Three teams remain undefeated after three days of the competition at the U18 European Championship in Gijon, Spain. Germany already improved to 3-0 on Wednesday with a win over Sweden in Group A. Defending champion Italy captured their second win in as many games against France. In Group B the Netherlands won a key matchup against the Czech Republic to keep their clean slate. In the evening game Russia stunned Spain to win their first game.
Germany – Sweden 11-6
Germany defeated Sweden in a tight morning game in Gijon. The German juniors already led 4-1 after four innings, but Sweden rallied to take a 5-4 advantage midway through the sixth. However Germany answered with five runs in the bottom half of the same frame and secured the victory. Alexander Schmidt had two crucial two-run hits and drove in five RBI overall. Jerome Gipson scored three times. Mark Harrison struck out four in three scoreless innings to start the game. Kevin Kias had three hits and two RBI for Sweden. David Brandl picked up the win in relief, Leo Bristow got charged with the loss.
Italy – France 3-0
France lost another close pitcher’s duel, when Italy prevailed 3-0 in the morning game at Lugo de Llanera. Michele Pomponi struck out ten in six scoreless three-hit innings to pace Italy from the mound. Stefano Censi and Maurizio Andretta closed it out. Gabriele Angioi put Italy in front with a two-run double in the fourth. Cesara Astorri scored in the seventh through an error to add some insurance. Fabian Kovacs had the best opportunities to score for France, but he got thrown out at the plate in the second and the seventh. Clement Esteban took the loss, surrendering six hits, two runs and two walks in four innings.
Netherlands – Czech Republic 9-2
The Netherlands won a matchup of Group B favorites 9-2 against the Czech Republic in the afternoon game in Gijon. The Dutch team improved to 2-0 in the event, while the Czech dropped to 1-1. After both teams had scored once in the first, Tijmen Takke broke the early 1-1 tie with a RBI double in the second. The Netherlands then scored in each frame between the fifth and the eighth to run away with the win. Julian Rip and Oliver van der Wijst scored twice. Takke reached base in each of his five plate appearances. Marek Chlup doubled twice for the Czech team, scored a run and drove in another. Morris Wiesemann pitched 2 1/3 innings to receive the win. Martin Tatar allowed seven hits, five runs (4 ER) and three walks in 4 1/3 frames to take the loss.
Russia – Spain 7-5
Russia stunned host Spain 7-5 in the evening game at the U18 Euros in Gijon on Wednesday. Russia scored three quick runs in the first two frames and added four more in the fifth, shortly after Spain had cut the deficit to a run. Spain tried to rally, but fell just short. Anton Kuznetsov highlighted the big fifth inning for Russia with a bases clearing triple. He also pitched three strong innings in relief to pick up the save. Viktor Faraonov conceded six hits, four runs and two walks in six frames to get the win. Diego Gonzalez gave up four hits, three runs and three base on balls in three innings to take the loss.
Standings after Day 3
Schedule for Day 4
The complete schedule, live play by play and all statistics are available through www.baseballstats.eu. The official website of the tournament and the Facebook page of the local baseball federation are offering further information.