On the opening day of the European Cup in the Netherlands, six games were played.
No surprises as the Czech Republic blanked Russia, France beat up Croatia, Spain kicked teh butt of Belgium and Italy did not show any mercy with Greece. The only “normal” score was in the game between Germany and Sweden.
Sweden 0 – 4 Germany
Four one run innings were enough for the Germans to beat Sweden in the opening game of the European Cup. It was the only game today that lasted nine innings.
The German pitching staff kept the Swedes limited to three hits. Enorbel Marquez allowed just one in six innings in which he struck out four and walked two. Jan Niclas Stoecklin pitchd two innings in which he gave up two runs, walked two and fanned three. According to the stats, Tim Stahlmann earned the save as he retired the side in the ninth. But the official rules tell that a save is a save when the winning team is leading by three runs at most, when the closer enters the game.
Marcel Jimenez got on base on a single through the left side in the first inning. He advanced to second on a failed pick off throw as he tried to steal second. With runners on first and second, Max Boldt drove in Jimenez with a single up the middle.
Max Boldt also drove in the second German run on a sac fly to left field.
Also the third run was driven in by Max Boldt as he flied out to second base and Nadir Ljatifi touched home plate. Eric Brenk drove in the final run, also on a sac fly.
Enorbel Marquez earned the win in six innings of work. Per Sjoers lasted five innings and took the loss as he gave up all four runs (three earned) on three hits and seven walks.
Best hitter for Germany was Marcel Jimenez, who went 2 for 2. Most impact had Max Boldt with three RBI.
Czech Republic 12 – 0 Russia
The Czech Republic needed seven innings to finish off Russia. They outscored the Russians by 16 hits to 5. Three two run innings and a big sixth inning made clear that the Russians were no match for the Czechs. With runners on the corners in the sixth, Matej Hejma singled to right field and drove in Michal Ondracek. Hejma’s single again put runners on the corners. After Hejma stole second, Jakub Malik reached on a fielding error that allowed Martin Schneider to score. Martin Cervenka then doubled down the left field line to drive in Matej Hejma and to advance Jakub Malik to third, who eventually scored on Jakub Vojak’s sac fly. Petr Cech singled to right field and drove in Martin Cervenka. Cech himself scored the sixth run of the inning on Jakub Hajtmar’s single to center field.
Martin Schneider was the best Czech hitter as he went 3 for 4 with two runs scored. The most impact had Matej Hejma, who drove in four runs.
Michal Sobotka pitched three innings in relief and earned the win. He gave up two hits but did not strike out someone.
Croatia 1 – 16 France
Another game with an early ending thanks to the mercy rule. In six innings the French finished off Croatia.
Leonel Cespedes pitched a “complete game” in six innings in which he gave up one run on three hits and three walks. He struck out nine.
The sole run that Croatia scored came in the third inning, when the French already had a 6-0 lead. Andrija Tomic tripled down the right field line and was driven in by Kruno Gojkovic, who singled to right field.
With the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Maxime Lefevre singled to right field to drive in Luc Piquet. Then Felix Brown was hit by a pitch with the bases still loaded. A wild pitch allowed every runner to advance a base and Norbert Jongerius to score. When Frederic Hanvi doubled to left field and drove in Lefevre and Brown for the fourth and fifth run of that inning.
Franko Vrlic took the loss for Croatia. In 1.2 innings he gave up six runs (five earned) on three hits and three walks.
Best hitter for France was Maxime Lefevre as he went 3 for 3 with two runs batted in and four runs scored. It may not come as a surprise that Rene Leveret had the most impact with four runs batted in.
Despite the 16-1 victory, the French even didn’t get that many basehits as they collected “only” eight hits.
Italy 21 – 2 Greece
Another mercy rule shortened game. Italy had a batting practice today as they outhit their opponent 15-5.
Greece scored their two runs in their fifth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Georgios Thliveris doubled down the right field line to drive in two. But by then the Italians already had a huge lead.
If the game wasn’t decided yet, the Italians finished things in the seventh. With the bases loaded, Erick Epifano doubled to right center field to drive in Mattia Mercuri and Giuseppe Mazzanti. Then Mattia Reginato tripled to center field to clear the bases. A double and two singles drove in three more runs for Italy
Starting pitcher Orlando Oberto lasted five innings for the win. He allowed two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out four.
Jonathan Kountis took the loss. In 2.1 innings he gave up nine runs (five earned) on eight hits and four walks. He struck out only one.
Mattia Reginato was the best hitter and had the most impact for Italy. He went 4 for 4 and drove in six runs as he went for the cycle.
Spain 11 – 1 Belgium
Also Spain finished business in only seven innings. The team that carries quite some players from South and Central America, flexed its muscles in the sixth inning as it scored five runs.
Belgium did not stand a chance even though the team has some good players that play in the Dutch and German competition.
Belgium scored their sole run in the fourth inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Tim Veraghtert singled down the right field line to drive in Steven de Lannoy. But at that point in the game, Spain had scored six runs already.
In the aforementioned sixth inning, Spain started the inning with a single, a walk and a double to score two runs. After a wild pitch and a walk to put runners on the corners, Jesus Martinez hit into a force out at second but drove in Oscar Angulo for Spain’s ninth run of the game. Jesus Ustariz then jacked the ball over the left field fence to reach the ten run margin for Spain.
Rhiner Cruz pitched one inning in relief in which he struck out the side for the win.
Steve de Saedeleer lasted two innings in which he surrendered three runs on three hits and three balls. Steve struck out one.
Best hitter for Spain was Oscar Angulo as he went 4 for 5 with four doubles, two RBI and three runs scored.
This report was brought to you by Score66 Baseball.