In today’s game between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Italy, the Southern Europeans were no match for the Northern Europeans.
Where Rob Cordemans got the nod of Hensley Meulens, I had my doubts because he was hit rather hard in his last two Hoofdklasse starts. And in the bottom of the first inning the Italians collected two hits and scored a run rather easily, so I feared that Cordemans would pitch a tough game. But in the second inning Cordemans settled down and had a very solid outing. In five innings he allowed one run on three hits and he walked two and struck out one.
The Italian starting pitcher, Carlos Richetti on the other hand, could not keep the Dutch lineup in check as he was pulled after just 1.2 innings. In that time frame, he gave up five runs (none earned) on five hits. From that moment on this game was like a batting practice for the Dutch.
In that second inning, the Italians could have gotten out of the inning with a double play, but instead, shorstop Erick Epifano did not touch second base (and it was nowhere close to a neighborhood play), but he also threw the ball wide past first base. From that moment on the Dutch collected three hits and scored five runs.
In the next four innings, the Dutch runs accumulated 1, 2, 3, 4 and 1 (solo homerun by catcher Dashenko RIcardo) in the seventh to reach the final score of 16-1.
Berry van Driel, who replaced Rob Cordemans in the sixth, gave up one hit but kept the Azzurri from scoring by striking out two. One inning later, Mike Bolsenbroek pitched a perfect seventh, in which he fanned one, to finish the game.
The Italians were outhit 17-4. In fact there were only three players of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that got multiple hits: Kalian Sams (2 for 2 with three RBI, a run scored and three walks), Curt Smith (4 for 5 with six RBI and three runs scored) and Randolph Oduber (5 for 6 with two RBI and three runs scored).
Randolph Oduber got two doubles and Curt Smith one. Carlton Daal hit a triple and Dashenko Ricardo, Curt Smith and Kalian Sams all hit a homerun.
After Shawn Zarraga, Tom Stuifbergen, Diegomar Markwell, Andruw Jones got injured when he ran from third to home plate in the second inning. Eventually he was pulled. Curt Smith moved towards first base from left field. Dwayne Kemp took his place in left.