The United States of America got in a tiny hole, but scored three runs in the fifth inning to help defeat the Netherlands. The United States, who advanced after routing the Netherlands 6-1, will play Mexico in the WBSC Premier 12 semifinals in Tokyo, Japan.
Kalian Sams scored the first run of the game due to a dropped third strike. A sharp breaking ball from Zack Segovia (Uni-Lions, CPBL) hit the backstop to give the Netherlands a 1-0 lead in the third inning.
The United States got the run back, and then some with a three run fifth inning to take a 3-1 lead. Jacob May (Chicago White Sox) knocked in an RBI on a single up the gut to score Elliot Soto (Miami Marlins), while the other runs were scored due to four errors. Three of the four errors in the fifth came from the pitcher, Orlando Yntema.
"This is a very tough tournament with a high caliber of play and those guys play hard," said Team USA manger Willie Randolph. "We were fortunate to take advantage of the opportunities that we were given."
The run support gave Segovia, who went 5.0 innings, the win. He gave up one run on three hits and has improved to 2-0 in the Premier 12.
Taking over for Segovia was Brooks Pounders (Kansas City Royals), who impressed with four innings of one-hit baseball. The 25-year-old struck out three Netherlands hitters.
Adam Frazier (Pittsburgh Pirates) added a run in the seventh inning with an RBI double to left field, scoring May after he was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Another run was added as Matt McBride (Colorado Rockies) hit a sacrifice fly to score Frazier. The run gave the United States a 5-1 lead.
Making it 6-1 was Brett Phillips (Milwaukee Brewers), who tripled to right center and was drove in by a sacrifice fly.
"After we scored a few runs and got some momentum we were ok," said Randolph. "That inning snowballed a bit and once we saw they had trouble fielding bunts, we went back to it."
"This was a nice win for us, it gets us into the big dance if you will, and that's what we were looking for. It was a good game for us overall, we started out a little slow, but once we got some chances we capitalized on them. Just a good team win today."
With the 6-1 win, the United States will play Mexico in the WBSC Premier 12 semifinals in Tokyo, Japan. Mexico defeated Canada in the quarterfinals. Earlier in 2015 Premier 12 pool play, the United States defeated Mexico, 10-0.