Today four games were scheduled in the relegation group: Russia @ Ukraine, France @ Germany, Slovakia @ Austria, and Sweden @ Greece. In three of the four cases, it was a battle between neighboring countries.
Russia 15 – 5 Ukraine
In the first battle of neighboring countries, Ukraine was no match for Russia. After two innings, the race was already run as Russia had an 11-1 lead and eventually, the Russians won in seven innings. . Four Ukrainian miscues led to six unearned runs. Without these runs, Russia still would have won, but the result would have been more bearable.
Anton Trusov earned the win for Russia after one inning in relief in which he gave up a hit. Mykola Liakhovetskyi took the loss. In 1.1 inning, he gave up eleven runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks and struck out one.
The best hitter for Russia was Viacheslav Vasilev, who went 2 for 2 with a triple, four RBI, and two runs scored.
France 2 – 3 Germany
Germany clinched a close victory over their neighbor. The third German run, that was scored in the seventh inning, appeared to be the insurance run as the French came close to tie the game in the ninth with Jacques Boucheron at third base. But Eric Brenk managed to retire the final batter for the save. In the fifth inning, a single by Alexander Schmidt and a sac fly by Eric Brenk gave the Germans a 2-0 lead. The French lineup was kept in check by Maurice Wilhelm rather well as they only had runners on base three times in the first seven innings. Eventually, in the eighth, Wilhelm had to surrender two runs but that wasn’t enough to turn the tables.
Maurice Wilhelm earned the win after 7.1 innings as he gave up two hits and two walks and struck out five. Esteban Prioul took the loss. In 4.1 innings, he gave up two runs on five hits and three walks and struck out two.
Lou Helmig was the best hitter for the Germans as he went 3 for 4 with an RBI.
Slovakia 3 – 4 Austria
Also the game between Slovakia and Austria was a close one. After the Austrians took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, on a throwing error and a sac fly, Slovakia countered immediately in the top of the third. A single through the right side by Tomás Biskorovány, drove in two runs. Slovakia even took the lead in the top of the fifth when it scored a run on a double by Mario Gottchall. But also Austria bounced back. In the bottom of the fifth, a two-run shot by Ferdinand Obed put the final score on the board. Slovakia came very close to tie the game when Mario Gottchall singled through the right side and Denis Paksi dashed home from second base, but the latter was thrown out on a perfect throw from right field. Also in the eighth, the Slovakians had a runner in scoring position but failed to cash in.
Thierry Letouzé earned the win for Austria. In six innings, he gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks and struck out two. Jakub Izold took the loss. He threw a complete game in which he gave up four runs (two earned) on four hits and four walks and struck out five.
Marcel Mariette was the best hitter for Austria. He went 1 for 2 with an RBI.
Sweden 10 – 0 Greece
In a battle between two not neighboring countries, Sweden put aside Greece in seven innings.
A ground rule double, hit by Niklas Melin, drove in Daniel Johnson for the 1-0 lead. In the following five innings, Sweden extended its lead with nine more runs. In the meantime, Benjamin Johnson was very effective on the mound. In four innings, he needed only forty pitches to keep Greece in check. Later in the game, his pitch count per inning increased, but he managed to shut out the Greek in a complete game (seven innings) outing in which he limited them to only four hits.
Theon Bourdaniotis took the loss. In three frames, he allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits and a walk and struck out three.
Sweden outhit Greece 11-4 and three Swedish hitters went 2 for 3: Joel Johnson with a double, two RBI and a run scored, Trolle Brandt with two RBI and a run scored, and Markus Mendelez with a double, an RBI and three runs scored.