Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The Netherlands hopes to continue its improbable run at the World Baseball Classic when it begins the second round with a Pool 2 matchup against Venezuela at Dolphin Stadium.
Like Round 1, this round will be double elimination. Today's winner will face the winner between the United States and Puerto Rico on Monday, while the losers will square off in an elimination contest on Sunday.
Considered a heavy underdog entering the tournament, the Netherlands stunned the baseball world with a 3-2 win over the Dominican Republic on Saturday to open the event.
Then after losing to Puerto Rico, the Dutch shockingly advanced to the second round with another thrilling win over the Dominican Republic, as they scored twice in the bottom of the 11th inning to eke out a 2-1 victory at San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
Gene Kingsale, whose error led to the go-ahead run in the top half of the 11th, knocked in the tying run, then scored the game-winner on Yurendell de Caster's rocket to first that was misplayed by Willy Aybar.
Kingsale is hitting .313 for the tournament.
The Netherlands, though, failed to earn the top seed from Pool D, as it lost to Puerto Rico for the second time on Wednesday.
Venezuela, meanwhile, earned the top seed from Pool C, as it avenged its only loss of the tournament by beating the United States, 5-3, in Toronto on Wednesday. The Venezuelans had been throttled, 15-6, by the U.S. on Sunday before moving onto the second round with an easy 10-1 win to eliminate Italy.
Armed with a plethora of major league talent, the Venezuelans hit .347 in the first round of the tournament while scoring a total of 28 runs in their four games.
However, the Netherlands' pitching staff, coached by former big leaguer Bert Blyleven, pitched to a stingy 2.50 earned run average.
03/14 10:25:01 ET