Italy 105 100 020 9 11 0 Czech Republic 000 010 000 1 8 3
Italy is joining the Netherlands in the Gold Medal Game of the 2014 European Championship on Sunday in Brno. They remained undefeated in the tournament with a dominating 9-1 victory over host Czech Republic. They took the lead in the first and blew the score open with five runs in the third en route to the win. They improved to 4-0 in the final round, while the Czech Republic dropped to 1-3.
The Squadra Azzurri didn’t waste any time and took a 1-0 lead in the first, when Juan Carlos Infante reached base with a bunt single, moved to second a throwing error and scored two batters later on a sac fly by his Bologna teammate Alessandro Vaglio. In the third they added five runs to the scoreboard to decide the outcome early. Alex Liddi highlighted the rally with a two-run single. In the fourth an error on a fielder’s choice allowed Infante to score another run, making it a 7-0 game.
The Czech Republic threatened to come back in the bottom of the fifth. Matej Hejma got them on the board with a RBI single. Jakub Sladek followed to load the bases with two outs for Jakub Malik. The former player in the Dutch Hoofdklasse nearly made it interesting when he hit a long fly ball down the left-field line, missing the grand slam by a foot. One pitch later he grounded out to short to end the frame. In the top of the eighth Italy added further insurance, when Erik Epifano drove in two with a single to make it 9-1.
Marco Mazzieri handed starting duties to Frailyn Florian who issued just one run on seven hits and four walks in five innings. Filippo Crepaldi followed with three scoreless one-hit innings before Yovany D’Amico took over in the ninth. On the home side Jan Novak got charged with the loss, conceding three hits, four runs and three base on balls in 2 2/3 innings. Jakub Toufar, Marek Minarik and Radim Chroust succeeded him on the mound.
Live Play by Play, Schedule and Complete Results at www.baseballstats.eu
Photo by Walter Keller