TURIN — The Netherlands defeated Israel 9-4 (box score) on Sunday to claim the country’s fourth consecutive European championship. Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Dutch rallied to score four runs in the frame and added four more in the eighth, with a Roger Bernadina three-run homer in the seventh and a Dashenko Ricardo two-run home run in the eighth punctuating the rally.
The Dutch drew first blood in the second inning, when Juremi Profar singled to drive in Denzel Richardson.
Aided by three walks, Israel responded with two runs in the fourth, and the Olympic participants added another pair of runs in the sixth thanks to Assaf Lowengart’s fourth home run of the European championship, tying him for most in the competition with the Czech Republic’s Matej Hejma.
Then the Dutch rallied.
In the bottom of the seventh, two Dutch singles forced Israel’s Ben Wanger (5IP, 7H, 3ER) from the game, only for reliever Charles Rossman to deliver Bernadina a fastball that he pulled over the right-field fence to tie the game at four. The Netherlands took the lead two batters later on a bloop single into right field by Sharlon Schoop, and the Dutch threat continued, only ending when John Polonius struck out with the bases loaded.
Wendell Floranus struck out the Israeli side in the top half of the eighth, and in the bottom half of the inning, Schoop brought home two runs on a double that landed at the foot of the left-field fence. Two batters later, Dashenko’s home run took the same trajectory as Schoop’s double, but the ball was better hit and landed over the fence to give the Dutch a 9-4 lead.
Floranus faced the minimum in the ninth to close out the victory and record the save, just like he did in the Netherlands’ 9-8 semifinal victory (box score) over Spain on Friday.
The victory is the country’s fourth consecutive European championship, and 24th overall, with Italy, in 2012, the last country other than the Netherlands to claim the title.
Israel’s silver medal marks it best performance at a European championship.
Earlier in the day, the host Italians defeated Spain 2-0 (box score) to claim the bronze medal.
For complete standings and statistics, visit the WBSC Europe competition page.