REGENSBURG, Germany – Host team Germany opened up its World Baseball Classic Qualifier against European rival Czech Republic on Friday night. They didn’t disappoint the hometown fans as they destroyed the Czech Republic 16-1.
For most of the game, it was close. Germany opened up the bottom of the 1st by scoring 3 runs on a 2-run triple by Max Kepler (1-for-3/3 runs scored). Kepler would score on a Donald Lutz ground out to give them an early 3-run lead.
That’s where it would stay until the 5th inning. In the top half of the inning, Czech Republic would cut the lead to 2. Jakub Sladek walked to lead off the inning and promptly stole second. After a couple of strike outs, Sladek moved to third on a single by Martin Drong (2-for-2). He scored moments later on an error by Germany first baseman Lutz on a pick off throw. That’s all the Czech Republic could muster.
In the bottom of the inning, Germany opened up the game by scoring 8 runs. After scoring 5 more in the 6th inning, the game was over due to the mercy rule.
Eric Suttle (2-for-4) picked up a couple of hits. Nine different batters had at least one hit as Germany emptied its bench in the 10 hit attack. They also walked 6 times. However, the big blow came from the player of the game in third baseman Matt Weaver. Weaver capped off the 8-run 5th inning with a grand slam to center field. It was Weaver’s only hit, but he dazzled in the field making several great plays at third base.
Mike Bolsenbroek was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst picking up the win. Bolsenbroek pitched well going 5.1 innings before his pitch count ran out due to tournament rules. He gave up only 1 run on 5 hits and struck out 6 batters.
Germany now faces off with Canada and the Czech Republic will face Great Britain in an elimination game.