World Baseball Classic Pool D: Dominican Republic – Netherlands 2-3
NED 300 000 000 3 3 0 DOM 000 110 000 2 8 3
The Netherlands delivered on the third day of the 2009 World Baseball Classic a major upset, when they defeated tournament favorite Dominican Republic 3-2 in the opener of Pool D at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Without two of their best starting pitchers, the Dutch team held the powerful offense in check after their own batters came through right at the start of the game.
Eugene Kingsale led of the match with an infield single to Dominican starter Edinson Volquez (L 0-1). Sharlon Schoop wanted to move him to second with a sac bunt, but was safe at first himself after catcher Miguel Olivo couldn’t make the play. After outs against Randall Simon and Gregory Halman, Yurendell De Caster worked a six-pitch walk to load the bases. A wild pitch by Volquez brought Kingsale home for the lead. Sharnol Adriana followed with a groundball single to shortstop Hanley Ramirez, driving in Schoop and De Caster, as Ramirez threw the ball away.
It was the last time the Dutch offense to produce a run in the game, but it was enough. Miguel Tejada got the Dominicans on the board in the fourth with a solo homerun to right field. One inning later Ramirez drove in Olivo with a sac fly to make it 2-3. They had their opportunities to tie the game, outhitting the Netherlands 8-3. Their last threat came in the ninth against closer Leon Boyd. Willy Taveras led off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout, but was thrown out, trying to steal third. Ramirez walked with two outs, but Jose Bautista struck out on a called third strike to finish up the surprise win by the European squad.
Sidney Ponson (W 1-0) gave up five hits, two runs and three base on balls in four-plus solid innings. Relievers Alex Smit, Rob Cordemans, Dennis Neuman and Boyd, who got the save, combined to induce two more hits and five walks, but kept the zeros on the board in the last five frames. Volquez allowed two hits, three unearned runs and two bb in three innings. Rafael Perez, Pedro Martinez, Damaso Marte and Carlos Marmol were able to silence the Dutch batters with six one-hit innings of relief, striking out nine.
The Dutch team now will face the winner of the Puerto Rico-Panama game on Monday; the Dominicans will play the loser on Sunday and need a win to stay in the tournament.