way the tournament was set up Curacao, who finished 1-5, will gain 3rd place. More on this later in anther post.

2017 World Port Tournament Schedule for the Weekend:

Thursday July 6
Game A: Chinese Taipei 4, Netherlands 3
Game B: Cuba 2,  Japan 5

Friday July 7
Game C: Cuba 3, Curacao 5
Game D: Japan 2, Chinese Taipei 4 (Chinese Taipei to championship)

Saturday July 8
Game E: Cuba 1, Netherlands 3 (4th & 5th place)
Game F: Japan 15, Curacao 0 (Japan to championship)

Sunday July 9
Championship Japan vs  Chinese Taipei

For more information on the tournament go to WorldPortTournament.nl or for more posts on the tournament from us click here.

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Chinese Taipei in World Port Championship


Chinese Taipei World Port ChampionshipChinese Taipei rattled off two nice wins to put itself in the championship game of the 2017 World Port Tournament. After finishing the round robin 2-2, Chinese Taipei downed the Netherlands and then Japan.

It all started in the bottom of the 9th inning on Thursday against the Netherlands. Trialing the entire game and going into the final frame down 3-1, Chinese Taipei shocked the host Dutch with a 3-run walk-off win. With 3 hits and the help of a key error by the Dutch catcher, Chinese Taipei put up a 3 spot to take the game and send the Dutch to the 4th/5th place game.

All the win did was assure Chinese Taipei a game with the hot Japan on Friday. And they kept rolling. Chinese Taipei took a 4-0 lead over Japan and would hold on to a 4-2 victory sending them to the championship game. Japan is not out of it, but now they will have to win one more to get a rematch.

Chinese Taipei now gets to rest and wait to see who they play on Sunday for the championship.

The late game on Friday is Cuba vs Curacao. The winner of that game will face off with Japan for a shot at Chinese Taipei in the championship. The loser will face off with the Netherlands in the 4th/5th place game. Curacao is winless so far.

2017 World Port Tournament Schedule for the Weekend:

Thursday July 6
Game A: Chinese Taipei 4, Netherlands 3
Game B: Cuba 2,  Japan 5

Friday July 7
Game C: Cuba vs Curacao
Game D: Japan 2, Chinese Taipei 4 (Chinese Taipei to championship)

Saturday July 8
Game E: Loser C vs Netherlands (4th & 5th place)
Game F: Japan vs Winner C (winner to championship)

Sunday July 9
Championship Game Winner F vs  Chinese Taipei

For more information on the tournament go to WorldPortTournament.nl or for more posts on the tournament from us click here.

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Japan has Won Four Straight at World Port


Cuba WPTThe playoffs are set in the 2017 World Port Tournament, and Japan is on a tear just 1 win away from the championship match.

On Wednesday Japan downed the Netherlands 7-3 to claim a spot in the No. 1 vs No. 2 game.  The game wasn’t as close as it might seem. Japan took a 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the 9th inning. Despite the Dutch scoring 3 runs, only 1 was earned.

Daiskuke Yamagami pitched great for Japan getting the start. He went 6.0 scoreless innings allowing just 2 hits while striking out 6. He was backed by a 12 hit attack from his teammates. Nine hitters had at least 1 hit in the game for Japan.

But Japan did not stop with defeating the Dutch. Earlier today Japan downed Cuba avenging its only loss so far in the tournament. Japan lost its first game of the event to Cuba and has not lost since.

Japan now looks to be set to face off with the Dutch once again. The Netherlands is playing Chinese Taipei with the winner advancing to face Japan. The loser of that game will go onto play in the 4th/5th place game tomorrow.

In other action Cuba will face off with Curacao tomorrow. The loser of that game will play the loser of Chinese Taipei/Netherlands in the 4th/5th place game. The winner will still be alive and will have to win one more game to get into the championship.

Right now Japan is set up nicely to at least advance to the championship, but nothing is set in stone. With so much talent in the tournament it is still anyone’s game.

Final Pool Play Standings:

  1. Cuba 3-1
  2. Japan 3-1
  3. Chinese Taipei 2-2
  4. Netherlands 2-2
  5. Curacao 0-4

2017 World Port Tournament Schedule for the Weekend:

Thursday July 6
Game A: Chinese Taipei vs Netherlands
Game B: Cuba vs Japan

Friday July 7
Game C: Cuba vs Curacao
Game D: Japan vs A Winner (winner to championship)

Saturday July 8
Game E: Loser C vs Loser of D (4th & 5th place)
Game F: Loser D vs Winner C (winner to championship)

Sunday July 9
Championship Game Winner F vs Winner D

For more information on the tournament go to WorldPortTournament.nl or for more posts on the tournament from us click here.

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2017 World Port Tournament Standings


The 2017 World Port Tournament standings have Cuba at the top as the tournament enters the last day of pool play today with a pair of games. First off, Chinese Taipei will take on Curacao and Japan will square off with the Netherlands.

This is a big game for both Japan and the host Dutch. A win would put the Dutch in first place going into the playoff round after their win over Cuba who right now sits atop the standings at 3-1. Japan would secure the second seed with a win. Both teams are 2-1 at the moment.

The other match is already over with Curacao losing its 4th game of the tournament 6-3 to Chinese Taipei. Curacao still has a chance to improve its record but will be the 5th seed going into the playoffs. They will face off with the loser of the No. 1 vs No. 2 game. Chinese Taipei will face off with the loser from the late game today in the No. 3 vs No. 4 game.

Current 2017 World Port Tournament Standings:

  1. Cuba 3-1
  2. Netherlands 2-1
  3. Japan 2-1
  4. Chinese Taipei 2-2
  5. Curacao 0-4

For more articles on the tournament click here.

For Tournament Results click here.

2017 World Port Tournament Standings

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Cuba Leads After Day 2 at World Port Tournament


Day 2 is in the books at the 2017 World Port Tournament. Cuba stayed unbeaten, and Curacao remained without a win after losing to the Netherlands in 13 innings.

Game 1 of the day pitted the host Dutch against Curacao in what turned into a thriller. The game started off as a pitching duel with the game tied at 2 after 9 innings. Then starting in the 11th inning the flood gates opened and runs started pouring in. This was in coordination with the international tie-breaking rules that put the last two batters at 1st and 2nd base to start the inning.

First let’s talk about how we got to extra innings. Rob Cordemans pitched well but did not get the win. He went 8.0 innings allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, and struck out 6. Ruderly Manuel matched Cordemans for 7+ innings. He tossed 7.2 innings allowing just 2 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks. He struck out 5 and like his counterpart did not factor into the decision.

After both teams worked through a scoreless 10th, the tie-breaking rules went into place. The Netherlands started off by scoring two runs in the top of the 11th. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, Boekhoudt was walked to load the bases setting up the double play. However, Dutch first baseman Dudley Leonora did not follow the script for Curacao. Leonora singled up the middle driving in 2 runs to give the Netherlands a 4-2 lead.

Curacao would tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. Again after a sacrifice runners sat at 2nd and 3rd. However, the Dutch pitcher did not walk the next hitter to load the bases and he induced the batter to ground out without a run scoring. So with 2 outs, down by 2, and 2 runners on, Edinho Meyer came through with a huge game-tying triple.

As they went to the 12th, both teams would again score two runs. The Dutch got their two on a 2-out triple by Garia. Curacao would tie it up again with the first run coming home on a Reangelo Beaumont sacrifice fly and then the tying run scoring on a pinch-hit RBI single from Levis Carolus.

The Netherlands would take command in the 13th inning. Dwayne Kemp led off the inning with a single scoring the first run of the inning. Curacao would then load the bases after a sacrifice bunt and Nick Urbanus would drive in a run on a fielder’s choice. Then a throwing error allowed Kemp to score before the Dutch finished off the 4-run 13th inning with a RBI single from Rowen Van Hoek.

Curacao came back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning, but it wasn’t enough to extend the game once again. The Netherlands would take the victory 10-7 pushing them to an even 1-1 record.

Game 2 of the day saw Japan makings its first appearance in the tournament against Cuba. Cuba would use a 4-run 3rd inning to pull ahead to stay and go on to win 8-4 keeping them perfect.

Geonel Guitierrez got the start for Cuba and lasted just 4.2 innings. He only gave up 1 run on 6 hits but did not pitch 5 to pick up the win. Instead, Adrian Rajiv Sosa got the win in relief despite giving up 3 runs in 2.2 innings of work.

Takahiro Yamamoto got the start for Japan going 3.0 innings of shutout ball. He allowed just 3 hits while striking out 2. Reliever Kazuma Okada did not fare as well as Yamamoto. Okada pitched 2.0 innings but gave up 5 runs on 5 hits.

Japan did not help itself defensively committing 6 errors en route to allowing 4 unearned runs which would be the difference in the game.

Osvaldo Vazquez went 3-for-5 with a double for Cuba. Frank Camilo Morejon scored twice, drove in a run, and went 2-for-4 helping Cuba to the win.

Japan leadoff hitter Hiroto Kobukata went 4-for-5, scored twice, and drove in a run setting the table well for Japan. Shortstop Masaki Otani drove in a run and went 2-for-3 in the loss.

Day 2 World Port Tournament Standings:

  1. Cuba 2-0
  2. Chinese Taipei 1-0
  3. Netherlands 1-1
  4. Japan 0-1
  5. Curacao 0-2

Follow our updates on World Port Tournament here.

Day 2 World Port Tournament

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Chinese Taipei Shocks Host Netherlands with 9th Inning Comeback


ROTTERDAM, Netherlands – Chinese Taipei upset the Netherlands in Game 2 of the 2017 World Port Tournament by scoring 2 in the top of the 9th inning to win 2-1.

Both starters pitched well. Diego Markwell tossed 7.0 shutout innings and looked on pace to pick up a win. He gave up just 5 hits and walked 2. Yao Tso Kao also pitched well for Chinese Taipei. Kao went 5.0 innings allowing just 1 unearned run. He gave up just 2 hits while striking out 5. Chih Hung Cheng picked up the win finishing off the final 4.0 innings for Chinese Taipei. He gave up 2 hit and struck out 3.

Berry van Driel pitched a scoreless 8th inning, but then the wheels came off in the 9th. Loek Van Mil came on to close out the game but didn’t make it through the inning.

Chia Wei Huang led off the 9th inning for Chinese Taipei with a single. He would advance to second on a ground out and then to third base on a passed ball. With 1 out and down 1-0, Chun Kai Liao singled to center to tie the game. The next batter would single through the right side putting runners at the corners for Tzu Chieh Lin who would hit a sacrifice fly to right to give Chinese Taipei the lead 2-1. That was all they could muster, but it was all they needed as Cheng would finish off the Dutch in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the comeback win.

In Day 2 action the Dutch return to play Curacao and Japan gets its first action against Cuba.

2017 World Port Tournament Day 1 Standings:

  1. Cuba 1-0
  2. Chinese Taipei 1-0
  3. Curacao 0-2
  4. Netherlands 0-1
  5. Japan 0-0

Full Box Score

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Chinese Taipei Upsets Netherlands

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Dutch Major League Standings


With some downtime in the Dutch Major League, it is time to see how the season is going so far. All teams have played at least 24 games of their season 36 game season, while others have played as many as 30. The two top teams L&D Amsterdam and Curacao Neptunus both competed in the European Champions Cub with Neptunus actually winning it.

Currently L&D Amsterdam is in first place with a 20-4 record. Trailing right behind them is Curacao Neptunus at 18-5-1. These two are far ahead of the competition in the loss column, but they have played 6 games less than third place HCAW who currently sits at 17-11-2.

Despite playing in fewer games, both L&D Amsterdam and Curacao Neptunus have dominated the league offensively. They are the only two teams hitting above .300 as a team and lead the league in runs scored despite the fewer games.

Offensive League Leaders:

The league leader boards are littered with players from both leading teams.

Benjamin Dille  (NEP) is leading the league in hitting at a .435 clip. He also ranks second in on base percentage and 12th in slugging.

Gilmer Lampe (AMS) is second in the league in hitting at .397. He also leads the league in slugging (.632), on base percentage (.533), 3rd in runs scored (25), 5th in RBI (24), and 3rd in home runs (3).

A few others having solid years include Danny Rombley (AMS – .395/4/25), Melvin Purdue (TWI – .345 and leads league in total bases with 50), and so many more.

Pitching League Leaders:

Kevin Heijstek (AMS) leads the league in ERA at 1.24. He also ranks 4th in wins with 5 in just 8 starts. Heijstek’s teammate Rob Cordemans (AMS) is having a great year as well tied for the league lead in wins with 7. He also ranks 3rd in the league in ERA at 1.53. Both players will pitch in the World Port Tournament for the Netherlands.

Also pitching for the Dutch in the WPT will be Diego Markwell. Markwell is 2nd in the league in wins with 6, 2nd in the league in batting average against at .179, and 6th in ERA at 2.26.

For full hitting and pitching statistics click here.

Current Dutch Major League Standings:

  1. L&D Amsterdam 20-4
  2. Curacao Neptunus 18-5-1
  3. HCAW 17-11-2
  4. Hoofddorp Pioniers 14-12-1
  5. DSS 10-20
  6. Pickles UVV 7-17-3
  7. De Glaskoning Twins 6-23-1

Dutch Major League Standings

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2017 World Port Tournament Schedule


The 2017 edition of the World Port Tournament is almost upon us. Five teams will compete for the title including Cuba, Curacao, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and host Netherlands. The tournament starts on July 1 as Cuba will look to defend its title once again.

Each team will play the other four teams in pool play before the playoff round begins based on the seeding from pool play.

Historically the Netherlands and Cuba have dominated the tournament. Cuba has won the most medals (13) and golds (9) over the course of the history of the tournament. The Dutch rank second in medals (12) and tied for second in golds (2). The last two editions of the tournament has seen Cuba defeat the Netherlands in the championship. Over the last ten additions of the event Cuba has been in the championship each time, winning eight of those.

The Dutch will field a lot of names that more and more people have become familiar with over the course of the past decade. Pitchers included Diego Markwell, Rob Cordemans, Loek Van Mil, Mike Bolsenbroek, and others that have a lot of international experience, including the World Baseball Classic.

2017 World Port Tournament Schedule:

July 1
Curacao vs Cuba
Chinese Taipei vs Netherlands

Sunday July 2
Netherlands vs Curacao
Cuba vs Japan

Monday July 3
Cuba vs Chinese Taipei
Curacao vs Japan

Tuesday July 4
Japan vs Chinese Taipei
Netherlands vs Cuba

Wednesday July 5
Chinese Taipei vs Curacao
Japan vs Netherlands

Thursday July 6
Game A: No. 4 vs No. 3
Game B: No. 2 vs No. 1

Friday July 7
Game C: A Loser vs No. 5
Game D: B Winner vs A Winner (winner to championship)

Saturday July 8
Game E: Loser C vs Loser of D (4th & 5th place)
Game F: Loser D vs Winner C (winner to championship)

Sunday July 9
Championship Game Winner F vs Winner D

For more information on the tournament go to WorldPortTournament.nl or for more posts on the tournament from us click here.

2017 World Port Tournament Schedule

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WBC: Japan and Netherlands advance to semifinals


Japan and Netherlands advance to semifinals in Los Angeles at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Netherlands 14, Cuba 1

The Netherlands jumped on Cuba early and often scoring multiple runs in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th inning en route to a 14-1 drubbing that ended after 7 innings due to the run rule.

The Dutch hit 4 home runs in the victory. Two of those came from slugger Wladimir Balentien who hit a 3-run shot in the first inning and a solo shot in the 3rd inning. Yurendell Decaster hit a 2-run shot in the 3rd inning, and the final shot came in the 7th from Kailan Sams.

Decaster drove in 4 runs and Jurickson Profar chipped in with 3 hits scoring 2 runs. Despite all the offense, perhaps the best performance came from starter, Diego Markwell. Markwell went 6.0 innings giving up just 1 run on 4 hits. It was his first start in the 2017 WBC after giving the Netherlands 3 solid starts in 2013.

Shairon Martis finished off the game with a scoreless inning. There wasn’t much to write home about for Cuba in the loss. Willian Saavedra was the only Cuba hitter with more than 1 hit. He went 2-for-3 with a double.

The win combined with Japan’s win over Cuba gave the Netherlands and Japan a birth in the semifinals in Los Angeles. Both teams will travel to Los Angeles and wait to see who they will play out of the pool currently playing in San Diego. The single elimination championship round will begin on Monday March 20th with the Netherlands facing the winner from Pool F. Japan will play the next day against the runner up from Pool F with the winners from both games playing for the title.

Full Box Score

Final Pool E Standings from Tokyo:

  1. Japan 3-0
  2. Netherlands 2-1
  3. Israel 1-2
  4. Cuba 0-3

 

Japan Netherlands advance semifinals

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How have our World Baseball Classic predictions been so far?


Back just before the start of the tournament, we made 2017 World Baseball Classic predictions. Today we want to take a look at how those are going and perhaps make some updates on Round 2.

Pool A

We predicted the Netherlands and South Korea would make it out of Pool A. We were half wrong. We expected South Korea to have a better showing, like most everyone else. We did say that Israel would come close to advancing, but I don’t think anyone saw them going 3-0. My feeling was they would come close to beating South Korea and be outs away from advancing. Turns out they would best South Korea and win the whole pool.

Pool B

I think this was the easiest pool to predict. We predicted this right down to the records for all teams. Japan and Cuba advanced. Australia missed out on Round 2 by a single run losing to Cuba 4-3.

Pool C

We got the top 2 right, but did not see Colombia putting up such a great fight. They nearly beat the USA in the first game, beat Canada, and then came inches away from defeating the Dominican Republic. We thought Canada would get by Colombia, but they did not. Canada was rather disappointing in the 2017 WBC and now will have to qualify for the 2021 edition.

Pool D

It almost came down to exactly how we thought it might. We predicted it would be Puerto Rico (although at 2-1 not 3-0) and Venezuela making it to Round 2. We also thought that this would be the pool that would need to play the tiebreaker game, check. This was perhaps the most exciting round, which says a lot with how exciting this tournament has been.

We are sticking to the rest of our predictions. So far we predicted 7 of the 8 in Round 2, and we are sticking to our predictions of the semifinals consisting of USA, Dominican Republic, Japan, Netherlands. That is going out on a limb saying that Puerto Rico will not advance since they have been one of the hottest teams.

It has been a fun WBC so far with so many exciting games and plays, and I have the feeling it will only get better from here on out.

World Baseball Classic predictions

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Japan Defeats Netherlands in 11 at World Baseball Classic


Japan Wins Extra Inning Affair Against Netherlands

Every time Japan scored, the Netherlands answered except one as Japan defeats Netherlands in extra innings. Japan jumped into the lead in the top of the 2nd inning with a sacrifice fly from Shogo Akiyama. But in the bottom half of the inning the Dutch scored one of its own to tie the game on a solo home run from Jonathan Schoop.

Then in the top of the 3rd inning Japan would put up 4 runs. The big blow was a 3-run home run from Sho Nakata off of Dutch starter Rick van den Hurk who almost got out of the inning. Nakata’s homer just cleared the left field wall landing in the first row of seats. Akiyama continued the scoring with a RBI single, but the lead was short lived.

As they did the first time, the Netherlands quickly came right back with 4 runs of its own in the bottom of the 3rd. Simmons got the scoring going with a RBI single bringing home Randolph Oduber after he doubled. After a Jurickson Profar single and a Xander Bogearts sacrifice fly put the game at 5-3, Wladimir Balentien damaged a ball hitting a hard line drive off the left field foul pole for a 2-run homer to tie it at 5.

Profar was right back in the mix again in the bottom of the 5th. Simmons led off the inning by tomahawking a single to center. Profar followed with a line drive double, his 3rd of the WBC, down the right field line setting up the Dutch with runners at 2nd and 3rd. Kodai Senga got Bogaerts to go down looking for the first out, and then got Balentien swinging. Senga got out of the inning by getting Didi Gregorius out on a grounder to first.

The Netherlands threatened again in the bottom of the 8th loading the bases with 1 out. Gregorius and Schoop led off the inning with back-to-back singles. After a strikeout of Curt Smith, who didn’t look comfortable bunting, Dashenko Ricardo walked to load the bases. Japan made the call to the pen to bring on Hirotoshi Masui with Oduber up. Masui simply overpowered Oduber for the 2nd out in the 8th, then faced Andrelton Simmons. On a 2-0 count, Simmons checks his swing but fouls off the ball inside that appeared to have hit him at first sight. Either way it was an important pitch because it made the count 2-1 and not 3-0. On the next pitch Masui got Simmons to ground out ending the threat.

The Dutch sent up its best hitters in the bottom of the 9th. Profar went down looking at a perfect pitch knee high on the outside corner. Bogaerts followed with a walk before Balentien lined a single in the right-centerfield gap putting runners at the corners with 1 out for Gregorius. With so much tension in the air, Gregorius ripped a 1-0 pitch just foul down the right field line that might have ended the game had it been fair. Gregorius wound up flying out to left but it was not deep enough to score Bogaerts from third. Jonathan Schoop delivered the game-tying hit with a single up the middle off the glove of a diving Ryosuke Kikuchi who made an amazing diving play earlier in the game. Curt Smith would go down swinging to end the inning but not before the Netherlands tied it up at 6.

Japan started the 10th inning with a Shogo Akiyama ground out. Then the fun began. Seiji Kobayashi singled and was followed by a Seiichi Uchikawa double setting up Samurai Japan with a pair of runners in scoring position with just 1 out. That is when the Dutch went to Tom Stuifbergen replacing Loek Van Mil on the mound.

Stuifbergen immediately issued an intentional walk to load the bases and set up the double play, which brought up Norichika Aoki who then grounded into a double play ending the inning and threat. The throw to Smith at first appeared to pull him off the bag, and with MLB replay the call might have been overturned.

In the 11th the tiebreaker rules came into play where the last two batters were placed at 1st and 2nd base to start the inning. Japan immediately sacrificed them over, and Sho Nakata came through again with a 2-run single.

Kazuhisa Makita shut the door on the Dutch in the bottom of the 11th ending the nearly 5 hour game in Tokyo.

Full Box Score

Pool E 2nd Round Standings:

  1. Japan 1-0
  2. Israel 1-0
  3. Netherlands 0-1
  4. Cuba 0-1

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WBC: Pool E Preview from Tokyo


As Round 1 finishes up in North America, Round 2 begins in Asia at the 2017 World Baseball Classic and we are here with a Pool E Preview from Tokyo.

Pool E consists of the top two finishers in Pools A and B from Seoul and Tokyo. In Pool A, Israel shocked everyone by going 3-0 and winning the pool. The Netherlands picked up the no. 2 seed out of Pool A after going 2-1. Both South Korea and Chinese Taipei did not advance.

Coming out of Pool B are two of the top favorites in the tournament, Japan and Cuba. Japan won the pool finishing with a perfect 3-0 record, and they look to be the top of the heap going into Round 2. Cuba finished 2-1 defeating Australia 4-3 to advance to the next round.

Round 2 will be another round robin. The two no. 1 seeds from Round 1 will have an easier schedule simply because they will not play on back-to-back days. The no. 2 seeds will have games on back-to-back days.

Israel will have to keep its hot hand going, and they have the talent to do just that. Do not count them out of advancing to the semifinals. Japan is the clear favorite in the pool. The rest should be interesting to watch. This pool is up for grabs and could make for some interesting baseball.

Schedule for Round 2 in Tokyo, Japan:

Game 1 Saturday March 11th 10PM EST
Cuba vs Israel

Game 2 Sunday March 12th 6AM EST
Japan vs Netherlands

Game 3 Monday March 13th 6AM EST
Netherlands and Israel

Game 4 Tuesday March 14th 6AM EST
Cuba vs Japan

Game 5 Tuesday March 14th 11PM EST
Netherlands vs Cuba

Game 6 Wednesday March 15th 6AM EST
Israel vs Japan

Game 7 Thursday March 16th 6AM EST
Tiebreaker if necessary

All games will take place at the Tokyo Dome. More information on Pool E.

Pool E Preview Tokyo

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Netherlands Walk Off with Win Against Chinese Taipei


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.

Notable Players:

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:

  1. Israel 2-0
  2. Netherlands 2-0
  3. South Korea 0-2
  4. 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.

Netherlands Walk Off

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Netherlands downs South Korea at WBC


The Netherlands downs South Korea at WBC

Jumping out to an early lead, the Netherlands downs South Korea in Pool A at the WBC. Andrelton Simmons led off the game with a single to left coming around to score on a 2-run shot from Jurickson Profar. With the quick lead, the Netherlands really took the air out of the stadium and dealt a huge blow to host South Korea.

Both Simmons and Profar finished the game with two hits apiece. Also with two hits were Dashenko Ricardo and Randolph Oduber. Oduber also hit a 2-run home run in the 6th inning giving the Dutch its final 5-0 lead.

Rick van den Hurk picked up the win for the Netherlands. He tossed 4.0 shutout innings allowing just 3 hits and a pair of walks. The rest of the Dutch bullpen shut down the Korea bats the rest of the way including Diego Markwell, Shairon Martis, Tom Stuifbergen, and Loek van Mil.

The biggest problem so far for Korea, which looks like it will be out after Round 1, has been its offense. They managed just 6 hits against the Netherlands and 7 against Israel. They will now get a day off before coming back to finish out Round 1 against Chinese Taipei.

The Netherlands team has a lot of talent featuring some of the best young players in Major League Baseball and one of the most prolific sluggers from Japan. The lineup is loaded, and the pitching should be enough to carry them deep into the tournament. Then again that is what many thought about South Korea too and that has not been the case so far.

Up next for the Netherlands will be Chinese Taipei. A win would seal a Round 2 birth for both themselves and Israel.

Pool A Standings:

  1. Israel 2-0
  2. Netherlands 1-0
  3. Chinese Taipei 0-1
  4. South Korea 0-2

Full Box Score

Netherlands downs South Korea WBC

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WBC: South Korea vs Netherlands Game 3 Pool A Preview


Following their 2-1 loss to Israel, South Korea vs Netherlands will be Game 3 of Pool A of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. It will be the first game for the Dutch who now look to put Korea in a deep hole that they might not be able to get out of.

South Korea, ranked no. 3 in the world, will turn to right-handed Kyu-min Woo of the Samsung Lions to shut down the potent Dutch lineup. Woo pitched last year with the LG Twins of the KBO where he went 6-11 with a 4.91 ERA. And he will have a tough task against a solid lineup.

While the Netherlands will put a lot of experience on the mound, its strength will be in its lineup, especially its infield. However, going for the Netherlands against South Korea will be former KBO pitcher Rick van den Hurk. He pitched for the Samsung Lions for two seasons going a combined 20-13 including 13-4 in 2014. The past two seasons van den Hurk has been pitching in Japan where he has had continued success going a combined 16-3.

Players to Watch

South Korea

Hyun-wook Choi – He has been slumping in warm up games and thus did not get the start in Game 1. However, his big left-handed bat could come into play so look for him to get the start.

Dae-ho Lee – He can get hot and carry a team and right now his team needs someone to be that spark. He was robbed of extra bases by Sam Fuld in Game 1, look for him to get his bat going and give South Korea some thunder it is badly needing.

Netherlands

Didi Gregorius – There is so much talent in the infield for the Netherlands. However, Didi is one of the few left-handed hitters and this I feel will come into play against the sidewinding Woo.

Jurickson Profar – Again Profar will start the game from the left side of the plate. A switch-hitter, Profar has shown more power over the years from the left side of the plate.

Game time is 4:30 am ET and can be seen on MLB Network or MLB.TV (US only).

South Korea vs Netherlands

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2017 World Baseball Classic Predictions


Predictions are usually not right, but they are fun and thus we are going to do some 2017 World Baseball Classic Predictions.

I’ve done predictions for many years, and very rarely do they come to fruition. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that they are fun to do and fun to talk about. So with that, I am going to go through each pool and predict what will happen. A lot of this is based on rosters, but not all of it. Some of it is just a gut feel which may help others to see why I am doing what I am doing. I do not think everyone will agree with me either. Of course, that is half the fun. So here we go.

Pool A

Pool A will consist of the following teams: South Korea (host), Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, and Israel.

My Standings:

  1. Netherlands 3-0 (50:1 odds)
  2. South Korea 2-1 (15:1 odds)
  3. Israel 1-2 (200:1 odds)
  4. Chinese Taipei 0-3 (120:1 odds)

I am probably following most predictions in that the two teams I see advancing are South Korea and the Netherlands. However, I am going to predict a few things that others may not like. First, I see the Netherlands winning this pool. I think this comes down to Game 3 on Tuesday March 7th between these two clubs, and I feel that the Dutch will outscore Korea in a shootout. The other “out on a limb” prediction I am going to make is that Israel beats Chinese Taipei, and I think they come within a few innings of advancing but fall to South Korea in their match up. They are one team that will be overlooked and under appreciated, and that is why I think they make a run. I think they will come out and shock South Korea by nearly beating them in Game 1 of pool play.

Pool B

Pool B consists of Japan (host), Cuba, China, and Australia.

  1. Japan 3-0 (3:1 odds)
  2. Cuba 2-1 (12:1 odds)
  3. Australia 1-2 (200:1 odds)
  4. China 0-3 (200:1 odds)

In Tokyo I feel Japan will dominate only having a contest with Cuba. They are the class of Pool B and a title contender. The rest of the field I think will be fun and interesting to watch. Japan is one of the favorites (3rd best odds according to Vegas Insider) with Cuba not being too far behind. I think 3rd place comes down to Australia vs China and fear that is really all they are playing for. Australia could make a run with a shock against Cuba, but I don’t see that happening. China is really the unknown here, but don’t look for them to finish higher than third.

Pool C 

Pool C consists of United States (host), Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Canada.

  1. Dominican Republic 3-0 (5:2 odds)
  2. United States 2-1 (11:5 odds)
  3. Canada 1-2 (60:1 odds)
  4. Colombia 0-3 (120:1 odds)

This is one pool I am really excited to see. The USA is favored by many to win the whole thing. I am not convinced. I think they struggle to make it out of pool play just getting past both Canada and Colombia. I see the Dominican to dominate the pool and win easily against all three opponents.

Pool D

Pool D consists of Mexico (host), Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Italy.

  1. Puerto Rico 2-1 (10:1 odds)
  2. Venezuela 2-1 (6:1 odds)
  3. Mexico 1-2 (40:1 odds)
  4. Italy 1-2 (120:1 odds)

This might be the most wide open pool. It is the only one where I am going to predict the host country doesn’t make it out of the round. I think it all comes down to the final game between Mexico and Venezuela, and I am going with Venezuela. I think Italy will shock a team (perhaps Mexico) and create havoc in the pool play, and don’t look for anyone here to go undefeated. It is going to be a wide open pool. This also might be the only pool where the first round tiebreaker game is needed, although I could see it possibly used in Pool C as well.

Round 2

Pool E in Tokyo, Japan will consist of Cuba, Netherlands, Japan (host), and South Korea.

This pool will be a great one to watch. I see Japan and the Netherlands coming out of it to advance to the semifinal round. This will be a hotly contested round, but I see it going down in the following fashion:

  1. Japan 2-1
  2. Netherlands 2-1
  3. Cuba 1-2
  4. South Korea 1-2

Pool F in San Diego will consist of USA, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico.

A lot of people are high on Puerto Rico, and rightfully so. However, I think this is where they fail to advance. There will be a lot of talent here and this will come down to the final games in the pool, and very well might need a tiebreaker game for a team to advance.

  1. Dominican Republic 2-1
  2. USA 2-1
  3. Puerto Rico 2-1
  4. Venezuela 0-3

Finals 

The Finals will take place in Los Angeles. And while I think we will see a new team garner a medal, I do not think we have a team win its first championship. Instead, I think we have a match up of the only two winners so far in Japan and the Dominican Republic.

Semifinals:

Dominican Republic 5,  Netherlands 2

Japan 3, USA 1

Championship

Japan 3, Dominican Republic 2 (11 Innings)

So there you have it. I am calling for an extra inning championship game where Japan reclaims its title. The Vegas favorite is the USA, but I see them coming up short in their quest for the title.

Now don’t get me wrong, I will be pulling for the USA in any game they play. At the same time I will be pulling for teams like Italy, Israel, and Australia to win since it will only help those countries going forward. I would love to see one of them advance to Round 2, but I just do not see it happening just yet. Italy advanced in 2013, but I feel their pool this go around will be stronger. But it is not out of the realm of possibility.

I’d love to hear what you think and who you think will win it all.

2017 World Baseball Classic Predictions

 

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Netherlands WBC roster has been announced


The Netherlands WBC roster has been announced, and it is full of talent. Highlighting the roster will be the Dutch infield which is stacked with MLB talent. However, up and down the roster there is talent and they will compete for a spot in Round 2 and possibly further.

Late in January we spoke about the stacked Dutch infield. It will include the likes of Xander Bogaerts, Didi Gregorius, Jurickson Profar, Andrelton Simmons, and Jonathan Schoop. But along with those MLB players are some very experienced international players.

Curt Smith is back again for Team Netherlands. He has a lot of international experience and even hit .321 in the 2013 WBC as the Dutch ran off to a semifinal appearance. Also back from 2013 is Yurendell de Caster who hit .400 in limited action. He provides experience off the bench with a quality right handed bat that can play multiple positions.

Bringing power to the outfield is Wladimir Balentien. While he might not be a household name in the USA, he did play parts of 3 seasons with the Mariners and Reds, he is a star in Japan in the Nippon Professional Baseball league. After leaving the USA for the 2011 season, Balentien has gone on to hit 30+ home runs 5 times, including 60 in 2014 which broke the all-time record in Japan.

On the bump the Dutch have some talent as sell. Diegomar Markwell is back after a stellar 2013 WBC where he went 2-1 with a 3.07 ERA in 3 starts. While he is inching up in age (36) he still has a quality arm that should be able to get the Dutch some good starts. Also back is Orlando Yntema who had a good 2013 WBC pitching twice and making one start. In the bullpen they will return Loek Van Mil (0.00 ERA in 2013).

The most intriguing player for the Netherlands this go around is Jair Jurrjens. The former MLB starter with Atlanta, Baltimore, and Colorado pitched the 2016 season in Taiwan. Still only 31, but far past his prime, he could still give the Dutch some solid innings either out of the bullpen or perhaps in a spot start.

2017 Netherlands WBC Roster:

Pitchers:

Mike Bolsenbroek
Rob Cordemans
Tom de Blok
Lars Huijer
Jair Jurrjens
Diego Markwell
Shairon Martis
Jim Ploeger
Tom Stuifbergen
J.C. Sulbaran
Rick van den Hurk
Loek Van Mil
Orlando Yntema

Catchers:

Dashenko Ricardo
Shawn Zarraga

Infielders:

Xander Bogaerts
Yurendell de Caster
Didi Gregorius
Dwayne Kemp
Jurickson Profar
Jonathan Schoop
Sharlon Schoop
Andrelton Simmons
Curt Smith

Outfielders:

Wladimir Balentien
Christopher Garia
Randolph Oduber
Kalian Sams

Designated Pitcher Pool:

Nelmerson Angela
Kevin Heijstek
Kenley Jansen
Kevin Kelly
Ruderly Manuel
Ryan Oduber
Mark Pawelek
Berry van Driel

Netherlands WBC roster

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Netherlands will Feature Stacked Infield for 2017 World Baseball Classic


The Netherlands will feature some of the best young talent in Major League Baseball when they suit up during the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

The Red Sox Xander Bogaerts, the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar, the Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop, the Yankees’ Didi Gregorius, and the elder statesman at just 27 the Angels’ Andrelton Simmons will all play for the Netherlands. All but Gregorius played with the team in 2013, but now they are established major league talent.

Simmons has ranked as one of the best defensive players in the game over the past four seasons. He has led the MLB in Defensive Runs Saved with 112 since his first full season in 2013.

Bogaerts had a break out season in 2015 when he hit .320 for the Red Sox. He then turned himself into an offensive force in 2016 hitting .294 and slugging 34 doubles and 21 home runs.

Gregorius had his best season at the plate in 2016, his second in New York taking over for Derek Jeter. In 2016 he clubbed 20 home runs, 32 doubles, and hit .276.

Schoop stayed healthy last year and had his first complete season playing all 162 games for the Orioles. He hit .267 with 25 home runs, 38 doubles, and drove in 82.

Profar played in 90 games for the Rangers. He played every infield position and left field over the course of the year. He batted .239 with 5 home runs and 3 triples.

In 2013 the Netherlands made it to the semifinals eventually losing to the eventual champion Dominican Republic. This year they will begin in Pool A in Seoul, South Korea. There they will battle the host country, Chinese Taipei, and Israel for a spot in Round 2.

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2017 World Baseball Classic: A Look at Pool A & B


We are just seven weeks away from the first pitch in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. As teams finalize rosters, players will soon begin reporting to spring training where they will begin preparing for the  fourth installment of the tournament.

In 2013 the Dominican Republic finally dethroned the two-time champion Japanese. The Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico in the championship game 3-0.

Each of the four pools have at the very least three strong teams that will compete for the two spots in the second round. So let’s go pool by pool and see how the teams have fared in the past. Today we will look at Pool’s A and B, and tomorrow we will take a look at Pool’s C and D.

Pool A:

Israel – This is Israel’s first time participating in the World Baseball Classic. They qualified through the Brooklyn Qualifier late in 2016. The team went 3-0 in the qualifier defeating Great Britain twice, including 9-1 in the championship game, and Brazil once by a 1-0 score. Israel just missed the 2013 WBC by losing to Spain 9-7 in the championship of a qualifier. They look to surprise someone, and they will need to, to move on.

South Korea – Back for a fourth time, South Korea recently moved up to no. 3 on the WBSC World Rankings which is their highest ranking ever. They look to continue moving up the ranks with some huge wins at the WBC. Korea finished runner-up in 2009 to Japan for its highest finish so far.

Chinese Taipei – This is their fourth time in the tournament as well. Their highest finish so far has been to advance to Round 2 in 2013. They will be searching for their first medal in the tournament and will be poised to move onto Round 2 if they can get passed the Netherlands.

Netherlands – They might have been the surprise of the tournament last go around finishing fourth. This is their fourth venture into the tournament and they look to improve on their high finish last time. They will have a strong showing but will have to defeat either South Korea or Chinese Taipei to move on.

Pool B

Japan – With two titles under their belt they are the most accomplished team in the tournament by far. Ranked no. 1 in the WBSC World Rankings, Japan will look to return to the top spot they lost last time out. A third place finish in 2013 would have been seen as a good thing for any team, except maybe the two-time defending champions. Look for a strong showing from them once again.

Cuba – Once the power in international tournaments, Cuba still has the power to make a run deep in this tournament. Their highest finish was a runner-up in 2006 in the inaugural event. Since then they have not advanced out of Round 2. I look for them to once again advance to Round 2, but go no further even though they are capable.

Australia – This is the wild card team in Pool B to me. If they can get passed a good Cuba team, they can advance to Round 2, which they have never done in the past. They had to get to this point by winning a qualifier, which they did quite easily. However, they just get passed Cuba or stun Japan to advance.

China – This is China’s fourth appearance in the tourney. They have never gotten out of Round 1 in the past but have made strides and have won at least one game in the past two tournaments. They might shock someone and hurt a team’s chances to advance by picking up a win like they did to Chinese Taipei in 2009.

Check back tomorrow for a quick look at the other two pools and soon we will start going over rosters as some of them are announced to see just how far they might be able to go.

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South Korea Climbs to No.3 in Baseball World Rankings


South Korea has climbed to the no. 3 spot in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings, its highest ranking ever moving passed Chinese Taipei. The top two spots remain the same with Japan leading the way once again, while the United States continues to be a strong no. 2.

South Korea’s climb moves them even closer to the United States in the second spot. Japan still commands a strong lead over the pack. Rounding out the top 5 are Chinese Taipei and Cuba.

The top representative from Europe comes in at no. 9 with the Netherlands, followed closely by Italy at no. 10.

Men’s Baseball Final 2016 World Rankings Top 10:

1. Japan
2. USA
3. South Korea
4. Chinese Taipei
5. Cuba
6. Mexico
7. Venezuela
8. Canada
9. Netherlands
10. Italy

Complete World Rankings

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Euro League Baseball Begins Play


Perhaps the biggest development in European baseball this past year has been is the Euro League that was established and started play this spring.

Initially there are four teams playing in the league from different leagues around Europe. Amsterdam Baseball was created to compete in the league and will be comprised of some of the Dutch League Amsterdam Pirates.

Each team will play twelve games with six home and six away. The season began on April 19th and will continue through September.

This is a huge step forward in forming a Europe wide league that could encompass many of the great leagues that are already present in countries like Germany, Italy, France, and so many more.

Inaugural Euro League Teams:

Netherlands 
Amsterdam Baseball

German Bundesliga
Buchbinder Leagionaire
Haar Disciples

Czech Extraleague
Draci Brno

Stay tuned as we will bring you updates on games, standings, and news and notes from around the league as it progresses.

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Netherlands: Curacao Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam Atop Standings


L&D Amsterdam had three big wins this weekend over Mampaey the Hawks keeping them in a tie for first place with Curacao Neptunus, who also won all three this weekend.

Amsterdam outscored the Hawks 38-4 over the weekend. Rashid Gerard had a huge weekend. He went a combined 6-for-11 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 10 RBI, and 5 runs scored. Joining him in a big weekend was Bas Nooij. Nooij went 5-for-11 with a double, a home run, 9 runs scored, and 7 RBI.

Dutch Major League Standings:

1. L&D Amsterdam Pirates 10-2
2. Curacao Neptunus 10-2
3. Vaessen Pioniers 8-4
4. Corendon Kinheim 7-4-1
5. UVV 6-6
6. DSS 4-8
7. HCAW Bussum 2-9-1
8. Mampaey the Hawks 0-12

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Europe gets historic victory, defeats No. 1 Japan 6-2 in global baseball showing in Tokyo


Press Release WBSC

TOKYO – Debuting in a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome against the top-ranked nation in the world, Europe recorded its historic first victory for the continent, defeating Japan 6-2 to split the two-game series.

Like in Game 1, Europe managed to get out of the gates early, tagging Samurai starter Takahiro Matsuba for back-to-back doubles in the second inning, authored by Italy’s Mario Chiarini and Spain’s Blake Ochoa, which put Europe up 2-0.

A towering three-run home run by the Netherlands’ Yurendell Decaster in the bottom of the third gave Europe a 5-0 lead. (VIDEO: Decaster HR)

With the cushion, Europe starter Diegomar Marwell (Netherlands) kept Japan’s bats quiet through three innings, only allowing three hits.

In the 5th, Tetsuto Yamada launched a solo home run and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s RBI single cut Europe’s lead to 5-2.

Europe manager Steve Janssen handed the ball to Germany’s Luke Sommer, who pitched a clean 6th to 8th innings.

Dutch flamethrower Tom Stuifbergen pitched the final inning, using a 95 mph/153 kmh fastball close out the game and register the save for Europe.

Sommer was credited with the win. Japan starter Matsuba took the loss.

The historic win for Europe follows the announcement by baseball’s world governing body, WBSC, to establish Team Europe. Europe was immediately pitted against the world No. 1 Japanese National Team, “Samurai Japan”, made up of top stars from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). The majority of players on Japan’s current roster were part of the Samurai selection that faced Team MLB in a best-of-five series, won by hosts Japan, last November.

Both WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari and NPB Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki went down on the field Wednesday night to congratulate the European team, following their 6-2 win and two exciting contests in as many nights.

“These two highly competitive games send another message to the world that Europe can compete with anyone and that our sport is more global than ever,” President Fraccari said.

Two European countries, No. 5 Netherlands and No. 11 Italy, are among the elite field heading to the inaugural Premier 12™ that will unite baseball’s top twelve countries.

Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo said, “We have to give them credit. They’ve come a long way and played the game at a high level.”

“The victory was a historic one, as it was the debut of the multinational Team Europe,” The Japan Times reported.

Head coach Janssen (Netherlands National Team manager) and bench coach Marco Mazzieri (Italy National Team manager) compiled a roster of 28 European players from six countries: (by world rank) Netherlands, Italy, No. 17 Spain, No. 18 Germany, No. 20 Czech Republic and No. 27 France.

No. 36 Belgium and No. 39 Austria were also represented as part of Europe’s coaching staff.

Yokohama BayStars rising star Tsutsugo, 23, was one of the bright spots for the Samurai in the series, collecting a pair of hits and RBIs. “I would like come up with positive results during the [NPB] season [that are] worthy of a Samurai Japan member,” he said.

Over 44,000 people attended the historic matches, with an increase in attendance of approximately 2,000 more fans for Game 2, following Samurai Japan’s thrilling 4-3 come-from-behind victory in Game 1 Tuesday night.

The two-game series was broadcast free-to-air nationally across Japan by the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), while Eurosport 2 transmitted the games live to potentially 73 million households across more than 50 European nations.

Prior to the start of Game 2 there was a moment of silence to honor the victims and raise awareness of ongoing recovery efforts four years after the 11 March 2011 Tsunami devastated the Fukushima region.

NPB — the second highest-attended major sports league in the world in 2014 (approx. 23 million) and WBSC Associate Member — hosted the Europe versus Japan two-game series.

Umpires from the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL; WBSC Associate Member) officiated the two games.

Leading sports performance brand Asics backed Europe as the official kit sponsor.

The game ball that marked Europe’s first-ever pitch in Game 1 Tuesday night will be going to Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, along with Team Europe’s official game jersey.

In the two-game series, Japan outhit Europe 16 to 13. Japan played spotless defense with the glove, committing no errors on defense. Europe also flashed the leather, executing a pickoff and making only one error on defense.

Copyright © 2015 WBSC. All rights reserved.

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Polls

Who will win the 2017 World Baseball Classic?

  • Puerto Rico (31%, 27 Votes)
  • Dominican Republic (13%, 11 Votes)
  • USA (13%, 11 Votes)
  • Mexico (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Cuba (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Venezuela (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Netherlands (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Japan (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Chinese Taipei (1%, 1 Votes)
  • South Korea (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Canada (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 88

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