On the third day of the 2021 U23 European Championship, the following games were scheduled: Ukraine @ the Netherlands, Belgium @ Germany, France @ Czech Republic, and Italy @ Great Britain.
Ukraine 0 – 10 The Netherlands
France 5 – 7 Czech Republic
By losing to Great-Britain yesterday, it was clear that we will have a new European champion in 2021. For a long time it looked like that the winner of the 2019 tournament would end the round robin without a single win. Against the French, the Czechs were limited to only three hits until the seventh inning. Until the fourth inning, the Czechs were even kept hitless. After France scored two more runs in the fifth inning, to make it 5-0, the Czech Republic got on the board thanks to a sac fly and an RBI single. In the seventh inning, the Czech Republic pushed for more runs as Ismael Pontiac issued two walks with only one out. Eric Moore replaced Pontiac but without the result the French hoped for. He started by hitting the first batter he faced with a pitch to load the bases. He then walked Jakub Kubica so Milan Prokop could score the third run for the Czech Republic. Moore then retired Radim Novotny, but with the bases still loaded, Moore served up a pitch that Marek Chlup lifted over the left field fence for a grand slam home run and the Czech win.
Lukas Pacal earned the win after 2.2 innings of relief. He allowed two hits and a walk and struck out three. Eric Moore took the loss after he gave up the game-winning grand slam.
Despite driving in four runs, Marek Chlup wasn’t the best hitter for the Czech Republic. That honor was for Jan Pospisil and Daniel Riegger. Both went 1 for 2. Pospisil scored one run and Riegger drove in one.
Belgium 2 – 10 Germany
Italy 11 – 1 Great Britain
Even a “British” team loaded with American players could not stop Italy from shoving Great Britain aside. Six walks, a sac fly, and a double drove in six runs for Italy in the first inning. Despite Italy’s shaky defense, Great Britain could score only one run in the second inning. But Italy extended its lead in the top of the third when Riccardo Flisi hit an RBI single through the left side and when Giulio Monello scored on a wild pitch. Three more runs in the fourth inning led to an 11-1 lead that ended the game prematurely after the fifth inning.
Mattia Sireus earned the win after three innings in which he allowed one unearned run on two hits and a walk and struck out six. Christopher Messer took the loss. In less than a full inning, he gave up six runs on six walks.
Tommaso Battioni was the best hitter for Italy as he went 2 for 3 with a double and four RBI.
Thanks to this win, Italy ends the round robin as winner of Group A. As a result it will face Germany in the semi-final tomorrow. Great Britain will face the winner of Group B, the Netherlands.