Sweden scored two runs in the ninth inning to erase a 1-0 Czech Republic lead and steal a 2-1 comeback victory on Tuesday at the European Championships.
Rickard REIMER pitched a perfect ninth to earn the win while Jakub TOUFER surrendered a hit and two runs over 2.1 innings to get the loss.
Both starting pitchers turned in outstanding efforts with Sweden’s Nicklas MELIN going eight innings. The 19-year-old hurler allowed a single run on five hits and struck out four. Jan REHACEK scattered eight hits and fanned seven in 5.2 scoreless innings for the Czech Republic.
Sweden fell behind 1-0 in the fourth when Ales NAVRATIL stroked a double down the right field line to score Jan DRABEK. The Czech maintained their slim 1-0 lead until the final inning.
Bjorn JOHANNESSEN lined a 2-2 pitch to center field to leadoff the ninth and moved to second on Peter JOHANNESSEN sacrifice bunt. Daniel FARTH entered the game as a pinch-runner and scored the game-tying run when Philip GAJZLER struck out on a wild pitch but reached first safely. GAJZLER scored the winning run moments later on an error by the Czech second baseman.
Adam SORGI and Tony DERMENDZIEV both had two hits for Sweden which outhit the Czech Republic 9 to 5. NAVRATIlL and Martin VESELY each had a pair of hits in a losing cause.
Sweden (2-2) will meet Austria (0-4) in the final game of the first round while the Czech Republic (2-2) will battle Germany (3-1) in a pivotal Pool A matchup.