2019 European Championship: Dutch disappointing in loss vs Czech Republic

In a game that started after a rain delay, the Dutch took an early lead, which proved not to be enough as the Czech Republic surged past the Netherlands to a 5-1 lead. Several small rallies led to an 8-6 victory for the Czech Republic, a surprising win for sure. 

Tom de Blok came off a good start as he had consecutive 1-2-3 innings, two strikeouts in the first inning. The Dutch took an early lead in the first inning when Curt Smith doubled through the right side to drive in Calten Daal from second base.
With some help of his defense that turned a nice double play, Marik Minarik pitched out of a jam as the Dutch left a runner on base with on runs scored in the second inning.

In the third inning, Martin Cervenka tied the game with a solo home run to deep left field.

The further the game continued, the more Minarik settled in and gave the Dutch a hard time. Besides that, in a disastrous fifth inning, the Dutch completely gave it away. After De Blok had given the home run to Cervenka, he was replaced in the fifth as he gave up three consecutive singles that loaded the bases before a fielding error allowed the Czechs to take the lead. Juan Carlos Sulbaran took over but could not stop the Czechs offensive aspirations. A single and a surprising bunt drove in three more runs for the Czech Republic. Sharlon Schoop fielded the ball and threw it past first base completely that led to two runs. The decision to let Schoop play at third base was questionable after all as his natural position shortstop or second base. Schoop committed two errors of which one led to two unearned runs to give the Czechs a 5-1 lead over the Dutch.

A three-run home run by Calten Daal, in the bottom of the fifth, brought the Dutch back into the game as it just stayed at the right side of the foul pole in left field.

As Juan Carlos Sulbaran was not happy with the mound as it was hit by tormenting rainfall, he gave up a single in the sixth that led to the sixth run for the Czechs as Adam Hajtmar scored from second base. A wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth allowed Kalian Sams to score and bring the Dutch within a run from the Czech Republic.

But in the top of the ninth, the Czechs struck once more as it scored two more runs to make it 8-5, a lead the Dutch could not overcome. The Dutch scored one more run on a sac fly but wasn’t capabe to add more to their total, so the Czech Republic handed the Dutch their first loss of the tournament.

One cannot say that with six runs scored, the offense did a bad job. The pitching did not pan out today and the five errors that were committed did not help them either. Of the eight runs the Czechs scored, two were unearned. Regarding the errors that were committed, the Dutch defense may be excused because of the pouring rain, which makes it hard to throw a soaking wet ball. But on the other hand, the Czech Republic committed only one.

Marik Minarek earned the win. In six innings, he gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks as he struck out four. Martin Schneider pitched two innings for the save. He gave up one run on three hits and struck out one.

Best hitter for the Czech Republic was Adam Hautmar, who went 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored.

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