Friday, October 14, 2011

Netherlands first Team in Baseball World Cup Final

Cuba or Canada to be Opponent – Decision on Friday

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Aguadulce, Panama. With one day left on the schedule of the second round, the first team clinched a spot in the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup Final. The Netherlands surprised Cuba and handed the record champion its first loss in the tournament. The Dutch team will play for Gold for the first time in history. Only two more teams have the chance to reach the finals.

And they will play it out on Friday. Cuba and Canada remain in the race with the winner of their matchup to join the Netherlands in the finals. Canada had celebrated a pair of shutouts on Thursday to keep hopes alive. Panama on the other hand is out for the Gold Medal. They dropped a tight contest to Korea in the evening.

Canada 7 – Venezuela 0

Recap

After Wednesday’s rainouts at the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup, action on the field resumed with a matchup between Canada and Venezuela at Remon Cantera Stadium in Aguadulce, Panama. The Maple Leafs had no trouble and scored seven runs in the first two innings for a 7-0 win. Brock Kjeldgaard hit a two-run homerun. Emerson Frostad and Tim Smith drove in four more with a pair of extra base hits. Kyle Lotzkar pitched five scoreless innings for the win.

USA 2 – Australia 1

Recap

At the end of a fancy pitching duel between left handed prospects Drew Smyly (Tigers) and Clayton Tanner (Reds), Team USA beat Australia (2-1). The fact the game was set to seven innings only leaves Australia with some regret. The Aussies scored in the seventh and the inning ended when third baseman Wearne lined into a game ending double play with the tying run on base.

Netherlands 2 – Australia 1

Recap

In a game that started on Wednesday at 2 pm and resumed on Thursday at 3.30 pm, The Netherlands beat Australia (2-1) and now they are one win away from a final that would be a milestone in international baseball, since the Dutch would be the first European team to accomplish such a goal. Australia spoiled a great start by Dushan Ruzic as reliever Andrew Russell took the mound when the game resumed and immediately got into trouble hitting Curt Smith, allowing a base hit to Bryan Engelhardt and advancing the runners on a bad pickoff attempt. The call to Brendan Wise was made definitely too late. Shairon Schoop imitates his brother Jonathan and bats in the winning run for the Dutch.

Canada 4 – Korea 0

Recap

Canada completed a doubleheader sweep on Thursday with a 4-0 win over Korea. Instead of scoring in the beginning as in the shutout against Venezuela, the team of manager Ernie Whitt relied on the fifth inning to decide the outcome besides another strong pitching effort. The Maple Leafs improved to 4-2 in the second round and keep on track for the medal round. A pair of RBI singles and a pair of errors during the big frame helped in the process. The game was delayed for 75 minutes in the bottom of the first inning due to rain.

Panama 4 – Korea 5

Recap

Korea stunned Panama with a 5-4 comeback win on Friday evening, ending the host’s hopes for a Gold Medal opportunity. The Olympic champion turned around a 1-3 deficit with a four-run rally in the top of the sixth inning. Panama tried to rally in the end, but a flyout ended the game with runners at the corners. Jose Macias and Fernando Seguinol went deep for the home team, Yi Young Lee for the guests from Asia. The game was delayed twice due to rain.

Cuba 1 – Netherlands 4

Recap

The Netherlands are making history. After beating (4-1) Cuba, becoming the first European team in 73 years to compete for a Gold Medal in the IBAF Baseball World Cup. The Dutch deserved to win. Starter Orlando Yntema and reliever Leon Boyd were extremely solid on the mound and the offense beat Cuba with their own weapon: the long ball. All of the runs for the Netherlands came actually on home runs, a couple of two-run homeruns by Brian Engelhardt and Kalian Sams.

2nd Round Standings

1) Netherlands 5-1
2) Cuba 4-1
3) Canada 4-2
4) USA 2-3
5) Panama 2-3
6) Korea 2-4
7) Australia 2-4
8) Venezuela 1-4

Outlook

The second round at the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup is coming to an end on Friday. The main focus will be on the game between Cuba and Canada at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City. However, the race for the Bronze Medal Game is interesting as well with several teams still having a shot to make it. Three games apiece are scheduled for the stadiums in Panama City and Aguadulce. Cuba, Panama, Venezuela and USA will have to play doubleheaders, as a result of Wednesday’s rainouts. All games are set for seven innings each.

Schedule, Friday, October 14

11h00 Korea – USA (Aguadulce)
11h00 Panama – Australia (Panama City)
15h30 Venezuela – USA (Aguadulce)
15h30 Canada – Cuba (Panama City)
19h30 Cuba – Panama (Panama City)
19h30 Venezuela – Netherlands (Aguadulce)
(local times Panama)

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