The Netherlands defeated the Czech Republic, 4-1, in a game that lasted less than two hours to earn the first win of the WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Qualifying event for the games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020.
“It was a quick game,” commented Dutch manager Evert Jan ‘Thoen. “We didn’t score a lot of runs, but our starter Orlando Yintema never got in trouble out there.”
Orlando Yintema went eight innings and earned the win, before handing the ball to Kevin Kelly for the final three outs. The Czech Republic scored the lone run against Yintema in the top of the fourth. Catcher Martin Cervenka scored on a base hit by left fielder Martin Muzik to tie the score.
“We had a plan that worked well,” commented Orlando Yintema. “I tried to attack hitters, with a mix of breaking balls and fastballs. They are aggressive hitters and sometimes they got to me on my first pitch. I’m fortunate enough to have a line up that can change the course of the game on a pitch.”
It actually happened. Left fielder Ademar Rifaela hit a two-out solo home run off starting pitcher Ondrei Satoria to put the Dutch ahead in the bottom half of the game and centre fielder Roger Bernadina hit a two-out and two-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to break the score open.
“Obviously Bernadina’s hit was huge,” commented Evert Jan ‘Thoen “It was also very good that we had to use only two pitchers. Pitching is going to be the key in a tournament as short as this Qualifier.