Belgium’s offense outhit Team Croatia thanks to a late comeback. Many hit by pitches led to the game becoming very hectic and heated.
Both teams had a hard time finding their groove, Kevin Desmedt for Belgium had a great feel for his breaking pitches, Croatia’s Jose Diaz blew his power fastball by the opponents offense. But it was his command that went flying early in the game, leading to Belgium taking a two to zero lead in the third on only one hit. In the following Innings both starters were fighting with their control and the game got hectic. Team Croatia’s starter allowed five total walks and hit four Belgian batters, in addition he didn´t seem to like the attempt to bunt against him, throwing at Tim Veragherts head for four straight pitches. On the other side Desmedt both walked and hit three batters in his outing. It was the fifth Inning when the Croatian offense was able to string some hits together and score three runs on a bases clearing double by Slobodan Gales. In the following Innings they were able to expand their lead by three runs for what seemed like a comfortable lead. But Team Belgium had other plans, scoring one in the seventh and forcing the Croatian starter to leave the game. Against Reliever Antonio Horvatic they were able to score six more runs, four of them coming in because of a Grand Slam by Thomas de Wolf. Making it even worse, all runs in that inning were not earned for the Croatian reliever. In the ninth inning Kenny van den Branden closed the game and secured Belgiums second win in the tournament.
Kevin Desmedt threw six innings in his start, allowing four runs on five hits. Best offensive player was Thomas de Wolf with two hits with five runs batted in. Reliever van den Branden earned the win on the mound throwing two scoreless innings. Jose Diaz for Croatia threw seven Innings, giving up five earned runs. Cristopher Ciatti and Slobodan Gales both collected two hits offensively.
After three straight losses to start the tournament Team Croatia is almost out of the playoff race, Team Belgium will be taking on France tomorrow.