Sept. 19, 2000
BLACKTOWN, New South Wales, Australia -- After stunning host Australia in the first game of the 2000 Olympics for The Netherlands, Arizona State University head baseball coach Pat Murphy had his team right where he wanted them to be.
The team was already a group of over-achievers, who were playing the best professional players in the world. They beat Japan for the first time since 1978 in a pre-Olympic tournament and upended Tommy Lasorda's Team USA squad in an Olympic preparation game. The sky was the limit for the Murphy-driven team, but the dream came to an end when The Netherlands lost to Japan 10-2. A day later, the Dutch fell to Team USA 6-2 to fall to 1-2 in Olympic Pool play.
"We played decent, but just didn't get the big hits when we needed to," Murphy said from Australia. "We were playing against some good ballplayers and just couldn't get the job done down the stretch. Win or lose though, this group of players have over-achieved and made their country proud."
The win improved Team USA to 3-0 in pool play and tie Cuba for the best record in the Olympic tournament. Murphy's Dutch squad will return to play tomorrow with possibly its toughest game of the tournament against Cuba.