Press Release Hungarian Baseball and Softball Federation
Budapest – Last week’s two game series between the Hungarian and Croatian National Teams in Karlovac, Croatia, turned out to be a very successful event for both federations. Both games went the full nine-inning distance and gave the teams opportunity to test their players in a very competitive atmosphere.
In the first game on Saturday evening, Hungary took an early 4:1 lead and was able to hold it until the 6th inning, when a couple of infield errors combined with hits from the Croatian side resulted into a 5:4 lead for the hosts. Although the Hungarian team loaded the bases in the 8th and had the tying run again on base in the 9th, the final clutch hitting was missing to change the result.
Final score: Croatia – Hungary 5:4
The second game turned out to be a real pitching duel between starting pitchers Zsolt Zalabai (HU) and Ernesto Pereira (CRO). Pereira struck out the first five batters he faced and fanned another seven later on. He pitched eight innings giving up two runs (1 ER) on six hits. Zalabai had ten K’s in seven innings pitched. He gave up four runs (1ER) and was the only Hungarian player to hit hard Pereira going 2 for 4 with two doubles and one RBI. The Croatians were able to score one run at the bottom of the first inning. The Hungarian team ultimately tied in top of fifth inning, but individual mistakes in the bottom of the inning gave 3:1 lead to the Croatians again. Croatia added an insurance run in the seventh inning. Hungary scored again in the top of eighth and with a runner on base in the ninth even had the tying run at home plate, but Croatian relieve pitching was able to shut the door.
Final score: Croatia – Hungary 4:2
Both teams had a mixture of established players and young talents in the lineup. Due a long list of currently injured senior players, Hungary used three of their juniors’ talents, all just 17 years old, in this series and can be very satisfied with their overall performance. While the Hungarian National team will continue their national team work-outs to get ready for the 2009 Danube Cup in Vienna on August 30th, the Croatian team will continue their preparation for this year’s first-round Baseball World Cup tournament in Zagreb, September 9th-12th.
The Hungarian Federation would like to thank the Croatian Federation for their great hospitality during this weekend and wishes the Croatian Team a successful World Cup tournament.