Just one day is left in Intercontinental Cup history. On Saturday the Dutch team joined Cuba in the finals thanks to a tenth-inning walk-off homerun by Mariekson Gregorius in a win over host Taiwan. The championship game will be played on Sunday at 12.30pm CET. Taiwan is going to play Italy in the bronze medal match. The team of manager Marco Mazzieri nearly pulled off an upset against Cuba, as the record champion needed to overcome a 0-3 deficit en route to the victory. In a preview of tomorrow’s game for fifth place South Korea crushed Japan. In the classification round the Czech Republic lost to Nicaragua and has to settle for eighth in the final standings. Thailand barely beat Hong Kong for ninth place.
2010 Intercontinental Cup, Day 8, Saturday, October 30:
Netherlands – Taiwan 5-3 (10)
TPE 000 000 200 1 3 6 1 NED 010 001 000 3 5 9 1 Win: Yntema, O.; Loss: Lo, C.-L.
Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer Mariekson Julius Gregorius lifted the Netherland into the championship game of the Intercontinental Cup with a two-run walk-off homerun in the tenth inning of a 5-3 victory over Taiwan. With the game tied after nine innings, IBAF’s extra inning rule came into effect in the tenth. Taiwan took the lead in the top of the frame on a RBI single by Chih-Sheng Lin.
But the Dutch team came right back. Shaldimar Daantji and Eugene Kingsale were placed on first and second to begin the frame. With Gregorius at the plate both runners moved up on a wild pitch and Daantji even scored to tie the contest on a passed ball. After seeing three balls and fouling off three pitches Gregorius finally connected and sent the seventh offering of Ching-Lung Lo (L 0-1) over the fence in right field for the win.
Earlier in the game, the European baseball power house took a 2-0 lead on a double play groundball by Bas de Jong in the second and a solo homerun by Curt Smith in the sixth. But for the joy of the 9,000 spectators Taiwan tied the game in the seventh thanks to a two-run double by Kuo-Ching Kao, setting up the dramatic finish. Diegomar Markwell (NED) had allowed five hits, two runs and a walk in 6 2/3 innings. Kuan-Yu Chen (TPE) conceded five hits, two runs and three bb in 5 2/3 innings. Orlando Yntema (W 2-0) earned the win.
Cuba – Italy 5-3
ITA 000 210 000 3 9 0 CUB 000 050 00X 5 11 0 Win: Hinojosa, D.; Loss: D’Amico, Y.
The favorite stumbled a little bit, but didn’t fell. Cuba overcame a 0-3 deficit against a strong Italian team en route to a 5-3 victory. The European champion took a 3-0 lead midway through the fifth on another two-run single by Alessandro Vaglio and when Stefano De Simoni scored on a wild pitch.
However the Cuban offense woke up in the bottom of the fifth. RBIs by Rudith Orlando and Hector Olivera cut the deficit to a run. They loaded the bases afterwards and all three runners came around to score, two on a two-run single by Alex Malleta and one on a sac fly by Yohandri Urgelles. In three of the remaining four innings, Italy brought the tying run to the plate, but couldn’t score again.
Tiago Da Silva (ITA) gave up six hits, two runs and two bb in four-plus innings. Vladimir Garcia (CUB) issued six hits, three runs and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. Dalier Hinojosa (W 2-0) struck out five in 4 2/3 three-hit innings of relief. Yovany D’Amico (L 0-1) took the loss. Relievers Justin Cicatello, Andrea Pizziconi and Alessandro Maestri held Cuba scoreless over the last three frames.
Japan – South Korea 1-8
KOR 205 000 001 8 11 0 JPN 000 000 010 1 7 1 Win: Park, H. J.; Loss: Oba, S.
South Korea scored seven runs in the first three innings to beat Japan 8-1 in the last, but rather meaningless game of the medal round. Both teams will meet again on Sunday to battle for fifth. Hyun June Park (W 1-0) went the distance for the Olympic champion, allowing one run on seven hits and a walk. He needed 116 pitches for the complete game. Jae Hwan Kim went 3-for-4 with his third homerun of the tournament. Soo Bin Jung drove in three. Shota Oba (L 0-1) gave up six hits, seven runs (2 ER) and five walks in just three innings to get charged with the loss.
Final Standings Medal Round:
- Cuba 5-0
- Netherlands 3-2
- Taiwan 3-2
- Italy 2-3
- South Korea 1-4
- Japan 1-4
Game for 7th Place:
Czech Republic – Nicaragua 5-11
NIC 320 003 030 11 14 1 CZE 200 000 003 5 13 3 Win: Pena Centeno, I.; Loss: Chroust, R.
Nicaragua defeated the Czech Republic to clinch seventh place in the final standings of the Intercontinental Cup. They scored five runs in the first two frames to take a fast 5-2 lead. Three-run rallies in the sixth and eighth blew the game wide open. The Czech team didn’t go down without a fight, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth. But it was too little, too late.
Cesar Riva Granera went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI. Alex Cisneros drove in two. Petr Zyma scored twice for the Czech Republic. He, Jakub Malik, Jakub Sladek and Pavel Budsky picked up two hits apiece. Igna Pena Centeno (W 1-0) struck out eight in five solid innings for the win. He allowed seven hits, two runs and a walk. Radim Chroust (L 0-1) conceded five hits, five runs and two bb in 1 2/3 innings.
Game for 9th Place:
Thailand – Hong Kong 6-5
HOK 021 001 010 5 8 3 THA 000 023 01X 6 4 3 Win: Kamolphan, K.; Loss: Heung, T. C.
Thanks to a tie-breaking sac fly by Srisaipet Jirapod in the bottom of the eighth Thailand defeated Hong Kong 6-5 to finish in ninth place in the final standings of the Intercontinental Cup. He and shortstop Sarnwit Somsak combined for four RBI, as they had to overcome an early 0-3 deficit. Kam Tao Ip tripled twice and drove in two for Hong Kong. Kanjanavis Kamolphan (W 1-3) pitched four innings of relief to earn the win. Tsz Chun Heung (L 0-3) surrendered four hits, six runs (4 ER) and four bb in eight innings for the loss.
Sunday, October 31:
For 5th Place:
- 5.30am South Korea – Japan
Bronze Medal Game:
- 5.30am Taiwan – Italy
- 11.30pm Cuba – Netherlands
(Times are in European Central Time)
Photo: © Ezio Ratti/FIBS