The 2015 U18 European Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic started on Monday with wins by Croatia, Italy, Germany and host Czech Republic. The preliminary phase continues for the ten teams in competition through Friday. The best two of each pool qualify for the semi-finals on Saturday. The Gold Medal Game is set for Sunday evening at 7pm.
Croatia – Sweden 4-1
Game one of the Junior Euros was a demonstration by Antonio Horvatic. One of Croatia’s top prospects he went the distance on the mound, allowing five hits, an unearned run and five walks in nine innings to lead his team to a 4-1 win over Sweden. He struck out eight and was 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, a double and three RBI. His battery mate Antonio Besker had two hits. Max Hill took the loss for the Swedish squad, surrendering three hits, two runs and four base on balls in 5 1/3 solid innings. Christoffer Keane scored their lone run.
Italy – France 7-1
Defending champion Italy scored five runs in the first two innings on route to a 7-1 victory over France. The top four hitters of the Squadra Azzurri collected a combined nine hits, four runs and a RBI. Michele Pomponi issued just one run on four hits and a walk in six strong innings. Luke Duris took the loss for France. He conceded eight hits, seven runs (1 ER) and a base on balls in five frames. Italy took advantage of five French errors, three by shortstop Melissa Mayeux.
Great Britain – Germany 8-14
In a high-scoring game Germany entered the tournament with a 14-8 slugfest over Great Britain. The German squad scored in six of the first eight frames to overpower the British team. Pascal Amon and Samuel Steigert had five RBI each. Amon also went deep. Lucas Dunn and Oliver Thieben scored three runs apiece. Miguel Rodriguez reached base four times for GB. He tripled twice and scored three runs. Philipp Meyer pitched six innings for the win. He allowed four hits, three runs (2 ER) and three walks for the win. Laura Hirai got charged with the loss. She was responsible for nine hits, seven runs (4 ER) and three base on balls in 5 2/3 innings.
Czech Republic – Russia 10-0 (8)
In the evening game following the official opening ceremony the Czech Republic shut out Russia 10-0 in eight innings. Four runs in the sixth and four in the eighth blew the score open in a previously close game. Ondrej Satoria struck out ten in eight scoreless two-hit, two-walk innings for the win. Marek Chlup went 3-for-3 with three RBI. Lukas Trunkat scored three runs for the Czech team. Russia’s starter Anton Kuznetsov had 12 strikeouts in five frames, but also took the loss, giving up three hits, two runs and two bb.
On Tuesday the Netherlands and Spain enter the competition. The Dutch team takes on Sweden in the morning game. Spain faces Germany in the evening. Additionally France and Great Britain hope to rebound from their opening day losses and Russia squares up against Croatia.
The complete schedule, box scores, stats and live play by play are available at www.baseballstats.eu