EChJM - Day 1
Danes stun home side with fifth inning streak; Poland win first game. Opening day offered three interesting games. Poland won over team GB in their first competitive international game ever; then Kukolja’s no-hitter won it for Croatia over Israel and late in the evening, the Czechs lost to Denmark 6-5 after being 5-0 ahead.
Poles surprised GB in top of fifth inning with 14 runs
Poland men got their first win ever for national team in their first ever game played early afternoon on the opening day of Junior Men’s European Softball Championship 2015.
It seemed as an even game when Poland encountered Great Britain, but the Poles had a brilliant top of 5th inning. While being 7-9 down, they scored 14 points and won 21-9.
“We started well, but we were quite nervous. Their pitcher made the difference today,” GB’s coach Josh Peat said after the game with disappointment, while Mateusz Macniak from team Poland was as happy as possible: “It was our first ever men’s competitive softball game. And we won it, which is an awesome result for us! At the moment, I’m probably the happiest man alive.”
Kukolja’s no-hitter allowed Croatia to win with a single run
Croatia vs Israel game was quite the opposite of the opening one. Both teams showed how much they improved recently, mainly in defense. Bruno Kukolja managed to keep bases clean throughout the whole game getting no-hitter as every pitcher’s ultimate dream.
Ytay Harrouche had a great game too, but allowed three hits, which resulted in a winning run made by Matej Potocki in bottom of third inning.
“Their pitcher had a perfect game. Ours wasn’t doing bad as well, but the Croats took advantage of the only chance we offered to them and we did not,” Israel’s coach Brian Klaff confirmed. “I hope we’ll meet each other again on Friday so we can get our rematch,” he added.
“Fortunately, we had our best pitcher who had a no-hitter. However, we have to improve in offense, if we want to do well in playoffs on Friday,” Alen Magdalenic from team Croatia knows.
Denmark win over Czechs after great turnover
The Czechs started well and took the lead already in first inning with two hits turned into two RBI. Playing well in the defense as well, the scoreline stayed the same until bottom of fourth inning, when the host side added three more runs.
It looked like a done deal, but Denmark returned strong in fifth inning. First Adelsbaek’s RBI double decreased the gap with another error of Czech team right afterwards and then Anton Brown’s inside-park homer put the Danes one run ahead.
Home team could reply immediately but missed their chance to score with two players on base and none out. They didn’t have another opportunity like this and now they may regret it with final result 6-5 for Denmark.
“We played quite well actually apart from that one inning, which cost us the game in the end. I think we left too many of our runners on base. If we pulled more of them down, we could have won it,” thinks Jaroslav Korčák who is a coach of Czech team.
For more information visit the official website of the tournament – euro2015.softball.cz
ESF tournament info: http://europeansoftball.org/competitions/detail/21
Photo by Libor Matejka
-HNov, Marek Kratochvíl-