The Netherlands taking a squeaker from the Dominican Republic was one thing. After all in the last WBC the Dutch beat Panama, which was unexpected.
But the last two days have seen first Italy knocking out Canada from the WBC, with a 6-2 victory, and now the Dutch taking on the Dominicans again and winning!
After losing a close game to Puerto Rico, 3-1, having held a slim lead until the 8th inning, the Dutch had to face the Dominicans again in an elimination game, to determine which of the two would go forward to the second round of WBC 2009. Obviously the Dominicans were smarting from their unexpected loss in the first game, and most people probably expected them to come out swinging and demolish the Dutch.
Didn’t happen that way. After a scoreless 9 innings, the Dominicans scored a run in the top of the 11th. But the Netherlands came out victorious with two runs in the bottom of the inning!
“This is a miracle. The Dominican Republic is one of the best teams in the world,” Netherlands manager Rod Delmonico said with tears in his eyes. “It is difficult to describe what took place. These kids have fought for three days. I have never had a team with this much passion.”
Europe is not in the World Baseball Classic just to make the sport look more international. Europe is there because European baseball has come of age.