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Jul '21 23

U15 European Championship: Day 2

The three games on the second day of the U15 European championship were all one-sided affairs, with Italy and the Netherlands each booking their second victories of the tournament and the Czech Republic defeating France 19-3 in its tournament debut.

The day’s play began in Group B in Trnava, Slovakia, with Italy enjoying a 15-1 (box score) victory over Austria. The Italians broke the game open with six hits and eight runs in the sixth inning. All told, the Italian batters collected 15 hits, including three doubles and three triples. Shortstop Edoardo Cornelli contributed one of those triples and three RBI in a 2-for-3 effort at the plate. Mattia Bernardis, Giacomo Taschin, and Francesco Gallo contributed two RBI apiece.

Later in the day, the Netherlands stayed even with Italy in the Group B standings with a 15-1 (box score) victory of its own over host Slovakia. The Dutch claimed a 5-0 lead in the first frame and did not look back from there, scoring in each inning to finish off Slovakia by mercy rule after five innings. Jamie Beerman and Jorrit Patist both drove in four runs, while the Dutch pitching staff allowed just one hit. Thijs Helms, who closed out the game , was awarded the win after striking out five of the eight batters he faced. He threw 23 of his 29 pitches for strikes.

In Group A play in Brno, the Czech Republic debuted in front of the home crowd, with a Filip Kubiček triple to start the game setting the tone for the evening. The Czechs would score two runs in the first and another pair of runs in the second before putting eight runs on the scoreboard in the third on their way to a 19-3 (box score) final result. In a balanced line-up, nine Czech batters drove in runs, with cleanup hitter Jan Kozel, who started the game on the mound, leading the way with four RBI in a 2-for-4 showing at the plate. Leadoff hitter Kubiček (2-for-4, three walks) scored four runs, as did Vojtech Ventruba (2-for-2, two walks).

The Czech pitching staff had troubles with the strike zone, issuing nine walks and throwing just over 50% of their pitches for strikes, but they got timely outs and limited the French batters to just three hits. The French stranded 10 runners, including three in the first inning and three again in the third. Max Lukeš (1.1IP, 1K, 1BB) was awarded the win after sealing the door on the French rally in the third inning. Brought in with the bases loaded and two outs, he got a 6-3 ground out to end the danger and then pitched another inning of scoreless relief.

Day Three’s play will begin with the Group B decider between the Netherlands and Italy at 11:00 (CEST), followed by Austria and Slovakia at 16:00 (CEST). In Group A, the Czech Republic will take on Germany under the floodlights at 19:00 (CEST), with the live stream available here.

For a summary of the previous day’s action, go here, and for complete standings and statistics and links to live streams, visit the WBSC Europe competition page.

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