Archive | May, 2009

Austin Regional: Texas Wins Record-Setting Game

USA – Travis Tucker’s RBI single in the top of the 25th inning closed the door on the longest game in NCAA history and helped Texas beat Boston College 3-2 Saturday night to move the Longhorns within one victory of advancing to the super regionals.

The marathon game – which lasted seven hours and three minutes – had a trio of “seventh-inning stretches” with the majority of the 7,104 tired fans staying aound for every pitch. The two squads broke the previous record of 23 innings, when Louisiana-Lafayette needed 23 innings to edge McNeese State 6-5 in 1971.

Texas (43-13-1) opened the scoring in the second inning with a pair of extra-base hits. Preston Clark, who was 4-for-12, doubled and Kevin Keyes followed with a dinger into the left-field bullpen for an early 2-0 lead.

Boston College (34-25) cut the lead in the bottom of the third on Mike Belfiore’s two-out, run-scoring single, and pulled even in the sixth when Tony Sanchez drove home Matt Hamlet with a sacrifice fly.

Texas reliever Austin Wood turned in an amazing outing that included 14 strikeouts over 13 innings. The senior left-hander relieved starter Chance Ruffin with one out in the seventh and pitched 12 1/3 innings of no-hit ball.

Connor Rowe reached on a walk to start the fateful 25th for the Longhorns and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by David Hernandez. Rowe sprinted to third on a wild pitch before scampering home with the eventual game-winning run on Tucker’s elusive groundball single past second base through the drawn-in infield.

Austin Dicharry (8-2) limited the Eagles to one hit in 5 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the win.

Joey Henshaw smacked his 12th homer to tie an Army record and knocked in three runs to help the Black Knights rally past second-seeded Texas State in an elimination game.

Army (35-20) capitalized on two errors by the Bobcats to plate five runs in the eighth inning highlighted by Henshaw’s hit a two-run, two-out single.

Closer Kevin McKague registered the final three outs to record his sixth save of the season.

Pete Goldschmidt bashed a pair of doubles for Texas State (41-17).

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Havana Wins Game One Of Cuban Finals

CUBA – It wasn’t easy, but Havana Province pleased their home crowd on Saturday with a 4-3 walk-off win over Villa Clara in game one of the Cuban Baseball League championship series.

Yulieski Gonzalez held Villa Clara hitless over six innings and cruised into the eighth with a one hitter and a 3-0 lead.

Then rookie Ramon Lunar opened the top of the inning with a homer followed by a triple from catcher Yulexis La Rosa and an RBI single from pinch hitter Yandy Canto. In a blink of an eye the score was 3-2. The inning then ended with a double play.

Havana had taken the lead with two unearned runs in the fourth sparked by a costly error from La Rosa on a foul fly and later a solo homer from Juan Carlos Linares in the sixth.

In the top of the ninth Havana’s star reliever Jose A. Garcia came on to try and preserve a one run lead. However, he ran into trouble giving up a double to Andy Zamora followed by a passed ball and a sacrifice fly from Ariel Borrero to tie the score and take away Yulieski Gonzalez’ chance at a win.

Havana southpaw Yulieski Gonzalez pitched no-hit ball for the first six innings. Photo: Juventud Rebelde Newspaper Then, with one out in the bottom of the ninth and with Villa Clara’s top reliever, Yolexis Ulacia, on the mound, lead off hitter Ruby Silva legged out a bloop double followed by a long fly from Denis Laza allowing Silva to advance to third with two out.

After Ulacia intentionally walked Ernesto Molinet, he quickly got a two-strike no-ball count on DH Rafael Orta. But the count went to 3-2 after a controversial call on the 2-2 pitch that Villa Clara manager Eduardo Martin thought was an inning-ending strike. Orta then singled in the winning run.

Villa Clara starter Freddy A. Alvarez, who already has four wins in the playoffs, didn’t pitch bad but the two-run error by La Rosa led to his being pulled in the top of the fifth with two runners on, after allowing only four hits and a walk while striking out three.

Yasmani Hernandez came on and pitched his way out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth, fielding a roller to the mound and starting a double play from pitcher to catcher to first. His only gaff in four innings of relief was Linares solo shot in the sixth.

Game two of the best-of-seven championship series is set for Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the San Jose de las Lajas Stadium on the outskirts of the Cuban capital. The probable starters are right-handers Yadier Pedroso for Havana and Alain Sanchez for Villa Clara.


Game 1: La Habana 4, Villa Clara 3
Game 2: May 31, 2:00 pm (La Habana)
Game 3: June 2, 8:00 pm (Villa Clara)
Game 4: June 3, 8:00 pm (Villa Clara)
Game 5: June 4, 8:00 pm (Villa Clara)*
Game 6: June 6, 2:00 pm (La Habana)*
Game 7: June 7, 2:00 pm (La Habana)*

(Cowboys lead series 1-0)

* If necessary

Courtesy of Circles Robinson/Havana Times

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Lynn Win NCAA D-II Baseball Title

USA – Starting pitcher Dan Wright overcame a first-inning run and tournament Most Outstanding Player Tommy Kahnle retired all six batters he faced in relief as Lynn claimed its first-ever Division II baseball national title with a 2-1 victory over Emporia State in the championship game of the 2009 NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

Kahnle posted a 1-0 record with two saves at the National Finals, retiring 21 of the final 22 batters he faced, including the last 13 in a row.

Lynn finishes the season with a record of 46-16, while Emporia State closes with a 49-14 mark.

Emporia State starting pitcher Ben Graham (8-4) escaped trouble in the top of the first after Lynn put runners on first and second with one out. Leadoff batter Douglas Toro reached on a bunt single and Daniel Flores was hit by a pitch one out later. Graham, who got a strikeout for the first out, struck out the next two batters to end the threat.

Emporia State loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first, Wright’s defensive play helped limit the Hornets to a single run. Connor Crumbliss led off with a single to center and after a sacrifice, Wright walked the next two batters. Kellen Lane, whose ninth-inning walk-off home run Thursday sent Emporia State to the championship game, lined the ball off of Wright’s left shoulder. Wright recovered to throw Lane out at first as Crumbliss crossed the plate for the game’s first run.

Lynn answered in the top of the second as Paddy Matera’s leadoff double and Kyle Holloway’s single put runners on the corners with nobody out. Matera came home on Chad Crowe’s sacrifice fly to tie the game 1-1.

The Fighting Knights went on top in the third as Flores singled with one out and stole second. Chris Chavez singled down the right field line one out later to bring in Flores. Chavez’s rbi-single would prove to be the game-winner.

Emporia State threatened in the second on Jacob White’s one-out triple and again in the third on back-to-back two-out singles, but was unable to capitalize. Wright retired eight consecutive batters before giving up a one-out single to Lane in the sixth. The Hornets had runners on first and third with two outs, but Lynn right fielder Jason Ten Eyck robbed White of a run-scoring hit with a sliding catch on a fly ball to shallow right.

Lynn had a chance to add to its lead in the top of the seventh after one-out singles by Toro and Einar Atencio. But Graham got out of the jam on a strikeout and Gabe MacDougall’s fly out to the warning track in center. The Fighting Knights had runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth, but Graham stopped the rally with his career-high 10th strikeout of the game.

Wright (15-2) scattered six hits and benefitted from a close call to end the bottom of the seventh. Conner Crumbliss singled with one out and attempted to steal second one out later. Crowe fielded catcher Kyle Holloway’s throw and Crumbliss was called out at second.

Kahnle entered the game to start the eighth and got two groundouts after Ten Eyck caught Kenny Burkhead’s fly ball to the warning track on the right field line. Kahnle retired the first two batters n the ninth on a pop out to short and a fly out to shallow center. Second baseman Paddy Matera caught a pop fly for the final out to give the Fighting Knights the championship.

Graham, whose previous high strikeout total was nine, allowed nine hits in eight innings.

Kahnle was among five Lynn players selected to the All-Tournament Team, joined by Wright, Crowe, Flores and MacDougall. Graham, Lane and White represented Emporia State on the All-Tournament Team. Also selected were Spencer Sobol of Belmont Abbey, Daniel Pembroke of Dowling and Josh Tanner of UC San Diego.

Both Lynn and Emporia State entered the championship game unbeaten in the National Finals. Lynn, which posted a 4-0 record in the South Regional, became the first team since Tampa in 2006 to go through the entire NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament without a loss.

Saturday’s contest marked the fifth time in the 42-year history of the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship that the title game was decided by one run. The combined three runs tied for the lowest scoring national championship game. Cal State Northridge defeated Nichols State 2-1 in 1970, the third year of the championship.

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Oxford Regional: Mississippi Halts W. Kentucky

USA – Matt Snyder cracked a three-run blast and Phil Irwin (8-3) registered nine strikeouts to lead Mississippi over Western Kentucky, 7-4.

The Rebels (42-17) moved on to Sunday’s championship game, while Western Kentucky (40-19) will battle Missouri in a rematch in an elimination game.

Snyder’s shot in the fifth-inning stretched the top-seeded Rebels lead to 5-0 after RBI singles from Zach Miller and Jordan Henry.

Kyle Gibson (11-3) tossed eight scoreless innings while striking out eight to help Missouri beat Monmouth in an elimination game.

Steve Gray popped a two-run shot to help Missouri score three runs in the fifth and seventh innings. The Tigers (35-26) were led by Kyle Mach (4-for-5) and Aaron Senne (solo homer) to pace a 15-hit attack.

Ryan Buch (7-4) suffered the loss for Monmouth (32-25), which remainedwinless in four regional appearances.

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Houston Regional: Kansas State Ends Rice Streak

USA – A.J. Morris went the distance and Justin Bloxom popped a go-ahead homer to help Kansas State end top-seeded Rice streak of 13 consecutive regional victories with a 7-6 win on Saturday night.

Morris (14-1) survived a four-run rally by the Owls (40-16) in the ninth to deal the Owls their first regional setback since 2004. Bloxom belted his third homer of the tournament in the eighth inning to give the Wildcats (43-16-1) a 4-3 lead.

Rice ace Ryan Berry (7-1) surrendered four runs and 11 hits in eight innings.

Jordan Conley stroked three hits and threw 2 1/3 relief innings to guide Xavier past Sam Houston State in an elimination game.

Conley (2-1) began the game at shortstop before taking over on the mound. Xavier (39-20) got homers from Neil Lindgren and Bobby Freking.

Will Skelton (2-3) allowed one run and two hits over 3 2/3 innings for the Bearkats (36-24).

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Tallahassee Regional: Seminoles Scalp Georgia

USA – Freshman Sean Gilmartin went the distance and Jason Stidham netted five RBIs to lead Florida State into the regional final.

Florida State (44-16) raced out to a 4-0 lead before Georgia senior Trevor Holder (7-5) found his groove in the middle innings, retiring 12 straight hitters during one stretch. Gilmartin (12-3) gave up just two runs and five hits.

The Seminoles will play the winner of Georgia (38-23) and Ohio State in the regional final.

Matt Streng knocked home the game-winning score and Jake Hale picked up his 17th save to help Big Ten champion Ohio State stave off elimination.

Michael Arp doubled and Streng’s sacrifice fly broke a 4-4 deadlock in the sixth inning. Streng also added an RBI single in the eighth to help the third-seeded Buckeyes (41-18) improve to 35-1 when leading headed into the eighth inning.

Marist (31-28) had pulled even in the top of the sixth on George Agostini’s second home run of the year.

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Norman Regional: Arkansas Routs Oklahoma

USA – Zach Cox smacked an early three-run homer and Arkansas routed Oklahoma 17-6.

Andy Wilkins led the Razorbacks (36-22) 20-hit attack with four hits, while Ben Tschepikow, Scott Lyons and James McCann had three hits apiece.

Brett Eibner (5-4) earned the win for the Razorbacks, while Michael Rocha (5-3) failed to get past the first inning for the Sooners (42-19).

Derek Jones and Jared Prince cracked back-to-back long balls in the sixth inning to lead Washington State past Wichita State (30-27) in an elimination game.

The Cougars (32-24) were limited to only one hit over the first five innings against Jordan Cooper (8-6), who allowed three hits and struck out 10 in a complete game effort.

Chad Arnold (8-3) picked up the win with 7 1/3 innings for Washington State.

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Irvine Regional: SDSU Eliminates Fresno State

USA – Brandon Meredith smacked a pair of home runs and Tyler Lavigne turned in a strong outing on the mound as San Diego State eliminated defending College World Series champion Fresno State.

The Aztecs (41-22) will now meet UC Irvine in an elimination game Sunday.

Lavigne limited the Bulldogs (32-30) to only five hits and one unearned run in 7 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts to send the defending champions home. Addison Reed registered the final four outs to earn his 20th save.

Danny Hultzen tossed one of his best games of the season and the second-seeded Cavaliers capitalized on four defensive blunders to put top-ranked UC Irvine on the brink of elimination Saturday night.

Virginia (45-12-1) plated two scores in the fifth and a trio of runs an inning later with the aid of three errors to deal the nation’s No. 1 team its first shutout of the season.

Hultzen (9-1) fanned four and issued one walk in 7 1/3 scoreless innings to post his ninth win of the year.

The Anteaters (44-14) must win twice Sunday and again Monday to advance to the super regionals for the third season in a row.

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Louisville Regional: Cardinals Nip Middle Tennessee

USA – Jeff Arnold crossed the plate on an errant pickoff throw by the catcher in the ninth inning to help Louisville rally past Middle Tennessee, 3-2.

The Cardinals (46-15, with boxing icon Muhammad Ali watching in the stands, scored in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings to erase a 2-0 hole against the Blue Raiders (44-17).

Arnold raced on from third base after Middle Tennessee catcher Drew Robertson threw away the ball while trying to pick him off.

Derek Self (7-0) picked up the win with three perfect innings out of the bullpen.

Vanderbilt 10, Indiana 0
Sonny Gray struck out 10 and Vanderbilt topped Indiana in an elimination game.

Steven Liddle stroked three hits and collected three RBIs, while Riley Reynolds also added a trio of hits for third-seeded Vanderbilt (35-26).

Indiana’s Matt Bashore (7-5) siffered the loss for the fourth-seeded Hoosiers, who were playing their first game in the NCAA tournament since 1996.

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Tempe Regional: Arizona State Tops ORU

USA – Mike Leake pitched a five-hitter with 15 strikeouts as Arizona State stopped Oral Roberts, 4-1.

Leake (15-1) opened the game with four perfect innings for the Sun Devils (46-12) before allowing two walks in the fifth. However, he induced an inning-ending double play from Colby Price to end the threat.

Juan Martinez doubled in the ninth off Leake and scored on Michael Notaros’ two-out bloop single before the Arizona State ace struck out Johnny Roberts to end the game.

Mark Serrano (9-1) racked up seven strikeouts over the first four frames for Oral Roberts (32-14) but was tagged with the setback.

Travis Shaw smacked a two-run homer and Jared Humphreys collected three RBIs to lead Kent State past Cal Poly in an elimination game.

Kent State (43-16) built a 10-2 lead heading into the ninth, but Luke Yoder’s two-run triple and Adam Buschini’s two-run single highlighted a seven-un outburst by Cal Poly (37-21) that fell short.

Justin Gill (4-2) picked up the win out of the bullpen, while Cal Poly starter D.J. Mauldin (5-5) was saddled with the loss.

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Fullerton Regional: Titans Dump Gonzaga

USA – Dustin Garneau stroked five hits and Daniel Renken tossed eight impressive innings to help Cal State Fullerton dispose of Gonzaga 7-4 on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs (36-17) tied the score at 4-all in the fifth on Anthony Synegald’s two-run homer before Garneau went to work.

First, Garneau ripped a two-base hit and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. Then he drilled an RBI single an inning later with two outs to put the Titans (44-14) on top, 6-4. Khris Davis added a homer for Cal State Fullerton.

Renken (10-2) registered six strikeouts to lead the Titans to their 12th straight win at home. Nick Ramirez threw a scoreless ninth to record the save. Khris Davis homered for Cal State Fullerton.

Michael Beltran hit a run-scoring single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lead Utah to a narrow victory against Georgia Southern in an elimination game.

Utah (27-30), making its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1960, got long balls from Corey Shimada, C.J. Cron and Cooper Blanc.

Ty Wright and Griffin Benedict slugged home runs for Georgia Southern (42-17), which played its first tournament game since 2003.

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Baton Rouge Regional: LSU Edges Baylor

USA – Austin Nola delivered a clutch RBI single in the top of the 10th to help LSU beat Baylor 3-2 on Saturday night. With the victory, the Tigers (48-16) advanced to the regional championship Sunday night.

Anthony Ranaudo, who threw 130 pitches, tallied 14 strikeouts in nine innings on the hill. LSU closer Matty Ott retired the side in order in the bottom of the 10th to seal the win ove the Bears (30-25).

Jared Mitchell smacked a solo shot for the Tigers in the second, and walked with one out in the 10th before scoring the winning run on Nola’s soft liner that appeared to be just inches away from the outstretched glove of Baylor second baseman Landis Ware.

Justin Gominsky had a spectacular diving catch and four hits to lead Minnesota past Southern to remain alive in the NCAA tournament.

Relief pitcher Scott Fern (3-1) secured his third win of the season while Scott Matyas recorded his 15th save for the Golden Gophers (39-18).

Southern (30-17) tied the game with a five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh, but Kyle Knudson put Minnesota back on top the following inning with a two-out RBI single.

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NCAA Baseball Preview: Austin Regional

USA – The Texas Longhorns enters the Austin Regional as the favorites but have failed to advance to a super regional the past three seasons. However, the Longhorns (41-13-1) boast one of the top pitching corps in all of college baseball, and has begun hitting the ball at the right time of the year.

Brandon Belt and Michael Torres pace an offensive group that has caught fire in recent weeks, and is hitting .289 as a unit. But, Texas will go as far as its talented collection of arms will take them.

1. Texas
2. Texas State
3. Boston College
4. Army

Sophomore right-hander Chance Ruffin is one of the nation’s top pitchers and has limited hitters to a meager .221 batting average in 100 1/3 innings. Senior lefty Austin Wood is the main guy in the bullpen with 14 saves while Austin Dicharry, Cole Green, Taylor Jungmann and Brandon Workman will also play key roles in getting Texas back into the hunt for a national title.

The offensive-minded Bobcats are making their first NCAA appearance since 2000 and possess enough bats to make some noise. But if Texas State is to advance to a super regional, staff ace Kane Holbrooks and relievers Lance Loftin, Tyler Brundridge and Michael Russo must rise to the occasion.

The Eagles are back in the NCAA post-season for the first time since 1967 and have a hard-hitting lineup led by talented backstop Tony Sanchez. Other dangerous hitters contributing for a squad hitting .311 includes Robbie Anston, Barry Butera and Mickey Wiswall. The pitching staff is led by Pat Dean, JB MacDonald and Mike Belfiore.

ARMY (34-19)
The Black Knights won the Patriot Conference and will arrive in the Lone Star State with a talented trio of hitters in Kevin McKague, Joey Henshaw and Clint Moore who are the top hitters for a team hitting to the tune of .334.


Brandon Belt, Texas
A .342 hitter with 16 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 37 RBIs.

Paul Goldschmidt, Texas State
A .353 hitter with 19 doubles, 17 homers and 85 RBIs.

Tony Sanchez, Boston College
A .355 hitter with 18 doubles, 14 homers and 48 RBIs.

Mickey Wiswall, Boston College
A .318 hitter with 17 doubles, 14 homers and 62 RBIs.

Kevin McKague, Army
A .400 hitter with six homers and 42 RBIs.

Joey Henshaw, Army
A .394 hitter with 11 homers and 67 RBIs.

Clint Moore, Army
A .393 hitter with 17 doubles, 10 homers and 60 RBIs.


Chance Ruffin, Texas
Has struck out 91 with a 2.96 ERA in 100 1/3 innings.

Austin Wood, Texas
Senior left-hander has 14 saves and a 2.58 ERA in 59 1/3 innings.

Taylor Jungmann, Texas
Has held opposing hitters to a .197 batting mark with a 1.80 ERA in 70 innings.

Kane Holbrooks, Texas State
Has a 3.34 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 94 1/3 innings.

Mike Belfiore, Boston College
Has recorded eight saves with a 2.15 ERA in 37 2/3 innings.

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Immigration Dispute Brewing In Germany

GERMANY – A lingering dispute between the German Baseball and Softball Federation and the City of Mannheim regarding the status of the league is causing headaches for the foreign players of the local baseball club.

At the heart of the controversy is the claim by the Mannheim city government that the German Baseball League is a professional circuit, and that foreign, non-EU players must be compensated at least 2,550 euros a month to qualify for a visa.

The national baseball federation insists that Germany’s top baseball division is an amateur league, and bolsters their position with the fact that the majority of league players are employed in other jobs. Federation officials also noted that no baseball club in Germany was paying import players and coaches such a high monthly salary. reported last week that the local attorney office allegedly pressed charges against American ballplayers Eddie Aucoin, Billy Hess and a father of a junior player because of immigration violations last year.

Aucoin, one of the league’s top pitchers who led the Mannheim Tornados to the German Finals last season, lost his job with a U.S. company because of the controversy, and signed with the Regensburg Legionaere during the offseason.

Hess has a European wife, and has resided in Germany for several years. The shortstop, who is also employed as a teacher and coach, is in danger of losing his visa. However, the local government has suspended actions against the American until the dispute is resolved.

The ongoing dispute also led American pitcher Clary Carlsen to leave the country.

The two sides have scheduled a meeting for early next week and are working together to find an amicable solution to the problem. The federation is seeking an exception to the minimum monthly salary stipulation for German baseball clubs.

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First Pro Female Baseball Coach Makes Debut

USA – For all of its history, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has repeatedly ushered social change and reform through society’s turnstiles. It will continue that trend on Thursday, May 28th when Brockton Rox coach Justine Siegal officially becomes the first woman to coach a men’s professional baseball team.
Siegal was hired on May 4, 2009 as the final piece in Rox Manager Chris Carminucci’s coaching staff.

“It absolutely does not matter to me that she is a woman,” said Carminucci upon her hiring. “I needed to fill out my coaching staff; she came in for an interview and completely sold me on her abilities. I’m thrilled that we found her before someone else did, because she is a tremendous coach.”

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Justine is married and has an 11 year-old daughter who will travel with her throughout the season. Her baseball background includes coaching and playing on five continents, serving as an International Baseball Federation (IBAF) coach at the World Children’s Baseball Fair (2006, 07, 08), and speaking at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

Founder of “BaseBall for All,” an organization that provides meaningful baseball instruction and opportunity for men and women around the world, Siegal has organized two girls and women’s baseball tournaments at Disney’s Wide World of Sports and coached more than half a dozen international girls baseball teams.

“What she has done with BaseBall for All is provide boys and girls of all ages the chance to experience their dreams of baseball success,” commented Rox GM Brian Voelkel. “In addition to what she will provide on the field, she is also going to teach us, as an organization, how to reach all kids who love the game of baseball.”

She is the only female with coaching experience at the collegiate level as well, serving as a coach for the Springfield College baseball team in Springfield, Massachusetts where she is simultaneously pursuing her PhD in Sports Psychology.

Rox owner Van Schley was enthusiastic about what it will mean when the first pitch is thrown in Thursday’s season opener for the Rox against the Sussex Skyhawks.

“The doctrine of professional baseball is going to undergo an alteration,” Schley said. “I’m proud of our organization for stepping up to the plate and hiring the right person for the job.  Chris is really excited about what Justine will do for our club, and I stand behind him.”

Thursday night’s season opener begins at 7:05 PM at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, Massachusetts.  For more information or for tickets, visit the Brockton Rox online at

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St. Thomas Wins D-III Baseball Crown

USA – Who dislikes doubleheaders?

The St. Thomas Tommies wrapped up the 2009 NCAA D-III Baseball Championship with a nailbiting 3-2 win over Wooster in 12 innings. Earlier in the day, St. Thomas became the first team in six years to force a second championship game with a 6-4 victory over the Scots.

Coach Dennis Denning’s squad, which shocked top-seeded St. Olaf twice in the regional finals, played small ball to perfection to walk away with the Division III national title.

In the opening matchup, the Tommies plated a pair of runs in the ninth to beat Wooster and force a winner-take-all title game on the same day. St. Thomas starter Matt Schuld scattered nine hits in a gutsy outing to earn his second win in the championship round.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate and lucky as (Wooster) was very good also,” said Denning afterwards. “You want to play in big games. We finished at the end of the year playing in the biggest game of the year and won two.”

St. Thomas grabbed a short-lived 1-0 lead in the second meeting on Tim Kahle’s RBI single that scored Louie Salmen. But Wooster answered back quickly on a two-run shot off the bat of Matt Groezinger to taste the lead for the first time, 2-1.

The Tommies manufactured a run in the sixth to knot the score. Matt Olson, who took home Most Valuable Player honors, reached on a single and jogged to second when Brian Schmitz worked Wooster ace Mark Miller for a walk. Both runners moved up 90 feet on a well-executed sacrifice bunt, and Roy Larson’s run-scoring sacrifice fly pushed home Olson with the tying run.

St. Thomas put the finishing touches on a championship day with a score in the 12th. Olson came through, again, with a hit to left field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. The next batter, Dan Leslie, calmly delivered a groundball single through the left side of the infield to clinch the national title for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) powerhouse.


OF – Matt Olson, St. Thomas

IF – John Lequia, Carthage
IF – Dan Leslie, St. Thomas
IF – Zack Vesco, Wooster
OF – Stu Beath, Wooster
OF – Sean Karpen, Wooster
OF – Matt McQuillan, St. Thomas
UT – Greg Van Sickler, Shenandoah
SP – Mark Miller, Wooster
SP – Matt Schuld, St. Thomas
SP – Brandon Stone, St. Thomas

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1976: Cincinnati Stuns Cubs, 13-10

USA – On August 11, 1976 at tradition-rich Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds treated 22,884 fans to one of the greatest comebacks in Major League Baseball history.

Led by fiery skipper Sparky Anderson, the Big Red Machine entered the game atop the division standings with a 73-40 record. The lowly Cubs, managed by Jim Marshall, were sitting 23 games back in fourth place with a 52-62 mark.

– Cubs Tickets

The Reds threatened to take the lead in the first when Ken Griffey doubled down the left field line with one. But, Chicago starter Bill Bonham retired Joe Morgan on a flyout, and struck out Johnny Bench after walking George Foster to end the inning.

The Cubs tagged Reds’ pitcher Fred Norman for two scores in the bottom of the inning. Jose Cardenal hit a solo shot with one out, and Steve Swisher’s triple to the ivy wall in center field plated Bill Madlock for a 2-0 lead.

Chicago strung together eight consecutive hits in a seven-run second highlighted by Swisher’s second three-base hit of the game to grab a commanding 9-0 lead.

Joe Morgan finally put Cincinnati on the board in the third. Griffey reached on a one-out error by Chicago first baseman Pete LaCock before the All-Star second baseman drilled a double to left field to make the score 9-1.

The Cubs pushed the lead to 10-1 in the bottom of the same inning. Madlock strolled into second with a double off reliever Pedro Borbon, and scored later on Swisher’s third hit of the game.

Cincinnati began the comeback trail with two runs in the sixth. Bench opened the inning with a double, and Tony Perez followed with his 13th homer of the season to cut the lead to 10-3.

The visitors chased Bonham with a four-run seventh to get back into the game. Morgan led off the inning with a walk, and motored to third base on Foster’s single to right field.  Bench greeted new pitcher Paul Reuschel with a three-run blast to inch the Reds closer, 10-6. Perez ended the short stint for the reliever with a single up the middle before Cesar Geronimo’s RBI double off Joe Coleman made the score 10-7.

The Reds closed the gap to 10-8 with a run in the next inning, and pulled even in the ninth on Griffey’s two-run bomb off Coleman with two outs to set the stage for the stunning come-from-behind victory.

Bench reached on an error by Chicago shortstop Mick Kelleher to start the 10th, and Perez followed with a base hit to left field. Both runners advanced on a throwing error by LaCock to give the Big Red Machine their first taste of the lead. Dave Concepcion and Doug Flynn added RBI hits to finish off the amazing 13-10 comeback.

Concepcion led the Reds’ 20-hit attack with a 4-for-6 effort at the plate. Morgan, Bench, and Perez each added three hits apiece.

Pat Zachary (11-3) worked the final two innings to notch the win, while Darold Knowles (4-5) suffered the loss.

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Namur Extends Win Streak In Belgium

BELGIUM – The Namur Angels extended their winning streak to 12 games with three victories last week to stay atop the standings in the Belgian League. The Angels (12-1) will meet the second-place Hoboken Pionieers (10-3) this weekend in a crucial mid-season series.

The Angels blanked the Borgerhout Squirrels 10-0 last Thursday behind a strong performance from American pitcher Zachary Potter. The Pine Plains, New York right-hander – who limited opposing hitters to a meager .203 batting mark and fanned 87 in 66 2-3 innings last season at the Division III level – struck out 13 and allowed just four hits in an impressive seven-inning

Two days later, Namur starter Harold Gerard fanned 12 to pitch the Angels past The Merchtem Cats, 2-1. Catcher Ronny Heymans clutch two-run base hit off Bram Denys in the seventh was all the offense the home team needed to capture their 11th straight win.

The Angels completed a perfect week with a 12-2 victory over the Cats on Sunday. Heymans launched a towering three-run shot and American shortstop Heny Perkins tossed seven solid innings with 10 strikeouts in his first start of the season for skipper Christopher Dassy’s squad.

The reigning National Baseball League (NBL) champion London Mets swept two games against the Croydon Pirates, while the Richmond Flames and the Bracknell Blazers split a doubleheader.

London starter Jason Roberts went the distance and struck out 11 in a 10-1 victory in the first game of a twinbill. Croydon’s Jose Sosa fanned 10 in a losing effort.

Jonathon Cramman picked up his first NBL win and the Mets feasted on the Pirates’ inexperienced hurlers in the second game and rolled to a 22-2 triumph in just five innings.

In the other matchup last weekend, Richmond rallied for six late runs to beat Backnell, 10-7, to make a winner out of Ryan Bird. However, Phil Matthews smacked a three-run homer and Matt Maitland registered the win as the Blazers salvaged a split with a narrow 3-2 victory.

F.C. Barcelona crossed the plate in each of the first four innings to end the first half of the Spanish League with a 6-2 victory over Baseball Navarra last Saturday night. With the win, the Barcelona club improved to 15-3 on the season.

Jorge Miqueleiz led F.C. Barcelona’s 15-hit barrage with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate. Juan Salazar scored a pair of runs, and both Jesus Golindano and Jehan Machado collected two RBIs apiece for the home team.

Pedro Belmonte (7-0) struck out five and remained unbeaten with another solid outing.

Juan M. Marte (2-3) was roughed up for ten hits and five runs in only four innings on the mound.

In other action, C.B. Viladecans capitalized on seven defensive blunders by the Valencia Astros and cruised to an easy 17-3 win this past Sunday.

The Bern Cardinals swept a pair of games against the Embrach Rainbows last weekend to set a team record for the best start in club history. The four-time defending Swiss champion improved to 13-0 on the season.

The Cards prevailed 6-3 in the first game behind home runs by Johnny Perigos and player/coach John Baum. Bern starter Chris Beyeler picked up the win while Tobias Imboden retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his first career save.

The Swiss powerhouse raced to a 4-0 lead in the second game and completed the twinbill sweep with a 9-5 win to stay four games ahead of second-place Lausanne (9-4).

The Therwil Flyers outclassed the Reussbühl Eagles in a pair of blowout victories last weekend to stay in the race for the Swiss League title. The Flyers (8-4) set the tone early with a combined 18 runs in the opening fames of both games.

Therwil right-handed ace Stefan Koller (4-1) allowed one hit in five innings to lead his team to an 18-0 win in the opening game. Chris Blackbee got things rolling with a three-run blast in the first, and Mario Cuevas added a grand slam in the sixth for a squad seeking their first league title since 2003.

The Flyers rolled to an 18-2 triumph in the second matchup to complete the doubleheader sweep. Lukas Croton (4-0) fanned six over five innings to notch the win. Daniel Eichenberger continued swinging the stick well with a five-hit game, while Blackbee, Koller, Emanuel Raouzeus, and player/coach Sam Faeder tallied four hits apiece.

Photo courtesy of Diego Lazaro

Around Europe is a BaseballdeWorld weekly feature published every Thursday.

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IBAF Announces Women’s Baseball Committee

SWITZERLAND – The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) announced Wednesday the names on its first ever Women’s Baseball Committee and outlined the next steps in the continued global growth of women’s baseball.

“Baseball is a sport for all, and the future success of the game, especially in emerging countries, lies at the grassroots level where boys and girls play the game together,” said IBAF President Dr. Harvey Schiller.

“Our efforts will be to both build up that support system for young people and then find ways to give girls who wish to stay involved in baseball when they get to their teenage years the opportunity to do so. Many girls do not have the opportunity to continue playing into their teenage years and either go to other sports or stop playing entirely, and we need to invest in their development to make sure that a healthy next-level option exists and grows.”

The Women’s Baseball Committee is chaired by Dr. Donna Lopiano, Ph.D., former head of the Women’s Sports Foundation and one of the most respected people in athletics today.

The committee members include: Andre LaChance (Canada), Susan Zhang (China), Hiroko Yamada (Japan), Kitty Au (Chinese Taipei), Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke (Nigeria) Athokpam Bhanu Devi (India), Margarita Mayeta (Cuba), Sandra Monteiro (Portugal), Brett Pickett (Australia), and Crystal Choi (Korea).

The committee held its first conference call on Wednesday and outlined a plan that will include:

– The development of written materials and starter kits for member federations to use to teach the game to more young girls.

– The development of technical teams which can offer instruction for member federations.

– The identification of 20 additional member federations per year to target the growth of the women’s game specifically.

– Developing a set of guidelines for policy makers so that there are no barriers for young women to play baseball.

– An enhanced marketing presence targeted at girls and women.

The Committee will also begin the review process for the site of the 2010 IBAF Women’s World Cup, which will be held next summer, and will review the guidelines for the first ever IBAF Women’s Baseball World rankings, which will be announced for the current list of over 30 nations that offer elite women’s baseball. Currently it is estimated that over 400,000 women
and girls play baseball globally, and the IBAF expects that number to double in the next few years as these initiatives take hold, especially in Europe and emerging nations.

The IBAF is submitting a five-day, eight-team women’s baseball tournament as part of its application to return to the Olympic Programme in 2016 as well. The event would take the place of the IBAF Women’s World Cup that year.

The Committee will reconvene via conference call in late June, following the IBAF’s presentation to the International Olympic Committee Executive Committee in Lausanne , Switzerland on Monday, 15 June.

Sandra Monteiro will represent the Women’s Committee at that meeting. Monteiro, a former player, is the only female president of an IBAF member federation and is a member of the Portuguese Olympic Committee.

About the International Baseball Federation (IBAF)
Founded in 1938, the International Baseball Federation is a non-governmental organisation recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as administering men’s and women’s baseball at the world level. Located in Lausanne , Switzerland – the Olympic Capital – and counting 125 National Member Federations, the IBAF organises the IBAF Men’s and Women’s Baseball World Cup, the AAA (18U) and AA (16U) World Championships, the Olympic Games Baseball Tournament, and it sanctions the World Baseball Classic, among other international baseball tournaments.

The IBAF works to develop and grow the game of baseball around the world. For more information, please visit

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How I’m Going To Fix The Game – Part 1

USA – Someday when I’m the commissioner, I’m going to fix a few things about baseball as it is today. Some will say the game is fine as it is, and others will say the game is in need of big fixes. I don’t think either is true, just by itself. The game is fine, but there are some changes that need to be made. Nothing too major or drastic, but needed just the same.

– Red Sox Tickets

This isn’t my annual (or actually, daily) tirade against the designated hitter, interleague play, artificial turf, and domes, to name a few. These are legitimate fixes that need to be made, or at the least, should be made. None of them are hard fixes, and even the union would be on for the majority of these. And that’s new for me.

So here are my 12 fixes for baseball:

1. Expansion to 32 teams:

Yes, it can be done, and should be done. There is no reason not to. This needs to be done, and should be the first issue addressed. Those who use the argument that it will further dilute the available talent are just proving they don’t actually know anything about the game. There have been dozens of studies done about the population base now vs the early 20th century. X number of people in the country in Y year gives us Z percentage of players of the population. It goes up every year. There are more people available for 32 teams then there were for 16 teams 100 years ago.

And those who complain about the increase in offense and the lack of pitching are further proving their lack of knowledge of the game. The pitching is not any worse today because of expansion. The pitching (ERA, walk rates, home runs allowed) are worse today because of issues like scorekeepers refusing to give out errors, small ballparks that inflate offense, and the players themselves (strength, conditioning, etc – the other issue is for a different time). Normalize the errors and the ballparks back to an earlier time and the pitching isn’t that bad. It just proves the old adage that no one ever has enough pitching.

2. Realignment:

One of the main reasons we need expansion. 32 teams, 2 leagues, 8 divisions, 4 teams per division.
This eliminates the wild card, which is great. If you can’t even win your own division, you shouldn’t be competing for the top prize. And with 8 division races, no on can use the argument that there won’t be close races. There will be. Maybe not in each division, but it doesn’t always happen now. But it would happen more often with 8 divisions. Plus, this gets rid of the idiocy of one division having 4 teams while another one has 6.

This will change the playoffs also, as they will be seeded. Best record in each league plays the worst record, with the other two playing. The better record gets the home field advantage, and the best team remaining gets to keep it. In other words, if the team with the best record in the league loses its first round, the winner from the other division series gets the home field advantage. The format will stay the same as now. 5 game series for the Division Series, 7 games for the League Championships, and 7 for the Series. And no more coin flips. It gets decide on the field.

The schedule will change also. As much as I don’t like it, interleague play is here to stay. So we’ll keep it. Each division will play a division from the other league. 4 games each. A 2-game home and away series. Each team will also get a traditional rival that they will play 6 times a year. 3 home and 3 away. If the traditional rival is from the same division that the team plays that year, it just means 10 games against that team. A team will play each division in the other league once every 4 years.

Each team will play the other teams in the league 9 times against the teams in the other divisions, and 10 times against the teams in their own division, broken down however the schedule makers want it.

Traditional rival – 6 games
Interleague – 16 games
Division – 30 games
League – 108 games

160 games. That’s it. Everyone can deal with the loss of 2 games. Either that, or get rid of interleague play.

So the next question is how do the divisions break down, and which two teams are added. Easy. Portland or Las Vegas gets one team, and New Orleans gets the others. If you want to know why, ask me. Either both of those teams go into the American League, or one does and Colorado switches to the American. That is the best scenario to me, but I’m flexible. Here’s how they break out:

American League:

PACIFIC: Oakland, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Portland/Las Vegas.
WESTERN: Kansas City, Texas, Minnesota and Colorado.
CENTRAL: Detroit, Toronto, Cleveland and Chicago.
ATLANTIC: Boston, New York, Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

National League:

PACIFIC: Arizona, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.
WESTERN: St. Louis, Chicago, Houston and New Orleans.
CENTRAL: Florida, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Cincinnati.
ATLANTIC: New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Atlanta.

Alternatively, if Colorado doesn’t switch to the American League, then exchange them with New Orleans. Havana would actually be my first choice, but not yet.

Also, Arizona could go to the American, with Portland/Las Vegas going to the National.

Traditional rivals:

Oakland – San Francisco
Kansas City – St Louis
Detroit – Pittsburgh
Boston – Philadelphia
Seattle – Colorado
Texas – Houston
Toronto – Atlanta
New York – New York
Los Angeles – Los Angeles
Minnesota – Milwaukee
Cleveland – Cincinnati
Baltimore – Washington
Portland/Las Vegas – New Orleans
Colorado – San Diego
Chicago – Chicago
Tampa Bay – Florida

Those are just examples, and that can be worked on.

3. Draft choices can be traded:

We won’t get carried away on this one, and keep it limited. Any of the first 5 picks for each team can be traded. Only once. No packaging them later, for other picks. If New York trades for Arizona’s 3rd round choice, they have to use it. And picks cannot be traded for picks. A draft pick has to be traded for a live body, or bodies.

We’ll call this the ‘Strausberg Rule’. This, to me, makes a lot of sense. The Nationals are not very good, and they need to build a farm team and respectability. Spending $10mil on one player, particularly a pitcher, is crazy. But if they don’t sign him, and let him go somewhere else, Washington is going to be brutalized by the media and their fans. But they shouldn’t have to mortgage their future for one player.

Why not trade that pick for some minor league prospects that might help right away, without costing the budget of most African nations. Or dare say someone like Phil Hughes. The Yankees have money, and are willing to spend it. Would Phil Hughes be worth the right to draft Strausberg, as they have time to develop him, and pay him? Or could the Nationals package the 1st pick, Adam Dunn and/or Nick Johnson for a farm team?

No team should be held hostage by one player. They should be able to trade this pick and improve their team, not give away the future.

4. The draft will be extended to foreign countries:

Players from traditional baseball playing countries will now be included in the draft. The countries affected will be Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba (that means the defectors, but why should they get special privileges), Panama, Columbia, and Venezuela. Any player from that country, at the age of 16 (or graduation from high school) or college players who want to play MLB will have to register for the draft and go through the process. Simple, no argument, problem solved, it’s fixed.

The only exception will be players who choose not to do this and sign with a league in a different country, or an independent league in the states. They must re-enter the draft each year, until 5 years have passed, then they are free to sign as free agents. This includes American players also. We’ll call this the J.D. Drew rule.

5. Classification of foreign leagues:

I’ll explain this one a little. There is always debate about whether or not Japanese players should be eligible for Rookie of the Year awards, and how their statistics from those leagues should be counted. Should Ichiro have been Rookie of the Year? Does he have over 3000 hits? We’re going to settle it once and for all, officially, and not leave it up to the writers to decide. Each foreign league will be evaluated and designated with either major or minor league status. This mostly concerns Japan, but so be it. If a league is considered to be a ‘Major League’, players coming from that league are not eligible for ROY awards. But there statistics will count. If a league is designated a minor league, then it will be no different than moving from the US minor leagues. I don’t see this changing a lot, but it will make if official, instead to the ‘no one really knows’ policy that is in place today.

This is the first part of a 3-part series. I have lots of ways to change the game for the better. Stay tuned.

Photo courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

Ron Rollins is a BaseballdeWorld contributor and the author of the Baseball Over Here’ blog.

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Corendon Kinheim Stays Hot In Dutch League

THE NETHERLANDS – Corendon Kinheim continued their midseason surge taking two of three games against the Konica Minolta Pioniers last week to climb within one game of second place in the Dutch Major League.

Kinheim (12-8), which claimed the regular season title last year before falling to L&D Amsterdam in the Holland Series, rode the arm of David Bergman to a 4-2 win in Thursday’s series opener. The right-hander limited the potent Pioniers’ offense to just a pair of hits in seven innings, while Dirk van’t Klooster had three hits and two RBIs.

Jason Halman collected three hits and four RBIs, and Kinheim plated five runs in the opening frame in a 13-3 victory on Saturday. But, Konica Minolta foiled the sweep with a 7-1 win the next day as Ryan Murphy tossed a complete game and helped his own cause with a three-run shot.

Dutch Major League front-runner L&D Amsterdam took two of three games against Mr. Cocker HCAW to remain the top dog in the Netherlands. With the pair of victories, the Pirates have won 16 of 20 games so far this season.

Former Minnesota Twins prospect Wesley Connor led L&D Amsterdam to a 7-5 win in the series opener on Thursday. The talented leadoff man stroked five hits and knocked home a pair of scores, and veteran Cuban slugger Fausto Alvarez Rizo added two RBIs for one of Europe’s elite squads.

Mr. Cocker (6-12-1) took the next game on Saturday, 3-2, behind an impressive outing by Joey Eijpe. The HCAW starter locked horns with Australian southpaw Adam Blackley in a low-scoring affair and came out on top after limiting the hard-hitting Pirates to just two hits in a complete-game effort.

In the rubber match on Sunday, L&D Amsterdam cruised to a 7-2 win over Mr. Cocker HCAW to remain three games ahead of the pack in one of Europe’s premier leagues.

DOOR Neptunus captured three easy victories over MediaMonks RCH to pull even with Konica Minolta for the second spot in the Dutch League with identical 12-6-1 records.

The Rotterdam-based club trailed RCH 5-0 Thursday heading into the third before erupting for 13 unanswered scores to coast to a 13-5 win. Two days later, Kevin Heijstek pitched a three-hit shutout to lead Neptunus to a 14-0 rout.

In the series finale on Sunday, Neptunus broke open a close contest with five eighth-inning runs to finish off the sweep with a 6-1 victory against the MediaMonks (1-18). Eugene Kingsale belted a solo home run and closer Berry van Driel picked up the win out of the bullpen.

Sparta/Feyenoord used strong pitching to claim a three-game sweep over ADO, and move within a half game of second-place DOOR Neptunus and Konica Minolta. Sparta/Feyenoord – which limited ADO to just three runs in last week’s series – improved their season card to 12-7.

Rob Cordemans fanned 14 while allowing a run on four hits in a 11-1 victory on Thursday, and Tim Roodenburg followed with seven scoreless innings in Game Two Saturday to help the Rotterdam-based club secure a 3-0 win.

ADO (4-14-1) threatened to upset Sparta/Feyenoord in the series finale on Sunday. However, Nick Eppinga’s game-winning hit in the seventh completed the comeback from an 0-2 hole and wrapped up the sweep.

Photo courtesy of Henk Seppen/L&D Amsterdam Pirates

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Lions, Elephants Draw in Marathon CPBL Game

TAIWAN – The Uni-President Lions and the Brother Elephants battled to a 7-7 tie in a 4 1/2 hour Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) marathon ballgame on Sunday in front of 4,155 fans.

In a matchup that featured six home runs, the reigning league title-holders grabbed a quick 1-0 lead in the first. But the Elephants pulled even in the third before the Lions scored six unanswered runs to hold a seemingly comfortable 7-1 lead heading into the seventh.

The Elephants added a score in the bottom of the seventh, and plated three more runs in the eighth to make things interesting. Two more runs in the final inning tied the score, and both squads failed to cross the plate in three extra innings.

Lions’ catcher Kao Chih-Kang was 5-for-5 with three doubles to set a new CPBL record with 12 two-base hits in one month. Yang Sung-Hsien also swung the bat well going 4-for-6 and with a homer and three RBIs, while Jose Castillo and Chen Lien-Hung each added a long ball for the Uni-President franchise.

Robert Bozied, Wang Chin-Yung, and Yang Tsung-Fan all homered for the Elephants while shortstop Wang Sheng-Wei had a run-scoring double to extend his itting streak to 10 games.

Tseng Hao-Chu drove in four runs and Hsu Wen-Hsiung tossed seven effective innings to help the La New Bears dispose of the Sinon Bulls 12-2 in front of 3,795 Taiwanese baseball fans this past Sunday evening.

Tseng doubled and cracked his third home run of the season as the Bears built a 4-0 lead after two at-bats. La New added a pair of runs in the fourth before blowing the game open with a four-run outburst an inning later.

Third baseman Shih Chih-Wei led the 14-hit attack with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate, while La New catcher Huang Hao-Jen had two hits and popped his first long ball of the year.

Hsu (4-3) allowed lone runs in the second and seventh frames to notch his fourth win of the year.

Team Won Lost Tied
La New 21 16 01
U-President 21 16 02
Sinon 20 17 02
Brother 13 26 01

Photo courtesy of

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Solingen, Regensburg Stay On Collision Course

GERMANY – The Solingen Alligators shook off a 7-6 setback to the Dortmund Wanderers this past Thursday to claim three consecutive wins in the North Division of the German League. Solingen (16-2), which holds a three-game cushion over the Paderborn Untouchables (11-3), has limited opposing teams to just 2.5 runs per game thus far this season.

Dortmund (9-7) stunned the Alligators in the front end of a twinbill last week behind a pair of clutch home runs by Trevor Howell. The American import knotted the game with a dramatic ninth-inning long ball, and went yard again in the 12th to finish off the upset win.

Coach Andy Fleischacker’s squad regrouped to win the second encounter, 11-0, behind a dazzling three-hit shutout by left-handed ace Enorbel Marquez-Ramirez.

Christian Nsien tallied four RBIs and the Alligators whipped the Bonn Capitals three days later by a margin of 11-1 in the first game of a doubleheader.

The Capitals (4-14) took a 2-0 lead into the ninth in the second contest before falling 3-2 in 11 innings.

The Paderborn Untouchables remained near the top of the North Division with a trio of victories last week. The Untouchables (11-3) swept the Pulheim Gophers before splitting a pair of games with the Cologne Cardinals.

Octavio Medina had five RBIs and Paderborn routed the expansion Gophers 14-2 in Game One Thursday. But, Pulheim (4-14) fought back in the twinbill finale before losing 5-3 as Eugen Heilmann scattered three runs and five hits over 8 2-3 innings to earn the win.

The Untouchables trounced the Cardinals 22-5 on Sunday behind a five RBI performance by Bjoern Schonlau. However, Cologne ace Kalev Betancourt went the distance in a 4-1 upset victory in the second game to salvage a split.


American Eddie Aucoin tossed a no-hitter Saturday to help the Regensburg Legionaere beat the Saarlouis Hornets 5-0 and complete the doubleheader sweep. The unbeaten South Division leaders survived a late Hornets’ rally in the opening game to claim a 7-6 victory.

Aucoin, who led the Mannheim Tornados to the German Finals last year, allowed just two baserunners (hit by pitch) and struck out nine in the league’s first no-hitter of the season.  With the wins, the reigning German champion improved their record to 16-0.

The Legionaere built a 7-3 lead in the first game as former U.S. minor league prospect Ludwig Glaser went yard and collected four RBIs.

Saarlouis came up short despite a two-run shot byAmerican slugger Whitney Pierce – who played in Switzerland and the Netherlands the past couple of seasons – and Mike Heaney’s bases-loaded triple in the ninth.

The Mannheim Tornados torched the Mainz Athletics’ pitching corps this past Thursday and waltzed to a pair of easy victories. Coach Georg Bull’s squad, which reached the German Finals a year ago, outscored the 2007 German champion 27-6 in the twinbill.

American infielder Billy Hess – hampered by visa woes with Mannheim government officials – had three RBIs in a 14-3 runaway win on the opening game.

The second matchup was also a lopsided affair as Marvin Appiah’s three-un bomb propelled Mannheim to a 13-3 victory.

The Tornados (12-6) picked up their third win of the week with a 10-6 win against the Gauting Indians on Sunday despite a grand slam by former Harvard standout Trey Hendricks. However, the Indians (5-13) used a complete-game gem by American hurler Chris Clem to edge Mannheim, 4-2, in the back end of a doubleheader.

Photo courtesy of the Solingen Alligators

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Bologna Stops Rimini In Italian League

ITALY – Maybe red-hot is too mild of a word to describe a streaking Fortitudo Bologna squad?

Last year’s regular season champion regrouped after a 4-2 loss to Telemarket Rimini Thursday night to climb into a tie for the top spot in the Italian Baseball League with back-to-back victories last weekend.

The league-leading Pirates opened the series on a winning note to snap Bologna’s eight-game winning streak, and move two games ahead of the league’s hottest team.

Rimini drew first blood in the first on a pair of doubles. Lorenzo Avagnina led off the inning with a two-base hit to center field off Bologna ace Jesus Matos, and scored on Mario Chiarini’s one-out double for a quick 1-0 lead.

Bologna tied the score in the second when Stefano Landuzzi’s single though the right side plated Joseph Mazzuca, who doubled to open the frame. But The Pirates answered back with three runs in the same inning.

Avagnina put Rimini back on top with his second double of the game and Daniel Gonzalez followed with a run-scoring hit up the middle. Chiarini capped the rally with another RBI double to stretch the lead to 4-1.

Both Matos and Rimini starter Rafael Garcia – two of the league’s top hurlers – rebounded from early trouble to muzzle opposing hitters before departing after five and seven innings, respectively.

Bologna broke the scoreless drought with a run in the ninth and managed to bring the tying run to the plate. However, Rimini closer Gustavo Martinez caught Giovanni Pantaleoni looking at a called third strike on a full count pitch to end the game.

Garcia (6-0) picked up the win while Martinez registered his fourth save of the season.

On Friday night, Matt Stocco launched a grand slam homer and drove in six runs to lead Bologna past Rimini, 10-3, to claim their ninth win in their last 10 games.

The home team jumped on Rimini starter Chris Di Roma in the first for three quick scores. Eddy Garabito knocked home Pantaleoni with a single to right field, and Stocco delivered a two-run hit later in the frame to make the score 3-0.

Eddie Rios tagged Bologna starter Yulmann Ribeiro for a solo shot in the fifth, but Stocco homered with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning to cap a five-run outburst.

Rios led off the seventh with his eighth long ball of the year, and Ivanon Coffie hit his fourth homer the next inning to make the score 8-3. Bologna added two late runs to tie the series at one game apiece.

Ribeiro (6-0) continued his winning ways allowing six hits and two runs over six innings.

Rimini raced out to a 3-0 lead in the rubber match on Saturday but were blanked the final eight innings as Bologna rallied for a 4-3 win to move into a tie with the Pirates for the top spot in the IBL.

Chiarini put Rimini on top in the first with a three-run bomb off Bologna starter Fabio Betto. The league’s most potent offensive lineup awoke in the third to plate a pair of runs.

Luca Breveglieri reached on an error by second baseman Jack Santora to start the two-run rally. Things went from bad to worse for Rimini when starting pitcher Sandy Patrone hit the next batter, speedy Juan Carlos Infante. Pantaleoni followed with a well-placed bunt single down the third base line to load the bases, and Claudio Liverziani’s single made the score 3-2.

Bologna pulled even in the seventh on Juan Angrisano’s solo homer, and clinched the series in the ninth on Infante’s game-winning single to right field that scored pinch-runner Francesco Alaimo.

Fabio Milano (1-0) worked 2 1-3 scoreless relief innings to pick up the win.


Thursday, May 21st
Telemarket Rimini 4 – Fortitudo Bologna 2
Cariparma Parma 5 – De Angelis Godo 0
Friday, May 22nd
De Angelis Godo 3 – Cariparma Parma 2
T&A San Marino 4 – Montepaschi Grosseto 1
Fortitudo Bologna 10 – Telemarket Rimini 3
Reggio Emilia 6 – Danesi Nettuno 5
Saturday, May 23rd
Montepaschi Grosseto 4,2 – T&A San Marino 3,5
Danesi Nettuno 10,5 – Reggio Emilia 4,1*
Fortitudo Bologna 4 – Telemarket Rimini 3
Cariparma Parma 23 – De Angelis Godo 11

Photo courtesy of Bellocchio/FIBS

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Who will win the 2017 World Baseball Classic?

  • Puerto Rico (31%, 27 Votes)
  • Dominican Republic (13%, 11 Votes)
  • USA (13%, 11 Votes)
  • Mexico (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 7 Votes)
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  • Netherlands (5%, 4 Votes)
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