European Championship Qualifier, Day 4

On the fourth day of the European Championship Qualifier, the following games were scheduled: Hungary @ Finland, Switzerland @ Slovenia, Romania @ Poland, Ukraine @ Bulgaria, Greece @ Lithuania, Serbia @ Estonia, Ireland @ Slovakia, and Russia @ Turkey. 

European Baseball Championship Qualifier 2021

Hungary  5  –  3  Finland
HUN flagA surprising result. Hungary took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and extended it by a run in the fifth inning. In the bottom of the fifth, Finland got on the board when it scored a run when Jose Mesa scored on a 6-5 out at third base. Two innings later, Finland tied the game at two. But it was Hungary that scored the decisive runs in the top of the eighth when Carlos Umberto Rubio Hernandez hit a two-run home run to left center field. Eventually, Hungary won 5-3 as it scored an insurance run in the ninth. 
Zsolt Györi Làszló pitched four innings in relief for the win. He gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits and struck out four. Matti Nylander took the loss. In 7.1 innings, heFIN flag allowed four runs (three earned) on ten hits and four walks and struck out four. 
Bálint Piros was the best hitter for Hungary with three hits out of four at-bats with one RBI and a run scored. 

Switzerland  25  –  4  Slovenia
The Swiss team only needed five innings to finish the game in which Slovenia was no match for the Alpine country. Slovenia took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Simon Alexander Steffen struggled through the first inning and gave up five walks, that , combined with a single and a fielding error led to four runs. But in the second inning, Switzerland put its house in order by scoring five runs. After scoring three runs in the third, the Swiss had a monster inning in the fourth. Two home runs, a bases-loaded walk, a wild pitch, a single and a double led to ten runs. 
Hideori Imanuel Oshima earned the win for the Swiss. In 4.1 innings of relief, he gave up five hits, walked two and struck out five. Tevs Gantar took the loss after one inning in which heSLO flag allowed five runs (one (!) earned) on three hits and five walks and struck out one. 
Adrian Kaufmann was the best Swiss hitter as he went 2 for 2 with a double and two runs scored. 

Romania  6  –  3  Poland
ROU flagPoland was kept in check rather well by Eduard Pirvu, who pitched on a two-day rest. The Romanian starting pitcher, who pitched for Parmaclima of the Serie A a few years ago, pitched a complete game for the win. 
After both teams scored a run in the second inning, Romania added a run in the third and two in the fourth and another one in the fifth and eventually a final run in the eighth. Poland scored a run in the fourth and a run in the seventh in return. Not enough to make Pirvu’s life difficult. Radoslav Zajda took the loss after two innings in which he allowed one run on four hits and a walk and struck out one. POL flag
Eduard Pirvu helped his own cause as he want 3 for 4 at bat with three doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. 

Ukraine  3  –  6  Bulgaria
UKR flagAnother surprising result. In the first three innings, Bulgaria scored a run each, before Ukraine got on the board with a run in the fourth inning. Before Ukraine scored two more runs in the eighth and the ninth, Bulgaria had take a decisive lead after it scored a run in the fifth and two in the seventh. Ukraine could not take advantage of the four errors that Bulgaria committed. Evgenii Chernozemsky pitched a complete game for the win in which he allowed three runs on five hits and four walks as he struck out five. Andrii Kostashchuk took the loss for Ukraine. In five innings, he allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk and struck out two. BUL flag
Dimitar Nassapov was clearly the best hitter for Bulgaria as he went 3 for 3 with a home run, a double, an RBI and three runs scored. 

Greece  5  –  9  Lithuania
GRE flagWhat looked like a comfortable 5-1 lead for Lithuania after four innings in the battle of the Titans, disappeared like snow in the sun.  In the top of the fifth, Greece took advantage of the lack of control of pitcher Marijus Dargis, who walked several batters, balked and threw a wild pitch and scored three runs. The game-tying run came in the sixth on a single to right center field that drove in Tom Roulis from second base. But a Greek throwing error in the seventh inning ignited a three-run inning for Lithuania. That throwing error allowed the Lithuanians to score twice and that third run was driven in when Martynas Sadzevicius hit to center field. A dropped fly ball in right field allowed Lithuania to score its ninth run in the eighth frame. But Greece refused to surrender as they rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth but there the run production stalled. Matas Sirgedas pitched 2.1 innings for the win. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk and struck out one. The save went to Vilius Paikovas who pitched 0.2 perfect innings. LTU flag
Audrius Beliauskas was the best Lithuanian hitter as he went 4 for 5 with three runs scored. 

Serbia  15  –  0  Estonia
SRB flagEstonia was no match for Serbia. The Serbs had two one-run innings that would have been enough for the win but in the fifth inning their offense exploded. Three consecutive singles drove in two runs, the start of a huge inning. Except for one Estonian error, Serbia did it all under their own steam. Nine singles, two walks, an HBP and a triple lead to a total of thirteen runs. 
Danijel Kozjak earned the win for Serbia. In five innings, he allowed two hits and struck out seven. Aleks Kris Koppel took the loss. In 4.2 innings, he gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks as he struck out one. EST flag
Average-wise, Nenad Milankov was the best Serbian hitter with one hit out of one at-bat. 

Ireland    –    Slovakia
IRL flagAt the ballpark of Apollo Bratislava, of which the turf has clearly seen better days, Ireland had a major opportunity to blow the game wide open in the third inning. With no outs and the bases loaded, Michael McGee struck out but then Jamie Cuevas singled to first base to drive in two runs, followed by three more. But Slovakia wasn’t impressed at all as they blew the game wide open on their turn in the bottom of the third inning. With pitcher Brendan Scott on the mound, it was like shell shooting for the Slovaks, who scored ten (!) runs in only one at-bat.  In the bottom of the seventh inning, Slovakia would extend their lead to nine runs as it scored four times. In the eighth, eventually, Slovakia put their fifteenth run on the board, ending the game prematurely due to the mercy rule. 
Daniel Just earned the win after four innings in relief in which he allowed two runs on four hits and two walks as he struck out seven. Brendan Scott was tabbed with the loss. In four frames, he gave up ten runs (two (!) earned)) on nine hits and a walk, and struck out three. SVK flag
Average-wise, Adam Zacko was the best Slovakian hitter. He went 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored. 

Russia  24  –  0  Turkey
RUS flagFive innings and an hour and fifty-six minutes were all Russia needed to clinch its third victory of the tournament. Once again, Turkey didn’t stand a chance against its opponent. After two innings, Russia had a 16-0 nothing lead. From their they slowed down a bit but eventually added eight more runs in total. Jamos Thomas Paton (four innings) and Uladidzlav Ilyin pitched a combined no-hitter. Not only did Russia outscore its opponent, it outhit Turkey too: 16-0. Turkey committed a whopping six errors in five innings. 
No surprise that Paton earned the win. The only flaw of his performance were the two walks he issued. Utku Ergün took the loss. In three innings, he gave up eighteen runs (sevenTUR flag (!) earned) on ten hits and six walks and struck out three. 
The best hitter for Russia was Frank Antonio Bulte Pinya, who went 3 for 5 with two doubles, four RBI and two runs scored. 

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