Dutch starter Kenny BERKENBOSCH and two relievers combined for a three-hit shutout as the Netherlands spanked Croatia 13-0 on Wednesday to win Pool A with a spotless 5-0 record.
The Dutch continued their habit of racing out to a big lead by scoring scoring three times in both the first and second innings. Johnny BALENTINA and Hainley STATIA opened the game with back-to-back doubles and Railey LEGITO drilled his fourth home run of the tournament to give the Dutch a 3-0 lead heading into the second.
Yurendell DECASTER drove home BALENTINA and STATIA with a two-bagger down the left field line as the Dutch took a 6-0 lead after two innings. It would be more than enough runs for the 22-year-old BERKENBOSCH who fanned eight and allowed only two singles in five scoreless innings of work.
Leading 7-0 the Dutch began a two-out rally highlighted by Danny ROMBLEY’S two-run triple and Sharnel ADRIANA’S two-run single to the gap in right center to score five more unanswered runs. Reliever Dorotheus DRAIJER pitched one scoreless inning before giving way to 27-year-old Dutch closer Duko JANSEN who registered the final three outs.
Croatian starter Marin FARKAS (0-1) surrendered seven runs in four innings including three walks while reliever Dabo MATKO had control problems giving up three free passes and five runs in less than an inning on the mound.
The Dutch will get Thursday off and return to action on Friday against France in the European Championships final round. Croatia will meet Ukraine on Thursday.