Sweden’s only chance to survive the group round in the Baseball World Cup was to win the opening game against the Netherlands Antilles. Unfortunately they came up on the short side of 10-8.
Sweden is hosting the Group C tournament at Sundbyberg, outside Stockholm. Besides Sweden and the Netherlands Antilles, the other participants are South Korea and Canada.
Wednesday’s opening game started close, with the Antilles ahead 2-1 going into the 7th inning, and 4-2 as the 9th inning opened. But the visitors scored 6 unearned runs off Swedish closer Niklas Melin in the top of the inning, four in a grand slam home run by Jair Josepha.
With the score 10-2, the game looked over. But the Swedes came back in the bottom of the 9th with 6 more runs, after loading the bases with no outs. The rally climaxed with a three run homer by catcher Björn Johanessen, before the Antilles closed the door.
Sweden might have a chance against Canada in the final game of the tournament, but the chances of beating South Korea seem very very remote, even if the Swedes did manage to hold the Olympic champions to a 3-2 one run loss in a training game before the tournament opened.