2019 European Championship: Czechs clinch fifth spot with the long ball


In the battle for fifth place and thus a spot in the upcoming European/African Baseball Olympic Qualifier, Germany took on the Czech Republic. In a close game  the Czech Republic eventually stayed at the right side of the score:

Germany took a quick lead in the second inning. Erik Brenk scored all the way from first base on a single by Marco Cardoso. Alexander Schmidt struck out but reached base on a wild pitch. Cardoso could advance to third on the wild pitch as well. A brave play by Germany led to the second run when Philipp Schulz bunted towards third base that allowed Marco Caroso to score.

In the bottom of the third, the Czech Republic turned the tables. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Baltimore Orioles prospect Martin Cervenka homered to left field to put the Czechs on the board and give them a one-run lead.

In the sixth inning, Martin Cardoso singled, advanced to second and third on a walk/wild pitch and scored on a sac fly to center field by Kevin Kotowski.

With the score tied, the game entered the eighth inning. As the Germans did not score, the Czechs did when Martin Schneider hit a solo bomb to center field. With two outs the Czechs had a small opportunity to add more runs to their score but Maurice Wilhelm retired Tomas Junec on strikeouts.

In the top of the ninth Germany pushed for some runs as the team loaded the bases with no outs. But Max Boldt hit into a 6-2-5 double play in which Simon Gühring and Philipp Schulz were the victims. Luke Sommer, who entered as a pinch hitter for Pascal Amon popped up and was the final out of the game.

Jan Novak earned the win for the Czech Republic. In three innings of relief, he allowed two hits and three walks and struck out two.
Martin Cervenka was the best hitter for the Czech Republic as he went 1 for 3, like two others, but Cervenka hit a home run and drove in three runs and scored one himself.

With this result, the Czech Republic is the fifth European country next to the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Israel (not quite European) that earned a spot in the Olympic Qualifier that will start next Wednesday in Bologna, Italy. South Africa will be the African representative.

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