Czech Republic is the European Champion, Denmark gets silver, Belgium bronze
The Czech Republic seized the title of the European Champion for the third time in a row. This is the ninth time overall the Czechs are the European Champions.
Men’s European Championship came to its final day.
As all the games of the previous day rained out, the schedule had to be adjusted and some of the placement games were cancelled.
Team Czech Republic secured their first place in pool C in the previous games already. Team Israel didn't manage to win a single game in pool C and remained sixth.
Belgium vs Denmark game, which was supposed to determine the pool C standings, counted as the first semifinal.
Denmark 6, Belgium 1
Denmark opened the score in the second inning with Anton Brown's solo homerun. Belgium managed to tie the game right away, but that was it for team Belgium. After Daniel Julenon's three-run homerun, Belgian players didn't seem to find the inner strength that the spectators had seen in the Belgian games before. Probably, team Belgium had already reached their dream before. The Danish added two more runs and advanced to the Grand Final.
Great Britain and the Netherlands matched up for the fourth place and the winner of this game was going to advance to the other semifinal.
Netherlands 2, Great Britain 1
James Darby pitched for the British and recorded twelve strike-outs, while Dutch pitcher, Arjan Baanen struck out nine batters. Clearly, this game was mostly a duel of the two pitchers. The score doesn’t go with comparison of their performances, though. Darby only allowed two hits, but because of a number of defensive errors in the worst possible moments, two runs were scored by the Dutch.
British batters were more successful in their at-bats, they recorded five hits, but those were only turned into one run.
Team GB took the fifth place in the final scoreboard and team Netherlands advanced to second semifinal game.
At four o’clock, the second semifinal between the Czechs and the Dutch took place.
Czech Republic 5, Netherlands 4
One of the most attractive games of the whole Championship gave the Dutch another chance to advance to the final, despite three losses they gathered in the tournament. And they really pushed hard to capture the shot.
They scored in the first on Anthony Beaumont’s single. The Czechs tied immediately.
In the second, the Czechs scored twice taking advantage of an error of the opponent. Then the Dutch cut the lead when Idelgardo Raap homered. With runners on second and third, Glennsig Polonius tripled to make the score 4 - 3.
In the bottom of the third the Czechs scored again. Tomáš Petr and Tomáš Voborník recorded hits and the leading team changed again.
Score 5 – 4 for the Czechs remained until the end of the game.
All spectators in the stands enjoyed a number of attractive defensive plays.
Only fans of the Czech team could celebrate at the end though.
The Czechs advanced to the final, the Dutch took fourth place, and thanks to the adjusted system, the result of this game also secured bronze medals for team Belgium.
The Grand final started at seven, only half hour after the Czechs had finished their semifinal game.
Czech Republic 7,
Kim Hansen started the game for team Denmark, Rasmus Sorensen replaced him in the pitching circle in the middle of the third. Ondřej Maleček pitched the complete game for the Czechs. Even though the score may not look as tight, the game was dynamic, filled with outstanding diving catches and attempts.
The only run of the Danish team was scored on Daniel Julenon’s double.
The Czech players were strong in their offense and very aggressive in their base-running.
After seven innings, 21 outs and seven scored runs, the Czech Republic became the European Champion for the third consecutive time.
1. Czech Republic
5. Great Britain
7. Croatia and Italy
9. Germany and Sweden