The Netherlands defeated Italy, 8-3, and closed at the second place the WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Qualifier. In this way, The Dutch team will have another opportunity to go to the Olympics, playing in the final Qualifier in early 2020. Orlando Yntema got the victory, while Kalian Sams, Ademar Rifaela and Sharlon Schoop led the offence, with a combined six hits game.
‘’We got a huge win today against a good team, and we have another opportunity to go to Tokyo 2020’’ Kalian Sams said after the game. ‘’We had a tough game against Israel during the tournament, unfortunately, but it’s nice to have another chance to go to the Olympics. We have to take it’’.
Italy got on the scoreboard in the top of the third frame. Mattia Reginato led off the inning with a single. With two outs, Gavin Cecchini reached on error and Reginato scored.
The Netherlands came from behind and took the lead in the fourth against starter Alessandro Maestri. Dwayne Kemp reached first on a strikeout wild pitch, and Roger Bernadina doubled down right-field line. Hendrik Clementina earned a walk to load the bases. Ademar Rifaela flied out, but Kalian Sams reached on fielders choice to tie the game up. Later Sicnarf Loopstok was hit by pitch, and Yurendell Decaster and Sharlon Schoop hit a pair of singles to make the score 4-1.
Italy cut the deficit to one in the sixth inning. Chris Colabello singled, and Alessandro Vaglio hit a two-run shot to deep left field off starting pitcher Orlando Yntema.
However, the Netherlands increased the lead in the ninth. The Dutch added four runs, thanks to 3 hits, including Rifaela’s RBI double and Sams’ 2 RBI single.
The Dutch relief corps closed the door. Tom Stuifbergen, Kevin Kelly, Diegomar Markwell and JC Sulbaran combined for 3.2 innings, allowing only two hits.
‘’It’s a disappointing result’’ Alessandro Vaglio commented. ‘’In these weeks a lot of things went wrong. We had many opportunities, but we weren’t cynical enough. We left a lot of runners on bases, and the defence made some errors. While other teams grew up, we lost something. There is some bitterness, but it’s baseball’’.