The U18 European Championship in Gijon, Spain is going to see a remake of last year’s finals in Ostrava, Czech Republic, as the Netherlands and Italy have advanced to the finals of the Euro Baseball Juniors on Saturday. By reaching the gold medal game both teams also have qualified for the U18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay, Canada in 2017. The Dutch team prevailed over Germany, while Italy beat the Czech Republic in the semi-finals. Germany and the Czech Republic will meet in the bronze medal game.
Netherlands – Germany 6-2
The Netherlands defeated Germany 6-2 in the first semi-final in the afternoon in Gijon. The Dutch team took advantage of an erratic German starting pitcher Philipp Meyer. He got chased from the mound after not finding the strike zone, issuing three runs on five walks, an error, a wild pitch and a balk. Mark Harrison later kept Germany in the game, but they couldn’t use a 10-7 lead in hits into a comeback. Three late runs sealed the win for the Netherlands. Germany didn’t score until the top of the ninth.
Italy – Czech Republic 8-3
In the second semi-final in Gijon on Saturday evening Italy downed the Czech Republic 8-3. Four runs in the second gave the Squadra Azzurri an early lead. Every time the Czech team got on the board in the following innings, Italy had an answered and secured the win. Giulio Monello went 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBI. Gabriele Angioi had three hits and two RBI. Marek Chlup scored twice for the Czech. Maurizio Andretta conceded three hits, three runs and five walks in six innings for the win. Krystof Kozac took the loss, surrendering nine hits, six runs and a base on balls in four frames.
Game for 5th Place: Spain – France 2-13 (7)
The game for fifth place between Spain and France turned out to be blowout. France erased an early 1-2 deficit and scored nine combined runs between the fifth and the sixth in a 13-2 win over the host. Augustin Barot went 2-for-2 with a double, two runs scored and three RBI to lead the French offense. Melissa Mayeux scored twice. Antoine Villard issued five hits, two unearned runs and two walks in six innings for the win. Alexandre Alfonso gave up five hits, six runs (5 ER) and two base on balls in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.
Great Britain – Lithuania 3-7
In the first game of the classification round Lithuania beat Great Britain 7-3 on Saturday morning. Four runs in the top of the fourth broke an early 1-1 tie and decided the outcome. Three players collected two RBI apiece for Lithuania. Gytis Morkunas went the distance, conceding six hits, three runs and four walks in nine innings. He struck out nine. Miguel Rodriguez took the loss, issuing seven hits, five runs (1 ER) and four base on balls in six innings.
Russia – Sweden 5-8
Sweden captured their first win of the tournament with an 8-5 victory over Russia in the second game of the classification round on Saturday morning in Lugo de Llanera. Six runs in the sixth gave Sweden the edge. Russia scored twice in the fifth and three times in the sixth, but couldn’t create a comeback in the last three frames. Max Hill had a two-run double during the rally and three RBI overall. He also pitched the last four innings, allowing just four hits for the save. Jack Keeler received the win. Daniil Peredelskii got charged with the loss.
Schedule Final Day
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.