Because France (group B) and Sweden (group A) both finish fourth, both teams were excluded from the super round and from the relegation round.
The teams had to play only one game for the seventh spot in the final standings today. If one would expect a walk over for the French, Sweden proved that person wrong. But the Scandinavians could not take advantage of four errors that France committed.
Sweden 5 – 7 France
France took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when Frederic Hanvi reached base on a dropped fly ball by right fielder Pontus Bystroem. Maxime Lefevre drove Hanvi home on a double to left center field.
With one out in the top of the fourth, Joel Johnson singled to right center field. Johnson then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by France’s catcher Dylan Gleeson. But Sweden would not enjoy this tie for long as France took the lead again in the bottom of the fourth inning.
With one out, Bastien Dagneau doubled to left field and thanks to a wild pitch he could advance to third base. Felix Brown flied out to right field with a sac fly to give France a 2-1 lead.
France would score two more runs in the fifth and three in the seventh. Sweden on its turn scored a run in the top of the sixth.
In the top of the ninth Sweden started a rally when Pontus Bystroem reached base on a dropped fly ball by Norbert Jongerius and advanced on the error by the UVV player. When Daniel Johnson singled to third base, Bystroem advanced to third. After Johnson stole second base, Johan Klarberg hit a bases clearing triple to bring Sweden within three runs form France. Nicholas Filice singled home Klarberg, but from here the rally stalled.
After Joel Johnson had put runners in scoring position with a triple, Matthew Merrifield struck out swinging for the final out of the game.
France’s Leonel Cespedes lasted eight innings in which he gave up two unearned runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out six.
Emil Salin lost his first game of the tournament. In 4.2 innings he gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Best hitter for France was Maxime Lefevre, who went 3 for 4 with a double and four RBI.
Here are the highlights of today’s game:
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