The Czech Republic defeated Israel, 7-4, and got the second victory of the WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Qualifier. Marek Minarik stroke out 10 in 6.2 innings and earned the win, before handing the ball to Martin Schneider, who picked up the save. Martin Cervenka broke the tie, with a three-run shot in the fifth. Matej Hejma also went deep with a solo homer. Daniel Valencia’s two runs blast wasn’t enough to get Israel the win.
‘’Right now, it’s a big opportunity for us. We have to win tomorrow’’ Marek Minarik commented at the end of the game. ‘’I have to thank the offence, who started well, hitting a solo homer, and scored a lot of runs. It helped me a lot to focus only on the pitches’’.
The Czech Republic got on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning. With one out, Matěj Hejma homered to deep center off starting pitcher David Sharabi. Then, Petr Cech and Martin Muzik singled. So Jakub Malik hit to right field in foul territory, but Jeremy Wolf made the final out, with a diving catch.
Israel reversed the lead in the bottom of the fourth against starter Marek Minarik. Blake Gailen doubled, and Daniel Valencia hit a moonshot home run to left field to make the score 2-1.
The Czech Republic offence erupted one frame later. Martin Cervinka led off the inning with a single. With one out, Martin Schneider hit an RBI single. Then, Matej Hejma singled again. With two men on bases, Martin Cervenka homered to give the Czech Republic a 5-2 lead. Later, Petr Cech earned a walk and, Jakub Malik and Daniel Vavrusa hit back to back RBIs doubles.
Israel cut the deficit between the sixth and the seventh inning, scoring two times. However, the Czech relief pitcher Martin Schneider closed the door and picked up the save.
‘’You can’t win them all’’ Nick Rickles said after the game. ‘’They capitalized on a lot our mistakes and, as you can see in a tournament like this, it’s hard to battle back from your mistakes. We are facing professional baseball players, and if you want to win, you have to play at your best. We still have the destiny in our hands. We are an excellent team, and we hope to get the win tomorrow’’.