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Sep '09 23

BWC 3rd Round: Luke Hughes hurts Dutch Final Chances

Baseball World Cup Round 3, Grosseto:

Australia – Netherlands 5-2

NED 000 000 110  2 6 2
AUS 000 002 03X  5 4 2

Box score

The dream for a Dutch final berth could be over soon. They lost 2-5 to Australia on Wednesday in Grosseto (attendance: 250) and dropped to 3-2 in the Pool F standings. The Aussies scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to decide the outcome, just moments after the Netherlands had evened the score.

Australia had struck first, taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth on Luke Hughes two-run homerun over the left field fence. The lone remaining European squad in the tournament fought right back, cutting the deficit to a run in the seventh thanks to an error. One frame later they tied it on a RBI single by Randall Simon.

But it was not enough. After Australia regained the lead when Brad Harman scored on a wild pitch, Hughes found his power stroke again and sent a 1-1 pitch again over the left field wall for a two-run homerun. In the ninth Bryan Engelhardt tried to initiate a rally with a one-out single. But Sharlon Schoop grounded into a double play to end the game.

Liam Hendricks (AUS) and Tom Stuifbergen (NED) were locked into a pitcher’s duel early on. Hendricks allowed just two hits in six scoreless innings, striking out four. Stuifbergen gave up only two hits and two bb in five innings. He had two strikeouts. Matthew Williams (W 2-0) picked up the win, Dennis Neuman (L 1-1) the loss.

Australia squares off with Venezuela on Thursday, while the team of Rod Delmonico takes on Canada.

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