Today Russia took on Great Britain in a game with a somewhat surprising outcome. France was not beaten up but not really a match for Spain. Germany beat the Czech Republic. Italy needed seven innings vs Croatia and Belgium mashed Greece.
Great Britain 5 – 11 Russia
Quite a surprising score in the first game of the day. After Great Britain had taken a 4-0 after two innings, they had runners in scoring position in the next two innings but failed to pull the trigger.
But suddenly, Russia found its groove. Daniil Khomyakov led off the sixth inning with a solo shot down the left field line. After Russia loaded the bases Frank Bulte walked in Russia’s second run. When Ben Pearson replaced Matthew Maitland on the mound, he gave up a single to Artemiy Artamonov who drove in two runs. Then Nikita Monakhov hit a bases clearing triple to give Russia a 6-4 lead.
In the next inning, the Russian offense exploded once more as they scored five more runs. Great Britain managed to score only one run in the top of the eighth, so Russia walked off with a suprising win.
Denis Leonov earned the win for Russia. He pitched seven innings in relief in which he gave up one run on six hits. In those seven innings he struck out a whopping eleven hitters. Matthew Maitland took the loss. In 0.2 innings he gave up five runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk.
Best hitter for Russia was Anrtmiy Artamonov with three hits out of four at bats with four RBI and a run scored.
France 0 – 6 Spain
Batting wise Spain and France were rather equal as Spain collected eight hits and France six, but Spain was more clutch than France as the Spaniards scored six runs and France did not score at all.
Spain did not have big innings like they had yesterday vs Italy but they had four innings in which they scored one or two runs.
Spain laid the foundation for the victory in the second inning. With two outs, Blake Ochoa got on base on a fielding error by shortstop Felix Brown. After Daniel Martinez drew a walk, Luis Guillorme tripled home Ochoa and Brown.
France had runners in scoring position several times but never could take advantage.
Leslie Nacar pitched six innings in which he gave up five hits, four walks and struck out four for the win.
Lucas Serafin lasted 6.2 innings and gave up four runs (one earned) on six hits for the loss.
Best hitter for Spain was Jesus Ustariz who went 3 for 4 with two doubles an RBI and a run scored.
Germany 3 – 1 Czech Republic
A close game in which the scoring came late.
Until the eighth inning neither team did score a run. Enorbel Marquez kept the Czechs limited to three hits. One of those three hits came in the eighth inning when Petr Zyma doubled down the left field line. Zyma advanced to third on a sac bunt laid down by Jakub Hajtmar. Then a bases loaded walk given up by Maximilian Schmitz drove in the opening run for the Czech Republic.
Germany bounced back in the next inning. With one out and runners in scoring position, Chris Howard singled to center field to drive in the game tying run. Back to back singles by Eric Brenk and Jendrick Speer drove in two insurance runs for the Germans.
Maximilian Schmitz retired the side in the top of the ninth for the win. Schmitz pitched 1. 2 innings in which he walked one and struck out three.
Losing pitcher was Daniel Mraz. In the ninth he recorded only one out and gave up two runs on four hits and a walk.
Best hitter for Germany was Simon Guehring who went 2 for 3 with a run scored.
Here are the highlights of the game:
Italy 22 – 4 Croatia
Croatia that finished off Greece in eight mercy rule innings yesterday was the victim of that same mercy rule today.
With Italy leading 2-0 after the top of the first inning, Croatia took a bald 3-2 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs and a runner on first, Slobodan Gales doubled home Frank Vrlic. Ross Vukovic then homered down the left field line to give the Croatians the lead.
But that lead would not last long as Italy flexed its muscles in the next two innings. The Italians scored seven (!) runs in the second, thanks to homeruns by Alex Liddi and Alessandro Vaglio, and six in the third inning to take a, more than, commanding lead.
Not only was Croatia outscored, they were also outhit 21 to 9. The defense of the Croatians was also a bit worse: four errors to one for Italy.
Winning pitcher for Italy was reliever Gianfranco Rizzo. He pitched two innings, the fifth and the sixth, and allowed one hit and struck out three.
Losing pitcher was Matko Dabo. He gave up twelve runs (ten earned) on ten hits, walked four and did not strike out a single batter.
Best hitter for Italy was Stefano Desimoni who went 4 for 6 with three RBI and two runs scored.
Greece 1 – 18 Belgium
If Greece still had any hopes on a good game after trailing 5-0 after the first frame, their hopes must have been smashed in the next inning as Belgium scored eleven (!) runs.
Belgium collected ten hits and drew nine (!) walks in just five innings.
Greece is by far the weakest team of this European Championship and will be the main candidate for relegation.
Winning pitcher was Kyran Weemaels, who pitched one inning in relief in which he gave up one hit and a walk and struck out two. Alexandros Gounaris took the loss. In just one inning he gave up five runs (three earned) on three hits and two walks.
Best hitter for Belgium was Yves Poesmans, who went 3 for 4 with two RBI.
After the first round, Germany and the Czech Republic of group A will advance to the next round for a place in the final.
Number 4 Sweden (group A) will play against France (group B) for the seventh spot.
Spain, Italy and Belgium of group B will advance to the next round for a place in a final as well. Russia, Great Britain, Greece and Croatia will play for two relegation spots or to put it better to avoid relegation.
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