The B-Level European Championship in Karlovac, Croatia started on Monday with the first three games of the preliminary phase. The top two of the six-country tournament advance to the finals on Saturday. The winner qualifies for the 2016 European Championship.
Slovakia – Ukraine 3-2
Slovakia edged out the Ukraine 3-2 in the first surprise of the week. The Ukraine, which got relegated from the A-Pool following the 2015 European Championship, led 2-1 after a RBI double by Roman Boiko in the seventh. However Slovakia rallied in the bottom of the ninth. They loaded the bases with one out. Jakuba Okaso pushed the tying run over the plate by working a bases loaded walk. After a strikeout for the second out, Marek Cerveny came through with a walk-off RBI single into center field to seal the victory. Marek Bosansky pitched a complete game for the win. Dmytro Kiliyevich got charged with the loss. Dmytro Limarenko had struck out eight in eight strong innings to start for the Ukraine.
Bulgaria – Slovenia 11-1 (7)
Bulgaria scored five runs in the fifth and five in the seventh to beat Slovenia 11-1 in seven innings in the afternoon game in Karlovac. Georgi Georgiev, Martin Andonov and Petar Gruev scored twice for Bulgaria. Evgenii Chernozemsky struck out 13 in a seven strong innings, allowing two hits and an unearned run. Jaka Smolnikar took the loss.
Switzerland – Croatia 2-9
Croatia put four runs on the board in the fourth and sixth apiece to defeat Switzerland 9-2 in their opener on Monday. Every player in the Croatian lineup scored a run. Nikola Sertic and Ross Vukovich combined for nine RBI. Rafael Eigenmann hit a solo home run for Switzerland. Reto Cola scored the second Swiss run. Slobodan Gales conceded six hits, two runs and three walks in nine innings for the win. Hide Oshima allowed 11 hits, eight runs and two base on balls in 5 1/3 frames to get charged with the loss.
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