14.07.2014 | Derek OBrien

Czechs beat Belgium before energetic home crowd

In front of an energetic home crowd, the Czechs scored 6 runs in the first inning, then coasted to a 10-0 victory in four innings over Belgium. The offence was balanced, and pitchers Jonas Mach and Jaroslav Mueller combined for a one-hitter.

date: 14.07.2014 time: 20:15 areal: Havlíčkův Brod
Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T R H E
Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 1 4
Czech republic 6 3 0 1 10 9 0
Winning Pitcher Losing Pitcher Umpires
Mach Zelenka Raoul Machalet, Jesper Arno, Christian Singer




The game came right after the official opening ceremonies of the tournament, so a large, festive crowd gathered on a warm summer evening to watch the host Czechs take on Belgium. They were given plenty to cheer about right away, too.

After pitcher Jonas Mach retired the side in the top of the first, the Czech bats went to work in the bottom half, smashing the ball around the field, making the Belgian outfielders run a lot and forcing the infielders into making three errors. The biggest blast came off the bat of Karel Kadlecka, who came up to bat with the bases loaded, then emptied them with a 3-run triple into the gap. When the weary Belgians finally returned to their dugout, the score was already 6-0.

"I think the guys were a bit in awe of the crowd and the television broadcast," said Belgian coach Stefan Thilemans, trying to explain his team´s slow start. "The Czech team is obviously one of the best in Europe, and we expected that it would be very difficult. Today was not our day."

The assault continued in the second, which Tomas Jelinek led off with a triple, as the Czechs went on to add 3 more runs. Belgian starting pitcher Jan Zelenka was then lifted in favour of Wout Cnops, who had better success. After holding the Czechs scoreless in the third inning, the Czechs finally pushed their 10th run across the plate with one out in the bottom of the fourth when Tomas Vobornik scored from first on Tomas Klein´s double. The mercy rule was then enacted, ending the game and sending the fans home early, and happy.

Czech pitchers Jonas Mach and Jaroslav Mueller combined to strike out 6 Belgian batters and gave up only 1 hit -- a lead-off single in the second inning from Zelenka, Belgium´s Czech-born pitcher.

"I´m happy with this game," said Czech coach Tomas Kusy. "I would say that Belgium was an average opponent. Tomorrow the Netherlands will be stronger, and that will be a real test for us."


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