In the relegation round, two games were planned today: Greece @ France and Slovakia @ Ukraine. Both games were close affairs.
Greece 12 – 9 France
For three innings, France was kept on a leash by Jonathan George Kountis but in the fourth inning, France struck first when Andy Paz hit a two-run home run. Greece had the first good opportunity to get on the board in the sixth inning, when it had a runner on second base with less than two outs. But Owen Ozanich retired the final two batters to get out of the inning. In the eighth frame, a double, a sac bunt and a single down the left field line, drove in the first run for Greece. But France bounced back in the same inning. Léo Jiminian was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Andy Paz’ single to left field. As Greece scored twice in the ninth inning, the game went into extra innings. Both teams scored twice in the tenth, once in the eleventh. But in the top of the twelfth inning, Greece had an offensive outburst. The three runs that France scored in the bottom of the twelfth, contrasted with the six runs the Greek scored before them.
Dimitrios Kourtis earned the win. In three innings, he allowed three unearned runs on one hit and two walks and struck out four. José-Andres Paula took the loss. In three innings in relief, he allowed seven runs (two earned) on three hits and struck out four.
Besides being the winning pitcher, Dimitrios Kourtis also was the best Greek hitter. He went 2 for 5 with a run scored.
Slovakia 4 – 5 Ukraine
The two worst teams of the round robin faced each other today. Slovakia took an early 3-0 lead on RBI singles by Martin Lukacka, Mario Gottchall, and Jakub Horacek. But Ukraine got back into the game in the bottom of the second inning when Konstiantyn Boiko hit a sac fly on which Ilia Velykyi scored Ukriane’s first run and when Oleksii Boiko singled home Roman Boiko. In the fourth Slovakia added one more run but that was it for the team. In the eighth inning, Ukraine tied the game at four and in the ninth, the team scored the walk-off run on a bases loaded walk.
The two unearned runs, Marko Vykoukal allowed in six innings, cost Slovakia the game. As a result, Vykoukal took the loss after six innings. Heorhii Hvrytishvili, who replaced Sergii Shtapura in the first inning with no outs, pitched nine innings for the win. He gave up one run on five hits and three walks and struck out nine.
Roman Boiko was the best hitter for Ukraine as he went 2 for 3 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored.
Thanks to this win, Ukrain will face Greece tomorrow in the game for thirteenth place. Slovakia will face France in the game for fifteenth place.