Stockholm and Leksand won their respective Swedish Baseball Elite Division semi-finals last weekend. But while Leksand easily finished off Sundbyberg, Stockholm just narrowly came out ahead of Sölvesborg in the best-of-three series.
In many ways it was the rules regarding pitchers, and especially those without EU passports, that shaped the Stockholm-Sölvesborg series. Sölvesborg’s Eddie Aucoin was pitching a four hit gem, but had to leave after six innings because he is an American citizen. Stockholm scored 3 runs in the eighth inning against reliever Knut Karlsson.
But Stockholm’s starting pitcher Jakob Classon got into trouble with two outs in the ninth inning, letting in a run, before his big brother Joakim came in and slammed the door, with the final score 4-3.
However, doing so meant that Joakim Classon was only allowed to pitch 8 2/3 innings when he started game 2. He only gave up one run, but the Stockholm bullpen failed, giving up 5 runs in the top of the 10th inning. Stockholm came back with two runs in the bottom of the 10th, but fell short 6-3.
Sunday’s deciding match was also close fought, with Stockholm hanging to win by scoring twice in the eighth and twice again in the ninth, backed by a triple by Daniel Wood, a homerun by Magnus Pilegård, and a walk-off double by Björn Johannesen, final score 7-6.
In the other semi-final, Leksand defeated Sundbyberg 3-1 and 7-1.
This coming weekend sees the first two games of the finals at Leksand, with the remaining matches in the best-of-five series the following weekend at Stockholm’s Skarpnäck field. Stockholm lost just one game during the regular season, to Leksand.