Men’s softball title in Czech goes back to Spectrum
Only four games in total were enough for Spectrum to rule the finals of this year’s play-offs. The vultures from Black Bridge seized the European best league’s title after one-year break. The x factor was a perfectly timed form of the Prague’s batters for the finals. Spectrum won the league in 2011 and 2012. Last year, the Beavers from Chomutov, who got to the finals for 18 consecutive times, stole their chance to grab the golden hat-trick.
Spectrum finished 2nd in regular season just behind Havlickuv Brod and therefore advanced straight to the 2nd round of the play-off. In semi-finals, they eliminated another Prague’s team Tempo in a similar way like the Beavers in the finals later. They lost the first game, but then ruled with three wins in a row. Spectrum was a paper-favorite against the Beavers with seven national team players on the team. Chomutov finished fourth in the league table, but they managed to focus well for the play-off once again.
At first, team around softball legend Lubomir Vrbensky won over stron Radotin SK 2:0 on games. Then the Beavers also defeated leading Hippos from Havlickuv Brod 3:1 on games and got into the finals for the 18th time in a row. However, that is where they failed in the end. „Spectrum was the better side. They dominated at bat and pulled home more runs. Even though we didn’t defend the title, we can be positive about the season. Be in the finals is still a great success for us,“ Jan Rapek from Chomutov said. The Beavers won the first game in Prague 4-3, but then the Spectrum’s players woke up at bat and won three in a row to clinch the title.
Great part of the win goes to Spectrum’s first base Tomas Klein, whose home runs decided second and third game (6-3 and 7-2). „We were still considered as the favorite, despite the fact our season wasn’t ideal. We didn’t play well in first half of the season, but then we improved. We did well on the European Cup, which boosted our confidence and good performances followed. We made a mistake in defence from time to time, but we were great at bat and Ales Jetmar led us. He pitched really good,“ Klein said.
The decisive fourth game was played on Sunday in Chomutov and the visitors went quickly in a 2-0 lead. Chomutov managed to equalize with Marek Maly’s home run, but that was it. The batters of Spectrum kept on going with their good performance, grabbed the lead back and Chomutov didn’t answer. „We knew it will be difficult, but we went for it. Chomutov can be really hard, but we were confident we can take the title back. Vrbensky is a real quality, but our batter had a great form. We hit the balls when we needed it and we didn’t leave anybody on base,“ Klein said after the game.
Spectrum Prague – Beavers Chomutov 3-1 (3-4, 6-3, 7-2, 9-2)¨
CSA Media Director