A decisive day today in the relegation group. All teams were tied for first place, so the losers of today’s game would move down to the B group of Europe.
Also a decisive day for Spain and Italy. If Spain beat Belgium, they are in the final. For Italy it was a must win game vs the Netherlands.
Belgium 2 – 14 Germany
In three innings the game between Belgium and Germany was practically over. After Steve de Saedeleer limited the Germans to only one run in the first inning, Gemany stepped on it in the second and the third inning. After four runs in the second inning, De Saedeleer was pulled in favor of Yannick Gontier, but the latter wasn’t able to keep the German offense at bay. Gontier recorded two outs but gave up five earned runs on three hits and a walk.
His German counterpart, Niclas Stoecklin fared a lot better. In three innings he gave up one run on two hits and three walks. His successor, Sacha Koch earned the win after four innings of work in which he also gave up one run on two hits and a walk, but Koch struck out six and Stoecklin did not strike someone out.
Eventually Germany won 14 -2 as they outhit Belgium 14-4 in seven innings. On the defenisve side it wasn’t a bad game as Belgium committed only one error and Germany stayed flawless.
Best hitter for Germany was Philip Schulz, who went 2 for 2 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Great Britain – Greece
After Greece took a 2-0 lead in the first inning it looked like that the clash between Greece and Great Britain would really be a game, but it turned out to be a Greek drama.
In the top of the second inning, the British scored seven runs to take the lead and they never looked back. A seven run fourth and a three run seventh, ended the game prematurely after seven innings.
Winning pitcher was Matthew Maitland. In two innings of relief he struck out two and walked two.
Dimitrios Kourtis took the loss. In 3.1 innings he gave up ten runs on twelve hits and struck out two.
Thanks to this loss, Great Britain will stay in the A group. Greece has been demoted to the B group of European baseball now.
Manager Ivan Rodriguez Rodriguez of Greece deserves a big round of applause as he stepped in as manager after Italian Mauro Mazzotti left the team shortly before the European Championship for personal reasons.
Rodriguez’ presence could not prevent the demotion, but at least he tried to teach the players some things with which they can improve themselves. The players paid for their own trip since Greek baseball is in shambles after the Greek baseball federation was hit by a corruption scandal.
Spain 9 – 3 Czech Republic
The Czech Republic was not match for Spain. Not that they were beaten up, but Spain’s win never was endangered. After Spain scored a run in the opening inning, the Czechs could hope for a better result as they kept pace until the fourth inning when Spain scored four runs. With the bases loaded, Daniel Martinez hit a bases clearing triple to center field. A sacrifice fly to center field, hit by Oscar Angulo, drove in Martinez for the fourth run of the inning.
The Czech Republic got on the board in the seventh as they scored three runs. With runners on first and second Adam Hajtmar singled down the left field line and drove in Petr Cech. With the bases loaded Petr Zyma was hit by a pitch and so Jakub Vojak scored the second run for the Czechs. When Martin Schneider hit a sac fly to center field, Adam Hajtmar scored the third run. But that was all the Czechs could do.
Eventually Spain beat the Czech Republic 9-3.
With this win, Spain is a step closer to clinch a spot in the championships game on Sunday.
Winning pitcher for Spain was Lowuin Sacramento who clinched his second victory.
He gave up three runs on five hits, walked two and struck out four.
Boris Bokaj took the loss. In five innings he gave up six runs on ten hits, walked one and struck out three.
Croatia 13 – 0 Russia
Another decisive game in the relegation round.
Croatia did not have any mercy with the Russians. With a two run third inning and two big innings, they wiped away Russia. The defense of both teams was sub par as both committed three errors.
Croatia scored six runs in the fifth inning partially thanks to two solo homeruns hit by Kruno Gojgovic and Philip Smith.
Winning pitcher for Croatia was Antonio Horvatic who pitched a complete game shutout in which he gave up four hits and struck out five.
Denis Leonov took the loss for Russia. In 4.2 innings he gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits. He walked as many as he struck out: five.
Thanks to this loss, Russia will be demoted to the B group of European baseball.
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