World Baseball Classic tournament in Tokyo, Group B game Czech Republic – Australia, March 13, 2023. Marek Chlup (right) of the Czech Republic at bat and Daniel McGrath of Australia.
Tokyo – Czech baseball players said goodbye to the prestigious World Baseball Classic (WBC) with a 3:8 loss to Australia. Coach Pavel Chadim's selection ended with one win and three defeats in Tokyo Group B. The final position of the national team will be decided by the duel between the Koreans and China, if the Korean team wins, the Czechs will finish fourth and qualify for the next WBC in 2026. If China wins, the ranking will be decided by a mini-table between the Czech Republic, Korea and China.
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Photo gallery: World Baseball Classic 2023
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“Regardless of whether we keep up or not, I have to say I'm incredibly proud of the boys. We played four great games and showed we can compete with the best teams in the world. Who would have thought six months ago he thought,” coach Chadim said in a press release.
The baseball players opened their WBC debut with an 8-5 victory over China after a late-inning turnaround. In the second game, after a 1:0 lead after two innings, they lost to the favored home team, Japan, 2:10, and after conceding five points, they lost to the Koreans 3:7 in the first inning.
The match against Australia was even in six innings. Although Alex Hall hit a one-run home run to pitcher Martin Schneider in the first inning, the Czech fireman did not allow his opponents any more. When Schneider pitched in the sixth inning, Coach Chadim bowed to him. “If he didn't have to go down because of the high number of pitches (68), we might have won it,” said Chadim.
Schneider, who has become a favorite of Japanese fans, was not completely satisfied with his performance after the game. “The team result is always before the individual result. And I can't be satisfied if we didn't win,” the Czech pitcher was quoted by the website iSport.cz.
Schneider added that overall baseball players left a good impression among the elite at the WBC. “We faced the best players in the world and we played every match with honor. Until the last match, we had a chance to advance to the quarterfinals, but it didn't happen, we didn't advance. It's like fifty to fifty,” said Schneider.
Captain Petr Zýma took care of the 1:1 tie in the third inning after American native Eric Sogard hit. The Czechs again presented themselves with a good defense in the field.
The victory of the Australians was decided by the final three innings, in which the opponent scored seven runs. Pitchers Marek Minařík and Daniel Padyšák faced tough batters, youngster Michal Kovala stopped the Australian onslaught for a moment, but he too was replaced and Jan Tomek finished the game.
At 1:6, the Czech batters still showed hope in the eighth inning and after Marko Chlupo's shot, Vojtěch Menšík and Sogard finished for two points. In the end of the last inning, the baseball players filled the bases thanks to the alternating players, but the game was ended by a double out by the Australian defense.
After the performance in Tokyo, Czech fans will see the representation at the September European Championship, which will be held in Brno, Ostrava, Prague, Třebíč and Blansk. “We want the first medal in history,” declared Chadim of the team's goal, whose basis should be the same as now at the WBC.
World Baseball Classic:
Group B in Tokyo:
Australia – Czech Republic 8:3,
11:00 Korea – China.
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