Game for 7th Place: France – Sweden 7-5
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France is finishing the 2016 European Championship in Hoofddorp in seventh place after a 7-5 win over Sweden on Wednesday. France dominated throughout the first eight innings and then needed to stop a ninth-inning comeback by the Scandinavians to secure the win. Sweden is going to finish the tournament in eighth place.
Three batters into the game and France had a 1-0 lead after Maxime Lefevre had doubled home Frederic Hanvi. Sweden tied the contest in the fourth through a RBI groundout by Matt Merrifield. However a sac fly by Felix Brown in the bottom half of the same frame gave the lead right back to France.
Hanvi and Lefevre had RBI hits in the fifth to extend the advantage to 4-1. After Sweden had cut the deficit to two runs in the sixth, France seemingly sealed the deal with three runs in the seventh. Lefevre had two more RBI during the rally.
Nevertheless Sweden showed their fighting spirit and made things interesting in the ninth. A two-run triple by Johan Klarberg and a RBI single by Nick Filice with two outs got the Swedes within two runs. Joel Johnson then followed with a double to put the tying run on second. But the next batter Merrifield didn’t came through with the big hit and struck out swinging to end the game.
Leonel Cespedes conceded five hits, two unearned runs and a walk in eight impressive innings. He struck out six and lowered his ERA for the tournament to 0.64. He was replaced by veteran Pierrick Lemestre in the ninth, who pitched in and out of trouble to close it out. Emil Sahlin got charged with the loss, conceding four hits, four runs (3 ER) and two walks in four-plus innings.