by Uroš Rudolf
The Slovenian National Championship came to an end this Saturday. The final was played in a best of seven series between Zajcki (Rabbits) and Jezica, but was decided after only four games.
In the first game Jezica quickly took charge. However, in the 7th innings Zajcki got back in the game with a 3-run home run off Jan Pucnik’s bat to tie the score at 7:7. It took three extra innings to get a winner. Zajcki won it 8:7 on a double from young catcher Matic Lesnjak that brought home the winning run. After that things went smoothly for Zajcki. They won the second game of a doubleheader with a score of 14:8. Than a week later in a second doubleheader, they won game three with a score 8:5 and game four 12:5.
The success of Zajcki was greater still because they started rebuilding their team last year. They started this season with five veteran players and ten new young players that came up through the Zajcki baseball school system. Most of them were already on the national team roster that played in Pool C of the European Championships in Ljubljana at the end of July, where Slovenia came second and qualified for Pool B next year.
There appears to be a bright future for this young team that is looking forward to re-joining the Interleague with Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia next year and competing in a Qualifier for the European Cup in June.