Croatia (0-1) vs Sweden (0-1)
Croatia played well in a 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic but continues to struggle at the plate hitting .200 as a unit. Lost first five games in 2005 before upsetting Sweden 2-0. The Swedish put up little fight against Germany in a 9-1 loss and need a win over Croatia with the Netherlands looming on Monday.
Spain (0-1) vs Ukraine (0-1)
The Spanish National Team loss to Great Britain in the tournament opener was a surprise and pitching depth must be a concern for skipper Jake Molina. But Ukraine might be the perfect squad for Spain to regain some confidence. Claimed 12-2 win over Ukraine two year ago.
Germany (1-0) vs Austria (0-1)
The Germans got a much-needed stellar outing from ace pitcher Enorbel MARQUEZ-RAMIREZ in an easy win over Sweden and now face two bottom tier teams – Austria and Croatia – before a matchup with the Dutch on Tuesday. Germany is in great shape to enter the next round with a fresh pitching rotation. Austria was outclassed by the Dutch 22-0 and now face a confident German team seeking a medal. Not good.
Italy (1-0) vs France (1-0)
An interesting matchup that might feature two of Europe’s top hurlers, Italy’s Sandy PATRONE and France’s Nicolas DUBAT. The Italians pounded Ukraine 13-0 while France struggled offensively in a 4-2 win over Russia. Italy’s pitching staff will be tested with games against Great Britain and Spain looming. France scored only four runs in their last four games in 2005.
Netherlands (1-0) vs Czech (1-0)
The Dutch did not disappoint in their tournament opener racking up 22 runs on 20 hits. Minor leaguer Rogearvin BERNADINA scored four times and was 4-for-4 with a home run. Eight other Dutch hitters collected at least two hits. The Czech Republic beat Croatia 4-2 in an unimpressive win but played extremely well against the tourney favorites two years ago in a 3-0 defeat.
Russia (0-1) vs Great Britain (1-0)
The Russians pitched great in a losing effort against France while Great Britain pitched so-so in a win over Spain. The jury is still out on a suspect British pitching staff but Brant UST and Mike NICKEAS are the real deal swinging the bat. Great Britain won the last meeting in 2005 by a 10-1 score.