Sept. 25, 2000
Sydney, Australia -- It was a wild and very memorable run for the Netherlands National baseball team and their coach, Arizona State's own Pat Murphy, but the Cinderella story finally came to an end with the team placing fifth in the Olympic tournament.
The Netherlands finished Olympic pool play with a 3-4 record, placing fifth in the tournament behind Cuba, USA, Korea and Japan. Korea's 7-6 win over Japan eliminated the Dutch from the medal round of the 2000 Olympics.
"It was a great run for this country and I am very proud of this group of players," said Murphy from Australia. "It was the highest finish for this country in Olympic play and the most wins. It was easily the best showing they have ever had on the international baseball scene and they will only improve from here."
While the Netherlands took a huge setback to South Africa in a 2-1 loss that prevented them from advancing to the medal round, the Dutch closed out the tournament with an impressive 3-2 win over rival Italy.
The other two wins recorded by the Sun Devil head coach and his Dutch team were two of the biggest upsets of the 2000 games. In the tournament opener, Holland stunned host Australia 6-4 in front of a packed house at the Olympic Baseball Stadium. The other Dutch win came against international power Cuba, a 4-2 victory that handed the Cubans their only loss of the Olympics and their only defeat in three years of Olympic competition. The official Olympic website, www.nbcolympics.com, rated the upset over Cuba as one of the top four upsets in Olympic team competition.
Murphy, who was the 2000 Pac-10 Coach of the Year while leading ASU to a 44-15 record, will return to the States sometime this week. The Syracuse, N.Y., native, has compiled a 605-294-3 record during his collegiate coaching career, and has guided the Sun Devils to top-12 final rankings in three of the last four years.
Copy by Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations