Today, the Qualifiers for the European Championship started. Well, the Moscow group that is. In that group two games will be played. Tomorrow, the Bratislava and Utena groups will start. The Belgrade group will start on July 1st.
The two games that were played in Moscow today, were the ones between Russia and Slovenia and Belarus and Turkey. Both games were five-inning affairs.
Slovenia 0 – 20 Russia
In a very lopsided game, Russia needed only five innings to beat Slovenia 20-0. The game lasted one hour and forty-seven minutes.
Despite the Slovenia committed, only one run of the 20 the Slovenian pitchers allowed, was unearned. Slovenia could catch up with Russia in the first inning, as the Russians did not score but in the second frame, the Russians scored five runs, which was the start of a ass whooping. In the third inning, Russia scored seven runs and in the fourth eight.
The Slovakian pitchers issued a total of ten walks that resulted in ten runs. Russia hit four home runs of which three three-run homers and one grand slam.
Belarus 31 – 2 Turkey
Turkey, that hosted Belarus, wasn’t a match for Russia’s neighbor. Belarus also needed only five innings to seal Turkey’s fate. After two innings, the race was already run as Belarus had a 13-0 lead. The biggest Belarus inning was the fourth, when the team scored twelve runs on five hits, eight walks, and a throwing error. Turkey committed five errors. Turkey used two pitchers: Fatih Büker and Ahmet Bayrak. Büker allowed eleven earned runs, Bayrak sixteen, leading to a respective 33.00 and 58.50 ERA.
The Belarus manager used three pitchers. Two of them, Anton Mozhar and Ilya Babiychuk allowed the Turks to score a run.
One cannot really blame Turkey for this poor performance. On a population of eighty-two million there are only about four hundred baseball and softball players.
Tomorrow, the following games are scheduled:
Slovenia @ Belarus
Switzerland @ Russia
Poland @ Greece
Romania @ Lithuania
Finland @ Ireland
Hungary @ Slovakia