BOGUSLAV, Ukraine — Leslie Nacar duplicated Jesús Montaño’s six scoreless innings from Game One and the Marlins romped to another effortless win the Federations Cup Ukraine Qualifier. Montaño backed up his rotation-mate with a longball in the 15-0 victory over Utenos Titanai, which had cavorted to a 27-11 shellacking of the London Capitals earlier on Day Two.
Utenos 27 – London 11 (7)
In a game that few would describe as well-played–at least aside from the approach of the hitters–the Titans of Lithuania made up for a lackluster opening performance with an impressive offensive display against the London Capitals. Although British pitching contributed 15 walks, five hit batters, and three wild pitches, Utena took full advantage, slashing 15 hits to score almost every baserunner.
The game promised plenty of excitement after the Titanai posted four markers in the first and the Capitals answered with a pair. It was the third, however, in which the Lithuanians did most of the damage. A series of errors and free passes was greeted with single after single, and Utena scored 11 runs in the frame.
Incredibly, after another five runs for the Titans in the sixth, London mounted a comeback that almost narrowed the lead to avoid the mercy rule, taking advantage of a multitude of miscues by Utena. Seven runs would cross the plate as the indefatigable Eimantas Zickus stayed on the mound.
Just in case a 21-11 deficit gave the Caps too many ideas, though, Utena scored six in the top of the seventh and Zickus finished off the bottom of the frame for the rather ugly win. Twenty of the 38 combined runs were unearned as the Titans committed six errors and London added five. Zickus threw 124 pitches over six frames, with only three earned runs off the nine hits and three freebies he surrendered.
Zickus was the game’s top hitter as well, with four hits and two free passes in seven trips to the dish. He scored three and drove in an equal number, while Edvinas Jurgelenas scored five runs despite only a pair of singles. Dovydas Diktaras plated four with a double and a triple. For London, Ben Marcal was 3-for-5 with a double and three ribbies.
ATMA 0 – Tenerife 15 (6)
One can almost imagine Tenerife’s Game Two starter Nacar watching Montaño dealing on the first day of the Marlins’ quest for qualification and thinking, “If he can do it, so can I.” The venerable Spanish national teamer came out of the gates in peak form, mowing down ATMA’s batters from the start.
Meanwhile, his offense was more than capable of delivering the run support, with two homers among 13 hits in a second easy win for the Spanish club.
Although Oles Husenytsia had managed to sandwich scoreless innings around three Marlins runs in the second, the visitors broke through with a six-run fourth and then continued to practice its three-times table with trifectas in the fifth and sixth.
When the game mercifully came to an end after the fifteenth run, Nacar had barely warmed up, tossing only 63 pitches through six scoreless frames. The damage total from those bullets? A single hit by Raidel Arbelai, which rolled for three bases. As with Montaño, Nacar did not issue a base on balls, while he hung five ‘K’ cards on the outfield wall. Given the virtually identical scorecards, it seems only fitting that Montaño’s gem required exactly–and rather incredibly–63 pitches as well.
Tenerife’s Opening Game moundsman earned the tiebreaker, however, as Montaño blasted a homer as part of a 3-for-3 day in left field, with four RBI to his credit. Eduardo Moredo also collected hits in each of his three at bats, crossing home three times, with Montaño hot on his heels each time. Rolando Rodríguez also ripped a round-tripper for Tenerife.
Aug. 4: Tenerife 10 – Utenos 0 (7)
Aug. 4: London 9 – ATMA 5
Aug. 5: Utenos 27 – London 11 (7)
Aug. 5: ATMA 0 – Tenerife 15 (6)
Aug. 6: London – Tenerife
Aug. 6: Utenos – ATMA
Final (Aug. 7): TBD