In a winner-takes-all game France bested the Netherlands 13-3 in six mercy rule innings. The Dutch let a 3-0 lead slip through their fingers. Both the hitting and the pitching did not work out today. The pitching was hit hard and the offense was kept in check by the French pitchers.
The Netherlands took a lead in the first inning when Miquel Willem scored from second base on a single to left field by Jamie Beerman. In the next inning, things looked bright when the Dutch scored two more runs. With runners on first and second and two outs, Miquel Willem singled through the right side. A fielding error by the French right fielder allowed Amarensio Franka and Leandro Mata to cross home plate. But from there the offense stalled.
Maxwell Cornelissen pitched three decent innings, in which he gave up one run before he got into trouble in the fourth and gave up two runs. Even though his successor Maarten Smit loaded the bases, he managed to get out of the inning without further damage.
A disastrous fifth inning was the blow the Dutch wouldn’t overcome. With no outs and the bases loaded, Baptiste Blancot hit a sac fly to center field to give the French a 4-3 lead.
If that run would have been the only one things would not have looked as ugly but France would score five more to extend their lead to 9-3.
The Dutch, on the other hand, blew a golden opportunity in the fifth to get some runs as they loaded the bases with only one out. But relief pitcher Sam Malaties retired the final two hitters to get out of the inning.
France scored four more runs in the sixth innings to end the game prematurely.
Winning pitcher for France was Sam Malaties, who pitched 1.2 innings in which he gave up only one run. Maarten Smit took the loss. In 1.1 innings he gave up six runs (only one earned) on four hits and two walks.
Best hitter for France was Baptiste Blancot, who went 3 for 3 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored.
Head coach Peter Herkemij wrote the following words on Facebook: “On July 14th beaten by the French 13-3, errors and more hits against. Tomorrow we play our final game at 1700hrs, this is only for place 5…. that was not our goal, but we have to make the best of it!!!”
To rub some salt in the wound, archrival Italy bested the Czech Republic in a hard fought victory to advance to the final. After the Italians had the lead in most of the game, the Czechs tied it in the top of the seventh as the scored three runs to make it 6-6. But in the bottom of the fifth, the Italians scored the one run they needed for the win.