On the fourth day of the 2021 U23 European Championship, two relegation games and two semi-finals were scheduled. The relegation games: France @ Belgium and Ukraine @ Czech Republic. Semi-finals: Great Britain @ the Netherlands and Germany @ Italy.
France 12 – 5 Belgium
Ukraine 0 – 15 Czech Republic
The Czech Republic wasn’t wasting any time. The team needed only four innings to seal the fate of Ukraine. After a scoreless first inning, the Czechs rallied for five runs in the second inning. The score was opened on an RBI single by Matej Vlach. A double, a single, a throwing error by the Ukrainian catcher and a 4-3 ground out allowed the Czech Republic to score four more runs in the second inning. After a modest third inning, in which the Czechs only scored twice, they had a monster inning in the fourth that ended the game prematurely. Three RBI singles, two two-RBI single, a sac fly, and an HBP drove in eight runs for the Czech Republic.
Simon Blazek pitched a “complete” game. He gave up one hit and struck out six in four innings. Ihor Lukin took the loss. In 2.1 innings, he allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and a walk as he struck out two.
Daniel Ondrousek was the best hitter for the Czech Republic as he went 3 for 3 with a home run, three RBI, and three runs scored.
Great Britain 4 – 12 the Netherlands
Germany 1 – 0 Italy
Likely the unthinkable happened. After being routed by the Netherlands in the round robin, who would have given them a chance against Italy? Anyhow, Germany beat Italy to advance to the final. In a pitching game, the hits and certainly the runs did not come cheap. Italy got runners in scoring position twice. Once in the first inning with no outs and once in the seventh with one out. In both cases, the Italians didn’t cash in. The Germans on the other side also blew two opportunities to score. Once in the third inning with the bases loaded and no outs, and once in the fourth, when they had a runner on second with only one out. In both cases, the pitching on both sides did a tremendous job. Both teams collected only four hits. Eventually in the seventh inning, the Germans pushed for a run. Back-to-back walks given up by Maurizio Andretta, were followed by a single by Simon Baumgardt, who drove in Yannic Walther. As written before, Italy didn’t use the chance to score a run in the bottom of the seventh, so Germany walked of as the victor.
Simon Bäumer pitched 5.1 innings for the win. He gave up three hits, walked two and struck out a whopping ten batters. Maurizio Andretta pitched had a solid outing until that seventh inning in which he was credited for the losing run. Luca Hörger pitched 0.2 perfect innings for the save.
Alexander Schmidt was the best hitter for Germany as he went 1 for 1.
The Germans will face the Netherlands in the final and will have a score to settle.