On the second day of the 2021 European Championship, the following games were scheduled: Belgium @ Ukraine, Czech Republic @ Great Britain, Germany @ the Netherlands, and France @ Italy.
Belgium 6 – 3 Ukraine
Czech Republic 5 – 6 Great Britain
Opening the score without a hit. That is what happened to Great Britain. Oliver Thompson drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a foul out towards first base and scored on a wild pitch. In the next inning, the “British” lineup, loaded with American players, extended its lead. But the Czechs fought back. In the third inning, a throwing error by the British shortstop heralded a two run frame. Another error and a single allowed the Czechs to score twice. In the fifth inning, the Czech Republic took a one-run lead on a single by Jakub Kubica, but the Brits bounced back in the bottom of the same inning and tied the score thanks to a triple by Miguel Rodriguez. Both teams scored in the seventh inning so extra innings were needed. The Czechs showed how to deal with the dreaded tie-breaker rule. Jakub Grepl laid down a sac bunt to move the runners over to second and third base. The follow-up wasn’t quite as good as the next two batters struck out but the Czechs still scored a run on a wild pitch. The British used a different approach as Kennard Dawson doubled down the right field line to drive in the game-tying run. With runners in scoring position, Ivan Quackenbush was walked intentionally. The game ended rather anti-climactic as the winning run was scored on a wild pitch.
Mitchell Vom Scheidt earned the win despite giving up a run to the Czechs in the eighth inning. David Capka took the loss as he gave up the winning run on that aforementioned wild pitch.
Miguel Rodriguez was the best British hitter as he went 2 for 3 with a triple, an RBI, and a run scored.
Thanks to this win, the British have clinched a spot in the semi-finals already.
Germany 1 – 10 The Netherlands
France 4 – 8 Italy
France was no match for Italy in today’s game. After two innings “Les Bleus” trailed 6-1 already. A balk and an RBI single gave Italy the lead in the first inning. In the second inning, a grand slam home run by Riccardo Bertossi put the Italians into the driver seat.
In the fourth inning, the Italians scored two more runs for a comfortable 8-1 lead. But in the top of the sixth inning, against all odds, France fought itself back into the game. A sac fly by Paolo Brossier drove in one run. A wild pitch allowed Ryan Moore to score the second French run of the inning. A single by Mael Zan drove in Louis Brainville for France’s third run of the inning. But after that, there was no gas left in the French tank.
Eduardo Peluso earned the win. He pitched two perfect innings in relief and struck out three. Clément Esteban took the loss. In just 1.1 innings, he gave up five runs on two hits and three walks.
Best hitter for Italy was Ricardo Paolini who went 1 for 1 with a run scored.
With this win, Italy also clinched a spot in the semi-finals. Tomorrow it will battle Great Britain to decide who will finish in first place of Group A.