Day 5 Summary – Croatia Eliminate Israel With Late Comeback, Czechs Beat Danes For Final
Israel was close to get the medal and meet Denmark on Saturday morning, but they lost concentration in seventh inning and lost a 6-0 lead to Croatia. Czech Republic won late in the evening surprisingly easily in four innings 15-3 over Denmark.
Balent hits grandslam homer as Croatia stun Israel in the end
Israel followed in their performance from Thursday’s win over Denmark with flawless defence for six innings. They scored in the first inning thanks to an RBI by Baran and in the third, Rosenberg scored with an inside-the-park home run. Both pitchers were on top of their games and it went straight to the seventh inning for an amazing finish. In the top half, the Israelis scored three runs on Croatian errors and then Zashin added a sixth run with another inside-the-park homer. However, the Croats didn’t give up. They needed six runs to make it even and they went for it. Brajsovac pulled Kanceljak home with a nice hit and Jakuš scores right after that on a wild pitch. With the bases loaded, Matija Balent then gave his team a much needed grand slam to make it even. Boosted by the recent events, Croatia quickly added another run to end the game, leaving the Israeli players with nothing but tears. “We’re disappointed. I’m sorry for the guys, because they did their best. It’s a pity. We played well throughout the whole tournament except for that very last inning,” Brian Klaff said after harsh loss. Alen Magdalenic on the other side certainly had reasons to be happy. “This is a game somebody should make a movie about. It was a lifetime experience. I’m proud of my guys, because they didn’t stop believing until the very end. We were down six-nothing, we couldn’t hit the ball and everything seemed hopeless and than we scored seven straight. I’m speechless,” he said.
Czechs beat Denmark in four innings to secure spot in Final
Denmark started the game better. Despite letting the Czechs score once in top of first inning, they took advantage of some misunderstanding inside Czech battery, got some runners on base for free and pulled two of them back home. On top of that, Holmelund hit a home run over the left field and scored himself. Since then however, it was a different story. Czech Republic equalised in second inning and scored more and more often with time. Šrétr’s 3 RBI triple put the home side in more comfort position in third inning, which ends with 6 more runs for the Czech side. The home team added 6 more runs in the fourth inning as well and since Denmark couldn’t reply, the game was finished by mercy rule. “We’re glad we can rest a bit tomorrow. Also the Danes played their number one pitcher finally. Our batting turned out to be better with better pitching. We didn’t expect that result, but we wanted to win and we knew we are capable of that,” said Dušan Šnelly, one of the Czech coaches. “It just showed us that if our pitchers are only 70 or 80 % of what they can be, they’re gonna hit the ball. We can be in the game, if the game is a 5, 6, 7 run game. Trying to be in a game of 13, 14, 15 runs is pretty difficult. We gotta keep them under six or seven runs and we didn’t do it today. Now we have to move on, play the first game tomorrow, stretch out and then play the final,” Danish coach Gilles Fournier said.
Playo.tv online streaming for the final 2 days is available here!
For more information visit the official website of the tournament – euro2015.softball.cz
ESF tournament info: http://europeansoftball.org/competitions/detail/21
Photo by Jan Beneš