By Gabriel Fidler
BLAGOEVGRAD, Bulgaria — After convincing wins by the London and Moscow on the opening day of the third Federations Cup Qualifier, the two clubs matched up for the only game on Day Two. Drake Yoshioka and Zachary Stroman propelled the Mets to an early lead, and the four-time defending champions of Britain rode out the 8-4 victory.
London 8 – Moscow 4
The two heavyweights matched up on Day Two and the result was a much more competitive match. The Mets took a 3-0 lead through two and, after a single Russian run in the follow half-inning, added two in the fourth and single runs in each of the subsequent innings. Reliever Pietro Sollecito was effectively wild in the middle frames, tossing four innings in the end. Neither of the runs he allowed were earned, and he permitted only one hit alongside four free passes.
The closest Moscow could manage was a 6-3 deficit heading into the bottom of the sixth, but Drake Yoshioka slammed the door for the final three frame to earn the long relief-save (though none was credited, as is usual in CEB events). The victory was the first for any British club against any team from Moscow in four attempts dating back to 1994.
Yoshioka was 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot for the second-straight game, but it was Zachary Stroman that led the team offensively, crushing a solo shot among four hits.
Aug. 3: Sofia 4 – London 21 (7)
Aug. 3: Moscow 16 – Sofia 2 (7)
Aug. 4: London 8 – Moscow 4
Aug. 5: Moscow – London
Aug. 5: Sofia – Moscow
Aug. 6: Sofia – London
Final (Aug. 7): TBD