Mexico defeats Netherlands, ends perfect in Guadalajara

Mexico defeats Netherlands, ends perfect in Guadalajara
Mexico closed Group A with a 10-2 victory over the Netherlands and finished Group A with a perfect record.

No. 6 rankedMexico earned their third win of the Opening Round against no. 8 ranked Netherlands, 10-2, and finished the Group A undefeated.

Mexico scored early, and trusted in an eight-pitcher combination to win the game.

In the bottom half of the first inning Mexico jumped ahead with two runs. Jonathan Jones singled to leadoff the inning. Noah Perio followed with another hit to center field, Jones went to third and scored after an errant throw went into the stands. Perio also crossed the plate on a grounder to short stop.

In the bottom of the third Mexico doubled its advantage. With a runner on first, Efren Navarro brought in a run with a deep fly ball that left fielder Gilmer Lampe couldn’t glove on the warning track. Later Navarro scored with a 2-out single off the bat of Jesus Araiza.

In the seventh inning Mexico took an 8-0 lead. The Dutch defence didn’t support its pitchers, committing two errors that costed the four runs.

Netherlands scored their only two runs of the game in the top of the eighth with a 2-run single by pinch hitter Yurendell De Caster. The European team then loaded the bases with two outs, after a single by Juremi Profar and a walk by Ademar Rifaela. But shortstop Calten Daal failed to produce more runs with a grounder to the pitcher.

Mexico scored the last two runs of the game in the bottom half of the eighth, with a grounder by Jones and a sac fly by Perio (2-for-4, 3R, RBI).

Mexican Manager Juan Gabriel Castro used eight different pitchers during the game. During the press conference he said: “I’m very happy. I could see all our pitchers during these three games.

"Some pitchers had a few days without pitching a game, and today we had the chance to put them all in play, and now we have a better idea of what we can do with them”.

Arturo Reyes started the game for Mexico and a had a great three-inning outing. He struck out five and allowed only one hit and two walks. The winner pitcher for Mexico was Manuel Barreda, who pitched 1.2 hitless innings, fanned one and issued three walks.

The loser for the Netherlands was Tom Stuifbergen, who pitched only the first inning and surrendered two hits and two runs.

Asked about the strategy for the Super Round, Castro said: “We must wait which teams advance to the Super Round, and we’ll make a decision about our pitchers. We know that the best six teams of the tournament will participate in the Super Round, so there’s no easy games. But we’ll be ready.”

Mexico won the Group A with three wins and now will head to Tokyo, Japan, to play the Super Round of the Premier12 2019. The Mexican team will start this round with a 1-0 record, thanks to the victory against USA by a score of 8-2.