October 14, 2022
Matthew Tallarini, Chief Correspondent, WORLD BASEBALL NETWORK
Netherlands and South Korea squared off in a pitching duel performance in Taiwan. South Korea is looking to bounce back from last year’s performance in the U-23 World Cup in Sonora, Mexico. South Korea placed fifth out of group play with a 1-4 record and did not qualify to the super round. Their only win in last year’s U-23 was against the Netherlands by a score 8-7 in extra innings. South Korea’s Tae Ho Park did not meet the top ranking nation’s expectations as Yeon Soo Lee will take over the managerial duties for the South Korea ball club during the U-23 World Cup. South Korea’s team will made be up of 19 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) professional held organizational players, along with LHP Saang Yung Lee whose team went 10-3 in 22 games for the Korea Armed Forces ball club, and five collegiate players. The two players returning for South Korea from last year’s U-23 World Cup are pitcher Junho Lee and catcher Junho Yuh.
Eighth ranked Netherlands during last year’s U-23 World Cup would go 3-5 not qualifying for the super round under current manager Sidney De Jong for the Kingdom ball club. Team Netherlands will carry the same coaching staff from last year with De Jong’s managing along with bench coach Jan-Evert ‘T Hoen, first base coach Eugen Kingsale, and pitching coach Robin Van Doornspeek. The Netherlands roster is made up of current players from Curacao, Aruba, and the Kingdom of Netherlands from their main pro league in the Netherlands (Honkbal Hoofdklasse). Also two collegiate players from the United States infielder Kaeber Rog and outfielder Lenin Ashby and major league housed players SS Shervyen Newton with the New York Mets organization and OF Darryl Collins with Kansas City Royals organization. The returning players from last year’s U-23 Netherlands ball club are pitcher Kevin Bakker, infielder Tyriq Kemp, catcher Yurdion Martie, pitcher Jiorgeny Casimiri, catcher Dave Janssen, outfielder Max Kops, pitcher Koen Postemans, and outfielder Jeandro Tromp. Netherlands has never placed for a medal position in the U-23 World Cup and is looking to do so for the first time in their nation’s history. South Korea is a medal result for the first time since the 2016 U-23 World Cup was held in Monterrey, Mexico during and also during the first U-21 World Baseball Cup that was held in Taiwan during 2014 where they were placed with bronze.
South Korea’s manager Yeon Soo Lee would have starting pitcher Saanyung Lee get the nod against the Netherlands. While Kingdom of Netherlands manager Sidney De Jong would have Dylan Farley go the first game to stop the high powered offense against the 3rd ranked team in the world. Both pitchers would have no harm done to them in the first inning as they retired the side in order effectively. The first base runner of the game would not come until the third inning as first basemen Taeyang Han would reach on a two out walk for South Korea. During the top of the fourth inning, South Korea would attempt to go on the board as 2B Seunghyeok Yang led off the inning with a single. Next batter, RF Sejin Cho would draw a walk advancing Yang to second. CF Donghee Yoon would lay down a sacrifice bunt advancing both runners into scoring position with one out. A few moments later DH Janghan Oh would hit a sharp ground ball to second basemen Tyriq Kemp as he dives to make the play allowing just one run to score for South Korea as they took the lead 1-0. No more damage would result as Dylan Farley would get shortstop Hanbyul Kim to fly out to right for the final out of the fourth.
The Netherlands would flirt with runners on base the next two bottom half innings with no runs resulting. Saanyung Lee would enter his sixth inning of work with just a one run lead and lots of chemistry from starting catcher Inseo Heo calling a great game for the battery mate couple. In Lee’s last inning of work he would allow one hit resulting in a stellar performance from the South Korea south paw. Saanyung Lee’s final stat line would be three inning’s pitched, with just three hits allowed, four strikeouts, no earned runs and no walks during his dominant start.
The South Korea offense would look to add more insurance runs during the top half of the seventh. First batter of the inning, Janghan Oh would be hit by a pitch from relief pitcher Jiorgeny Casimiri who just entered the game. In the middle of SS Hanbyul Kim’s at bat pinch runner Taeyun Kim would steal second to put himself in scoring position with no outs. Later in the at bat, Kim would strike out looking for the first out of the seventh inning. A few moments later catcher Inseo Heo would draw a one out walk in the threatening inning. During Youngwoo Ko’s at bat South Korea would pull off a double steal to keep the Netherlands defense on their toes as Taeyun Kim and Inseo Heo positioned themselves to second and third with just one out. In Ko’s at bat he would place a ground ball to shortstop Shervyen Newton as he attempted to throw out the speedy Kim at home as he slid in safely resulting in a 2-0 lead for the South Korea ball club. Next at bat Taeyang Han would ground out to the third basemen as Inseo Heo would come around to score to make it a 3-0 game with Youngwoo Ko advancing to third on the play. In the middle of LF Seunghwan Song’s at bat Ko would come around to score on relief pitcher Klevert Martina’s wild pitch as South Korea would take a 4-0 lead during the seventh. Eventually Martina would get Song to ground out to short stop for the final out of the seventh to stop South Korea.
Closer Juhyung Lee for South Korea would enter the game to shut the door against the Netherlands as he recorded two strikeouts and one in play ground ball to salvage a 4-0 win. Lee would get catcher Dave Janssen to strikeout swinging for the final out of the game for South Korea. On the loss side of the column Dylan Farley would pitch a great game going five innings, allowing just one hit, one earned run, two walks, and seven strikeouts for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. South Korea’s next game will be on October 15th at 7:00 local time against Mexico in Taipei City. The Netherlands would look to bounce back against Puerto Rico on October 15th at 2:30 local time in Taipei City to capture their first win of the U-23 WBSC World Cup.