Winners Round Robin: Czech Republic – Belgium
Belgium 000 100 100 1 3 4 1 Czech Republic 001 000 001 2 4 10 5
Despite committing five errors and trailing 1-2 with two outs in the bottom ninth, the Czech Republic still managed to beat Belgium 4-3 in game one of the winners’ round robin at the European Championship in Hoofddorp on Thursday morning. The Czech team tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and won it thanks to a walk-off hit by Matej Hejma in the tenth. The Czech Republic improved to 1-2 in the winners round, while Belgium dropped to 0-3.
The game started with a curious play when Petr Sila ran into umpire Alessandro Spera, when he rounded third trying to score from first on a double by Martin Schneider. He got back up and was tagged out during a rundown. After some discussion the game continued with the score tied at 0-0. This changed in the third thanks to another double by Schneider who plated Jakub Hajtmar to give the Czech team a 1-0 lead.
However it was short-lived joy for the number 14 in the world, as Belgium tied the game in the fourth due to a RBI groundout by Jamie Verheyleweghen. In the seventh the Red Hawks even took the lead. Verheyleweghen reached on an error, moved to third on a sac bunt and a groundout and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch.
Belgium still led 2-1 with the game entering the bottom of the ninth. Thomas De Wolf got two quick outs, but then allowed a single by Michal Ondracek on a 1-2 pitch. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and shortly after sent the game into extra innings scoring on a single by Petr Zyma.
With the extra inning rule in effect Belgium scored first in the first extra frame on a RBI single by Steven De Lannoy. In the bottom half Jakub Sladek moved the runners up with the obligatory sac bunt. Schneider got walked intentionally. Then Matej Hejma came through with a two-run double on the first pitch he saw to end the game 4-3 in walk-off style.