Day 3 summary - two wins for Czechs, one more for Denmark
Start and finish of Day 3 was in the Czech team's note. They didn´t allow a run in either game and win both by run-ahead rule.
Hosts Beat Croatia in Five Innings
The Czechs took the lead in the second inning after two errors by the Croatian defence. They then added five more runs and made it a clear game. Jonáš Hajný, who pitched for the Czech squad, had a great game, allowing only one hit.
Despite losing by the mercy rule in the fifth inning, the Croats showed a good performance. They kept the sheet clean for two innings and had some bad luck at bat. Also the Czechs didn’t make a single error throughout the game.
“I’m satisfied. We’re getting better with every game. It may look like a one-sided game, given the result was 9-0, but the Croats have improved a lot since last time and I think they will soon be able to play even games with us,” said Jaroslav Korčák about the game.
“It was a tough game. We held ourselves there for some time, but then the Czechs hit some pitches and started making runs. We made a lot of substitutions, so that the guys could gain the experience of playing against the Czechs. Hopefully, we’ll beat them in the finals,” Alen Magdalenic smiled.
Israel Have No Problems Winning over GB
Until the bottom of the fourth inning, Great Britain was still pretty much in the game, trailing only 5-3, but the Israelis suddenly scored six runs and broke the final part of British resistance.
The Brits scored twice in the top of fifth and tried to avoid the game ending by the mercy rule, but a single successful run in bottom did exactly that.
What’s interesting is that first hit by the Israelis came from Harrouche in the fourth inning, when the score was already 9-3 for them.
“We kind of slept through the first innings. We weren’t miserable at bat and we were doing just fine in the field as well, but our pitching wasn’t good. As a result, we gave away too many walks,” said GB coach Josh Peat.
On the other side, Brian Klaff was happy about the result. “We won two out of four games so far. Sure, winning three of them would have been better, but it’s still quite good. We now have to get ourselves into the playoffs,” he said.
Denmark in Trouble, but Defeat Poland
Danish opened the score in the top of the first inning, after two walks, a single and a sacrifice fly. In the second, they scored one more run. But Polish bats woke up just in time. In the bottom of the second inning, Polish players scored four runs on a double and four errors by the Danish defense.
In the third, the Danes tied the game with two hits and in the fourth they turned the game around thanks to a few hits and walks. A 7:4 game after fourth.
One more run for Denmark, after the top of sixth, but the Poles scored two thanks to a two-RBI two-out single by Tymoteusz Orszulik. But it was Anton Brown who had the last word with his solo shot over the center field fence. Final result - Denmark 9, Poland 6.
“It was a horrible game for us, but it’s a game. Players don’t get to play a lot of slowpitch in Denmark, so we had a bit of a problem with timing in the batter’s box. But we scored some runs. Our pitching and fielding weren’t not good in this one. Everything was wrong in this game, but I knew something like that was bound to happen,” said Gilles Fournier, leader of team Denmark.
“Probably our best game at the tournament so far. It was a fun game to watch, but we lost. But it was still a good result. We aren’t really expected to make a play-off spot, everyone thinks we’ll play GB for the fifth spot on Saturday. But if we play like this tomorrow, we can get higher,” said Mateusz Macniak, the Polish coach.
Czechs Rout Brits in Three
The Czechs got the highest win at the tournament so far after beating Great Britain 18:0 in a three-inning ballgame. Michal Preclík pitched a no-hitter and Václav Šrétr hit his first homerun of the tournament. The Czechs scored six in the first on three walks, a hit-by-pitch and two hits. Three more runs in the second and nine in the third, including Šrétr’s two-run blast, gave them a fast and easy win.
“The biggest difference was in the pitchers. Our third pitcher didn’t have a problem with the British team. For us it was mostly a running game, as we didn’t get too many good pitches to hit,“ said Czech coach Dušan Šnelly.
“It was a crazy game. Everything is about pitchers. There was pretty much only one team in play the entire time - and it wasn’t us. It didn’t even matter we played today two games. Our pitcher wasn’t up to the level of the Czech squad,“ said Joshua Peat, GB coach.
For more information visit the official website of the tournament – euro2015.softball.cz
ESF tournament info: https://twitter.com/czechsoftball
Photo by Libor Matejka
-Marek Kratochvíl, Jan Čech (edited by Jakub Kopřiva)-