Categorized | Europe, Tournaments

Italy In European Championship Final

GERMANY – Chris Cooper and Yovani D’Amico combined to limit the Netherlands to a meager four hits, and Italy pounded the reigning European champion 11-3 Saturday to clinch a berth in the championship game at the 2010 European Baseball Championship. The same two squads will butt heads again on Sunday for the gold medal.

Cooper found himself in an early jam after hitting back-to-back batters in the opening frame with just one down. However, the crafty southpaw needed just six pitches to strikeout both Jason Halman and Bryan Engelhardt.

The Dutch struck paydirt in the third when Dwayne Kemp followed a leadoff walk to Shaldimar Daantji with a two-run homer. Dirk van’t Klooster reached on a single up the middle and later scored on an error to give the five-time defending champion a 3-0 advantage.

The Italians cut the lead in the fourth on a leadoff solo blast by Jairo Ramos before pulling even one frame later. Ramos singled through the right side to collect his second RBI of the contest, and Laidel Chapelli’s fielder’s choice knotted the score.

Ramos (pictured) continued his assault at the plate with a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh. Italy polished off the lopsided win with a six-run ninth showcased by long balls from Chapelli and mario Chiarini.

Cooper (1-0) allowed three runs and two hits while striking out eight in six innings of work. D’Amico tallied the final nine outs with two hits and four strikeouts to pick up the save.

Nicholas Theodorou and Mike Koutsoantonakis both homered as Greece broke open a deadlocked game with eight runs in the middle innings to pull away from France and claim fourth-place Saturday at the Heidekoepfe Ballpark in Heidenheim.

The surprising Greek squad plated four runs in the fifth without a hit to take a 7-3 lead, and Koutsoantonakis launched a two-run blast the following frame to highlight another four-run inning. Theodorou finished off the rout with a three-run shot in the ninth.

Efthymio Karkatselos (1-1) scattered three runs on nine hits in five innings to earn his first win of the tournament.

Sunday, August 1 (Championship Game)
Italy vs. Netherlands

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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