Netherlands defeat Cuba 7-6, advance to WBC semifinals
By Jim Armstrong, APTOKYO--Kalian Sams drove in the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday as the Netherlands beat Cuba 7-6 to advance to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic.
March 12, 2013, 12:19 am TWN
Sams' deep fly ball to centerfield off Cuba reliever Diosdany Castillo at Tokyo Dome allowed Andruw Jones to score from third and touched off a wild celebration by the Netherlands, which becomes the first team from Europe to reach the semifinals.
“This game will go down as the biggest game in Dutch history,” Netherlands manager Hensley Muelens said. “To come back like that after being down in the eighth is amazing.”
Andrelton Simmons hit a two-run homer off Cuba reliever Norberto Gonzalez in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at 6-6 just after Cuba had taken a 6-4 lead in the top of the inning.
“I felt like I had to step up,” Simmons said. “He gave me a pitch to hit and I was really happy I could tie the game for us.”
The Netherlands will join Japan in the March 17-19 championship round in San Francisco.
“I told the guys before the game the better team will win and tonight the better team won,” Muelens said. “The guys were resilient and stayed together and that's why we won.”