The 2021 Croatian champion will be crowned on Saturday in Karlovac after an exciting championship series that has gone the full seven games between the country’s perennial contenders Nada Split and Olimpija Karlovac. Split looked to be on track to win the title after it took a commanding 3-0 series lead, but Olimpija has responded with a run of three victories in turn to force Saturday’s deciding Game Seven at its home park.
The championship series began with Split travelling the roughly 350 kilometers to Karlovac and returning home with a 2-0 series lead. Andrew Jones was awarded the win in Game One, a 7-4 victory for the guests, and Game Two could have gone either way, with Split ultimately prevailing 1-0 in the 12-inning contest. Nada Split’s starter Tim Brown pitched 10 innings of shutout baseball, striking out 11 while walking just two, but the win ultimately went to Justin Olic after Marin Tadić brought home the game’s lone run in the twelfth inning.
In Split the following weekend, Nada continued its winning ways with a big 16-6 victory to move just one win from the title, with Brown getting the victory that eluded him in Game Two.
Facing elimination for the first time, Olimpija won Game Four 14-12 in 11 innings to force Game Five the following day, but rain forced the game to be rescheduled. The week delay was beneficial for Olimpija as Game Four’s winning pitcher Jose Mendoza was able to start Game Five on full rest, and he did not disappoint, leading his club to a 6-5 win.
Olimpija continued its winning ways in Game 6 at home, a 6-3 victory, with Darko Kvaternik awarded the W.
Saturday’s deciding Game Seven is scheduled for 16:00 (CEST), with a live stream available via the Olimpija Karlovac YouTube channel.
RESULTS & SCHEDULE
Game 1, July 10, Nada Split at Olimpija Karlovac, 7-4
Game 2, July 11, Nada Split at Olimpija Karlovac, 1-0 (12 innings)
Game 3, July 16, Olimpija Karlovac at Nada Split, 6-16 (8 innings)
Game 4, July 17, Olimpija Karlovac at Nada Split, 14-12 (11 innings)
Game 5, July 24, Olimpija Karlovac at Nada Split, 6-5
Game 6, July 25, Nada Split at Olimpija Karlovac, 3-6
Game 7, July 31, Nada Split at Olimpija Karlovac, 16:00 (CEST)