Today we finished the opening round on the U18 World Cup with a win over Mexico, ending the first part of the tournament with 2 wins and 3 loses, and placing us with a 2 win advantage in the consolation round.
The opening round can be considered a successful round for team Kingdom of the Netherlands. The team has shown the great potential of our young players and has shown that Dutch (youth) baseball takes a proud position in the top of the world. Apart from a calculated los (USA) and win (RSA) we played three very competitive matches, witch we unfortunately ended with a negative balance (1-2).
After a rain delayed day we luckily managed to play our match to Cuba in the night. Apart from us having a off day tomorrow, and four teams we might meet in the next round have to play tomorrow because of this rain delay, the foggy night game was good for some beautiful pictures.
Cuba was a tough loss, mainly because we did so many great things and didn’t manage to score on 7 runs, and 2 errors of Cuba. But we revenged this scoreless game with the biggest win of the tournament and scored 22 runs, of which 14 in the first inning, against team RSA.
Against Japan we played a very good game again, maybe even the best game of the tournament. It should be considered that Japan is the world number 1 ranked country, and for this tournament they could select a team out of 160.000 high school baseball players. The popularity of baseball in Japan could also be seen by the huge media attention. Only getting out of the bus for warm up already was followed by 8 camera crews.
The game itself is best defined by this picture: so close…
Today we won our last opening round game against Mexico and a special shout-out should go to Chris Koeiman who managed to throw a complete-game shutout. [read more on our mexico game in Dutch]