Sept. 17, 2000
**Baseball guru and Baseball America writer John Manuel contribued to this story**
The Netherlands 6, Australia 4
In the first upset of the Olympic tournament, The Netherlands stunned the host Australians and a vocal home crowd of more than 14,000 with a 6-4 win. The Dutch (1-0), led by Arizona State coach Pat Murphy, weren't considered a medal contender coming into the Games, but beat the favored Aussies with a combination of solid pitching by lefthander Jurriaan Lobbezzoo and power hitting.
"This was a big win for the country of The Netherlands, especially to beat the host team with the stands full," said Murphy. "There is no question this is one of the biggest wins in the history of Dutch baseball. We have a big game coming up with Japan, but we are playing well."
Trailing 1-0 after a solo homer by Australian third baseman Paul Gonzalez, The Netherlands took the lead in the third inning with a power barrage against the Aussie ace, former big league righthander Shayne Bennett. Dutch DH Sharnol Adriana, a former Blue Jays farmhand and Mexican Leaguer, drilled a three-run line-drive homer to left field, followed by a double by former big leaguer Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens, a former major league player with the New York Yankees, that hit off the top of the wall in straightaway center field. Meulens scored on a line-drive double to left by Percy Insenia to give the Dutch a 4-1 lead.
The lead stretched to 6-1 in the sixth against Australian reliever David White with RBI singles by Dirk Van t'Klooster and center fielder Rikkert Faneyte, a former Giant and Ranger. Lobbezoo pitched the first 7 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits. He was helped along by a pair of Dutch double plays and other nifty plays by The Netherlands' middle-infield combination of one-time major leaguers Robert Eenhoorn and Ralph Milliard.
Australia started to rally in the sixth, scoring a pair on a run-scoring single by former big league all-star David Nilsson and a run-scoring ground out by first baseman Ronny Johnson.
The Aussies scored their final run on an eighth-inning solo homer by right fielder Glenn Reeves. Lefthander Ferenc Jongejan relieved Lobbezzoo and struck out Nilsson to cut Australia's momentum short. Jongejan finished up for the save.
Reeves also had an outfield assist in the game, ending the fifth inning with a double play when he gunned down Faneyte at the plate.
Copy Courtesy of John Manuel
Baseball America, 2000