Kingdom of the Netherlands falls to Korean Army team

After the first practice game vs a Korean Army team, the intention was to play vs the Korean Police team today. But that team already faced Chinese Taipei earlier today so the opponent became the army team again. 

Starting lineup Kingdom of the Netherlands (photo: @KNBSB)

The game would have a complete different outcome as the previous one. The Korean Army team gave the Dutch a hard time and handed them a 4-2 defeat.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands had a quick start as it took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, after a double by DH Andrelton Simmons and a single by Jurickson Profar.
But the Korean Army team would bounce back immediately. With Orlando Yntema on the mound, they collected two singles and a triple to tie the game at one. In an attempt to steal second, the Korean runner was thrown out by Dashenko Ricardo, who just returned from Curacao after a 20-hour flight.

In the top of the second inning, the Dutch had a chance to break the game open as they loaded the bases with two outs after Jurickson Profar singled and Xander Bogaerts and Wladimir Balentien both walked. But the Dutch failed to cash in when Jonathan Schoop struck out for the final out of the inning.

After a 1-2-3 inning of Lars Huijer, Didi Gregorius got a leadoff hit but then the Dutch failed to execute a hit-and-run which resulted in an inning-ending double play. With this star-studded infield, Lars Huijer appeared to be the perfect pitcher as he used a sinker a lot, resulting in a lot of ground balls and quick outs.

In the top of the fifth inning, team Kingdom of the Netherlands took a one run lead when Jurickson Profar drove in Randolph Oduber, for his second RBI of the day. But the Korean Army team would bounce back as they hit a two run homerun off Juan Carlos Sulbaran to take a 3-2 lead, a lead that they would extend in the seventh on a sac fly to make it 4-2.

In the top of the ninth, the Dutch started a rally when Andrelton Simmons and Sharlon Schoop both singled, but with one out and the bases loaded, Kalian Sams hit into a game ending double play.

Even though giving up four runs in a game isn’t that bad, at times, the pitching of the Dutch wasn’t as solid as it was two days ago. Orlando Yntema pitched two innings and gave up one run on three hits. His successor, Lars Huijer cruised through two innings, without giving up a hit. The third pitcher of the Dutch, Juan Carlos Sulbaran, did not far as well. He gave up a two run shot in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tom de Blok gave up a run in the seventh on a sac fly. Despite giving up a bloop single, Jim Ploeger stayed out of trouble in the eighth, also thanks to picking off a runner from first base.
Despite the game was lost already, Loek van Mil pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth.

Apparantly, this final practrice game before the start of the World Baseball Classic, was one to see what this team could do as Hensley Meulens juggled with the line up a few times. For example, he put Sharlon Schoop, normally an infielder, in center field in the bottom of the sixth, and Stijn van der Meer played third, not quite his natural position.

This report was brought to you by Score66 Baseball

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