Dutch national baseball team fails to qualify for Tokyo Olympics
The Dutch national baseball team has failed to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo set to take place this summer. Dutch dreams were crushed following a disappointing 10-0 loss against Venezuela in the Olympic qualifying tournament semifinals. The match was held in Puebla, Mexico, and was called off after seven innings because of the large lead.
The Dutch team only managed two hits in the match, with Venezuelan pitcher Henry Centeno earning the win. He threw six strikeouts and walked one in seven innings of play during the game,
Venezuelan hitting dominated Dutch starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens. The veteran right hander gave up six runs on five hits and two walks. He was pulled after just 2 2/3 innings.
Alexander Palma got the scoring started with two RBI singles. In the third inning, the South American team took control with a three-run homer by Robinson Chirinos, putting them up 5-0. Another RBI single from Luis Sardiñas followed.
Engelb Vielma and Hernan Pérez later secured a resounding triumph with each hitting two-run homers in the seventh inning.
Venezuela will now face the Dominican Republic in a fight for the last available spot at the Olympic tournament. Japan, Israel, South Korea, Mexico and the United States have already qualified for the event. Baseball is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 2008.
The Dutch baseball players can now look ahead to the European championship scheduled for September. The European Championships is taking place in a new format, with the number of participating teams being expanded from 12 to 16 teams for the first time.
The Netherlands has been drawn in Group D together with the national teams of Sweden and Czech Republic. The last place in the group will be taken by the winner of the qualifying tourney in the Slovakian capital Bratislava.
The European Championship will be hosted by the Italian city of Piemont.