France got another splendid outing from their starting pitcher and remained unbeaten with a 6-2 victory over Ukraine. The French National Team (3-0) sit atop the Pool B standings ahead of favorites Italy (2-1) and Spain (2-1).
Maxime LE BLANC scattered six hits and one run over six innings to get the win while reliever Matthieu ANDRADE-BRELLE tossed 1.2 scoreless innings. Ukraine starter Ihor LITVINCHUK was hit hard surrendering six runs and eight hits in 6.2 innings of work.
Ukraine loaded the bases in the first off LE BLANC with no outs but managed only a single run to grab a 1-0 lead. Another Ukraine rally in the second was foiled when Denys AGAPOV and Artem PALAMARCHUK both grounded into fielder’s choices with the bases full.
France finally broke through in the third when Sebastien HERVE stroked a two-bagger to score speedy Kenji HAGIWARA and knot the score at 1-1. HERVE later scored on Boris MARCHE’s RBI grounder to give France a 2-1 lead.
David MEURANT opened the seventh with a solo home run to left to make the score 3-1 and France added three more runs in the inning to take a commanding 6-1 lead late in the game. Ukraine managed a run in the eight to make the final score 6-2.
France will battle Great Britain in a key Pool B matchup on Tuesday while Ukraine will battle Russia in a game featuring two winless teams.