Gonzales Draws Walk; Collegiate National Team Falls In 10
HAARLEM, The Netherlands - The championship run for Gonzaga University junior-to-be Marco Gonzales and the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team ended in the semifinals of Honkbal Week Saturday as Cuba rallied for a 5-3 victory in 10 innings.
Honkbal is Dutch for baseball. With the defeat the CNT will play for third place Sunday against the loser of Saturday's second semifinal between Puerto Rico and the host team The Netherlands.
Gonzales, figured to be the starting pitcher Saturday, instead came off the bench and drew a one-out, pinch-hit walk to load the bases in the bottom of the eight. But a strikeout and a groundout quelled the CNT rally.
Jonathon Crawford got the starting nod on the mound for the CNT, going seven innings.
The CNT took a 3-0 lead with single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Kyle Farmer's RBI single in the fifth drove home the first run, a fielder's choice plated the second run and a sacrifice fly made it 3-0 in the seventh.
Cuba drew even with a 3-run eighth then took the 5-3 lead in the top of the 10th on a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk. Honkbal Week rules call for each team to begin extra innings with runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt advanced runners to second and third in the 10th, a walk loaded the bases. Another walk forced in the first run and a sacrifice fly plated the second for the 5-3 lead.
The CNT got runners to second and third following a one-out grounder to the right side, but a popup to first ended the game.
The game was the seventh between the CNT and Cuba in the last two weeks. The teams played a 5-game series in Havana prior to departing for The Netherlands, USA Basebal winning the bookend games of the series. The CNT defeated Cuba 5-2 earlier in Honkbal Week, but Saturday's win gave Cuba a 4-3 edge in the 2012 meetings.
The 5-game series in Cuba was the first non-tournament meeting between the countries in 16 years.