Germany fell to Japan, 6-0 (box), and the Netherlands were defeated by South Korea, 4-0 (box), as the two European participants began play at the U23 World Cup in Chinese Taipei. Germany managed just two hits in the defeat to top-ranked Japan, while the Dutch lost a pitcher’s duel, with three South Korean runs in the seventh and final inning breaking open what had otherwise been a tense affair.
Germany took to the field first in Group A action in Douliu City, and began strongly, with starter Nicolas Göbert striking out the side. A 1-2-3 bottom of the inning saw the Japanese come to bat again, and Göbert was less effective in his second visit to the mound, with a Takumi Fuji leadoff homer starting what would become a five-hit, four-run inning that would give Japan all the runs it needed.
Five Japanese pitchers combined to strike out nine German batters while walking just one, with a fourth-inning double by Lou Helmig the highlight of the day for the German offense.
The Dutch batters did not fare much better against South Korea’s arms, collecting just three hits themselves, but Dutch starter Dylan Farley was equally dominant, striking out seven while walking two and allowing just one hit in his five innings.
South Korea did piece together a run in the fourth inning, with a leadoff single and then a walk, followed by a sacrifice bunt and a fielder’s choice, allowing the team to bring a runner home using the small-ball recipe.
And that would remain the game’s lone run until the top of the seventh inning when the South Koreans added three more runs, again using small-ball tactics, and a Dutch wild pitch, to add to the lead without recording a base hit.
The Dutch will look to rebound on Day 3 against Puerto Rico, who defeated Cuba 5-0 earlier in the day, while the Germans have the hosts Chinese Taipei on the schedule, who began play on Thursday evening (local time) and needed a five-run sixth inning to secure a comeback win over Colombia.
For complete standings, statistics, and links to live streams, visit the WBSC U23 World Cup website.