by Michal Hanus
Both semifinal series was played during a weekend baseball fans in Brno. Both series were close and very good baseball was played. AVG Draci Brno and MZLU Express Brno started their semifinal game on Saturday afternoon. Express started with Kubat on the mound, which means for each team a warning, as well for Draci Brno, who started game with Schneider. Thanks to Kubat and an excellent performance overall, Express surprisingly won the first battle 4-1. On Sunday Draci with the awareness about the absence of Kubat didn’t led a chance to Express and beat them 9-1. Draci started with Minarik, with Prochazka and Toufar following him. Express started with Gajdos. After the first weekend the best-of-five series hasn’t a clear favorite. The next game is scheduled on Wednesday and everybody is looking how Draci’s batter will face up to Kubat on the mound.
The other series started already last weekend with one win each for the Arrows and Technika. At the home field of Technika Brno there was a chance to introduce the first participant of Extraleague final. On Saturday Technika started with two homeruns of Navrkal and Stritecky and scored four times. Arrows didn’t find anything against the excellent defensive of Technika in the beginning. Arrows started with Jurdzin, but after two innings he was replaced by Robles. Ostrava’s Griffin made it close with a three-run homerun in the end. Technika finally won 5-4. Both teams came to Sunday’s game with the awareness that it could be the last game for Arrows. So both team started with the best what they had on the bench. Home team Technika started with Koci on the mound and Mraz closed the game. Arrows used Bokaj for the whole game, as they didn’t need to substitute him, because of his excellent performance which returns the series back to Ostrava. The Arrows won a pitcher’s duel 2-1. The decisive fifth game of the best-of-five series is scheduled for Saturday at 6pm CET.
Also played during the weekend were the playdown series. Both series ended as soon as possible, because on Friday the Tegola Titans lost their third consecutive game against Skokani Olomouc and were swept in the series 3-0. Krc Altron travelled to Blansko with two wins, needing only one more victory to end the series. Black Hill Blansko tried to continue the series but didn’t find enough resources to defeat Krc Altron and also lost their third game by a score of 1-3 and the whole series 0-3.
From this perspective Krc Altron finished in fifth place, Skokani Olomouc in sixth, Tegola Titans in seventh and Black Hill Blansko in eighth. Tegola Titans and Black Hill Blansko are awaiting another series to play for two free spots in the 2009 Extraleague against the best two teams from the National League (second division in Czech Baseball) – Liberec Patriots and Orlice (Eagles) Chocen. Both best-of-five series will start next Saturday, Tegola Titans against Orlice Chocen in Prague and Liberec Patriots versus Black Hill Blansko in Liberec. The second series is a rematch from 2007, where Black Hill Blansko defeated Liberec Patriots and stayed in the Extraleague 2008 as well as Tegola Titans who beat Sokol Hluboka.
Saturday, September 13th
Arrows Ostrava vs. Technika Brno 2-3
Sunday, September 14th
Arrows Ostrava vs. Technika Brno 10-2
Saturday, September 20th
Technika Brno vs. Arrows Ostrava 5-4
AVG Draci Brno vs. MZLU Express Brno 1-4
Sunday, September 21st
Technika Brno vs. Arrows Ostrava 1-2
(series tied 2-2)
AVG Draci Brno vs. MZLU Express Brno 9-1
(series tied 1-1)
Wednesday, September 24th
18:00 MZLU Express Brno vs. AVG Draci Brno
Saturday, September 27th
14:00 Arrows Ostrava vs. Technika Brno
14:00 MZLU Express Brno vs. AVG Draci Brno
Sunday, September 28th
14:00 AVG Draci Brno vs. MZLU Express Brno*
* if necessary
KRC Altron – Black Hill Blansko 8-3, 12-5, 3-1 (Altron win series 3-0)
Skokani Olomouc – Tegola Titans 13-7, 9-8, 5-3 (Skokani win series 3-0)