The Czech Republic's only active MiLBer helped upset Germany with this grand slam
The Czech Republic has sent a few players to the Major Leagues. Unfortunately, it was all while the country was still known as Czechoslovakia, the last playing in 1952. In fact, the three players who have reached the Majors -- John Stedronsky, Frank Rooney and Carl Linhart -- have combined to go only 8-for-49 in their Major League careers, while the endlelssly fascinating manager Hugo Bezdek also hails from the nation.
But as the Czech Republic grows its baseball program, that will likely change in the future -- especially if Friday was any indication. Going up against a favored German team that has an active Major Leaguer in Donald Lutz on its roster in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers, the Czechs were expected to take their second loss and exit the tournament.
But baseball is strange and anything can happen. After narrowly losing to the powerful Mexican team, 2-1, on Thursday, the Czech Republic exploded with a seven-run eighth inning on Friday. It was all highlighted by Martin Cervenka, the sole player born in the Czech Republic currently in affiliated baseball. After struggling throughout 2015, hitting only one home run for the Indians Class A affiliate at Lake County in 2015, Cervenka came up with the bases loaded against Daniel Hinz and showed off some big country pride. This is the kind of swing that makes any and all bad seasons just melt away into nothingness.
Not a bad time to match his home run total from last year, especially as it helped to not only beat Germany, but mercy rule them out of the tournament by a final score of 15-3. The Czech Republic will now face the loser of Friday night's Mexico-Nicaragua game with an eye on reaching the finals and, perhaps, upsetting their way to its first ever World Baseball Classic.
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