Today the Kingdom of the Netherlands took on the NC Dinos, also from the KBO. In a wild game in which the score went back and forth, the Dutch ended at the wrong side of the score. The Dutch pitching staff showed two faces today; one that performed well and another that did not deliver when needed.
Manager Hensley Meulens, who stated recently that team Kingdom of the Netherlands will aim for the WBC championship, lined up the following players: 1. Randolph Oduber (7), 2. Stijn van der Meer (6), 3. Yurendell DeCaster (3), 4. Curt Smith (DH), 5. Kalian Sams (9), 6. Dwayne Kemp (5), 7. Dashenko Ricardo (2), 8. Gianfranco Wawoe (4), 9. Christopher Garia (8). SP: Rob Cordemans.
The Dutch started in a quick fashion when Randolph Oduber hit a leadoff double. Stijn van der Meer advanced him to third but despite having a runner at third, the Dutch failed to cash in.
In the first innings of the game, the Dutch pitching did not come through as the Dinos took a 4-1 lead. Rob Cordemans did not start well as he gave up a triple, a double and a homerun to give the NC Dinos a 3-0 lead. Thanks to a strikeout-throw out double play with a stealing attempt, Cordemans got out of the inning but by then the damage was already done. Tom Stuifbergen replaced Rob Cordemans on the mound in the second inning but he could not stop the offensive urge of the Dinos.
In the top of the second inning, the Kingdom of the Netherlands got on the board with doubles by Kalian Sams and Dwayne Kemp, to make it 3-1 Dinos.
But with Tom Stuifbergen on the mound in the second inning, the Dinos erased the run that the Dutch scored.
But when the Dutch bats seemed to be dormant, the hitters woke up when Oduber and DeCaster drew walks, Curt Smith singled, Sams hit a three-run homerun, Dwayne Kemp singled and Gianfranco Wawoe doubled to score five runs and gave the Dutch a 6-4 lead in the top of the third inning. A scary situation for the Dutch as Kalian Sams fouled off his foot before connecting for the homerun. He would be replaced by Phildrick Llewellyn for precautionary reasons.
In the third inning, Shairon Martis took over on the mound and pitched a quick inning. Martis lasted two innings and gave up one run to make it 6-5 Kingdom of the Netherlands.
After Juan Carlos Sulbaran pitched a quick fifth inning, Mark Pawelek took the mound in the sixth and struggled badly. Three walks, a wild pitch and a sac fly gave the Koreans a 7-6 lead. But in the top of the seventh inning, Dwayne Kemp hit a double that just did not clear the fences to drive in a run, after Nick Urbanus tied the game at seven with a solo shot. Another solo shot by Curt Smith, in the ninth inning, added an insurance run to give the Dutch a 9-7 lead.
Relief pitchers Lars Huijer and Ryan Oduber both pitched a scoreless frame before handing the ball to closer Berry van Driel in the ninth. But Van Driel could not keep the Koreans from taking over as he gave up a 2-run homerun to give the NC Dinos a walk-off win.
It appears that manager Hensley Meulens has some puzzling to do. As written in the interlude, the pitching showed two faces today. On the bright side, the batters did a lot better than yesterday.
The next practice game for the Dutch will be on Monday, February 20, when they will face Gateway Community College.
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