The European Classic Netherlands-Italy was an elimination game. The Netherlands won and finished second (4-1 record) in the consolation round and eighth overall in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2017. Chinese Taipei ended with another win (against South Africa, the only team with no wins) and a clean (5-0) record the consolation round and are seventh overall. Nicaragua outscored Mexico to create a 3 team tie (2-3) with Italy. Mexico has the worst TQB (Team Quality Balance) and is eleventh, Italy is ninth and Nicaragua tenth because of Italy’s win on Day 1 in the direct matchup during the qualifying round. South Africa ended in twelwth place.
The Netherlands beat Italy 2-1 at the end of a game dominated by pitchers (Italy had 4 hits, The Netherlands 2). Italy was plagued by 3 defensive errors.
Italy righthander Michele Vassallotti is off a rough start. He walks right fielder Tromp and second baseman Kelkboom to begin the game. Tromp reaches third on a wild pitch and scores on an error by second baseman Paolini, who was trying to cover a steal by Tromp. Vassallotti commits an error that loads the bases, then gets out of the inning striking out designated hitter Hatma.
Vassallotti and Netherlands starter Donny Breek go hitless for 3 innings. Then Italy shortstop Angioi singles in the top of the fourth. When center fielder Bertossi flies out to center, Angioi is doubled up at first.
Italy ties it in the top of the fifth. First baseman Seminati singles, advances on a grounder by Paolini, steals third and then scores when catcher Morresi grounds out.
Vassallotti is done after 5 (1 hit, 4 walks and 7 strike outs) and Tucci fills in. The Netherlands score the winning run off him in the seventh. First baseman Takke walks and left fielder Bryson bunts him to second. He gets to second as Tromp groundes out and scores on an infield hit by Kelkboom.
Breek earns the win going 8 innings, De Groot pitches the ninth allowing a hit.
Chinese Taipei finish the consolation round undefeated with a 3-0 win against South Africa. Lin Jui Hsiang earns the win going 5 inning and allowing a hit. Lin Hsin Chieh works 3.2 innings and Kuo Tien Hsin gets the last out.
Chinese Taipei get only 6 hits on South Africa starter Brandon Smith, who goes the distance despite 6 walks and 4 defensive errors. Only left fielder Chu Mai Ko has an RBI (he singled to score Li Yu Chuan in the fourth). The other 2 runs are scored capitalizing on defensive errors.
Nicaragua outscore (10-4) Mexico on a strong performance (19 hits) by their offence. Catcher Valdez and shortstop Castillo enjoy a 3 hit game, but 5 more players have 2 and just one of the 9 line up starters can’t contribute.
The game is close and Mexico leads it until the bottom of the sixth. Nicaragua tie it in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Carlos Perez. Then they break the score open in the top of the eighth. Mexico reliever Jaime Garza gets started with back to back hit by pitch and 11 batters, one more hit batter, a walk and 5 hits later the score is 10-4 Nicaragua.
Carlos Rayo goes 2.2 scoreless innings to earn the win.