In one of two relegation games, winless France faced Belgium that won one game in the round robin. Nevertheless the French were way too strong and clinched an easy victory.
France 12 – 5 Belgium
The game was actually scheduled at 10.00 in the morning but was moved back to 13.30 (1.30 PM) due to a rain delay.
In the first inning, France took a 1-0 lead and Belgium got away with a scare. After Paolo Brossier scored the opening run, France loaded the bases with one out. But thanks to a double play, Greg Mareels got out of the inning without further damage.
After a 1-2-3 inning, Belgium tied the game in the second. Lucas Rizzi led off with a single through the right side, followed by a double by Quentin Devreese, on which he could score the game-tying run. In the bottom of the third inning, the Red Hawks blew the game wide open, partially thanks to a struggling French pitching staff. Quentin Moulin walked Julien Muyldermans and Benjamin Goffaux. Moulin’s replacement, Eric Moore, didn’t fare much better. After Zion de Brauwer loaded the bases with a bunt, Moore threw a wild pitch on which Julien Muyldermans could score. Benjamin Goffaux scored on a throwing error by the catcher before Matthew Joossens singled up the middle to drive in Zion de Brauwer. A failed pickoff allowed Matthew Joossens to advance to third base from where he could score the fourth run of the inning on another wild pitch.
Just when you started to thing that Greg Mareels was in control, France got back into the game. On a double by Martin Vissac, a single by Ryan Moore and a double by Louis Brainville, Les Bleus scored three runs.
In the top of the fifth inning, France regained the lead on an RBI single by Luc Viger and a throwing error by the Belgian shortstop that allowed Viger to score. In the bottom of the fifth, Belgium had a golden opportunity to tie the game at least, as it loaded the bases with no outs but thanks to a line out, a 4-5 double play that followed on the line out, and a fly out, the team failed to cash in. And it is an unwritten law in baseball, when you fail to score yourself, the opponent will. And that is what happened in the sixth when the Belgian pitching struggled mightily and allowed France to score six runs. The Belgians would not overcome this blow.
Tanguy Meurant earned the win after 2.2 innings of relief. He gave up four hits and a walk and struck out one. Matthew Joossens took the loss. In 1.2 innings, he allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk.
Batting 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBI, and two runs scored, Martin Vissac was the best hitter for the French.