2019 European Championship: Dutch brush aside Israel and Great Britain

Two innings with an offensive outburst, were enough for the Kingdom of the Netherlands to shove aside Israel. The Middle East team was unbeaten until today. Israel took a 2-0 lead but eventually the Dutch bested them 13-4. The remainder of the suspended game vs Great Britain was won 10-2.

With good ole’ Rob Cordemans on the mound for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Israel took an early lead in the first inning when Daniel Valencia homered to left center field.
In the bottom of the third, the Netherlands tied the game on a sac fly by Curt Smith and a balk.

After the fourth inning, Rob Cordemans was pulled and replaced by Mike Bolsenbroek. Bolsenbroek pitched two innings, allowed two runs on three hits and two walks and struck out one.

By the time Bolsenbroek took the mound, the Dutch had scored four runs in the top of the fifth. It all started with Dwayne Kemp hitting a leadoff triple to left field. Calten Daal was hit by a pitch and when Roger Bernadina singled through the right side, Daal tried to reach third where he was thrown out thanks to a throw by Jeremy Wolf that was right on the money. With two outs, Sharlon Schoop reached base on a fielding error that allowed Bernadina to score. A home run to right center field brought home two more runs to give the Dutch a 6-2 lead.

After Israel had inched closer by scoring two runs off Bolsenbroek, the Dutch flexed their muscles in the seventh. Three home runs drove in six runs. With runners in scoring position, Ademar Rifaela hit his second homer of the game and his fifth in two days. Hendrik Clementina followed with a solo shot to center field. After Yurendell de Caster singled to shortstop, Kalian Sams homered down the left field line to give the Kingdom of the Netherlands a commanding eight-run lead. Sams helped the Dutch on the defensive side as he made an incredible diving catch to prevent Israel from getting on base.

A bases-loaded groundout by Dashenko Ricardo in the eighth inning drove in Curt Smith for the Dutch final run of the game. In the bottom of the eighth, Tom Stuifbergen took the mound for the Netherlands. Two perfect innings with a strikeout earned him the win.

The best hitter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands was Ademar Rifaela. He got two home runs and a double out of four at-bats. Ademar drove in five runs and scored twice.

Three and a half hours later, the Dutch took on Great Britain for the remainder of the game that was suspended on Saturday due to darkness at the start of the ninth inning.
The Dutch did not score more runs in the ninth. Neither did the British as Shairon Martis finished his three-inning outing as he retired the British side.

Thanks to these two wins, the Dutch have clinched first place in group A. They finish with the same 4-1 record as Israel but thanks to the mutual result the Dutch have clinched the first spot.

On Friday, the Dutch will take on Belgium, that finished in fourth place in group B. The winner of that game will advance to the semi-finals on Saturday where it will face the winner of the game between Spain and the Czech Republic.

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