Sept. 20, 2000
SYDNEY, Australia -- Arizona State University head baseball coach Pat Murphy led The Netherlands national baseball team to a shocking 4-2 win over Cuba to end a 21-game winning streak for the international baseball power in Olympic tournament play Wednesday at Homebush Baseball Stadium in Sydney.
After 21 Olympic games, the mighty Cubans, who have widely been regarded as the top international power on the diamond, finally fell, and to a Sun Devil at that. Murphy, who has ties to the Holland baseball program as far back as 1987 when he led the program to an Olympic berth for the Seoul Olympics, has his Dutch squad at 2-2 in Olympic pool play with a shot at advancing to the semifinal round. The Netherlands, who have never won an Olympic medal in baseball, are 2-2 in the tournament, tied for fourth with host Australia.
The 2000 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and 1998 Baseball America National Coach of the Year, Murphy, a Syracuse, N.Y. native, recently completed his sixth season at the helm of the ASU program, guiding the Sun Devils to a 44-15 Pac-10 Championship record and their third postseason appearance in four years. With a 605-294-3 record in 16 seasons, he is the winningest active coach under the age of 43 in collegiate baseball. Murphy has compiled a 232-123 record during his tenure at ASU, and has guided the Sun Devils to top-12 rankings in three of the last four years.
Cuba took its first Olympic loss Wednesday since baseball was introduced as a medal sport in 1992, shut down by a Netherlands team that had never experienced such a moment. One-time New York Yankee Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens' bases-loaded double drove in three runs and the Dutch held on for a 4-2 victory.
Cuba (3-1) had breezed through the first two official tournaments, winning the gold in Barcelona and Atlanta while going unbeaten. A team spiced with a few former major leaguers and managed by ASU's Murphy finally took them down.
The Dutch won behind eight quality innings by Oregon native and former San Francisco Giant farmhand Ken Brauckmiller, who scattered seven hits and three walks while striking out two. Center fielder Rikkert Faneyte took to the mound in the ninth to earn his first save of the Olympics.
Copy by Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations
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