22/06/2021 - 26/06/2021

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Baseball Final Qualifier 2021 - Official Payoff

Final Olympic baseball qualifier Day 4 - Semifinal: NED vs. VEN historical preview, starting pitchers

Final Olympic baseball qualifier Day 4 - Semifinal: NED vs. VEN historical preview, starting pitchers
25/06/2021
Both teams faced each other on Wednesday, in Day 2 of the Opening Round, when Venezuela took advantage of four defensive errors by the Netherland’s defense to take a 9-3 win.

PUEBLA, Mexico -- World No. 8 Venezuela and No. 9 Netherlands will meet this afternoon in the semifinal of the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier. The winner will meet the Dominican Republic tomorrow for the sixth and final spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic baseball tournament.

Henry Centeno will start for Venezuela, while Jair Jurrjens will take the ball for Netherlands.

Both teams faced each other on Wednesday, in Day 2 of the Opening Round, when Venezuela took advantage of four defensive errors by the Netherland’s defense to take a 9-3 win.

Centeno is pitching this season for the Rieleros de Aguascalientes in the Mexican Baseball League (LMB), posting a 1-2 record in four starts. He has allowed 18 earned runs in 12.2 inning, for a 12.79 ERA. During the Americas qualifier, he appeared in two games, pitching one scoreless inning against Canada and four frames against Dominican Republic, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs.

Jurrjens is a 35-year-old veteran with 8 MLB seasons and an All-Star Game (2011) appearance under his belt. During his MLB years, he collected 53 wins and 38 losses, with a 3.72 ERA. He was the starting pitcher for Netherlands in Game 3 of the Premier12 2019, lasting 2 innings allowing 5 hits and 3 runs.

First pitch is today at 5 pm.

Historical review

  • Netherlands defeated Venezuela at the World Cup in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
  • Venezuela recorded a 3-1 win against Netherlands in the second round of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
  • Venezuela can qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time.
  • Venezuela can become the first South American team to compete in baseball in the Olympic Games.
  • Netherlands competed in four of the five Olympic Games baseball was included on the programme (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008). Only in 1992 did the Dutch not feature at the Games.
  • Netherlands are level alongside Italy (both 4) as the European teams to compete in the most Olympic Games.
  • Alexi Amarista (VEN) scored four runs this tournament, more than any other player.
  • Amarista's batting average of .667 is the highest of all players in this tournament. Netherlands' Curt Smith is next on .500.