TAOYUAN, TAIWAN – Team USA took advantage of defensive miscues by the Netherlands and cruised to a 6-1 win in the Premier 12 quarterfinals on Monday.
The United States successfully racked up three runs, capitalizing on four fielding errors by the Dutch, to take a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning at Taoyuan International Stadium.
The Americans added two more runs on an RBI double from Adam Frazier and a Matt McBride sacrifice fly in the seventh. They secured a comfortable victory by scoring one more run on another sac fly in the eighth.
“It was a nice win for us,” U.S. manager Willie Randolph said. “We started a little bit slow. We need to capitalize on more of the opportunities we have. But again, good teams win. It’s all about the team. Every time you win in a situation like this, everyone contributes.”
The Netherlands’ starting pitcher Tom Stuifbergen was solid and gave his team 3⅔ scoreless innings. But the Dutch fell apart after manager Hensley Meulens pulled his starter off the mound, making most of their mistakes in the field.
“We were fortunate today,” Randolph said of the errors by the Dutch. “But good teams do take (advantage) of opportunities. And we did that today. Some guys had tough times throwing the ball to first base.
“After we started scoring a few runs, we kind of got the momentum going a little bit.”
Team USA starter Zack Segovia allowed just one run and three hits in five innings. Overall, the American pitching staff yielded just four hits.
Mexico also advanced to the next round, rallying to score three runs in the eighth as it edged Canada 4-3 in its quarterfinal game at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium.
Canadian starter Scott Diamond gave up one run over seven innings before Canada’s relievers coughed up a 3-1 advantage.
Canada, the Pan Am Games gold medalist, had been unbeaten in the Premier 12 and was eliminated from the inaugural World Baseball Softball Confederation global championship.
The U.S. will take on Mexico in the semifinals at Tokyo Dome. The game date and time will be announced later.
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