World Baseball Classic: Gregorius Homers Netherlands to Israel’s First Defeat

The Netherlands came out swinging and handed Israel its first defeat in the World Baseball Classic.

Unlike their first meeting on March 8, where the Kingdom of the Netherlands scored only two runs, the Dutch tightened up Pool E with their mercy-ruled 12-2 victory against Israel.

The Netherlands put up 10 unanswered runs by the fourth inning. After Yurendell de Caster singled in the Dutch’s first two runs of the game, Wladimir Balentien doubled in another pair in the third. Before the end of the inning, Didi Gregorius, who was 2-for-3 with three runs and five RBI, and Shawn Zarraga each drove in a run with RBI doubles.

Gregorius continued to produce offenses for the Netherlands and his three-run homer in the fourth put the Dutch ahead 10-0.

Nate Freiman put Israel on the board with a home run in the fourth. Although Blake Gailen brought home a run off a single in the seventh, the Netherlands brought a swift end to Israel.

Following Gregorius’ sacrifice fly, Zarraga singled in the run that put the Netherlands ahead 12-2. Since the Netherlands held a 10-run lead after the seventh, Israel had three more outs to make a comeback. However, Jim Ploeger and Orlando Yntema kept Israel from scoring in the eighth with two strikeouts and a flyout, despite a hit-by-pitch.

With Israel and the Netherlands now 1-1, Japan and Cuba continue Pool E tomorrow, March 14, at 3:00 a.m. PST. Later that day, Cuba plays a second game and faces off with the Netherlands at 8:00 p.m. PST. After a short break, Israel plays Japan at 3:00 a.m. PST on Wednesday, March 15. For the full schedule, check out worldbaseballclassic.com.

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