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Photo caption: The Brno Draci have finished the regular season as the top team. Now they have to complete the postseason to defend their baseball extraliga title. The semifinal series begins Friday in South Brno against Sokol Hluboká. First pitch is at 7:30 p.m. Photo credit: Lenka Brožová.

Brno, Aug 4 (BD) — Brno Draci start semifinal series at home on Friday in quest to win another baseball extraliga title; FC Zbrojovka wins second game of young season, SK Líšeň gives up late goal in tie; Alligators win first game at Přerov; and the men’s and women’s basketball schedules have been released for the 2021-22 seasons, which start next month.

BASEBALL

Draci Earn Top Seed for Postseason,

Host Sokol Hluboká in Semis on Friday

Draci Brno won the final game of the Top Six phase of the Czech extraliga baseball season and the defending champions earned the top seed for the postseason, which starts this Friday.

Both the Draci and Arrows Ostrava finished the Top Six phase with 11-4 records, but Brno had the better head-to-head results. The Draci also had an advantage in team pitching (3.34 X 3.7 earned run average) and the Arrows had the advantage in team batting average (.308 x .293).

Eagles Praha (8-7) finished third, three games back. Sokol Hluboká (6-9) had the advantage over Tempo Praha (6-9) and got the No. 4 seed for the postseason.

Cardion Hroši Brno finished with a 3-12 record.

The Draci will host Sokol Hluboká in the semifinal series on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and, if necessary, Sunday at 1 p.m. Game 2 will be in Bohemia on Saturday at 1 p.m. Similarly, in other semifinal series, Arrows Ostrava will host Eagles Praha on Friday and, if necessary, Sunday, with the middle game in Prague on Saturday.

For updated information and the schedule for Czech extraliga baseball, go to the league website at https://extraliga.baseball.cz/ (in Czech).

MEN’S FOOTBALL

FC Zbrojovka Rallies for Second Victory

A surprisingly large and rambunctious crowd greeted FC Zbrojovka for their first home game of the 2021-22 Fortuna: Národní Liga season on Sunday night.

It felt like old times.

Then, 16 minutes into the game, the home team was down by a goal after an obvious handball and Slezský FC Opava converted the penalty kick.

That made it really feel like old times.

Yet, with crafty midfield play, perseverance, and a defense that was able to always dampen the Opava breakaway scoring attempts, Zbrojovka scored two second-half goals that brought the crowd to its feet and spread joy throughout the stadium, which is now back to being called Srbská Municipal Football Stadium after the departure of a sponsor.

Zbrojovka beat Opava, 2-1, for their second win in as many games of this season.

The next game is in Prostějov on Saturday at 5 p.m. The next home game is against longtime rival Jihlava on Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. In between, there is a MOL Cup game at Žďár n. Sázavou on Wednesday. The time is to be determined.

Then, in a crosstown rivalry game, Zbrojovka will travel to Líšeň for a 10:15 a.m. game on Aug. 22.

Against Opava, Brno goalkeeper Martin Berkovec made numerous amazing saves to keep his team in the game. Several stops were of the two-fisted, clear-the-ball variety, but at least two required multiple saves.

Finally, at the 61-minute mark, Jan Moravec cleaned up a loose ball in the box to even the score.

Twenty-two minutes later, when Jakub Řezníček was taken down in the box, Brno got a penalty shot. Captain Pavel Zavadil, the 43-year-old campaigner, put the ball cleanly into the upper right corner to establish the final score.

The attendance was a healthy 2,688, indicating that, even though the team is in the second league after having washed out of the top league after only one season, the fan base is still willing to support its team. Allowing fans to extend their season tickets for free was clearly worth the short-term loss.

SK Líšeň 2019 Settle For Last-minute Tie

When Milan Lutonský scored in the first half, it put SK Líšeň 2019 in the lead and, slowly, as the game went on, it began to feel like it would be the only score of the game. However, in the final minute of play, Ahmed Fofana tied the game, 1-1, for host MFK Vyškov.

Both teams settled for a point in the standings.

For updated information and the schedule for the Fortuna: Národní Liga, go to the league website at https://www.fnliga.cz/. The FC Zbrojovka team website is at https://fczbrno.cz/. The SK Líšeň 2019 team website is at https://www.sklisen.com/ (in Czech).

AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Alligators Hit the Road for Victory

Jan Nestor scored two touchdowns in the second half to lead the Brno Alligators to their first victory of the season, beating the host Přerov Mammoths on Sunday, 26-30.

Nestor scored from 1-yard out in the third quarter and then put Brno on top with a 3-yard score with 8:26 left in the game. Earlier, he scored a 28-yard touchdown.

The Alligators (1-2) defense kept the Mammoths (0-3) off of the scoreboard for the second half to enable to comeback victory. Two of the four Přerov touchdowns were on offensive turnovers.

These same two teams will play in Brno at Ragby Bystrc on Aug. 14 At 4 p.m.

For updated information and the schedule for the Czech Association of American Football, go to the league website at https://www.caaf.cz/ (in Czech).

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Basket Brno Looks Forward to Building on Success

One of the many unfortunate results of the COVID-19 pandemic was that Basket Brno caught fire and advanced into the postseason for the first time in its history, all without any fans in the stands.

In any case, the young team gained a lot of experience and improved rapidly. They will return to the court for the 2021-22 Kooperativa NBL season on Sept. 18 to play USK Praha.

The schedule has been released and the 22-round season will continue through mid-January, when the top teams will move into a smaller bracket to determine postseason seedings.

For updated information and the schedule for the Kooperativa NBL, go to the league website at https://nbl.basketball/ (in Czech).

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

League Play Starts Sept. 25

Both Žabiny Brno and KP Brno are scheduled to start the 2021-22 season on their home courts on Sept. 25: Žabiny Brno will host Loko Trutnov and KP Brno will host SBŠ Ostrava.

Whenever the two teams meet, it is always a barn-burner of a game. Jot down the following dates for the cross-town rivalry: Nov. 20 in Zabovresky and Feb. 19 in Kralovo Pole.

For updated information and the schedule for the Renomia ŽBL, go to the league website at https://zbl.basketball/ (in Czech).

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