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Jul '15 27

Cuba defeats Netherlands to win World Port Tournament 2015

Video courtesy of Rotterdam regional broadcaster RTV Rijnmond (part about baseball starts at 9 minutes)

Box score

Cuba has won the 2015 World Port Tournament. The team of manager Victor Mesa defeated the Netherlands 5-3 in the final game on Sunday at Family Stadium in Rotterdam, Netherlands. A three-run fourth broke a 1-1 tie en route to the win for the team from the Caribbean. Lourdes Gourriel set the highlight with a solo home run. Dwayne Kemp had three hits for the Dutch team. Frank Montieth conceded six hits, two runs (1 ER) and three walks in 5 2/3 innings for the win. Rob Cordemans surrendered five runs on nine hits in six frames to take the loss.

Prior to the final the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Raily Legito, “ambassador” for national foundation to prevent youngsters (especially immigrants) from getting involved in criminality. Slogan: Alleen JIJ bepaalt wie je bent. In English: It’s up to YOU only who you are.

The Dutch team was undefeated entering the final, having defeated Cuba and Curacao en route to the championship game. Cuba successfully survived the loser’s bracket of the double elimination playoffs, prevailing over Chinese Taipei and Curacao on its way to the last game of the event. Curacao finished in third place ahead of Japan and Chinese Taipei, which shared fourth place.

Overall it was a successful tournament for the organizers. 33,500 paying visitors attended the 16 games this past week, up from 29,000 in 2013. One game, the matchup between Japan and Curacao, had to be cancelled due to the weather conditions in the Netherlands on Saturday. It was the heaviest July storm registered since 1901, when the Netherlands started measuring. Motorways in the Rotterdam and The Hague region were closed for traffic. Trees and branches had been blown on the roads.

The final game between Netherlands and Cuba was attended by former Mayor Bram Peper, the initiator of the first WPT in 1985. The Haarlem native mayor considered the traditional Honkbal Week in Haarlem as an example for a new baseball tournament in Rotterdam. When he hosted his Havana colleague in Rotterdam town hall, Peper had to take his Cuban guest to Haarlem for an attractive baseball event. Therefore he invited some baseball personalities from Rotterdam in order to start a Rotterdam version based on sponsoring by regional port companies.

Individual Awards:

Best Hitter Yasiel Santoya #41 (CUB)
Best Pitcher Diegomar Markwell #36 (NED)
Homerun King Osvaldo Vasquez – #31 (CUB)
Most Valuable Player Lourdes Courriel #91  (CUB)
Most Popular Player Dwayne Kemp #7 (NED)
Donald Bax award Raily Legito (CUR)
Best Rookie Christian Diaz (NED)

Final Standings:

Pos. Team
1 Cuba
2 Netherlands
3 Curaçao
4 Japan
4 Chinese Taipei

Complete results and more information can be found at www.worldporttournament.nl

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