Archive | April, 2010

Baseball Unites Iraqi and U.S. Youth

UNITED STATES – The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Sports United office will bring a group of young baseball players from Iraq to Washington, D.C. to participate in a Sports Visitors baseball/softball program May 3–13, 2010.

The delegation includes 10 boys and girls, ages 15-17, and five coaches who will take part in baseball skills clinics, including one taught by Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Ken Griffey, Jr. After a clinic from the prolific home run hitter, the delegation will tour Camden Yards stadium, observe batting practice, and take in the Baltimore Orioles game against the Seattle Mariners on May 11th.

The group’s itinerary includes a baseball clinic at the famed Ripken Academy in Aberdeen, Maryland, as well as baseball and softball skills training with American counterparts at local high schools and colleges. Elements covering team building, disability in sports, Title IX and conflict resolution will also be incorporated into their program.

In conjunction with this exchange, MLB donated 27 boxes of bats, helmets, balls, rule books and other equipment to Iraqi baseball and softball players.

The equipment was presented at a ceremony in Baghdad on April 1st hosted by U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill.

For more information, please visit the SportsUnited website, or contact Laura Tischler, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, at 202-632-6454 and TischlerLL@state.gov.

Photo courtesy of USASOC News Service

Source: Bureau of International Information Programs

Posted in News1 Comment

AVG Draci Begins Road Trip

CZECH REPUBLIC – AVG Draci Brno will begin a tough three-game stretch on Friday when the Czech League heavyweight battles MZLU Express on Friday. The 15-time defending league champion will clash with Technika and Navisys Hroši on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Draci (6-0), which has averaged almost nine runs an outing so far this season while allowing opponents a meager three scores, captured a pair of not-too-easy victories against Kotlá?ka (7-4 and 7-5) last weekend.

MZLU Express (4-2) moved into sole possession of second-place a week ago with a convincing sweep over the Arrows Ostrava, 17-3 and 11-4. Similar to Draci, the Express has a potent offensive attack and a pitching corps that has limited opposing lineups to less than four runs a game.

STANDINGS:
1-Draci (6-0) 2-MZLU Express (4-2) 3-Skokani (3-3) 3-Technika (3-3) 5-Navisys Hroši (2-2) 6-Eagles (1-1) 7-Kotlá?ka (1-3) 8-Arrows (0-6)

Friday, April 30
AVG Draci at MZLU Express
Technika at Navisys Hroši

Saturday, May 1
AVG Draci at Technika
Navisys Hroši at MZLU Express
Kotlá?ka at Eagles
Arrows Ostrava at Skokani Olomouc

Sunday, May 2
Navisys Hroši at AVG Draci
Technika at MZLU Express
Eagles at Kotlá?ka

Photo courtesy of AVG Draci Brno

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Buchbinder Legionäre Eyeing Sweep

GERMANY – The Buchbinder Legionäre will be looking to keep their perfect record intact when the German League South Division leader hosts the Saarlouis Hornets in a two-game series that begins Friday night at Armin Wolf Arena in Regensburg.

Buchbinder (8-0) captured a hard-fought 9-7 victory against the Mainz Athletics in the first game of a doubleheader last weekend before rolling to an easy 13-2 win in the finale.

American Chris Paterson (4-0, 2.33) and Boris Bokaj (4-0, 2.92) handle the primary pitching chores for manager Martin Helmig’s streaking bunch, while American Matt Vance (.531, 5 HR) and Czech Petr Cech (.528) are the top hitters.

Saarlouis (2-5) suffered a pair of setbacks against the Mannheim Tornados last week. Shortstop Eddie Martinez continues to swing the bat well with a team-high .440 batting average.

The surprising Haar Disciples (5-2), which swept a twinbill over the Neuenburg Atomics last weekend, will face a staff test against the Heidenheim Heideköpfe. Haar is led by American right-hander Calvin Brutus (3-0, 1.57) and leading hitters David Selsemeyer (.393) and Zach Kim (.423).

Heidenheim (6-2) is the defending German champion and took two games from the Gauting Indians, 10-2 and 6-3, a week earlier. A powerful offensive lineup headlined by former Milwaukee Brewers farmhand Simon Gühring (.455) and coached by former big league pitcher Mike Hartley has yet to find its groove but is still scoring eight runs a game.

SOUTH STANDINGS:
1-Buchbinder (8-0) 2-Heidenheim (6-2) 3-Haar (5-2) 4-Mainz (4-4) 5-Mannheim (3-3) 6-Saarlouis (2-5) Neuenburg (1-7) 8-Gauting (0-6)

Friday, April 30
Saarlouis Hornets at Buchbinder Legionäre

Saturday, May 1
Saarlouis Hornets at Buchbinder Legionäre

Sunday, May 2
Haar Disciples at Heidenheim Heideköpfe
Mainz Athletics at Gauting Indians
Neuenburg Atomics at Mannheim Tornados

Photo courtesy of Solingen Alligators

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Big Inning Lifts Rimini Over Parma

ITALY – Former Major Leaguer Jim Brower worked five effective innings and Venezuelan reliever Alex Serrano tallied the final 12 outs in dominant fashion as the Telemarket Rimini Pirates downed Cariparma Parma 8-2 Thursday night in the Italian Baseball League.

Rimini capitalized on a two-out error by Parma first baseman Juan Camilo to go on top, 1-0, in the opening frame. The slim lead remained intact until the Pirates chased former teammate Gustavo Martinez with a seven-run fourth.

Mario Chiarini and Lorenzo Avagnina both delivered two-run doubles in the game-changing frame as Rimini scorched its former closer to pull along side Parma with 9-4 records.

Martinez (3-2) allowed seven runs on five hits and four walks in a forgettable three-plus frames to get saddled with the setback.

Brower (3-1) turned in another quality outing holding a potent Parma offense to a pair of runs on three walks and six hits over five innings.

Serrano (pictured), a long-time minor leaguer who made one appearance in the big leagues with the Angels in 2008, had his best outing so far in the IBL. The 29-year-old right-hander scattered a lone hit and five strikeouts over four scoreless relief innings.

STANDINGS:
1-Bologna (9-3) 1-San Marino (9-3) 3-Parma (9-4) 3-Rimini (9-4) 5-Grosseto (5-7) 6-Nettuno (4-8) 7-Catania (2-10) 7-Godo (2-10)

Thursday, April 29
Telemarket Rimini 8, Cariparma Parma 2

Friday, April 30
Telemarket Rimini at Cariparma Parma
Montepaschi Grosseto at Godo Knights
Danesi Nettuno at UGF Bologna
Catania Warriors at T&A San Marino

Saturday, May 1
Telemarket Rimini at Cariparma Parma
Montepaschi Grosseto at Godo Knights (DH)
Danesi Nettuno at UGF Bologna (DH)
Catania Warriors at T&A San Marino (DH)

Photo courtesy of Ferrini/FIBS

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Lotte Giants Subdue Nexen Heroes

SOUTH KOREA – Former big league slugger Karim Garcia smacked his seventh home run of the season, and Song Seung-chan tossed two-run ball over eight frames to lead the Lotte Giants to a 5-2 win against the Nexen Heroes in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

The Heroes jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame before Garcia (pictured) drilled a solo drive off Nexen starter Geum Min-cheol (3-3) in the second. An inside-the-park homer by Son Ah-seob an inning later knotted the score.

The Giants tasted the lead for the first time in the fourth when shortstop Yang Jong-min reached on a walk with the bases loaded. Yang finished off the scoring in the sixth with a two-run double to seal the comeback win.

Song (2-3) surrendered a pair of first-inning scores on two walks and six hits to earn the win, and Bae Jang-ho worked the ninth to tally his first save of the year.

SK WYVERNS BLANK KIA TIGERS
Kim Kwang-hyeon (4-0) limited the reigning KBO champion to just three hits in six-plus frames to lead SK to a 3-0 win against the Kia Tigers to extend its winning streak to 12 games.

SAMSUNG LIONS NIP LG TWINS
Ahn Ji-man (4-1) picked up his fourth win of the season, and Oh Seung-hwan worked a scoreless ninth to claim his fourth save as Samsung slipped past LG.

DOOSAN BEARS EDGE HANWHA EAGLES
Min Byeong-heon singled home the go-ahead score in the eighth, and Son Si-hyeon added an insurance run an inning later with a solo bomb as Doosan topped Hanwha.

Posted in Asia0 Comments

Corendon Kinheim Visits Konica Minolta

THE NETHERLANDS – A resurgent Corendon Kinheim will be looking to continue its winning ways when the Haarlem club visits Hoofddorp Friday night to battle the struggling Konica Minolta Pioniers in the Dutch League.

Kinheim (6-1) heads into this weekend’s action with the league’s best pitching and hitting units. David Bergman (3-0, 1.88 ERA) and Duko Jansen (2-0, 1.69) headline a pitching corps with a 1.33 team ERA, while Bryan Englehardt is hitting a league-high .467 for an offensive lineup that is batting .322.

Konica Minolta (3-5), which lost to DOOR Neptunus in last year’s Holland Series, has struggled mightily at the plate thus far this season with a Mario Mendoza-like .176 batting mark. Jurjen van Zijl (2-2, 2.84 ERA) and Eddie Aucoin (1-1, 1.80 ERA) are the main men for a pitching corps with a respectable 3.49 ERA.

The Almere Magpies (3-4) will have its hands full when the reigning Dutch League title-holder comes to town on Friday with an unblemished 8-0 record, and a lineup boasting six of the league’s top 15 hitters.

In Bussum, Mr. Cocker HCAW (3-4) and the L&D Amsterdam Pirates (4-3) will meet in a pivotal early season matchup, while Sparta/Feyenoord (1-6) will host ADO (1-6) Friday night at Rotterdam.

STANDINGS:
1-Neptunus (8-0) 2-Kinheim (6-1) 3-Amsterdam (4-3) 4-Almere (3-4) 4-HCAW (3-4) 6-Konica Minolta (3-5) 7-ADO (1-6) 7-Sparta/Feyenoord (1-6)

Friday, April 30
DOOR Neptunus at Almere Magpies
L&D Amsterdam Pirates at Mr. Cocker HCAW
Corendon Kinheim at Konica Minolta Pioniers
ADO at Sparta/Feyenoord

Saturday, May 1
Almere Magpies at DOOR Neptunus
Mr. Cocker HCAW at L&D Amsterdam Pirates
Konica Minolta Pioniers at Corendon Kinheim
Sparta/Feyenoord at ADO

Sunday, May 2
DOOR Neptunus at Almere Magpies
L&D Amsterdam Pirates at Mr. Cocker HCAW
Corendon Kinheim at Konica Minolta Pioniers
ADO at Sparta/Feyenoord

Photo courtesy of Eye of The Tiger Photoproductions BV

Posted in Europe1 Comment

Parma Visits Rimini In IBL Clash

ITALY – A pair of Italian Baseball League title contenders will clash when the Telemarket Rimini Pirates opens a three-game set against Cariparma Parma Thursday night in Rimini. The series between the two squads will move to Parma this weekend for the final two games.

Parma (9-3) blanked Danesi Nettuno twice in three wins a week ago, and former Rimini closer Gustavo Martinez (3-1, 1.09 ERA) has joined Roberto Corradini (4-0, 2.39 ERA) to form one of the league’s top starting rotations. Newcomers Juan Camilo (.404) and Marco Yepez (.326) rank first and 10th, respectively, in the IBL batting race.

Rimini (8-4) lost two of three games against T&A San Marino last week, and have averaged a meager 3.5 runs in their last six matchups. Former Parma slugger Jhonny Carvajal (.354) and Lorenzo Avagnina (.320) are swinging the bats well, but teammates Mario Chiarini (.245), Clinton Balgera (.176) and Filippo Crociati (.147) have struggled at the plate during the early stages of the season.

UGF Bologna (9-3) will host a reeling Nettuno squad on Friday which will be looking to snap a five-game slide. The reigning IBL champion has hit just one home run in their first 12 games.

Nettuno (4-8) scored only four runs against Parma last weekend and veterans Vince Parisi (.200), James Buccheri (.188), Dewis Navarro (.158) and Giuseppe Mazzanti (.100) have yet to get untracked inside the batter’s box.

Another Friday matchup has the Catania Warriors (2-10) visiting Serravalle to tangle with San Marino (9-3), which has already claimed series wins this season over IBL heavyweights Bologna, Parma and Rimini.

STANDINGS:
1-Bologna (9-3) 1-Parma (9-3) 1-San Marino (9-3) 4-Rimini (8-4) 5-Grosseto (5-7) 6-Nettuno (4-8) 7-Catania (2-10) 7-Godo (2-10)

Thursday, April 29
Cariparma Parma at Telemarket Rimini

Friday, April 30
Telemarket Rimini at Parma
Montepaschi Grosseto at Godo
Danesi Nettuno at UGF Bologna
Catania Warriors at T&A San Marino

Saturday, May 1
Telemarket Rimini at Parma
Montepaschi Grosseto at Godo (DH)
Danesi Nettuno at UGF Bologna (DH)
Catania Warriors at T&A San Marino (DH) 

Photo courtesy of Ferrini/FIBS

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Frontier League Tryout Camp

UNITED STATES – The Frontier League’s annual pre-season kickoff, the Frontier League Tryout Camp and Draft, will begin two weeks from today, on Monday, May 3 at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio, home of the Lake Erie Crushers.

All 12 Frontier League teams will be represented at the workouts, and Major League Baseball scouts have been in attendance each of the past five years. Advance registration is available by clicking on the “tryouts” button at www.frontierleague.com while walk-up registration will begin at 8:00 AM on May 3.

The workouts officially begin at 9:00 AM on May 3 and will feature a 60-yard dash, fielding and throwing drills for infielders, outfielders, and catchers, and batting practice for position players while pitchers will throw 15-20 pitch bullpens. Following the first day, the field managers will post a list of players invited back for inter-squad games on May 4. At the conclusion of the games, action will break for 30 minutes as clubs evaluate the talent and prepare for the draft.

An average of 35 players have been drafted and signed to spring training contracts over the past six years. 239 players participated in the 2009 Tryout Camp in Washington, Pennsylvania, with over 100 invited back for the second day. Each year, at least one tryout camp participant has appeared in the Frontier League’s All-Star Game. Several draftees have gone on to be signed by Major League Baseball organizations, including RHP Chris Jakubauskas who appeared in 35 games for the Seattle Mariners in 2009.

The Frontier League is entering its 18th season in 2010 and features 12 teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to Michigan. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the eight independent leagues, and 19 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.

All Pro Freight Stadium is located at exit 151 off I-90, twenty miles west of downtown Cleveland. For more information, please visit www.frontierleague.com.

Photo courtesy of Frontier League

Posted in Minors0 Comments

Pittsfield Colonials To Host Tryout

UNITED STATES – The Pittsfield Colonials professional baseball club of the Can-Am League announced on Thursday the details of the club’s player tryout, to be held on Saturday, May 8 at Wahconah Park. The rain date for the event is Sunday, May 9.

The tryout will start at 10 a.m. and is open to all potential players age 18 or over. Players are requested to bring their own gloves, baseball shoes, workout gear and catcher’s equipment. Baseballs, wood bats and some catcher’s equipment will be provided.

Registration can be taken by calling the Colonials at 413-236-2961, e-mailing amanda@pittsfieldcolonials.com, in person at the team office at 2 South Street in Pittsfield, or at Wahconah Park the day of the camp, starting at 9 a.m. The cost is $40 per person payable by check or cash at the tryout.

“Our goal from this tryout is to sign and/or invite one local player to our spring training,” said Colonials’ manager Brian Daubach.

The Colonials’ spring training will take place at Wahconah Park from May 15 to 25. The club’s regular season starts May 27 in Quebec, while the team’s home opener is May 31 against New Jersey at 3:00 PM.

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Kalamazoo Kings Set Open Tryout

UNITED STATES – The Kalamazoo Kings will hold their annual open tryout on Saturday May 1st at Homer Stryker Field. Registration will begin at 9:00 am with the tryout beginning at 10:00 am. Players can pre-register by downloading a form from www.kalamazookings.com and mailing it in.

To be eligible to participate, players must be twenty-seven years old or younger. The cost is $30 per person.

A skills showcase will include the 60 yard dash, positional drills, batting practice, and bullpen sessions. This will be followed by an exhibition game among the players remaining after the first round of cuts.

Over the past three years, six players have been signed to contracts and invited to spring training.

All players are expected to bring their own equipment.

Opening night for the Kings is Thursday May 20th on the road at the Windy City Thunderbolts. The Kings’ 2010 Home Opener is Tuesday May 25th with a 7:05pm game against the Washington Wild Things. Magnet schedules will be given out to the first 1,000 fans courtesy of Rapid Refill.

The Kings are a part of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league.

Photo courtesy of Sparta/Feyenoord

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DOOR Neptunus Tops European Rankings

EUROPE – Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus has climbed to the top spot in this week’s BaseballdeWorld 2010 European Power Rankings. The talent-laden roster of skipper Steve Janssen, featuring a bevy of former minor league prospects, has opened defense of their title with eight consecutive wins.

The weekly power rankings, which are meant to introduce the top European teams to international baseball fans, will be published every Wednesday throughout the season.

1. DOOR Neptunus, Netherlands (8-0)
Previous: 2
It should be illegal for one club to possess so much bonafide talent. A stockpile of quality arms and an offensive lineup with seven potential .300 hitters could make this year’s Dutch title hunt a one-horse race.

2. T&A San Marino, Italy (9-3)
Previous: 6
Back-to-back Italian Series appearances have only made this veteran group hungrier. A grueling early season slate against top dawgs Parma, Bologna and Rimini only proved that the 2008 IBL champion remains a series title contender.

3. UGF Assicurazioni Bologna, Italy (9-3)
Previous: 1
Rebuilding in Bologna means adding a few talented prospects with a group of battle-tested veterans and competing for the league crown. Some teams are like a fine bottle of wine, and this solid squad should become even more dangerous in a few months if youngsters such as Livinston Santaniello puts it all together.

4. Sant Boi, Spain (17-1)
Previous: 5

A busy winter netted an assortment of .300 and .400 hitters, and some electric arms as well. Slugger Jose Luis Riera is enjoying an MVP season and three starters with staff ace-type stuff will make watching this squad at this summer’s European Cup tournament very, very interesting.

5. Corendon Kinheim, Netherlands (6-1)
Previous: 9
No Rombley, no problem. The winning tradition in Haarlem continues with a veteran pitching corps and an under-rated offensive lineup. Neptunus is the favorite, but these guys are in the same area code.

6. Cariparma Parma, Italy (9-3)
Previous: 11
The arrival of Camilo and Yepez has fortified a solid lineup that currently features an array of struggling veterans. This offense has all the ingredients to become a fearsome group. Now, the only question remaining is if former reliever Gustavo Martinez can anchor the pitching staff for an entire season?

7. Telemarket Rimini, Italy (8-4)
Previous: 3
You just do not bet against some coaches, and Mauro Mazzotti is one of those types. The Pirates fizzled in the playoffs last year, but the addition of Jhonny “Instant Offense” Carvajal was a stroke of genius. The championship hopes in Rimini could hinge on the durability of veteran pitchers Jim Brower and Enorbel Marquez-Ramirez.

8. FC Barcelona, Spain (14-2)
Previous: 12
The perennial Spanish League bridesmaid knocked on the door to a championship last season, but fell just short. The “Barca Boys” are back again this year and threatening to kick the door down this time around.

9. Rouen Huskies, France (4-0)
Previous: 13

They do not rebuild in Rouen, they reload! It is just simply amazing how the Huskies can lose top players like Dany Scalabrini(?), Nicolaus DuBaut (PUC), Kenji Hagiwara (injury) and Keino Perez (temporary) and still not miss a beat on the diamond.

10. Buchbinder Legionäre, Germany (8-0)
Previous: 15
Coach Martin Helmig has the Legionäre off to another torrid start in the South Division this season, and will surely be looking to avoid last year’s late season meltdown. A buffet of capable hitters and a re-tooled pitching rotation has Regensburg primed to dethrone a powerful Heidenheim squad.

11. AVG Draci Brno, Czech Republic (6-0)
Previous: 16
The majority of the Czech national team also suits up for the 15-time reigning Czech champion. And, the under-rated Czech League is quickly becoming a pipeline for other European leagues seeking talented pitchers and sluggers.

12. Solingen Alligators, Germany (8-0)
Previous: 18
The talent (Chris Beck, Christian Nsien, Matt Pali, Enorbel Marquez-Ramirez) that the Alligators lost this past winter is mind-boggling. The fact that the Alligators are still unbeaten is also mind-boggling. Good coaching and the art of developing young talent is alive and well in Solingen.

13. L&D Amsterdam, Netherlands (4-3)
Previous: 4
Do not let the slow start of the Pirates fool you. New skipper Charles Urbanus has a potent mix of seasoned veterans and talented rookies. Barring some key injuries, Amsterdam is the third horse in a three-way race for the Dutch crown.

14. Hoboken Pioneers, Belgium (4-0)
Previous: 20
The Pioneers dethroned a strong Port of Antwerp Greys squad a year ago, and appear to be even hungrier this season. The race in the ultra-competitive Belgian League is littered with title contenders.

15. Bonn Capitals, Germany (8-0)
Previous: Unranked
Bonn has some work to do on their anemic offense, but adding the bat of third baseman Christian Nsien will pay dividends sooner rather than later. The mileage on the arm of strikeout artist Tim Henkenjohann is worrisome over the long haul, but the Capitals have put together a championship-caliber pitching staff.

16. Savigny Lions, France (5-1)
Previous: Unranked
The Lions are proof that strong competition makes you better. In its pursuit to dethrone the Rouen Huskies, Savigny has become one of Europe’s best-kept secrets.

17. Heidenheim Heideköpfe, Germany (6-2)
Previous: 10

Don’t feel sorry for Coach Mike Hartley and his championship crew. Offensively, this group is going to put up some big numbers on a regular basis. The biggest question is if Dusty Bergman is really healthy?

18. Tenerife Marlins, Spain (13-5)
Previous: Unranked
The Marlins seem more like an organization than a club. Sant Boi raided the roster of the reigning Spanish champion this past offseason, yet the Marlins keep developing more talented prospects and contending for another title.

19. Therwil Flyers, Switzerland (6-0)
Previous: Unranked

15 years ago only one arrogant American coach believed the Swiss could compete with the majority of European teams. The success of the Bern Cardinals changed the way insiders and outsiders viewed Swiss baseball, and the Flyers have the opportunity this summer to gain even more respect for the Swiss League.

20. Paderborn Untouchables, Germany (7-1)
Previous: 19
The U’s remain a consistent winner and will butt heads with Solingen and Bonn for the division title. Daniel Meier has looked awfully good in the early stages on the hill and at the plate.

DROPPED OUT: Konica Minolta Pioniers (3-5), Danesi Nettuno (4-8), Mr. Cocker HCAW (3-4) and Sparta/Feyenoord (1-6).

(Marvin Moore is a former European coach and the Managing Editor at BaseballdeWorld)

Photo courtesy of Eye of The Tiger Photoproductions BV

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Solingen Alligators Crush HSV Stealers

GERMANY – Dominik Wulf smacked his second home run of the young season, and Nils Hartkopf also went deep as the Solingen Alligators scored early and often in a 11-0 blowout victory over the HSV Stealers Sunday to complete the doubleheader sweep in the German League.

Solingen (8-0) is tied with the Bonn Capitals, which swept the Dortmund Wanderers, for the top spot in the North Division.

American Josh Rickards scattered three hits over six dazzling innings to improve his record to 4-0. The left-hander has limited opposing hitters to just nine hits and one unearned run in 26 innings to boast a perfect 0.00 ERA in four stellar starting assignments.

Hartkopf took the ball in the seventh and sealed the win for the reigning North Division champion.

The Alligators claimed a 7-1 win in the first game. Robin Drache jacked his second long ball of the season – a two-run blast – in the second frame, and southpaw Andre Hughes (3-0) posted his third win of the year.

Jerome Rousseau drove home his eight run of the year for the Stealers in the ninth to spoil the shutout.

Swedish right-hander Joakim Claesson (1-2) was handed his second loss of the season.

PADERBORN FOILS UPSET BID
Daniel Meier tossed a complete game five-hitter and the Paderborn Untouchables survived an upset bid by the Dohren Wild Farmers with a rugged 2-1 victory to complete a twinbill sweep. The U’s tagged Dohren American starter Vince DeCoito with a run in the first, and added another score in the fifth. The Wild Farmers threatened to pull off the upset in the eighth before Meier escaped the jam with just one run and the sacks full. Meier (2-1) allowed a run and five hits while posting 14 strikeouts to get the win. DeCoito () was the tough-luck loser despite a solid eight frames featuring two runs and six hits with nine strikeouts. Paderborn routed Dohren in the first game 11-1 as Meier tallied five hits and five RBIs, and Eugen Heilmann (3-0) picked up his third win.

BONN STAYS UNBEATEN
The Bonn Capitals broke open a close game with seven late runs to turn back the Dortmund Wanderers 11-1 in the first game of a twinbill. National team right-hander Tim Henkenjohann worked seven one-run innings with five hits to improve his season card to 4-0. The Capitals remained tied with Solingen atop the North Division table with a 7-0 win in the second encounter to finish off the sweep. American Bryce Schoening (3-0) tossed eight shutout frames to earn the win, while American Matt Kemp (0-4) was tagged with the loss.

COLOGNE SWEEPS PULHEIM
The Cologne Cardinals captured their first two wins of the 2010 season with a twinbill sweep against the winless Pulheim Gophers. Pascal Raab (1-2) nabbed his first win of the season in a 13-4 victory in the opening game. The Cardinals rode the arm of American right-hander Kevin Brunet (1-2) in the doubleheader finale to complete the sweep with an 8-3 win.

NORTH STANDINGS:
1-Bonn (8-0) 1-Solingen (8-0) 3-Paderborn (7-1) 4-Dohren (3-5) 4-HSV (3-5) 6-Cologne (2-6) 7-Dortmund (1-7) 8-Gauting (0-8)

Sunday, April 25
Solingen Alligators 7, HSV Stealers 1
Solingen Alligators 11, HSV Stealers 0
Bonn Capitals 11, Dortmund Wanderers 1
Bonn Capitals 7, Dortmund Wanderers 0
Paderborn Untouchables 11, Dohren Wild Farmers 1
Paderborn Untouchables 2, Dohren Wild Farmers 1
Cologne Cardinals 13, Pulheim Gophers 4
Cologne Cardinals 8, Pulheim Gophers 3

Photo courtesy of Solingen Alligators

Posted in Europe2 Comments

IBAF Eyeing Return To Olympic Games

UNITED ARAB EMIATES – Rebranding the game of baseball as a global sport – not just an American sport – will be the new strategy of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) as the governing body of the sport worldwide strives to get baseball back on the Olympic program.

“The message you have to give to people is that baseball is a global sport, not American,” IBAF president Riccardo Fraccari told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the SportAccord International Convention in Dubai. “This was the mistake made in the past.”

An Italian who succeeded American Harvey Schiller late last year as the International Baseball Federation president, Fraccari (pictured, left) has made returning baseball to the Olympics his top priority.

Baseball and softball became the first sports in nearly seven decades to be voted out of the Olympics in 2005, and both sports lost appeals for reinstatement the following year.

The two sports attempted to get back into the Olympics for the 2016 Games, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to add the elitist sports of golf and rugby instead.

Unlike his predecessor, who failed to lure the leaders of the International Softball Federation (ISF) into a joint bid, Fraccari is expected to pitch the benefits of a partnership with ISF president Don Porter when officials from the two federations meet this week at the SportAccord.

Besides getting baseball back into the Olympics, Fraccari also wants to see the game enjoy growth in Europe as well as the Middle East. The 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup was held in several European cities to help promote the game on the old continent.

“If you look at Europe, it is a big potential market,” he said. “There is money. There are good organizations and a strong mentality of sport.”

Iran, Iraq and several other Middle Eastern countries have expressed interest in starting baseball programs, and Fraccari believe these nations have good potential since all possess good weather, American influence and available land.

Photo courtesy of FIBS

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Unbeaten Rouen Huskies Tops PUC

FRANCE – Anthony Piquet helped his own cause with a three-run triple in a pivotal six-run third and the Rouen Huskies beat Paris Université Club 12-4 Sunday in the opening game of a French League doubleheader in Paris.

Piquet (2-0) worked seven impressive frames to notch the win for the reigning French champion.

Rouen (4-0) rolled to a convincing 12-0 victory in the weekend finale to finish off the sweep. Aaron Hornostaj tallied four hits and scored three runs for the Huskies.

Giovanni Ouin (1-0) scattered a walk and five hits over eight shutout frames to pick up the win.

SAVIGNY TROUNCES MONTIGNY
The Savigny Lions extended their winning streak to four games with a pair of runaway wins against the Montigny Cougars. Pierrick Lemestre and two relievers combined to blank the Cougars 14-0 in the twinbill opener. American right-hander Justin Fry was charged with the loss. Savigny finished off the sweep in the second game with a 12-2 rout to remain one-game behind the Rouen Huskies.

MONTPELLIER SWEEPS TOULOUSE
Joris Navarro and Laurent Andrades combined on a seven-inning shutout, and the Montpellier Barracudas put together a five-run sixth to pound STB Toulouse 13-0 to complete a doubleheader sweep. Thomas Langloys allowed a pair of runs in a complete game effort to lead Montpellier to an 8-2 victory in the first game.

STANDINGS:
1-Rouen (4-0) 2-Savigny (5-1) 3-Montpellier (3-1) 4-Paris (1-3) 4-Senart (1-3) 4-Toulouse (1-3) 7-Montigny (1-5)

Sunday, April 25
Rouen Huskies 12, Paris Université Club 4
Rouen Huskies 12, Paris Université Club 0
Savigny Lions 14, Montigny Cougars 0
Savigny Lions 12, Montigny Cougars 2
Montpellier Barracudas 8, STB Toulouse 2
Montpellier Barracudas 13, STB Toulouse 0

Photo courtesy of Montigny Cougars

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Yomiuri Giants Win Streak At Six

JAPAN – Alex Ramirez cracked his ninth home run of the season and the Yomiuri Giants captured their sixth consecutive victory with an 8-0 win against the Chunichi Dragons Tuesday in a Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) matchup at the Nagoya Dome.

The Giants plated three quick runs to grab a 3-0 lead. Hayato Sakamoto opened the game with a leadoff triple, and Ryota Wakiya followed with an RBI base hit. Rookie Hisayoshi Chono’s two-run single capped the early uprising.

Ramirez padded the lead with a three-run bomb in the fifth, and Shinnosuke Abe added a solo blast in the same frame. South Korean slugger Lee Seung Yeop finished off the scoring with a pinch-hit
solo home run in the eighth.

Shugo Fujii (1-1) allowed four hits and struck out six in seven scoreless innings to pick up his first win in a Yomiuri uniform.

Kenta Asakura (1-1) was tagged with the loss after surrendering seven runs in five innings.

HIROSHIMA 3, YOKOHAMA 0
Akihiro Higashide’s two-run triple in the eighth broke a scoreless tie and Kenta Maeda tossed eight scoreless frames to help the Hiroshima Carp beat the Yokohama BayStars at Mazda Stadium.

Pacific League

SEIBU 3, LOTTE 1
Takeya Nakamura launched a two-run homer and Takayuki Kishi claimed his fifth consecutive win as the Seibu Lions stopped the Lotte Marines in a battle of the top two Pacific League teams at the Seibu Dome.

NIPPON HAM 1, ORIX 0
Rookie Hirotoshi Masui and three relievers combined on a two-hit shutout to help the Nippon Ham Fighters nip the Orix Buffaloes to end a three-game losing streak at the Sapporo Dome.

SOFTBANK 3, RAKUTEN 2
Munenori Kawasaki smacked a game-winning, two-run homer to help the Softbank Hawks snap the Rakuten Eagles three-game winning streak at the Yahoo Dome.

Photo courtesy of Yomiuri Giants

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Buchbinder Legionäre Stops Mainz

GERMANY – Matt Vance smashed four home runs to lead the Buchbinder Legionäre to a twinbill sweep against the Mainz Athletics Saturday in a South Division matchup in the German League.

The Legionäre (8-0) built a 5-1 lead behind a pair of long balls by Vance, but Mainz pulled within one heading into the eighth. However, Coach Martin Helmig’s squad added three scores in the ninth to push its lead to 9-5. The Athletics added a pair of late runs on a two-run shot by Mike Larson to cap the scoring.

Vance continued his power display in the second meeting as the Regensburg club rolled to a 13-2 lopsided win. The American, who has five homers in eight games this season, drilled a pair of solo shots as the Legionäre collected 12 hits in the blowout win.

American Chris Paterson (4-0) picked up his fourth win of the season.

HEIDENHEIM GETS PAST GAUTING
The Heidenheim Heidekoepfe took a pair of games against the Gauting Indians to remain in the second spot in the South Division. Coach Mike Hartley’s squad picked up a 10-3 victory in the first game as Peter Dankerl belted his first home run of the season. Markus Winkler improved to 3-1 on the season, while John Dobkowski (0-3) was saddled with the loss. The Heidekoepfe rallied to beat the Indians 6-3 in 11 innings to complete the two-game sweep.

MANNHEIM SWEEPS SAARLOUIS
The Mannheim Tornados continued their resurgence after a slow start with two victories against the Saarlouis Hornets to even their season record at 3-3. Lukas Egetmeyer tallied three hits and
Rene Franke (1-1) tossed a complete game to lead Coach Georg Bull’s squad to a 9-4 win in the first game of a twinbill. Mannheim finished off an unbeaten weekend with a 15-5 rout in the second game as Matthias Schmitt hit a pair of triples with a 5-for-5 effort at the plate.

HAAR TOPPLES NEUENBURG
The Haar Disciples staged a 10-run fourth to clobber the Neuenburg Atomics 13-1 in the first part of a doubleheader. Gregor Piehler and Dominic Maric both highlighted the big innings with two-run hits, and American Ty Eriksen tallied three hits and a pair of doubles. Ted Gieschen (1-2) scattered a run and three hits over seven innings to notch the win. The Disciples broke a tied game with five runs in the ninth to finish off the sweep. Calvin Brutus (3-0) went the distance to remain perfect on the season.

SOUTH STANDINGS:
1-Buchbinder (8-0) 2-Heidenheim (6-2) 3-Haar (5-2) 4-Mainz (4-4) 5-Mannheim (3-3) 6-Saarlouis (2-5) Neuenburg (1-7) 8-Gauting (0-6)

Saturday, April 24
Buchbinder Legionäre 9, Mainz Athletics 7
Buchbinder Legionäre 13, Mainz Athletics 2
Mannheim Tornados 9, Saarlouis Hornets 4
Mannheim Tornados 15, Saarlouis Hornets 5

Sunday, April 25
Heidenheim Heideköpfe 10, Gauting Indians 2
Heidenheim Heideköpfe 6, Gauting Indians 3
Haar Disciples 13, Neuenburg Atomics 1
Haar Disciples 6, Neuenburg Atomics 1

Photo courtesy of Solingen Alligators

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Independent Baseball League Tryouts

UNITED STATES – The Washington Wild Things, presented by Washington Financial, have announced that tryouts for the 2010 season will be held on Saturday, May 1, at CONSOL Energy Park. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. with tryouts beginning at 9 a.m.

The tryouts are open to anyone who is 26 years of age or younger as of January 1, 2010. Players who turn 27 before January 1, 2010 are ineligible to play in the Frontier League for the 2010 season.

Players interested in attending the tryouts may download the application form at the Wild Things Web site, www.washingtonwildthings.com. Send the completed form and a check for $50 made payable to “Washington Wild Things” to:

Washington Wild Things
One Washington Federal Way
Washington, PA 15301

Players may also register on-site on Saturday.

In case of inclement weather, a make-up day of May 2 has been scheduled.

INDY LEAGUE TRYOUT CAMP
Prospect Watch is holding a tryout camp on Saturday May 8, 2010 at W.L. Bill Evans Field in College Park, Georgia at 12:00 PM. The tryout camp is open to players who played college baseball, independent leagues, or affiliated baseball in 2009 for placement in the independent and international baseball leagues in 2010.

Players must pre-register for the tryout camp which should be finished by 4:00 PM.

WHO CAN ATTEND:
College baseball players:(Age 18-23 years): Players must have played college baseball in 2009.
Previous Independent League Players: Unlimited Age
Previous Minor League Players: Unlimited Age

PLAYER SIGNINGS SINCE 2003
Affiliated Baseball: 23 players
Independent Baseball Leagues: 306 players
International Baseball Leagues: 23 Players

Click here for more information

Photo courtesy of Tenerife Baseball Academy

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Bern Cardinals Sweep Zurich Challengers

SWITZERLAND – The Bern Cardinals snapped a season-opening four-game slide with a pair of road wins against the Zurich Challengers last Saturday in a Swiss League matchup at the Heerenschürli Ballpark.

Bern (2-4) put together a five-run seventh to capture a see-saw 9-8 win in the first game of a doubleheader. The Challengers grabbed the lead in the second on a two-run double by Jesus Martinez. But, the Cardinals capitalized on a pair of costly defensive miscues in the bottom of the same frame to go on top, 4-2.

Zurich (2-2) benefited from three errors in the third to pull ahead, 6-4, and parlayed an error and a trio of hits into a pair of runs in the seventh to stretch its lead to 8-4. However, it would prove to not be enough as Bern tallied five runs and six hits and was aided by another costly error to take the lead for good, 9-8.

The second game evolved into a slugfest with the Cardinals using a seven-run fifth to complete the sweep with a 17-9 victory.

The hometown team roughed up Bern starter Jan Langhammer for three runs in the opening frame on a trio of extra-base hits. But the Cardinals closed the gap to a lone score in the bottom of the first on RBI singles by Seth Suplin and Angelo Rodriguez.

The Challengers loaded the bases with one out in the third but came away with just one run. Langhammer escaped the jam when Thomas Landis’ frozen rope went directly to Bern second baseman Raphael Hänzi for an inning-ending double play.

A two-run single by Miro Bussmann and three errors highlighted a three-run third as Bern took over the lead and the game, 5-4. Suplin’s three-run blast was the major blow in a four-run fourth, and Bussmann added another two-run double in a seven-run fifth as the Cardinals cruised to the lopsided win.

THERWIL SWEEPS SISSACH
Stefan Koller tossed one-run ball over five innings and Reto Siegel and Adrian Kaufmann each had three hits as the unbeaten Therwil Flyers built a 10-0 lead after two frames and pounded the Sissach Frogs 17-1 in the front end of a doubleheader. Koller (2-0) limited Sissach to just one unearned run and four hits before giving way to reliever Taka Oshima, who tossed a scoreless inning to seal the blowout win. The reigning Swiss champion erupted for a 11-run sixth to rout the Frogs 17-2 in the twinbill finale. Koller and Seppi Zwyer paced the Flyers’ at the plate with a combined six RBIs. Australian Chris Blackbee (2-0) surrendered one run on four hits with four strike outs to earn the win.

BARRACADUS SURPRISE LAUSANNE
The Zurich Barracudas bounced back from two Opening Day losses with a surprising twinbill sweep against the struggling Lausanne Indians Sunday in Hünenberg. The Barracudas rolled to a 18-2 victory in the opening matchup and knocked out Lausanne starter Nicolas Jaquemet in the opening frame. Andi Rüesch went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs, and Miguel Conde tallied a trio of hits and drove in four runs. Nderim Coma (1-1) scattered three hits and two runs in a six-inning complete game outing. The Barracudas finished off the sweep in the second game with a 5-3 triumph. An RBI double by American pitcher Jon Mark Walls highlighted a two-run first for Lausanne. But Zurich fought back and benefited from a costly throwing error in the seventh to take the lead for good. American Derek Bondo (1-1) allowed four hits and three runs with 12 strikeouts to notch his first win in the Swiss League.

STANDINGS:
1-Therwil (6-0) 2-Embrach (3-1) 3-Sissach (2-2) 3-Barracudas (2-2) 3-Challengers (2-2) 6-Bern (2-4) 7-Lucerne (1-3) 8-Lausanne (0-4)

Saturday, April 24
Lucerne Eagles 11, Embrach Mustangs 10
Embrach Mustangs 5, Lucerne Eagles 3
Bern Cardinals 17, Zürich Challengers 9
Bern Cardinals 9, Zürich Challengers 8

Sunday, April 25
Therwil Flyers 17, Sissach Frogs 1
Therwil Flyers 17, Sissach Frogs 2
Zürich Barracudas 18, Lausanne Indians 2
Zürich Barracudas 5, Lausanne Indians 3

Photo courtesy of Zurich Challengers

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Despaigne Wins Cuban MVP Award

CUBA – Granma outfielder Alfredo Despaigne has been named the Cuban League Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year. He joins Wilfredo Sánchez and Yulieski Gourriel as the only players to earn back-to-back MVP honors in Cuban baseball history.

Despaigne (pictured), who broke Alexei Bell’s single season record of 31 home runs in 2008-2009, has hit 87 home runs over the past three seasons. The ultra-talented slugger also captured the batting crown this year and miss winning the triple crown by just a few RBIs.

Las Tunas catcher Yosvani Alarcón and teammate Alex Guerrero headline a group of first-time All-Star selections. The 25-year-old backstop batted .318 with 26 homers and 76 RBIs, while the 23-year-old shortstop hit .343 with 19 long balls and 87 RBIs.

Industriales Lions skipper Germán Mesa and Villa Clara field general Eduardo Martin, who both steered their squads to the championship series, tied for the top manager of the year.

Metros outfielder Yusef Amador bagged Rookie of the Year honors after batting .334 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs for the league’s worst team.

2010 CUBAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM

CATCHER: Yosvani Alarcón, Las Tunas
FIRST BASE: José Dariel Abreu, Cienfuegos*
SECOND BASE: Danel Castro, Las Tunas
SHORTSTOP: Alexander Guerrero, Las Tunas
THIRD BASE: Yulieski Gourriel, Sancti Spiritus*
OUTFIELD: Alfredo Despaigne, Granma*
OUTFIELD: Alexei Bell, Santiago de Cuba
OUTFIELD: Frederich Cepeda, Sancti Spiritus
DESIGNATED HITTER: Rolando Merino, Santiago de Cuba
UTILITY: Raul Gonzalez, Ciego de Avila
RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER: Vladimir Garcia, Ciego de Avila
LEFT-HANDED PITCHER: Yulieski Gonzalez, Habana Province
RELIEF PITCHER: Dunier Ibarra, Cienfuegos

2010 CUBAN LEAGUE GOLD GLOVE WINNERS

CATCHER: Eriel Sanchez, Sancti Spiritus
FIRST BASE: Yunier Mendoza, Sancti Spiritus
SECOND BASE: Mario vega, Ciego de Avila
SHORTSTOP: Michel Gonzalez, Habana Province
THIRD BASE: Yulieski Gourriel, Sancti Spiritus*
OUTFIELD: Jorge Johnson, Las Tunas
OUTFIELD: Denis Laza, Habana Province
OUTFIELD: Juan Miguel Soriano, Cienfuegos
PITCHER: Yoelkis Cruz, Las Tunas

* Denotes unanimous selection

Photo courtesy of www.jit.cu

Source: BaseballdeCuba.com

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L&D Amsterdam Pirates Avoid Sweep

THE NETHERLANDS – Rob Cordemans pitched three scoreless innings out of the bullpen and the L&D Amsterdam Pirates survived a late rally by the Konica Minolta Pioniers to capture a narrow 3-2 win Sunday in a Dutch Major League matchup at Amsterdam.

The Pioniers struck first with a run in the second. De Flanegin opened the frame with a base hit, but was gunned down at second base on Mervin Gario’s unsuccessful sacrifice bunt. But, back-to-back singles by Jakub Malik and Linoy Croes gave the visitors the early lead.

Amsterdam answered back with a score in the fourth to knot the game. Kenny Berkenbosch tripled to straightaway center field to start the inning, and jogged home on a balk by Konica Minolta starter Shane Gnade.

The Pirates took the lead for good in the sixth with two runs thanks to a pair of defensive blunders. However, the Pioniers came charging back in the ninth to make things interesting.

Closer Pim Walsma, who relieved Cordemans (1-0) to start the final frame, hit Mark Duursma with an inside pitch to dig himself into a quick hole, and made things worse by walking Flanegin. But the right-hander induced a trio of flyouts to escape the jam with just one run and earn his first save of the year.

NEPTUNUS 13, MR.COCKER HCAW 7
DOOR Neptunus overcame a three-run deficit with a six-run third and coasted to a lopsided victory against Mr. Cocker HCAW to remain unbeaten. Raily Legito’s two-run double in the first got things rolling for the reigning Dutch champion, and RBI hits by Martjin Meeuwis and Eugene Kingsale increased the lead to 4-0 an inning later. Neptunus blew the game wide open with six runs in the third, and Kingsale craked a two-run shot in the seventh to finish the scoring. Kevin Heijstek (3-0) scattered seven runs and nine hits over five frames to claim the ugly win, while Joey Eijpe (0-1) was charged with the loss after a brief two-inning outing.

KINHEIM 2, SPARTA/FEYENOORD 1
Rene Cremer rebounded from an 0-for-4 start with a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth to lift Corendon Kinheim over Sparta/Feyenoord and complete the three-game sweep at Haarlem. The visitors tagged Kinheim starter Patrick Beljaards with a run in the second, but the home side pulled even in the sixth when Sparta/Feyenoord starter Tim Roodenburg hit Rafael Jozefa with the sacks full. The score stayed unchanged until the ninth when Cremer followed hits by Rodney Michel and Remco Draijer to capture the walk-off victory. Nick Stuifbergen (1-0) allowed two hits of 2 1/3 relief innings to nail down the win.

ALMERE 4, ADO 3 (10 INNINGS)
Giovanni Samboe drilled a game-tying, two-run homer in the ninth inning and the Almere Magpies went on to edge ADO, 4-3, in 10 innings Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series in The Hague. ADO opened the scoring in the fourth on Matt Ryan’s RBI single, and added another score in the seventh for a 2-0 lead. But Samboe, who entered’s this week’s action hitting a woeful .143, went deep to rescue the Magpies. Almere tasted its first lead in the 10th on RBI hits by Sytse Visbeen and Mitchell Graham, and survived a late scoring threat by ADO to claim their second straight one-run victory. Scott Ronnenbergh (1-0) picked up his first win of the season.

STANDINGS:
1-Neptunus (8-0) 2-Kinheim (6-1) 3-Amsterdam (4-3) 4-Almere (3-4) 4-HCAW (3-4) 6-Konica Minolta (3-5) 7-ADO (1-6) 7-Sparta/Feyenoord (1-6)

Thursday, April 22
ADO 3, Almere Magpies 2
Corendon Kinheim 11, Sparta/Feyenoord 1
Konica Minolta Pioniers 4, L&D Amsterdam 0
DOOR Neptunus 8, Mr. Cocker HCAW 1

Saturday, April 24
Almere Magpies 3, ADO 2
Corendon Kinheim 10, Sparta/Feyenoord 3
Konica Minolta Pioniers 4, L&D Amsterdam 1
DOOR Neptunus 11, Mr. Cocker HCAW 4

Sunday, April 25
Almere Magpies 4, ADO 3
Corendon Kinheim 2, Sparta/Feyenoord 1
L&D Amsterdam 3, Konica Minolta Pioniers 2
DOOR Neptunus 13, Mr. Cocker HCAW 7

Photo courtesy of Eye of The Tiger Photoproductions BV

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Chihuahua Dorados Eyeing LMB Crown

MEXICO – For a team that was facing some real problems in the offseason, the Chihuahua Dorados have made a strong showing in the early part of the current Mexican League season. Following a 2009 season in which they finished 40-67 after losing their final eleven games, the Dorados were shopped around by owner Jose Maiz (who also owns the Saltillo Saraperos). One rumor had the team being sold and shipped to the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, but a group of local investors banded together and bought the Dorados, keeping them in Chihuahua.

The Dorados then took a very proactive approach in revamping their roster after hiring Francisco “Chico” Rodriguez as manager. So far the results are promising, with Chihuahua winning 12 of their past 14 games and moving into a tie with Monterrey for first place in the LMB’s Zona Madero before dropping an 8-6 decision to Mexico City on Sunday. The Dorados are 21-14.

Although no Chihuahua player is having a lights-out season, the pitching staff is the primary reason for the Dorados’ solid start. The team’s ERA is 4.06, fourth in the league, with former major leaguer Mac Suzuki tops among starters with a 2.51 ERA (good for sixth in the Liga). Suzuki is 3-1 after seven starts. Chihuahua’s batting has been mediocre at best, although first baseman Francisco Mendez is hitting .325 with five homers over 35 games. Former major leaguers Benji Gil and Jacob Cruz are both batting less than .230, though.

STADIUM PROBLEMS MAY CAUSE OAXACA EXPULSION FROM LIGA
The Oaxaca Guerreros are facing a labor issue at their ballpark that may result in the team’s expulsion from the Mexican League…during the season. The Guerreros play at 7,200-seat Estadio Eduardo Vasconcelos, where they have a 10-5 record this season.

The stadium is owned by the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, where employees are in a dispute with the university over wages. The dispute led to the postponement of a May 22 home game against Minatitlan and the Guerreros’ home series with Veracruz this week has been shifted to the Aguilas’ Parque Beto Avila while the dispute is negotiated.

On Saturday, the Mexican League gave a 14-hour deadline to Oaxaca management to resolve the issue or move the team to another qualified city, threatening to revoke the franchise if neither is accomplished.

OTRA ENTRADAS
The Mexico City Diablos Rojos have acquired infielder Henry Mateo from Reynosa. Mateo is batting .299 and leads the LMB with 13 stolen bases, but also has 31 strikeouts in 137 at-bats. The 33-year-old Mateo is expected to play second base in place of the injured Carlos Valencia…Reynosa left-handed pitcher Brian Adams has been knocked out of action with a foot injury, likely for the rest of the season. Adams was in the Broncos’ dugout during a series against Nuevo Laredo when he was struck on the right foot by a foul ball. It was determined that Adams’ injury will keep him out of the lineup for three months, which covers the rest of the regular season. At the time of his injury, Adams was 2-0 over after six starts and was leading the Liga with a 1.07 ERA in 42 innings pitched…The Mexican Pacific League will maintain its 68-game schedule for the 2010-11 season. The Mex Pac had been considering changing its format next winter in response to the possibility that the Caribbean Series in Puerto Rico would be played in late January instead of the traditional first week of February. However, the CS will be played in February after all…The Laredo Broncos of the independent United League announced the hiring of Mexican League legend Alejandro Ortiz as batting coach for 2010. Ortiz will work under former LMB catcher and manager Dan Firova, who is the Broncos’ skipper.

Bruce Baskin is Editor/Producer at the Baseball Mexico website

Photo courtesy of i2.esmas.com

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Tenerife Marlins Pound El Llano

SPAIN – Leslie Nacar posted a whopping 17 strikeouts and Richard Montiel drove in three runs to lead the Tenerife Marlins to a 10-0 victory over El Llano Saturday in the first part of a Spanish League twinbill in Gijon.

Tenerife (13-5) touched El Llano starter Elvis Polanco for two runs in the opening frame on RBI singles by Montiel (pictured) and Javier Flores, and added a pair of scores an inning later to stretch the lead to 4-0. The Marlins put the game out of reach with a four-run ninth highlighted by a two-run single by Franklin Tavarez.

Nacar (6-3) limited El Llano to just three singles and no walks in a seven-inning complete game in a contest stopped prematurely due to the 10-run mercy rule.

The Marlins finished off the sweep with a 20-hit attack in the second game with a lopsided 19-0 rout. Montiel, who belted his seventh long ball of the season, joined teammates Tavarez, Flores and Nguyen Boulet with three hits apiece.

Ivan Granados (7-2) allowed a walk and two hits in five innings to pick up the win, and reliever Antonio Noguera collected the final three outs to seal the victory.

SANT BOI SWEEPS HALCONES
Jose Estebin Cruz tossed eight scoreless frames and Marc Carrillo drilled a two-run shot as Sant Boi completed a twinbill sweep with a 4-0 victory over the Vigo Halcones for their 17th win in 18 games. Carrillo opened the scoring in the opening frame with his third home run of the season off Vigo starter Jose Manuel Pimentel (0-2), and Sant Boi added lone runs in the fifth and eighth en route to its fourth straight win. Cruz (4-1) allowed just two hits and a pair of walks to earn the win. Sant Boi tallied seven late runs and took the first game 9-1 as Junior Guerra (5-0) struck out eight over seven solid innings on the mound.

BARCELONA STOPS VILADECANS
Oscar Angulo’s run-scoring double in the fifth broke a 2-2 deadlock and FC Barcelona extended its winning streak to seven games with a 9-4 win against Viladecans. Emmanuel Febles stroked three hits, including a pair of doubles, and had three RBIs to pace Barcelona. Delio Miguel Martinez (4-0) went the distance with 15 strikeouts to gain the win. Barcelona finished off the sweep with a 10-4 win in the weekend finale. Oscar Jimenez (2-0) worked five innings to pick up the win.

ASTROS SWEEP PAST PAMPLONA
American right-hander John Dunn racked up 12 strikeouts and Luis Galicia had two RBIs to lead the Valencia Astros past Pamplona, 7-3. Trailing 3-1 heading into the eighth, the Astros plated four runs to taste the lead, and added a pair of scores in the ninth to deal Pamplona its seventh consecutive loss. Dunn (4-4) gave up three runs and eight hits to notch the win. The Astros finished off the sweep in blowout fashion with a 14-2 win in the second game. Kevin Malone popped his third homer – a grand slam – along with two doubles while collecting five RBIs. Jordi Valles (3-3) worked seven frames to get the win.

SAN INAZIO SPLITS WITH NAVARRA
Fidel Mane Torres fanned 12 in a dominant outing and San Inazio broke open a one-run affair with a four-run seventh to knock off Baseball Navarra 5-1 in the front end of a doubleheader. Tony Granadillo and Ruben Cabrera tallied a pair of RBIs apiece for San Inazio, while Hector Perozo clubbed his seventh home run of the season for the visitors. Torres (5-4) scattered a run and eight hits in a complete game effort. Larry Infante homered and Luis Villanueva added a two-run double and Navarra bounced back to win the second game second game, 7-4. Juan Miguel Marte (2-0) worked seven solid frames to claim the win. Granadillo and Edward Adames both smacked two-run homers for Navarra.

STANDINGS:
1-Sant Boi (17-1) 2-Barcelona (14-2) 3-Tenerife (13-5) 4-Navarra (12-6) 5-San Inazio (10-8) 6-Valencia (7-11) 7-Viladecans (6-12) 8-Vigo (5-11) 9-Pamplona (4-14) 10-El Llano (0-18)

Saturday, April 24
Sant Boi 9, Vigo Halcones 1
FC Barcelona 9, Viladecans 4
Tenerife Marlins 10, El Llano 0
Tenerife Marlins 19, El Llano 0
Valencia Astros 7, Pamplona 3
Valencia Astros 14, Pamplona 2

Sunday, April 25
Sant Boi 4, Vigo Halcones 0
FC Barcelona 10, Viladecans 4
San Inazio 5, Navarra 1
Navarra 7, San Inazio 4

Photo courtesy of Tenerife Marlins

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Parma And San Marino Bag IBL Wins

ITALY – Gustavo Martinez and Justin Cicatello combined on a three-hit shutout, and Cariparma Parma completed a three-game sweep over Danesi Nettuno with a 5-0 win Sunday to move into a three-way tie for the top spot in the Italian Baseball League.

Parma (9-3) plated the only run it would need in the second when Nettuno catcher Vince Parisi allowed Juan Camilo to cross the plate on a throwing error. The visitors added two scores in the fourth on Alex Sambucci’s RBI groundout and a run-scoring single from Riccardo Bertagnon.

Meanwhile, The 34-year-old Martinez continued to shine in his new role with Parma. The former Telemarket Rimini closer, who went 1-2 with a 2.32 ERA and eight saves in 14 games last year, tossed seven dominant innings to improve his record to 3-1.

A run-scoring double off the bat of Venezuelan shortstop Marco Yepez highlighted a two-run seventh to help Parma keep pace with UGF Bologna and T&A San Marino.

Justin Cicatello tossed the final two frames to preserve the shutout and clinch the win.

Former Major Leaguer Kris Wilson (2-2, pictured), who posted a 14-9 record with an ERA of 5.44 in 95 big league games, allowed three runs and five hits with eight strikeouts in six innings to suffer the loss.

SAN MARINO 5, RIMINI 0
Carlos Duran smacked a pair of home runs and Gregory Palanzo threw six-plus scoreless innings to lead T&A San Marino past the Telemarket Rimini Pirates, 5-0, Sunday to win the rubber match of the three-game set and claim a share of the IBL lead heading into the fourth week of action.

Duran, who struck out with the bases loaded to end Saturday’s game, joined teammate Ardley Jansen with solo drives in the eight to give the visitors a 3-0 cushion. The speedy centerfielder, who clubbed six homers last year while swiping 13 bases, connected for a two-run shot in the ninth for his third long ball of the young season.

Palanzo (2-1) picked up the win with a solid 6 2/3 innings that included three hits and two walks. Reliever Chris Di Roma (1-1) was charged with the setback after a forgettable outing.

Photo courtesy of Fiorenzo Linicchi

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SK Wyverns Topple Lotte Giants

SOUTH KOREA – Park Jeong-kwon swatted two of SK five home runs and American Gary Glover scattered five hits over seven innings as Wyverns trounced the Lotte Giants 14-4 in a Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) matchup on Sunday.

Park, who went 3-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs, clubbed his fourth and fifth long balls of the year. Kim Kang-min, Jeong Sang-ho and Park Jae-hong, who capped the power display with a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth, all went deep for the KBO heavyweight.

Glover (2-1) turned in an effecting seven-inning outing allowing four runs while striking out three to notch his second win of the season.

KIA STOPS NEXEN IN 11TH
Lee Jong-beom delivered a game-winning RBI single in the 11th frame and the Kia Tigers defeated the Nexen Heroes 6-4 in a see-saw affair. The Heroes got off to a fast start behind Yoo Han-joon’s RBI double and a two-run shot by Doug Clark. But the reigning KBO champion made it a one-run game on Choi Hee-seop’s run-scoring hit in the fifth, and pulled even two innings later on an RBI single from catcher Cha Il-mok. Kia capitalized on a fielding blunder by Nexen shortstop Kang Jeong-ho to go back on top in the 10th, but Nexen knotted the score in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Yoo. Yoo Dong-hoon (3-0) was credited with the win, while Goh Won-joon (0-1) was pinned with the loss.

DOOSAN OUTLASTS SAMSUNG
Oh Jae-won and Son Si-yeon combined for six hits and five RBIs and the Doosan Bears overcame a pair of home runs to turn back the Samsung Lions 8-4. Doosan built a 5-0 lead as Oh went 3-for-5 with four RBIs, and Son added three hits. But the Lions came roaring back behind homers from Choi Hyeong-woo and Park Han-yi to get back into the game before the Bears rallied to seal the victory. Lee Hyeon-seung (1-1) allowed four hits and three runs in five-plus innings with six strikeouts to earn his first win of the year, and closer Lee Yong-chan worked the final 1 1/3 innings to claim his eighth save.

LG BLANKS HANWHA
Oh Ji-hwan broke a scoreless deadlock in the seventh with an RBI sacrifice fly and the LG Twins shutout the Hanwha Eagles 3-0 in a low-scoring affair on Sunday. LG starter Edgar Gonzalez gave up one hit and two walks with three strikeouts in six scoreless frames in a superb no-decision outing. Reliever Lee Dong-hyeon (3-0) picked up the win to remain perfect on the season, and Shinya Okamoto recorded his sixth save.

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