Today the following quarter finals were scheduled: Croatia @ Italy, Belgium @ Spain, Czech Republic @ Israel, and Great Britain @ Kingdom of the Netherlands. All games were quarter final worthy as all of them had close scores.
Croatia 5 – 8 Italy
A four-run eighth inning saved Italy from losing to Croatia today. Croatia fought hard but fell to the more experienced Italians. In the first inning, Italy took the lead when, with the bases loaded, Ernesto Liberatore singled through the left side and drove in Dario Pizziano. Vito Friscia dashed home from second base but was thrown out at home plate on a 7-2 play.
In the top of the third inning, Croatia tied the game when José Herrera hit a solo shot to right field. One inning later, the Azzurri regained the lead when it scored thrice. A sac fly by Mattia Mercuri, a fielding error on Noel Gonzalez’ hit, and a fielders choice on Leo Ferrini’s hit led to the aforementioned three runs. But Croatia inched closer in the top of the fifth on a double by José Herrera that drove in Kruno Gojkovic.
Had Italy not scored four runs in the eighth inning, the three runs Croatia scored in the top of the ninth, might have won the game for them.
Matteo Bocchi pitched a perfect eighth with a strikeout for the win. José Diaz took the loss after 3.1 innings in which he gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits, three walks, and struck out one.
Ernesto Liberatore was the best hitter for Italy. He went 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored.
Belgium 2 – 5 Spain
Czech Republic 2 – 3 Israel
An Israel team with 52% American players on the roster had to go very deep to beat an all-Czech team. In a very close game, the Israelis stayed at the right of the score.
In the third inning, Israel could open the score when Tal Erel scored from third on a 5-3 groundout, hit by Mitch Glasser. In the top of the fourth, the Czech Republic could tie the game on a throwing error by Israel’s third baseman. A solo shot by Marek Chlup in the seventh inning, gave the Czechs the lead again. But Israel answered immediately. In the bottom of the seventh, Jordan Petrushka scored on Joey Wagman’s single to third base.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Marik Minarik couldn’t get out of the inning. He allowed a base hit to Itai Goldner, who advanced to second on a throwing error by the Czech second baseman. Goldner scored the game winning run on a single to center field, hit by Joey Wagman.
Ben Wanger earned the win after pitching two innings in relief. He gave up a hit, walked one and struck out two. Marek Minarik took the loss as he gave up the game winning run to Israel. In 3.2 innings, he gave up two runs on six hits and struck out two.
Joey Wagman was the best Israeli hitter, going 2 for 2 with two RBI.
Great Britain 5 – 7 Kingdom of the Netherlands
Tomorrow’s semi finals will be:
Kingdom of the Netherlands @ Spain
Italy @ Israel