Three of the four semifinalists at the U18 European Championship in Gijon, Spain are known after Thursday’s four preliminary round games. Italy edged out Germany in a thrilling back and forth affair to clinch first place in Group A ahead of their opponents. The Netherlands improved to 3-0 to win secure first seed in Group B. Spain and the Czech Republic will meet on Friday evening to determine the fourth semifinalist.
France – Great Britain 8-4
France picked up their first win in three games at the U18 European Championship with an 8-4 win over Great Britain in the morning game in Gijon. Both teams are now 1-2. France took a quick 2-0 lead in the second and built up the score afterwards. Fabian Kovacs scored twice and drove in two. Ernesto Martinez had two RBI as well. Maxence Esteban conceded five hits, two runs (1 ER) and a walk in six innings to pick up the win. Richard Brereton got charged with three hits, three runs (2 ER) and three base on balls in five innings to take the loss.
Germany – Italy 8-9
In a meeting of undefeated teams in Group A at Llanera in the morning Italy had the better ending with a 9-8 win over Germany. Both teams qualify for the semifinals. Germany erased an early 0-5 deficit and led 7-5 and 8-6 after four and six innings. However with two outs and two runners on in the top of the seventh, a RBI single by Riccardo Flisi led to three runs for Italy when center fielder Jeffrey Arndt and pitcher Marcel Giraud made a pair of costly errors. With Italy back up by a run, Germany loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the same frame, but Lucas Dunn struck out to end the threat. Bor Starc scored four times for Italy. Cesare Astorri and Leonardo Seminati connected for home runs. Alexander Schmidt and Arndt had three hits apiece for Germany. Oscar Tucci picked up the win in relief. Giraud got charged with the loss.
Russia – Netherlands 2-16 (7)
The Netherlands stormed to their third win in three games at the U18 European Championship with a 16-2 win over Russia in the afternoon game in Gijon. They scored in six of the seven innings played. Tijmen Takke and Ties van der Beeke combined for six runs scored and five RBI. Anton Kuznetsov had two hits, a run and a RBI for Russia. Darryl Jamoena struck out seven in five innings, conceding two runs on six hits. Denis Ladoshkin allowed three hits, seven runs (4 ER) and four base on balls in three innings to take the loss. For Russia it was the third loss in four games.
Czech Republic – Lithuania 16-1 (6)
The Czech Republic rebounded from their loss to the Netherlands on Wednesday with a 16-1 rout over Lithuania in the evening game in Gijon on Thursday. Six runs in the third and five in the sixth blew the score wide open. Marek Chlup and Jakub Grepl scored three runs each for the Czech team. Daniel Padysak drove in three. Krystof Kozac and Viktor Vecerka allowed just one run on seven hits and a walk in six innings. Augustinas Genys conceded eight hits, eight runs (7 ER) and two base on balls in three frames to take the loss.
Standings after Day 4
Schedule for Day 5
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.