Posted by: viewfromtheriva | June 27, 2010

Split takes 2-0 lead in Croatian Baseball League Championship with ugly 17-16 win

In an ugly game that lasted more than 4 hours, Split pulled victory from the jaws of defeat, scoring the winning run on a clutch single by veteran Goran Supraha in the bottom of the 9th to beat Karlovac 17-16 and go to 2-0 in their best of seven championship series.

After yesterday’s 3-0 loss, Karlovac was hungry for a win but again quickly fell behind 3-0 when Split’s coach and ace pitcher Ernesto Pereira blasted a towering 3-run homer that was last seen somewhere over Dubrovnik.

Karlovac fought back and finally went ahead, knocking out Split’s starting pitcher Sarma Alilovic in the 4th.  Filip Berecka, normally a center fielder, came in for relief and pitched gamely but was lifted after several innings as Karlovac continued to capitalize on Split errors with timely hits.

With the game see-sawing back and forth (at times each team fighting for the honor of who could make the most bonehead plays in an inning) and the runs piling up, Ernesto Pereira, who pitched a sparkling one hitter yesterday, came in to relive in the 6th inning with the score somewhere in the teens.

Running on empty, Pereira managed to keep Karlovac close, but then they starting teeing off with line shots all over the outfield, finally scoring the go ahead run in the 8th and then adding another to take the lead 16-14 with just 3 outs to play.

The lead off hitter for Split in the bottom of the 9th hit a routine grounder which was perfectly thrown to first but the ugliness continued and somehow the first baseman dropped the ball and before he could pick it and keep it under control, Split has its lead off hitter on base.

With one out, and two on, Ivan Racic belted his second double to the screen in straight away center and all of a sudden the game was tied.

Supraha, one of the team’s coaches and a veteran of many seasons (no gray hairs yet, but after today, at least a dozen) calmly stepped up to the plate and smacked a line single to right and the four hour marathon was finally over.

Split’s bench rushed onto the field collapsing all over each other to celebrate a most improbable finish to a game that both teams will be shaking their heads over for seasons to come.

I mean, it was UGLY!

The series heads to Karlovac for two games mid week….and if more are needed, back to Split next weekend.



  1. […] from: Split takes 2-0 lead in Croatian Baseball League Championship with … Tags: Championship, clutch-single, from-the-jaws, goran, jaws, scoring-the-winning, ugly-game, […]

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