Thanks to another day of rain there were again just two games at the European Championship on Thursday. While the preliminary round ended with the big upset by Sweden over Italy, the final round started in the evening with a 17-8, 35 hits slugfest by Germany over Greece. Five final-round and one classification game are scheduled for Friday. Due to the rainouts four teams are forced to play twice.
In Stuttgart the day starts with the duel between France and Sweden. Samuel Meurant (FRA) and Jacob Claesson (SWE) are on the mound. While the French open the final round with two losses, Sweden is in a better position after their win over Italy. The Squadra Azzurra is on the field afterwards against the team of Sylvain Virey. Chris Cooper, Cody Cillo and Tiago Da Silva are rested and ready to go. Italy also will have a second assignment in the evening against the 2-1 hosts Germany. Greg Frady hopes that starting pitcher Andre Hughes will be able to stop the Italian sluggers.
In Heidenheim the Czech Republic and Great Britain battle for seventh place in the morning. The winner won’t have to play a qualifier next summer and can already start preparations for the 2012 Euros in the Netherlands. Marian Gajdos (CZE) and Alex Smith (GBR) are on the mound. In the afternoon the Netherlands will face Greece with David Bergman (NED) as starting pitcher. The Dutch team already was ten kilometers in front of Heidenheim, when they returned to Stuttgart on Thursday due to the Sweden win over Italy and the elimination of Spain. In the evening Sweden has to make the 1.5 hour trip from Stuttgart to Heidenheim for their matchup with the Netherlands.
Final Round Standings:
- Netherlands 2-0
- Germany 2-1
- Sweden 1-1
- Italy 1-1
- Greece 1-2
- France 0-2
The classification games for eleventh and ninth were canceled due to the rainy weather. The Ukraine and Croatia will finish in a tie for eleventh and Belgium and Spain for ninth.
10.30 Sweden versus France
14.30 Italy versus France
19.00 Italy versus Germany
10.30 Great Britain versus Czech Republic.
14.30 Greece versus Netherlands
18.00 Netherlands versus Sweden