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Netherlands eliminates Cuba

Netherlands eliminates Cuba

Posted by PanamericanWorld on March 16, 2017

Former Major Leaguer Wladimir Balentien homered twice and drove in five runs as the Netherlands overpowered Cuba 14-1 in seven innings on Wednesday in Tokyo at the World Baseball Classic.

Balentien, who plays in Japan for the Yakult Swallows, hit a three-run homer in the first inning and added a solo blast in the third as the Netherlands jumped out to a 7-0 lead.

"We knew this was a needed game so I was focused on every at-bat," Balentien said. "I was happy to get a chance to put us on the board early with those home runs."

Yurendell Decaster drove in two runs on a single to right in the fourth when the Netherlands scored five more runs to put the game out of reach.

Netherlands starter Diegomar Markwell picked up the win after holding Cuba to one run on four hits over six innings.

Cuba, 0-3 in Pool E, was eliminated from the tournament.

"The Netherlands crushed us and we were unable to come back," Cuba manager Carlos Marti said. "Cuba is a very young team so this was a good experience and we have to prepare for the future."

Japan reaches championship round

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo sparked a five-run sixth inning with a solo home run to lead Japan over Israel 8-3 Wednesday and into the championship round of the World Baseball Classic.

With a perfect 6-0 record through the first two rounds, two-time champion Japan advances from Pool E along with the Netherlands. Israel and Cuba were eliminated.

Tsutsugo connected off Israel reliever Dylan Axelrod with blast to deep centre field. Nobuhiro Matsuda doubled in a run to make it 2-0 and Seiji Kobayashi, Nori Aoki and Ryosuke Kikuchi all added RBI hits to widen the lead.

"Our pitchers were doing a great job so I wanted to do something to contribute in that situation," Tsutsugo said.

Seiichi Uchikawa hit a double down the third base line to drive in two more runs in the eighth and Matsuda singled in the final run to complete the rout.

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