On the third day of the European Championship Qualifiers the Belgrade group started as well. The following games were scheduled today: Ireland @ Hungary, Turkey @ Switzerland, Greece @ Romania, Estonia @ Ukraine, Lithuania @ Poland, Bulgaria @ Serbia, Slovakia @ Finland, and Russia @ Belarus.
Ireland 16 – 3 Hungary
Unlike yesterday, Ireland needed seven innings to seal the fate of its opponent. Hungary was no match for the team from the Emerald Isle. After two innings, the Irish had a comfortable 9-0 lead which they would extend by four runs in the fourth inning, one run in the sixth inning, and two in the seventh. Hungary came on the board in the bottom of the seventh inning as it scored three runs. The Irish could have lifted the score by a lot if they had not left the bases loaded three times.
Leo Farrell was the best hitter for Ireland as he went 2 for 3 with two RBI and three runs scored. Mitchell Hillert pitched six near perfect innings as he allowed two walks and struck out thirteen for the win. Alexander Paul Ogg lasted one inning in which he gave up seven runs (six earned) on three hits and two walks and was tabbed for the loss.
Turkey 7 – 30 Switzerland
After the ass whooping by Russia yesterday, the Swiss team had the pleasure to do the same to their opponent today. The poor Turks were not even close to being a match for the Swiss, who only needed five innings but still two hours and fifty-one minutes to finish the game. Already leading 11-4, Switzerland had a mega inning in the bottom of the fourth. It started with an HBP and a throwing error that allowed the two batters to score, followed by a three run shot by Saentis Zeller. A throwing error and six consecutive walks drove in four more runs. To make a long story short, a lot of walks and a few singles added ten more runs for the Swiss. Alexander Yannick Brot and Thanh Phog Tran went 2 for 2 with three RBI. Brot scored five runs himself, while Tran scored thrice.
David Kaestli earned the win. In four innings, he gave up four runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks as he struck out three. Utku Ergün took the loss. In three innings and nine batters faced in the fourth, he was tabbed for twenty runs (eighteen earned) on eleven hits and nine walks.
Greece 14 – 0 Romania
Greece remains unbeaten in the Utena Group. After yesterday’s 7-0 win over Poland, the Hellenes beat up Romania in less than two hours (1h57). After a three-run first and second, the Greeks scored four runs in the fourth, three in the fifth, and one in the sixth. Romania had a runner in scoring position once but in most of the innings their side was retired. Despite the four errors the Romanians committed, only two of the fourteen runs the Greeks scored were unearned.
Jonathan George Kountis earned the win as he pitched a “complete” seven inning game in which he gave up five hits, walked one and struck out nine. George Adumitrachioaie took the loss. In three innings of work, he gave up six runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks. Tom Roulis was clearly the best hitter for Greece as he went 4 for 4 with two doubles, two RBI and four runs scored.
Estonia 1 – 11 Ukraine
Another seven-inning affair was the game between Estonia and Ukraine in Belgrade. In the top of the first inning, Estonia boldly took the lead when Aleks Kris Koppel scored from second base on a fielders choice/throwing error by the Ukrainian third baseman. But in the bottom of the same inning, Ukraine turned the tables and never looked back as they scored twice on a 4-3 groundout by Denys Brechko and a 6-3 groundout hit by Konstiantyn Boiko.
A one-run second, a three-run third and fifth and a two-run sixth lead to the final score.
Yevhenii Tkachenko earned the win. In six innings, he gave up an unearned run on three hits and two walks and struck out five. Vahur Põder took the loss after six innings in which he gave up eleven runs (six earned) on nine hits and eight walks and struck out one.
Vladyslav Kosenko was the best Ukrainian hitter as he went 2 for 2 with two RBI and a run scored.
Lithuania 11 – 3 Poland
Lithuania remains unbeaten in the Utena Group. Of course it has the home advantage but nevertheless it showed that is the main favorit of this group to earn a promotion to the A tournament of the European Championship. Today’s game was one of the few that didn’t end prematurely due to the mercy rule.
Lithuania was leading 7-0 when Poland got on the board and scored twice. Poland scored its third and final run of the game on a fielding error. After that, Lithuania scored four more runs in the ninth, to reach the final score.
Eimantas Zickus earned the win for the Baltic nation. In six frames, he allowed two runs on five hits and two walks and struck out nine. Mateusz Szustek took the loss. He lasted five innings and allowed six runs (four earned) on five hits and four walks and struck out five.
Average-wise, Tomas Jankoitis was the best Lithuanian hitter as he went 1 for 1.
Bulgaria 0 – 7 Serbia
With the home field advantage, Serbia clinched an easy victory over Bulgaria. The Bulgarians collected only two hits in the game and and despite the four errors that Servia committed, they never got past second base. Serbia on the other hand collected seven hits to score as many runs. One of those seven hits was a three run home run, hit by Vlastimir Arandelovic in the seventh inning.
Christian Bokich earned the win for Serbia. In eight shutout innings, he gave up two hits, walked four and struck out ten. Petyo Petkov took the loss. He lasted six innings in which he gave up three runs on five hits and as many walks and struck out four.
Alen Pantelic was Serbia’s best hitter as he went 2 for 3 with three runs scored.
Slovakia 12 – 1 Finland
Also Slovakia needed only seven innings to clinch the win today. Sure Finland was outhit 16 to 5 but it was a kind of flattering result as Finland could “keep track” with Slovakia for five innings as they trailed 5-1 but in the sixth inning, Slovakia scored seven runs. Back-to-back doubles, a bases-loaded walk, a single and an error by the Finnish center fielder and sac fly led to those seven runs.
Jaroslav Kosna, who pitched four innings in relief, earned the win as he allowed four hits and struck out two. Timo Liiri took the loss. In five innings, he gave up nine runs on fifteen hits and one walks as he struck out three. Denis Paksi was the best hitter for Slovakia with three hits out of three at-bats with two RBI and a run scored.
Russia 17 – 0 Belarus
Another lopsided game as Belarus was clearly no match for neighboring Russia that needed only five innings and one hour and thirty-five minutes to finish the game.
After two innings, things still looked bearable for Belarus as Russia had a 5-0 lead but in the third, the Russians scored seven runs so all of a sudden the game had become a walkover. Russia collected a total of twelve hits while Belarus had one miserable hit in the entire game. Dimitry Shtykher pitched one perfect inning in relief in which he struck out the side for the win. Arseni Abukhovich took the loss. In 2.1 innings, he allowed twelve runs on seven hits and six walks as he struck out two.
Konstantin Porkhun was the best Russian hitter, average-wise, as he went 1 for 1 with a two-run home run.