In Blavgoevgrad, Bulgaria, the following games were scheduled today: Greece @ Serbia, Ireland @ Russia, Bulgaria @ Israel.
Greece 9 – 5 Serbia
Greece clinched its first victory of the tournament. After the Greek scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second and one in the sixth, it looked like they had a commanding 6-1 lead. But in the bottom of the sixth, Serbia got back in the game on a three-run home run by Dan Phillips. In the next inning, Greece bounced back by scoring two runs when Thomas Lekas scored on a ground out and Max Gouoren scored on a bases-loaded walk, drawn by Peter Maestrales. Serbia scored one more run in the eighth and Greece added one more in the top of the ninth.
Evagelos Orfanakos earned the win after one inning of work in relief. He gave up three runs on four hits and struck out one. Stefan Zivic took the loss. He pitched six innings in which he gave up seven runs(six earned) on seven hits and three walks and struck out five.
Max Gouoren was the best hitter for Greece as he went 3 for 4 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored.
Ireland 3 – 13 Russia
Another game in seven innings as Russia beat Ireland 13-3. In every inning, the Russians scored at least one run but in the seventh, they really flexed their muscles. With the bases loaded, Nikita Monakhov hit a sac fly to left field on which Geidys Soler scored. A bases-loaded single to left field hit by Maxim Monakhov allowed Vlacheslav Vasilev to score the second run of the inning. A wild pitch allowed Kiril Chermosentsev to score the third run of the inning. A three-run dinger to left field, put the final score on the board. What did Ireland do? They scored three runs on as many hits.
Denis Leonov pitched a complete game (seven innings) in which he struck out twelve (!).
Maxim Monakhov was Russia’s best hitter, going 3 for 3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
Bulgaria 0 – 8 Israel
Next to Russia, Israel remains the only unbeaten team in this group. For six innings, Bulgaria could keep pace with Israel as the Asians had a 1-0 lead. Bulgarian pitcher Peyto Petkov kept Israel in check rather well for six innings but the seventh inning was too much. A walk and two errors loaded the bases before Jake Rosenberg hit a grand slam. Two doubles and a single drove in three additional runs which put the final score on the board. The seven-run seventh inning led to a rather flattering result.
US born Matt Soren, who had a short minor league career that led him to A short season and several independent leagues, earned the win for Israel. He pitched seven shutout innings in which he allowed two hits and two walks and struck out seven. Peyto Petkov took the loss as he allowed seven runs (five earned) on five hits and four walks and struck out four.
Blake Gailen was the best hitter for Israel as he went 3 for 5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored.
In Trnava, Slovakia, Belarus “hosted” Lituhania, Finland faced Poland, Romania took on Slovakia and Ukraine faced Switzerland.
Lithuania 3 – 4 Belarus
A surprising result. Lithuania, two years ago, one of the B-pool winners, stayed at the wrong side of the score vs Belarus. After having scored a run in the first, the third and the fourth and Belarus scored a run in the third and fourth, Lithuania’s pitching and defense collapsed. Edvard Matusevicius took the mound and gave up two unearned runs on a hit and two walks. A fielding error, a wild pitch and a sac fly led to two unearned runs for Belarus.
Ilya Sladzinski earned the win after eight innings of work as he gave up three runs on eight hits and seven walks and struck out seven. Edvard Matusevicius took the loss.
Anton Pryputnevich was the best hitter for Belarus as he went 2 for 3 with a triple and run scored.
Poland 21 – 6 Finland
Poland needed just seven innings to shove Finland aside. Two five-run innings, a seven-run inning and a few smaller innings did the job.
Six singles, a double, two triples and a sac fly drove in seven runs in the seventh with a prematurely ended game as a result. Finland committed five errors that resulted in six unearned runs.
Radoslaw Zajda pitched five innings for the win. He gave up four runs (one earned) on five hits and five walks and struck out six. Jesse Bove took the loss. In four innings, he allowed eight runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks as he struck out one.
Dominick Golubiewski was the best Polish hitter as he went 4 for 5 with a double, a home run, two RBI and four runs scored.
Slovakia 19 – 1 Romania
Romania was brushed aside by Slovakia in six innings. After Romania opened the score in the first inning, a seven-run second inning for Slovakia set the tone for the rest of the game. After the Slovaks scored three runs in the third and three in the fifth, added a little extra in the sixth. Michal Esmir doubled and drove in two runs. He stole third and scored on a wild pitch. With runners on the corners, Matus Repasky singled home Lukas Csomor. A balk put runners in scoring position before Michal Noga drove them both in on a single to right field.
Marek Cerveny earned the win after three no-hit innings in relief in which he walked one and fanned two. Bogdan Pirvu took the loss. In 1.2 innings he allowed seven runs (four earned) on six hits and a walk.
Average-wise, Matus Repasky was the best hitter as he went 1 for 1 with an RBI and a run scored.
Switzerland 2 – 1 Ukraine
The only close game today. After a 1-0 lead, Ukraine eventually fell to Switzerland in the final three innings. When Heorhii Hrvytshvili hit into an 8-4 double play, Denis Brechko scored from third base to give Ukraine the 1-0 lead.
In the seventh, Tobias Siegrist drew a walk, stole second and scored on T.J. Oshima’s single up the middle to tie the game at one.
In the ninth, H.E. Oshima hit a leadoff single through the right side, stole second and scored on Thierry Burkhardt’s single up the middle.
T.J. Oshima pitched two innings in relief for the win as he gave up one hit. Konstantyn Chukhas took the loss. In 8.2 innings he gave up two runs on five hits and a walk as he struck out six. Thierry Burkhardt was the best hitter for the Swiss as he went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.