The Netherlands debuted in the Pony League World Series today. They faced an opponent from Washington County in Pennsylvania, of which quite some players were about a foot taller than the Dutch kids.
The Netherlands took the lead in the top of the first inning when Raydley Legito scored from third base on a 4-3 ground out hit by Nick Boxelaar, after he had gotten on base on a fielding error by the third baseman of Washington County.
But Washington Country would turn the tables as they scored two in the bottom of the first. The tall kids took advantage of pitches that ended high in the strike zone. Back-to-back singles, an error by second baseman Vincent Mevissen and another single drove in the game-tying run. A wild pitch by Nick Boxelaar allowed Washington County to take the lead.
Two innings later the Dutch would tie the game again. With the bases loaded, Ernie Haswell grounded out to first base to drive in Vincent Mevissen. But the Americans would take the lead again in the fourth inning. A ground rule double and a single allowed Washington County to score the go-ahead run again. With the bases loaded, Chad Johnson was hit by a pitch to drive in the second run of the inning.
The decisive blow came in the fifth inning when Mekos Mantalis hit a three run home run to left field to extend Washington County’s lead to five. A hit to right center field and an error by center fielder Ernie Haswell allowed Washington County to score another run. The final run of the fifth inning was scored when Justin Naylor singled to right field and drove in Chad Johnson. Naylor was nailed at second for the final out as he tried to stretch a single into a double.
Besides the two runs they gave up, the American pitching totally dominated the Dutch lineup as they struck out six, allowed only five hits and gave up just two walks.
The Washington lineup, on the other hand, collected fifteen base hits.
Nick Boxelaar took the loss after four innings in which he gave up four runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk. He also struck out three.
Two of the five hits were hit by Tyriq Kemp (2 for 4), two were hit by Ayran Araya Lemaire (2 for 3) and one was hit by Raydley Legito (1 for 4).
In the losers bracket, the Netherlands will face Brownsville, Tx tomorrow as they will try to stay alive.