Second surprise win for Dutch baseball team
The Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic (2-1), for a second time, and knocked the heavily favoured Dominican team right out of the World Baseball Classic.
Felipe Alou, the manager of the Dominican Republic team, said last Saturday that his country had lost 3-2 from a team it should have beaten 9-0. But on Tuesday night, the Dutch outsiders beat the Dominican Republic again 2-1 in 11 innings. In doing so, the Netherlands knocked the heavily favoured Dominican team right out of the World Baseball Classic, and qualified itself for the quarter finals in Miami on Saturday.
The Dutch success story has come as a surprise to everyone, including the Dutch. On Monday, the hotel key cards for the Dutch players had to be replaced because they had expired. The Dutch themselves had booked the players on a flight out of Puerto Rico on Monday. Apparently, no one was expecting them to stay in the game so long.
Netherlands manager Rod Delmonico, an American, was overjoyed after Tuesday night´s game. "This is a miracle. These guys are incredible. They are to a man ready to walk through fire for the team. I am very proud of them. I consider myself blessed to be allowed to coach this team," he said.The gathered sports journalists in the media tent rewarded him with applause.
Getting to the quarter finals means that the Dutch baseball league will be getting 700.000 dollars. The Netherlands team will now have to face either the US or Venezuela - both strong baseball nations - in the quarter finals in Miami on Saturday. It is playing Puerto Rico on Wednesday night for first place in Group D. The Netherlands lost 3-1 against Puerto Rico on Monday but Puerto Rico needed three runs in the eighth inning to deny another Dutch upset.
The Dominican coach, Felipe Alou, was understandably disappointed by his team's performance. "We tought we had seen everything and then this happened. We never expected this. But it does mean that [international] baseball is being played on a higher level," he said.