On the first day of the U23 European Championship Baseball in Prague, Czech Republic, the Dutch took on Great Britain. But the Brits handed the Dutch an unexpected loss mainly because Dutch hoofdklasse pitcher Paul Kirkpatrick outmatched them. Team Great Britain won 2-1.
Kirkpatrick, born in London, but raised in the US, was practically unhittable for the Dutch lineup. In seven innings, Kirk Patrick pitched a complete game (!) in which he gave up just one run on five hits and two walks as he struck out twelve.
In the third inning, Fred Mosier was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a single by Juan Diaz. A failed pickoff attempt allowed Mosier to score the opening run.
Dutch starting pitcher Matz Schutte also allowed the first British runner on base in the fourth inning with an HBP. When Connor McGrath got on base on an error, a double steal and the throwing error by catcher Jules Cremer that followed, allowed Matteo Sollecito to extend Great Britain’s score with a run.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Dutch finally got on the board when Delano Selassa scored from third base on a single to right field, hit by Jules Cremer. But that was all the team was capable of as Paul Kirkpatrick stood in their way. In the seventh inning, with two outs, Jeremy Tromp doubled down the left-field line to put the tying run in scoring position, but Kirkpatrick efficiently retired the next batter on a strikeout.
The Dutch defense was rather shaky as it committed three miscues.
Paul Kirkpatrick earned the win, while Matz Schutte took the loss after four innings in which he gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks and struck out five. Best hitter for the Netherlands was Jules Cremer, who went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
Tomorrow, the Dutch will take on France that lost to Germany in the opening game of the tournament. The numbers one and two of each group will advance to the next round.