On the second day of the European Championship Qualifiers, the following games were scheduled: Finland @ Ireland, Slovenia @ Belarus, Poland @ Greece, Romania @ Lituania, Hungary @ Slovakia, and Switzerland @ Russia.
Finland 1 – 6 Ireland
The first game in Bratislava today was the matchup between Finland and Ireland. Except the fact that Ireland had a runner in scoring position with one out in the second inning and did not cash in, nothing much happened in the first three innings. But in the fourth frame, Ireland rallied to score three runs. A triple by Flon Gallagher-Hall, broke the game wide open as Ireland scored two runs. Gallagher-Hall scored the Irish third run on a 4-3 groundout.
In the eighth inning, the Irish added one more run. Finland scored the game’s final run in the top of the ninth when Mikko Leinonen scored from third on a passed ball.
The score could have been so much higher if the Irish had cashed in all scoring opportunities. The team left fifteen runners on base in this game.
Kealan Smithers earned the win. In seven innings, he limited the Finnish to one hit and struck out a whopping sixteen batters. Matti Nylander took the loss. In four innings, he gave up three runs on five hits and four walks as he struck out four.
Average-wise, John Patrick Dolan was the best hitter for Ireland as he went 1 for 1 with a run scored.
Hungary 2 – 3 Slovakia
The second game in Bratislava was the one between Hungary and hosting nation Slovakia.
In a true pitching duel, Slovakia took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. The first Slovakian run was scored on a single by Daniel Just. The second and the third one were scored on a balk and a wild pitch. For the rest of the game nothing much happened until the top of the ninth.
Sean Tamás Fekete singled home Bálint Piros. A throwing error by the Slovakian cather, allowed Carlos Humberto Rubio Hernandez to score Hungary’s second run.
Slovakia was just a tad more effective as it got as many hits as Hungary.
Jakub Izold pitched a complete game win in which he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out an incredible twenty-two batters.
Jakub Horàcek and Daniel Just both went 1 for 3 with a run scored.
Slovenia 8 – 13 Belarus
Today’s first game in Moscow was the matchup between Slovenia and Belarus. Slovenia bumped into its second loss of the tournament.
Slovenia took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a doulbe, a single and a wild pitch. But Belarus answered with two runs in the bottom fo the first inning, three in the second, two in the third, four in the fourth, one in the sixth and one in the eighth. Slovenia scored three more runs in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth.
Ilya Sladzinski pitched five innings for the win. He alllowed six runs (three earned) on seven hits and eight walks and struck out four. He needed one hundred and twenty-seven pitches to accomplish the feat. Rok Cucek took the loss after four innings. He allowed eleven runs (ten earned) on eight hits and five walks and struck out four.
Siarhei Sokal was Belarus’ best hitter as he went 3 for 4 with two home runs, four RBI and three runs scored.
Switzerland 4 – 19 Russia
Switserland was no match for Russia in the second game in Moscow today. The Russians needed six innings to end the game. The Swiss took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Thierry Léonard Burkhardt hit a two run shot. But Russia countered immediately and scored thrice on home runs by Geidys Soler Hinojosa (a real Russian name…) and Ian Alekhandro Peres Nunes.
When Russia scored eight runs in the second inning, the game was already over. Where the Swiss managed to score two more runs in this game, Russia scored eight more.
Petr Balan earned the win after pitching one inning in relief in which he walked two and struck out one. Andrea Girasole took the loss after 3.2 innings. He allowed fourteen runs on fourteen hits and two walks and struck out two.
Geidys Soler Hinojosa was the best Russian hitter as he went 4 for 5 with two home runs, seven RBI and four runs scored.
Poland 0 – 7 Greece
In the first match in Utena, Greece clinched an apparent easy victory over Poland. In the first four innings, Poland’s side was retired. Only in the fifth inning, Poland got its first runner on base due to a walk. Most of Poland’s baserunners got on base thanks to a walk, HBP or fielders choice. Greece on the other side, took a 3-0 lead on a fielders choice, a sac fly and a throwing error by Poland’s catcher. Greece, a team with many Americans from Greek descent, added four more runs in the fifth to reach the final score.
Dimitrios Kourtis pitched six innings for the win. He allowed two hits and as many walks and struck out fourteen. Marek Deska took the loss after five innings of work. He gave up seven runs (six earned) on four hits and two walks and struck out four.
Antonio Torres was the best Greek hitter as he went 2 for 2 with a run scored.
Romania 2 – 12 Lithuania
After three innings in which neither team scored, Lithuania took the lead in the fourth inning as two runs were scored thanks to a single and three consecutive wild pitches.
After Lithuania scored a run in the fifth and one in the sixth, Romania got on the board in the top of the seventh. Singles by Ivan Razvan and Mihai Nicu drove in a run each. But Lithuania stepped on it in the bottom of the seventh. Thanks to five walks, three singles and a double, Lithuania scored seven runs to end the game in seven mercy rule innings.
Marius Balandis earned the win for Lithuania. He pitched six innings, walked three and struck out 15. Eduard Pirvu took the loss. In five innings, he gave up three runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk and struck out seven.
Dmitri Lukas Prongos was the best hitter for Lithuania. He went 3 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored.