by Pim van Nes
The Dutch starting pitcher David Bergman in today’s game between the Netherlands and Japan conceded his first base after two outs in the third inning, his first hit in the eighth inning, his first run two outs later. Tired but leading 2-1 Bergman came back to the mound again in the bottom of the ninth inning, but on his first pitch it was Japan’s first baseman Ryoji Nakata to tie the score with a homerun: 2-2. With the bases loaded shortstop Noriharu Yamazaki singled off reliever Michiel van Kampen for the game winning RBI scored by pinch runner Jumpei Komichi: 3-2.
Bergman faced only ten Japanese batters in the first three innings and committed the only defensive error in the game overthrowing first base in the fourth inning, when his team was already leading 1-0 thanks to a double and a run by first baseman Percey Isenia. Bergman solved the situation in the fourth by catching the same runner Shota Ishimine during an attempt of stealing third base. Bergman repaired his strong performance, came back and saw just three three batters in each of the three innings in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh inning. No reliever was sent to the mound to replace Bergman until the no-hitter was gone, the shutout was gone and the lead was gone.
Japan on the other hand used four strong pitchers to stay close behind the Netherlands, leading 1-0 since the second inning and 2-0 since Roel Koolen’s leadoff homerun in the fifth. Shingo Tatsumi, Yusuke Inoue, Hisashi Takeuchi and Masahiro Inui combined for twelve strikeouts, while allowing only six hits to Dutch batters. The last two pitchers did not concede any more hits during 2 1/3 innings. Home playing Japan, however, started its production in the box at the same time, hitting twice and scoring once in the eighth and again hitting twice for the late victory after 8 1/3 innings. The Japanese were out-hit by the Netherlands (6-4), but used their home advantage by rallying in reaction.
Results Tuesday: USA – Antilles 11-0 in 7 innings, Japan – Netherlands 3-2.
1. USA 1.000 (3-0)
2. Japan 0.750 (3-1)
3/4. Taiwan and Cuba 0.500 (1-1)
5. Netherlands 0.333 (1-2)
6. Antilles 0.000 (0-4)
Photo: © Ron Wickert, www.eott.nl
Pim van Nes
Baseball writer for