Day 4 Summary – Denmark Surprised By Israel, Croatia To Complete Final Four
Denmark topped the group with Czech Republic coming to Final from second place. Croatia finish third and the Israelis fourth with a win over the Danes in their hand.
Poland give a great fight, but eventually lose to Croatia
Tymoteusz Orszulik set up his side with a great start with RBI double right in the beginning. Poland was then 3-0 ahead in the middle of third inning, but the Croats pulled two down.
When the Poles scored to make it 5-3 after top of fifth inning, nobody would guess what was yet to come. Croatia produced amazing amount of 7 hits in bottom of the same inning, scoring 9 points, which ended the game by mercy rule.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Poles who lost harsh after putting up a great fight.
“We didn’t play good today; maybe only in first few innings. Our pitcher was too slow, almost like on a slow pitch and they started hitting the ball and scoring runs,” Mateusz Macniak said after the game.
Alen Magdalenic admired the willpower of his side. “It was a really tough game, tougher than we expected for sure. However, we kept going and hitting hard and eventually, we broke the bad luck. I’m happy for the guys,” he said.
Israel stun Denmark with a perfect defence
Denmark had a good opportunity in first inning, but scored only once. The Israelis performed a double play to stay in game and turned the scoreboard around with two runs in bottom of second inning.
The Danes finally equalised in top of sixth inning after couple of errors by substitute pitcher, but their catcher made a crucial mistake himself in bottom of the same inning and Israel was again in the lead. They defended it through the final attack of Denmark and could celebrate a well-deserved win that put them into playoffs.
Brian Klaff, Israel’s coach, was overwhelmed with happiness. “We played awesome. One of our outfielders suffered a bad injury just before the game; he broke his arm. However, the team got together and played a terrific game,” he said. “Our only previous win over Denmark is from 1998. That was our first mutual encounter ever,” Klaff knows.
Gilles Fournier was a bit disappointed with his offense. “We had a young 15-year old pitcher, but he did well. He received only 3 runs against. On the other side, we should have scored much more runs. It doesn’t affect our position, but it’s never pleasant to lose a game. Good for Israel. They haven’t beaten us for some time and they improved a lot recently,” he said.
Croatia win again to finish 3rd before playoffs
The Croats scored in second inning after getting base on balls twice and an error on top. They got 3-0 ahead and kept putting on more and more runs.
GB scored three runs in bottom of third inning, but Croatia was still strong in offense getting into 11-3 lead after top of fifth inning. The Brits had to score twice to stay in the game, but that didn’t happen.
Croatia was given 8 bases on balls and Matej Potocki was hit by pitch twice. With that, the Croats only needed 5 hits to score 11 runs.
For Alan Magdalenic, it was a must-win game. “We needed a win and we got it. The Brits fought well, they’re young and willing to learn, but our boys played well. Now, we have to get prepared for playoffs and try to reach for a medal,” Magdalenic said.
“We played a great game. We should have win this one with the hits and RBIs we had. However, we have made way too many errors in field and gave away to many bases on balls. I agree with Alan, that the crucial difference was in pitching,” Josh Peat said.
Czech Republic win over Poland in a perfect game
Last game of the day wasn’t one of the most equal ones. The Czechs started well with a flawless defence and massive offense in the opening inning. Hospodka’s RBI double and Černý’s run home run helped the home side to get a huge 10-0 lead.
Cabalka’s RBI in third inning put the Czechs up by 11 runs, which meant the game ended after another failure in offense by Poland. Holobrádek pitched a perfect game as none of the Poles got on base.
"The game was faster than we expected. The Poles have played well in defence so far, but their pitcher couldn´t hold our guys at bat. We would like to win tomorrow so we can rest for a bit. We´ll see what lineup the Danes will chose and if they will play their number one pitcher," said Dušan Šnelly – one of the Czech Team coaches.
Mateusz Matcniak paid tribute to quality of their opponent. "I think [Michal Holobrádek] is the best pitcher here and he proved it. Great throw, great control and well chosen pitches. It was first experience for us with a pitch like this, so we couldn´t contact and get ourselves on base. It was a great test," he said.
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-Marek Kratochvíl, Jan Čech (edited by Jakub Kopřiva)-