Day 2 Summary - Two Wins for the Danish, One for the Czechs, Another No-Hitter and Two Walk-Off Shots
Two three-run monster blasts by Anton Brown, a no-no by Lukas Lohmann and a game-ending shot by Dan Bukacek - these are the highlights of Day 2 of the European Championship Junior Men.
Brown’s Three-Run Homer Helps Denmark Beat GB (box score, pbp)
The Danes took a 1-0 lead already in the bottom of first. GB replied in the top of the third inning thanks to a few nice hits, bunts and also errors by the opposition and scored three times. However, Anton Brown hit a home run with two runners on shortly after that. In the fifth inning, last year’s runners-up scored five more runs and won the game by virtue of the mercy rule by a score of 11-4. “We played a better game than yesterday and what’s more important is that our pitcher did as well. However, the Danes are really strong competition for us,” Josh Peat admits. Denmark’s coach Gilles Fournier was pleased with the result as well. “Our pitcher threw a lot of strikeouts. That’s good. On the other hand, we made a lot of errors - same as yesterday,” he added.
Israelis Come Back to Beat Poland by a Two-Run Margin (box score, pbp)
The Israeli offense exploded early on, going through their entire lineup and scoring 4 runs. However, Poland scored six times in the bottom of the opening inning and got ahead of their opponents. Poland lost the lead in the 4th inning, but tied the game again at 11 in the bottom of the 6th inning. Unfortunately for them, Israel added two runs, making it 13-11 in the end and since Poland couldn’t score again, the game was over. “It’s a great relief. However, we must get ready for the game with the Czechs. That won’t be easy. If we play like this, they will execute us,” said Brian Klaff after the game, smiling. Mateusz Macniak thought it was a really close game. “Every team here is a whole new opponent for us. We won our first game yesterday, now we lost one. All we can do is surprise everyone. We were close again. Unfortunately, our pitcher got injured and we couldn’t handle it in that final inning. It now looks he will be okay and ready for tomorrow,” he said.
Lohmann and Brown Lead Denmark to a Mercy Rule Win (box score, pbp)
The Danish team played their second game of the day, this time against Croatia. After two innings, the game was still tied at zero. In the third, the Croatian team made two errors which led to a 2:0 lead for the Danes. With the game still even at two before the bottom of the sixth, the Danish team scored two runs and after that Anton Brown hit a three-run monster shot over the center field fence and ended this match by virtue of the mercy rule - final score 7:0. Lukas Lohmann took the pitching rubber for the Danish team in this one and pitched the second no-hit performance of the tournament. He allowed only one walk over six innings of work. “The final score is too high for us. We played a very good game and I told my guys they’d done a pretty good job in this match. We were still in the game after the fifth inning. I would like to see our team play well in next games and get some wins,“ said Alen Magdalenic, coach of the Croatian team. “We’ve played three games, we’ve won three games. This is an ideal start of the tournament. The Croatian team is not a bad opponent, but it was a little easier than the Monday match against the Czechs. But the win is what counts,“ said Gilles Fournier, the Danish coach.
Czechs Get First Win in Another Walk-Off Game (box score, pbp)
After losing the Opening Day game to Denmark, the Czech team played another evening game on Day 2, this time against Israel. The Czechs got on the board in the bottom of first thanks to a triple by Jan Cabalka and a fielder’s choice on the next groundball. Jonáš Hajný took the rubber for team Czech Republic and delivered a fine performance. In the bottom of the third inning, the home team scored two runs after three hits (Matěj Jedlička, Jan Cabalka and Martin Turek), which gave them a three-run lead. In the fourth, one more run crossed home plate for the Czechs and in the fifth, after Jakub Hajný increased the score to 5:0, into the batter’s box stepped Dan Bukáček. His pinch-hit performance resulted in a two-run, game-ending shot over the center field fence. Final score, Czech Republic 7 Israel 0. “We had a slow start, but after that, our bats woke up and we ended the game by means of the mercy rule. The positive thing for us is that we didn’t allow a run. A better game for us than on Monday,” said Jaroslav Korčák, coach of the Czechs. “We are satisfied with the result. Two years ago, we lost to the Czechs by 15 or 16 runs and we didn’t have a single hit. In two years, we’ve made good progress. The Czech team is good and I must commend them on their performance. Maybe in 2017 we will be better than now,“ said Brian Klaff, the Israeli coach.
For more information visit the official website of the tournament – euro2015.softball.cz
ESF tournament info: http://euro2015.softball.cz/en/tabulka_zapasu.asp...
Photo by Libor Matejka
-Marek Kratochvíl, Jan Čech (edited by Jakub Kopřiva)-