Archive | May, 2011

Switzerland: Therwil Flyers Stay Unbeaten with Sweep

SWITZERLAND – Chris Blackbee doubled and homered to help the unbeaten Therwil Flyers turn back the upset-minded Zurich Barracudas 13-7 Saturday in the first part of a Swiss League doubleheader.

The Flyers opened the contest with three first-inning scores and built a five-run cushion before the Barracudas (2-9) capitalized on several defensive miscues to close the gap to 5-4. Both squads exchanged scores until Therwil erupted for six runs in the ninth to seal the win.

Adrian Kaufmann, who went 2-for-4 at the plate, worked two scoreless relief frames to notch the win.

Therwil (14-0) completed the sweep with a 7-4 triumph in the second game. Michel La Torre tallied a trio of singles and Ianis Boutaloup went 2-for-3 with a walk and double.

Saturday, May 21
Therwil Flyers 13,7 – Zurich Barracudas 7,4*

Sunday, May 22
Bern Cardinals 11,16 – Sissach Frogs 7,2*
Luzern Eagles 11,16 – Zurich Lions 3,1*

* Doubleheader Sweep

SWISS BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Therwil Flyers 14 00 Won 14
Bern Cardinals 10 04 Won 2
Embrach Mustangs 06 04 Lost 1
Luzern Eagles 06 05 Won 3
Zurich Challengers 05 06 Won 1
Sissach Frogs 05 07 Lost 2
Zurich Barracudas 02 09 Lost 3
Zurich Lions 00 13 Lost 13

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Sweden: Karlskoga Bats Split Series with Stockholm

SWEDEN – Elias Solveling highlighted a pivotal three-run sixth with a two-run single and the Karlskoga Bats edged Stockholm 3-2 to salvage a twinbill split in the Swedish Baseball League.

Paul Waterman went the distance allowing two runs on five hits to notch his third win of the season for the reigning league champion.

Stockholm won the opening game 9-4 as Bjoern Johannessen and Matt Merrifield drove in two scores apiece. Scott Mulhearn homered and tallied three RBIs for Karlskoga.

Jakob Claesson surrendered four runs on six hits over seven frames to improve his record to 3-0.

ALBY, GOTEBORG SPLIT TWINBILL
Brian Straw-Johnson drove in three runs to lead Goteborg Hajarna to a 10-3 win over the Alby Stars. Johan Weidlof and Evan Porter combined to score eight runs. The Stars rebounded with an eight-run opening frame in the second matchup en route to a 15-9 victory.

GEFLE, LEKSAND BATTLE TO A DRAW
Mats Jones and Simon Emanuelsson both went deep and the Leksand Lumberjacks used a nine-run sixth to beat Gefle 13-3. Jones also finished up on the mound to earn the relief win. Gefle avoided the sweep with a 5-1 decision in the second encounter.

Saturday, May 21st
Goteborg 10,9 – Alby Stars 3,15
Leksand Lumberjacks 13,1 – Gefle 3,5
Stockholm 9,2 – Karlskoga Bats 4,3

SWEDISH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Karlskoga Bats 07 01 Won 1
Goteborg Hajarna 05 01 Lost 1
Stockholm 05 01 Lost 1
Leksand Lumberjacks 01 01 Lost 1
Alby Stars 02 04 Won 1
Gefle 02 05 Won 1
Swedish Baseball Academy 01 06 Won 1
Sundbyberg Heat 00 04 Lost 4

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Spain: FC Barcelona Extends Winning Streak to Eleven

SPAIN – Ricardo Hernandez struck out eight and Jesus Golindano tallied four hits to help FC Barcelona escape with a 5-4 victory Saturday against Viladecans.

Hernandez (9-0) scattered three hits and five walks in another solid outing to remain perfect on the season.

Jesus Golindano went 4-for-4 and collected the final two outs on the mound, while Jason Friedman added a pair of RBIs.

The Spanish League frontrunner captured a 7-1 win on Sunday to earn the two-game sweep. Jorge Balboa (8-0) threw a complete-game one-hitter with 11 strikeouts.

Pau Sancho drove in four scores while Golindano and Oscar Angulo combined to cross the plate four times.

VALENCIA DUMPS PAMPLONA
The Astros captured two victories against Pamplona to keep its title hopes alive. Aaron Hornostaj clubbed a solo blast and Trevor Caughey (7-1) went the distance with 19 strikeouts as Valencia settled for a 3-2 win. Edgar Aineto went 4-for-4 with a homer and six RBIs as the Astros rolled to a 12-3 win in the twinbill finale. Pedro Belmonte (7-2) worked six effective innings to get the decision.

SAN INAZIO POUNDS VIGO
San Inazio Bilbao celebrated a pair of 12-2 victories over the Vigo Halcones this past weekend. Edward Adames and Kelvin Marianucci combined for five RBIs and Jose Romero (6-3) worked six-plus frames of one-run ball in the first part of a twinbill. Asier Izaguirre hit a grand slam and Kelvin Marianucci drove in five as San Inazio completed the sweep. Alberto Magallon (4-6) allowed just two runs in 6 1/3 innings.

SANT BOI SWEEPS NAVARRA
The reigning Spanish champion stayed in the title hunt with two victories over Navarra. Jose Manuel Salazar went 6-for-6 and Xavier Civit had five hits and four RBIs as Sant Boi took the opening game, 15-6. Winston Marquez (1-1) struck out ten en route to the win. Rafael Rivas homered and Lowin Sacramento (8-2) pitched a complete game gem as Sant Boi captured a 4-1 victory.

TENERIFE CRUSHES SEVILLA
Ruben Rijkhof and Giannini Benetti combined to drive in five runs to lead the Tenerife Marlins PC to a 10-0 shutout win over the Sevilla Red Sox. The Marlins finished off the doubleheader sweep with a 12-1 win as Richard Montiel homered. Yoel Hernandez (6-2) pitched five no-hit frames to earn the decision.

Saturday, May 21
San Inazio Bilbao 12 – Vigo Halcones 2
Sant Boi 15 – Baseball Navarra 6
FC Barcelona 5 – Viladecans 4
Tenerife Marlins 10,17 – Sevilla Red Sox 0,1*

Sunday, May 22
Sant Boi 4 – Baseball Navarra 1
San Inazio Bilbao 12 – Vigo Halcones 2
FC Barcelona 7 – Viladecans 1
Valencia Astros 3,12 – Pamplona 2,3*

* Doubleheader Sweep

SPANISH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
FC Barcelona 20 02 Won 11
Sant Boi 17 05 Won 5
Tenerife Marlins 16 06 Won 3
Valencia Astros 16 06 Won 2
CB Viladecans 11 11 Lost 3
San Inazio Bilbao 11 11 Won 4
Vigo Halcones 07 15 Lost 2
Baseball Navarra 06 16 Lost 4
CD Pamplona 05 17 Lost 5
Sevilla Red Sox 01 21 Lost 8

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Italy: Unipol Bologna Leads by One Game

ITALY – Carlos Boza’s bases-loaded walk in the seventh snapped a deadlocked affair as Novara United stunned T&A San Marino 2-1 Saturday in the opening act of an Italian Baseball League doubleheader.

San Marino struck first on a third-inning blast by Tony Granato, but a solo shot off the bat of Franklin Tavarez an inning later knotted the score.

Spanish national teamer Antonio Noguera (1-3) threw one-run ball over seven frames to earn the decision.

The Titans salvaged a split with a lopsided 15-1 victory in the second game. Carlos Duran homered and collected four RBIs, while Francesco Imperiali went deep and drove in three scores.

Tiago Da Silva (2-1) struck out seven in five innings of work to tally the win.

BOLOGNA 11, GODO-VERONA 2
Mark Castellitto spearheaded a 15-hit attack with four RBIs to help Unipol Bologna trip the De Angelis North East Knights. Juan Carlos Infante, Livinston Santaniello and Joe Mazzuca each chipped in three hits. Danilo Sanchez homered for the Knights. Fabio Betto (6-0) scattered a lone hit over five shutout frames to become the IBL’s first six-game winner this season.

GROSSETO 7, RIMINI 4
Andrea Sgnaolin’s two-run double sparked a five-run seventh as Montepaschi Grosseto blew open a tight affair against Telemarket Rimini. Leadoff man Daniel Bittar drove in three scores and Luis Perez went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Brandon Chaves paced Rimini with four hits while Mario Chiarini added a three-run double. Riccardo De Santis (4-1) allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings to notch the win.

PARMA 6, NETTUNO 1
Roberto Corradini (3-1) tossed a complete game five-hitter to lead Cariparma Parma past error-prone Danesi Nettuno. Davide Dallospedale and Alex Sambucci tallied two RBIs apiece for the reigning IBL champion which moved into a three-way tie for third-place with Rimini and Grosseto.

Thursday, May 19th
Unipol Bologna 8 – North East Knights 1
Montepaschi Grosseto 5 – Telemarket Rimini 1
Danesi Nettuno 5 – Cariparma Parma 0

Friday, May 20th
North East Knights 5, Unipol Bologna 3
Telemarket Rimini 11, Montepaschi Grosseto 1
T&A San Marino 6, Novara United 0
Cariparma Parma 4, Danesi Nettuno 1

Saturday, May 21st
Unipol Bologna 8 – North East Knights 1
Montepaschi Grosseto 7 – Telemarket Rimini 4
Novara United 2,1 – T&A San Marino 1,15
Cariparma Parma 6, Danesi Nettuno 1

ITALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Unipol Bologna 14 04 Won 1
T&A San Marino 13 05 Won 1
Cariparma Parma 10 08 Won 2
Montepaschi Grosseto 10 08 Won 1
Telemarket Rimini 10 08 Lost 1
Danesi Nettuno 08 10 Lost 2
North East Knights 05 13 Lost 1
Novarra Baseball United 02 16 Lost 1

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Germany: North Division – Paderborn Untouchables Stay Unbeaten

GERMANY – The Paderborn Untouchables improved to 13-0 with a pair of lopsided wins over the HSV Stealers Saturday in the German League.

The North Division leader pounded Hamburg 16-3 in the first game. Ryan Hall drove in three runs and Eugen Heilmann worked six frames to earn the win. The Untouchables rolled to a 15-1 victory in the second encounter as Brian Fields threw six strong frames.

SOLINGEN, DORTMUND SPLIT TWINBILL
Dominik Wulf popped a three-run blast and the Solingen Alligators beat the Dortmund Wanderers 11-6 in the front end of a doubleheader. Wulf also had a two-run double while Robin Drache emptied the sacks with a two-bagger. The Wanderers blanked Solingen 3-0 in the second game as Matt Kemp struck out seven in a complete game win.

DOHREN, BERLIN SPLIT TWINBILL
The Berlin Sluggers dug out of an early five-run hole to slip past the Dohren Wild Farmers 10-8. Kevin Cooray’s two-run single in the ninth proved to be the difference. Dohren salvaged a split with a 9-0 victory in the second game. Garrett Rogers struck out 13 in a dominant complete game effort.

BONN SWEEPS PULHEIM
The Bonn Capitals extended its winning streak to 11 games with two victories over the Pulheim Gophers. Bonn took the opening contest 10-4 before rolling to an 18-2 triumph in the twinbill finale.

Saturday, May 21st
Paderborn Untouchables 16,15 – HSV Stealers 3,1*
Berlin Sluggers 10,0 – Dohren Wild Farmers 8,9

Sunday, May 22nd
Bonn Capitals 10,18 – Pulheim Gophers 4,2*
Solingen Alligators 11,0 – Dortmund Wanderers 6,3

* Doubleheader Sweep

GERMAN NORTH DIVISION

Team Won Lost Streak
Paderborn Untouchables 13 00 Won 13
Bonn Capitals 12 03 Won 11
Solingen Alligators 09 05 Lost 1
HSV Stealers 08 06 Lost 2
Dortmund Wanderers 05 09 Won 1
Pulheim Gophers 05 11 Lost 11
Dohren Wild Farmers 03 11 Won 1
Berlin Sluggers 02 12 Lost 1

 

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France: Savigny Lions Hold onto First Place with Sweep

FRANCE – The Savigny Lions remained the frontrunner in the French League with a doubleheader sweep last Sunday over Paris Universitie Club (PUC).

The Lions (12-2) took the first game 11-2 as Vincent Ferreira collected three RBIs. Pierrick Lemestre (2-2) limited PUC to just a lone hit in six solid innings.

Savigny finished off the sweep with a 15-7 win in the second contest. Ferreira drove in three more scores while Oscar Saavedra paced Paris with four RBIs.

Clayton Cooper worked eight innings to earn the decision.

SENART SWEEPS ROUEN
The Senart Templiers needed extra-innings to claim a rare sweep over the Rouen Huskies. Kevin Atkinson drilled a walk-off, three-run double as Senart won the twinbill opener, 7-6. The talented American homered and picked up the relief win as the Templiers prevailed 6-5 in the second encounter.

MONTPELLIER WHITEWASHES MONTIGNY
The Montpellier Barracudas took a pair of games against the winless Montigny Cougars. Gregory Cros (1-0) fanned seven in six solid frames and Anthony Cros went deep twice as the Barracudas celebrated a 4-2 win in the first game. Rudolph Ware (3-0) remained unbeaten on the hill as Montpellier moved within one game of first-place with a 16-3 victory in the twinbill finale.

TOULOUSE SPLITS WITH PESSAC
Andy Paz and Jose Mendoza combined to drive in six runs to help Stade Toulousain spank the Pessac Panthers 13-0 in the front end of a doubleheader. However, the Panthers raced out to an early 6-0 lead en route to a 10-5 win in the second game. Maxwell Tyler (2-2) picked up the win.

Sunday, May 22nd
Senart Templiers 7,6 – Rouen Huskies 6,5*
Stade Toulousain Baseball 13,5 – Pessac Panthers 0,10
Montpellier Barracudas 4,16 – Montigny Cougars 3,3*
Savigny Lions 11,15 – Paris Universitie Club 2,7*

* Doubleheader Sweep

FRENCH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Savigny Lions 12 02 Won 5
Montpellier Barracudas 11 03 Won 8
Senart Templiers 12 04 Won 4
Rouen Huskies 10 06 Lost 2
Pessac Panthers 08 08 Won 1
Stade Toulousain 05 11 Lost 1
Paris Universite Club 04 12 Lost 7
Montigny Cougars 00 16 Lost 16

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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The Netherlands: DOOR Neptunus Take 2 of 3 from Vaessen Pioniers

THE NETHERLANDS – Eugene Kingsale drove in four runs and Kevin van Veen worked five innings of one-run ball as DOOR Neptunus crushed the Vaessen Pioniers 10-1 Sunday in a Dutch League matchup at Familie Stadion in Rotterdam.

Kingsale went 4-for-5, including a two-run single in a game-deciding five-run rally in the seventh. The former Chicago Cubs prospect is hitting .329 (25-for-76) with 21 runs scored and five stolen bases.

van Veen (1-1) issued seven hits and three walks to earn his first win of the season.

KINHEIM 11, SPARTA/FEYENOORD 6
Jason Halman homered and drove in three scores as Corendon Kinheim completed a three-game sweep over Sparta/Feyenoord. The top of the lineup for Kinheim (Halman, Remco Draijer and Rene Cremer) finished a combined 9-for-14 with six runs scored, five RBIs, three doubles and a homer. Nick Veltkamp (3-1) threw six solid frames to nab the win.

ADO 7, HCAW 5
Leadoff man Gyenuar Lopez reached base five times and drove in a pair of runs to help ADO avoid a series sweep. Jair Roseburg and Harvey Gumbs also tallied two RBIs for The Hague-based club. Quincy Lambertina (1-1) scattered three runs over five-plus frames.

TENSIONS HALT UVV-AMSTERDAM CONTEST
UVV held a commanding 14-7 advantage over the L&D Amsterdam Pirates before the game was stopped in the ninth after both teams benches cleared twice for some heated verbal exchanges.

Thursday, May 19th
Mr. Cocker HCAW 12, ADO 2
Corendon Kinheim 5, Sparta/Feyenoord 3
L&D Amsterdam 11, UVV 1
DOOR Neptunus 6, Vaessen Pioniers 0

Saturday, May 21st
Mr. Cocker HCAw 14, ADO 0
Corendon Kinheim 10, Sparta/Feyenoord 3
UVV 12, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 7
Vaessen Pioniers 2 – DOOR Neptunus 1

Sunday, May 22nd
ADO 7, Mr. Cocker HCAW 5
Corendon Kinheim 11, Sparta/Feyenoord 6
DOOR Neptunus 10, Vaessen Pioniers 1

DUTCH MAJOR LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
L&D Amsterdam Pirates 16 04 Lost 1
DOOR Neptunus 16 05 Won 1
Corendon Kinheim 13 05 Won 4
Vaessen Pioniers 11 07 Lost 1
UVV 07 10 Won 1
Mr. Cocker HCAW 05 13 Lost 1
Sparta/Feyenoord 04 14 Lost 3
ADO 02 16 Won 1

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Belgium: Namur Angels Take Two from Brasschaat Braves

BELGIUM – Justin Latta worked eight scoreless frames and the Namur Angels blanked the Brasschaat Braves 6-0 Saturday in the Belgian League

Cleanup hitter Angel Rosario Williams drove in Mike Perkins with a single up the middle in the first, and later scored on a passed ball to put the Angels up 2-0.

Namur struck again the next inning when Florentin Goyens drilled a three-bagger to right field, andlater scored on a wild pitch. Goyens also singled and scored in the eighth.

The Angels whipped the Braves 13-10 in Antwerp the following day to finish off the weekend series sweep. American catcher Mike Perkins had a career day, going 5-5 in the game with 3 runs scored and an RBI triple as Namur plated seven runs in the opening frame.

Saturday, May 21st
Namur Angels 6 – Brasschaat Braves 0
Hoboken Pioneers 10 – Mortsel Stars 3
Merchtem Cats 16 – Deurne Spartans 1
Borgerhout Squirrels 6 – Royal Greys 5

Sunday, May 22nd
Namur Angels 13 – Brasschaat Braves 10
Royal Greys 12 – Borgerhout Squirrels 8
Mortsel Stars 14 – Hoboken Pioneers 12
Deurne Spartans 6 – Merchtem Cats 4

BELGIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Royal Greys 11 03 Won 1
Borgerhout Squirrels 09 05 Lost 1
Namur Angels 09 05 Won 5
Hoboken Pioneers 08 06 Lost 1
Deurne Spartans 06 08 Won 1
Brasschaat Braves 05 09 Lost 2
Mortsel Stars 05 09 Won 1
Merchtem Cats 03 11 Lost 1

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Austria: Attnang Puchheim Athletics Extend Winning Streak to Six

AUSTRIA – The Vienna Wanderers got back-to-back homers from Jan Machian and Clemens Cichocki to beat the Schwaz Tigers 9-1 in the front end of an Austrian Baseball League doubleheader. Johannes Godler worked six shutout innings to get the win.

The Wanderers (6-2) took the second game 5-1 as Chris Magarian went the distance to pick up the win.

In other ABL action last weekend, the Attnang Puchheim Athletics pounded the SU Kufstein Vikings twice, 9-1 and 15-2, while the Stock City Cubs dealt the Rico Highlanders a pair of losses (7-6 and 4-1). The final matchup on slate had the Vienna Metrostars stopping the Schwechat Blue Bats, 8-5 and 9-4.

Saturday, May 21st
Stock City Cubs 7,4 – Rico Highlanders 6,1*
Attnang-Puchheim Athletics 9,15 – SU Kufstein Vikings 1,2*

Sunday, May 22nd
Vienna Wanderers 9,5 – Schwaz Tigers 1,1*
Vienna Metrostars 8,9 – Schwechat Blue Bats 5,4*

* Doubleheader Sweep

AUSTRIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Attnang-Puchheim Athletics 10 02 Won 6
Vienna Wanderers 06 02 Won 2
Vienna Metrostars 04 02 Won 2
Schwaz Tigers 04 06 Lost 3
Stock City Cubs 03 05 Won 3
Schwechat Blue Bats 04 06 Lost 2
SU Kufstein Vikings 02 04 Lost 3
Rico Highlanders 01 07 Lost 2

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Baseball Canada announces National Championship Schedules

Press Release Baseball Canada

OTTAWA- Championship season is right around the corner! With baseball well underway in most parts of the country right now, Baseball Canada has released the schedules of all nine National Championships.

To kick things off the Senior Women’s Invitational and Bantam Girls Championship will take place concurrently in North York, ON beginning on July 27th and ending on July 30th with medal games. If necessary, July 31st will be used as a rain date.

After a two-year run in Kindersley, SK, the Baseball Canada Cup heads east to Moncton, NB as some of the best 17 and under players in the country battle for a National Championship. The event kicks-off on August 10th and runs until the 15th. British Columbia comes into Moncton as the two-time defending champion.

Two championships will run from August 18th-22nd as the Midget Championship is set for Regina, SK and the Junior Championship takes place in Windsor, ON.

The Peewee Western, Bantam Boys and Senior Men’s Championships are all scheduled from August 25th-28th. Nanaimo, BC will host the Peewee Western, while the Bantam Boys returns to Vaughan, ON for the third consecutive year and the Senior Men’s stays on the east coast, but moves to Chatham, NB after being held in Dartmouth, NS last year.

Dartmouth will still have championship baseball this year as the Peewee Atlantic event will be held in the Maritime city from September 8th-12th.

All National Championship schedules have been posted on Baseball.ca and can be accessed by clicking HERE, whereby you can visit each individual championships website.

Once again, LIVE scoring for all National Championships will be available courtesy of Pointstreak!

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Asia Series 2011 opens November 25

Press Release Asia Series 2011 Steering Committee

Asia Series 2011 will open on November 25th with champs from Australia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

?05/18 Taipei?The Asia Series, which will be held for the first time in three years, will take place on November 25th as championship teams from ABL (Australia), KBO (Korea), NPB (Japan) coming to Taiwan and take on the championship team of CPBL (Taiwan) for the title of “Asian Champions”.

The Asia Series, inaugurated in 2005, was stopped after the completion of the 2008 tournament. The Chinese Professional Baseball League successfully secures the supports form the Executive Committee of the Asia Series to hold the Series in Taiwan. CPBL also held the “2010 CPBL-KBO Club Championship”, a successfully-ran tournament, as the warm-up operation for the Asia Series 2011.

The original plan to open the Asia Series 2011 on November 11th was jeopardized due to the earthquake and tsunami attack to Japan in March. As NPB delayed its opening, the modified schedule of Japan Series conflicts the originally planned schedule of Asia Series. During the “Asia & Oceania Baseball Summit” and “Asia Series Steering Committee Meeting” held in April, detail and through discussions regarding the responding plan of the NPB schedule were made and brought back to each League for further discussions.

As a result with confirmation from each participating leagues, the Asia Series Steering Committee hereby announces the confirmed participants and tournament schedule information for the Asia Series 2011 as followed.

Asia Series 2011
Participants Tournament Schedule
NPB 2011 Championship Team – 2011 Japan Series winner 11/23 Arrivals
11/24 Practice
KBO 2011 Championship Team – 2011 Korea Series winner 11/25 Preliminary Game 1 & 2
11/26 Preliminary Game 3 & 4
ABL 2010-2011 Championship Team – Perth Heat will represent ABL in the Series 11/27 Preliminary Game 5 & 6
11/28 Off-Day / Makeup Day
CPBL 2011 Championship Team – 2011 Taiwan Series winner 11/29 Final Game
11/30 Departures

 

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Chinese Taipei Baseball Association announces beginning of Olympic Reinstatement Campaign

Taipei City, Chinese Taipei – The Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA), in conjunction with the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and Ministry of Sport have announced the beginning of its Olympic Reinstatement Campaign.

Present at the press conference was Mrs. Tai, Shia-Ling – Minister of Sports, Mr. Thomas W. Tsai – President Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, Mr. Riccardo Fraccari – President IBAF, Mr. Chen, Tai-Cheng   – President CTBA, Mr. Tom C.H. Peng   -Member at large IBAF and Kao, Chih-Kang Athletes representative and Two-time Olympic baseball participant.

The campaign includes full support at the highest levels, including the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Sports, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association and the IBAF. Mrs Tai, the Minister of Sports noted about baseball,

“A sports worthy to be part of the Olympic movement, as a sport that promotes health, builds character and Sportsmanship” said the Minister of Sports.

In conjunction with high-level support, the campaign also features fan level activities, notably banners in all 130-train stations across Chinese Taipei allowing fans of the game and Olympic Baseball the opportunity to sign to indicate support for reinstatement.

IBAF President Riccardo Fraccari had the opportunity to address the press conference, applauding the efforts of Chinese Taipei, and emphasizing the need for continued globally coordinated action, especially with the looming decision of the IOC Executive Board scheduled for July 4th. (The day when the IOC executive board will decide which sports will be a candidate for the 32nd Olympiad in 2020.) President Fraccari also stressed the need to clearly demonstrate that baseball is inclusive and accessible, includes all types of athletes be it males, females, youth, adults, and athletes with disabilities.

The IBAF and President Fraccari will return to Chinese Taipei in July, for the IBAF 12U Baseball World Championship.

Courtesy IBAF.org

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Switzerland: Therwil Flyers Extend Winning Streak to Twelve

SWITZERLAND – The unbeaten Therwil Flyers nabbed a pair of one-run wins against the Bern Cardinals last Sunday to extend its winning streak in the Swiss League to 12 games.

Daniel Eichenberger went 3-for-4 Reto Siegel’s go-ahead, two-run double in the eighth proved to be the difference as the Flyers grabbed a 4-3 decision in the first game. Taka Oshima added a solo homer for the Flyers.

Eichenberger drilled a clutch three-run long ball in the second affair as Therwil prevailed 4-3 over the reigning Swiss champion. Relievers Hide Oshima and JB Tucker tallied the final six outs to seal the win.

Saturday, May 14th
Luzern Eagles 7 – Zurich Barracudas 6
Embrach Mustangs 9,4 – Zurich Challengers 4,8

Sunday, May 15th
Therwil Flyers 4,4 – Bern Cardinals 3,3*
Sissach Frogs 9,13 – Zurich Lions 5,2*

* Doubleheader Sweep

SWISS BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Therwil Flyers 12 00 Won 12
Bern Cardinals 08 04 Lost 2
Embrach Mustangs 06 04 Lost 1
Sissach Frogs 05 05 Won 2
Zurich Challengers 05 06 Won 1
Luzern Eagles 04 05 Won 1
Zurich Barracudas 02 07 Lost 1
Zurich Lions 00 11 Lost 11

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Sweden: Karlskoga Bats Sweep Gefle

SWEDEN – Kenta Sato fanned seven in another eye-raising outing on the hill to lead the Karlskoga Bats to a 4-2 win over Gefle in the front end of a Swedish League doubleheader last Saturday.

Sato (3-0) scattered a walk and two hits over six shutout innings, while Christoffer Johansson tallied a pair of RBIs for the reigning league champion.

The Bats completed the sweep with a lopsided 15-1 victory in the twinbill finale. Paul Waterman (2-0) walked two and struck out nine in five hitless frames. Elias Solveling and Jesper Joelsson combined to drive in six runs.

Saturday, May 14th
Goteborg 11,12 – Sundbyberg Heat 1,8*
Stockholm 11,15 – Alby Stars 1,5*
Karlskoga Bats 4,15 – Gefle 2,1*

* Doubleheader Sweep

SWEDISH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Karlskoga Bats 05 00 Won 5
Goteborg Hajarna 04 00 Won 4
Stockholm 04 00 Won 4
Alby Stars 01 02 Lost 2
Gefle 01 04 Lost 2
Leksand Lumberjacks 00 00 Won 0
Sundbyberg Heat 00 04 Lost 4
Swedish Baseball Academy 00 05 Lost 5

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Spain: FC Barcelona Extends Winning Streak to Nine

SPAIN – FC Barcelona continued its quest for a Spanish Baseball League crown with a doubleheader sweep last weekend against the Valencia Astros.

Ricardo Hernandez tossed a one-hit shutout as Barcelona took the first game, 1-0. Hernandez (8-0) struck out 13 and walked a pair to win a pitching duel over Trevor Caughey (6-1).

Jose Luis Riera tripled twice and tallied three RBIs to help Barcelona finish off the sweep with a 10-0 blowout win. Jorge Balboa (7-0) and Oscar Gimenez limited opposing hitters to just six hits.

Saturday, May 14th
Vigo Halcones 8,9 – Baseball Navarro 7,6*
FC Barcelona 1,10 – Valencia Astros 0,0*
Sant Boi 15,8 – Sevilla Red Sox 0.0*
Viladecans 4 – Tenerife Marlins PC 2

Sunday, May 15th
Tenerife Marlins PC 7 – Viladecans 3
San Inazio Bilbao 7,3 – Pamplona 0,2*

* Doubleheader Sweep

SPANISH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
FC Barcelona 18 02 Won 9
Sant Boi 15 05 Won 3
Tenerife Marlins 14 06 Won 1
Valencia Astros 14 06 Lost 3
CB Viladecans 11 09 Lost 1
San Inazio Bilbao 09 11 Won 2
Vigo Halcones 07 13 Won 4
Baseball Navarra 06 14 Lost 2
CD Pamplona 05 15 Lost 3
Sevilla Red Sox 01 19 Lost 6

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Germany: South Division – Buchbinder Legionaere Strengthen Hold on Top Spot

GERMANY – The Buchbinder Legionaere (Regensburg) knocked off the Heidenheim Heidekoepfe twice last weekend to tighten its grip on the top spot in the South Division of the German League.

Mike Bolsenbroek posted eight strikeouts over six scoreless frames to help the reigning German champion roll to a 13-0 win last Friday night. Petr Cech paced the offensive attack with three hits and five RBIs.

The Legionaere grabbed an early 4-2 advantage in the second meeting on Saturday and prevailed 4-3 to sweep the two-game set. Boris Bokaj picked up the win out of the bullpen.

Friday, May 13th
Buchbinder Legionaere 13 – Heidenheim Heidekoepfe 0

Saturday, May 14th
Buchbinder Legionaere 4 – Heidenheim Heidekoepfe 3
Haar Disciples 9,6 – Bad Homburg Hornets 4,3*

Sunday, May 15th
Gauting Indians 12,6 – Mannheim Tornados 9,8

* Doubleheader Sweep

GERMAN SOUTH DIVISION

Team Won Lost Streak
Buchbinder Legionaere 08 02 Won 5
Heidenheim Heidekoepfe 05 05 Lost 2
Mannheim Tornados 06 04 Won 1
Mainz Athletics 06 04 Lost 1
Haar Disciples 07 05 Won 3
Bad Homburg Hornets 02 08 Lost 5
Gauting Indians 02 08 Lost 1

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Germany: North Division – Paderborn Sweeps Solingen

GERMANY – The Paderborn Untouchables captured a pair of come-from-behind wins last weekend to sweep a German League North Division doubleheader against the Solingen Alligators.

The Alligators raced out to a 5-0 lead in the first game before the unbeaten U’s put together five-run frames in both the fifth and seventh innings to claim a 10-5 win. Eugen Heilmann notched the relief win. American Chris Beck stroked four hits in his first game back on German soil.

Paderborn spotted the reigning division champion four runs in the second game before pulling out a 7-6 victory. Heilmann came out of the bullpen to garner his second win of the day.

Saturday, May 14th
Dortmund Wanderers 18,0 – Dohren Wild Farmers 2,1
Bonn Capitals 11,11 – Berlin Sluggers 0,0*

Sunday, May 15th
HSV Stealers 15,6 – Pulheim Gophers 3,3*
Paderborn Untouchables 10,7 – Solingen Alligators 5,6*

* Doubleheader Sweep

GERMAN NORTH DIVISION

Team Won Lost Streak
Paderborn Untouchables 11 00 Won 11
Bonn Capitals 10 03 Won 9
Solingen Alligators 08 04 Lost 2
HSV Stealers 08 04 Won 4
Pulheim Gophers 05 09 Lost 9
Dortmund Wanderers 04 08 Lost 1
Dohren Wild Farmers 02 10 Won 1
Berlin Sluggers 01 09 Lost 9

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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France: Rouen Huskies Pull off Ninth Inning Win Against Montigny Cougars

FRANCE – Aldo Ramelet’s game-winning single in the ninth lifted the Rouen Huskies past the winless Montigny Cougars 3-2 Sunday and complete a twinbill sweep in the French League.

Joris Bert (2-0) collected the final three outs to notch the relief win.

The reigning French champion routed the Cougars 13-0 in the first encounter. Kenji Hagiwara scored four runs and Boris Marche added a pair of RBIs.

American Jordan Crystal (3-1) racked up 10 strikeouts while limiting Montigny to three hits and two walks over six scoreless innings.

Sunday, May 15th
Rouen Huskies 13,3 – Montigny Cougars 0,2*
Montpellier Barracudas 9,10 – Stade Toulousain Baseball 5,1*
Senart Templiers 11,12 – Paris Universitie Club 1,9*
Savigny Lions 13,5 – Pessac Panthers 2,4*

* Doubleheader Sweep

FRENCH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Savigny Lions 10 02 Won 3
Montpellier Barracudas 09 03 Won 6
Rouen Huskies 10 04 Won 5
Senart Templiers 10 04 Won 2
Pessac Panthers 07 07 Lost 2
Paris Universite Club 04 10 Lost 5
Stade Toulousain 04 10 Lost 4
Montigny Cougars 00 14 Lost 14

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Belgium: Namur Angels Take Two from Merchtem Cats

BELGIUM – Justin Latta threw his first complete game of the season as the visiting Namur Angels defeated the Merchtem Cats 4-3 Saturday in the Belgian League.

Latta, who walked six and struck out seven, surrendered three runs on six hits in an impressive outing.

The Angels put the finishing touches on their second sweep of the season the following day by routing the visiting Merchtem Cats 15-5. With the win, the Angels moved into third place in the Belgian League and improved their season record to 7-5.

Saturday, May 14th
Royal Greys 5 – Mortsel Stars 3
Namur Angels 4 – Merchtem Cats 3
Deurne Spartans 2 – Brasschaat Braves 1
Borgerhout Squirrels 8 – Hoboken Pioneers 5

Sunday, May 15th
Namur Angels 15 – Merchtem Cats 5
Brasschaat Braves 4 – Deurne Spartans 3
Royal Greys 11 – Mortsel Stars 1
Hoboken Pioneers 5 – Borgerhout Squirrels 2

BELGIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Royal Greys 10 02 Won 4
Borgerhout Squirrels 08 04 Lost 1
Hoboken Pioneers 07 05 Won 1
Namur Angels 07 05 Won 3
Brasschaat Braves 05 07 Won 1
Deurne Spartans 05 07 Lost 1
Mortsel Stars 04 08 Lost 3
Merchtem Cats 02 10 Lost 8

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Austria: Attnang-Puchheim Athletics Take Two from Vienna

AUSTRIA – The Attnang-Puchheim Athletics took a pair of hard-fought wins against the Vienna Metrostars last weekend in the Austrian Baseball League.

The reigning ABL champion jumped out to a 4-0 lead en route to a 4-1 triumph in the opening act of a twinbill. Staff ace Walter Strasser picked up the impressive win.

The A’s completed the sweep with a pair of seventh-inning scores to earn a 2-0 win in a rain-marred second meeting.

Saturday, May 14th
Attnang-Puchheim Athletics 4,2 – Vienna Metrostars 1,0*
SU Kufstein Vikings 6,0 – Schwechat Blue Bats 3,14

Sunday, May 15th
Schwaz Tigers 10,2 – Stock City Cubs 2,5

* Doubleheader Sweep

AUSTRIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Attnang-Puchheim Athletics 08 02 Won 4
Vienna Wanderers 04 02 Lost 1
Schwaz Tigers 04 04 Lost 1
Schwechat Blue Bats 04 04 Won 1
SU Kufstein Vikings 02 02 Lost 1
Vienna Metrostars 02 02 Lost 2
Stock City Cubs 01 05 Won 1
Rico Highlanders 01 05 Won 1

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Pecos League Opening Day

New this year in independent league baseball is the Pecos League. The league formed this season with 6 teams all located in New Mexico and Texas with the thought to further expand in Texas and other locations in the future. Several of the teams are from the Continental Baseball League that folded after last season. The league will play a 68 game regular season, and play began on Tuesday in Ruidoso.

Game 1 of the league featured the Roswell Invaders, with some of the greatest uniforms of all time, going up against the Ruidoso Osos.

What is gaining a lot of attention on the homepage of the league is the statement of, “The league’s high power offenses are fueled by high altitudes and smaller ballparks.” The first 2 games of the season definitely lived up to that statement.

Game 1 featured a slug fest between Ruidoso and Roswell. Roswell scored 13 runs, but still fell up quite a bit short.

Roswell Invaders 13, Ruidoso Osos 19

Ruidoso started off strong scoring 3 runs in the first 2 innings, and they never let up after that. They went on to score 6 in the 3rd inning, 8 in the 5th inning, and 2 more in the 7th. They pounded out 18 hits and took advantage of the Invaders 5 errors.

The Roswell Invaders’ first baseman Matt Palko (2-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 runs) hit the first home run in Pecos League history leading off the 2nd inning. Jake Burns (1-for-5, 4 RBI) and Brian Ramirez (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 3 runs) also went deep for Roswell.

Ruidoso also did their share of hitting. Shortstop Chris Davis (1-for-4, 3 RBI, 2 runs) and catcher Kip Masadua (2-for-4, 1 run, 3 RBI) both went deep for the Osos. Lead off hitter and center fielder Drew Paterson led the way going 4-for-6 with 4 runs scored.

Both starting pitchers struggled. Nick Shoup gave up 14 runs on 11 hits and 4 walks while striking out 4 over 4 innings for the Roswell Invaders. The Osos starter Erick Campos also went 4 innings giving up 10 runs on 9 hits and 4 walks while striking out 4.

Game 2 played on Wednesday featured almost as much offense.

Roswell Invaders 10, Ruidoso Osos 16

You can find more information on the league and what is happening at PecosLeague.com.

The 6 teams in the league consist of the following:
Roswell Invaders
Ruidoso Osos
White Sands Pupfish
Las Cruces Vaqueros
Alpine Cowboys
Carlsbad Bats

A few photos from opening day between Roswell and Ruidoso:

Photos Courtesy PecosLeague.com
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Italy: T&A San Marino Splits with Telemarket Rimini

ITALY – Lorenzo Avagnina singled home the go-ahead score in the ninth to help T&A San Marino knock off the Telemarket Rimini Pirates 3-1 last Saturday night in the back end of an Italian Baseball League doubleheader.

The Titans, which are tied atop the IBL standings with Unipol Bologna, fell behind quickly as former big leaguer put the Pirates on top in the opening frame with an RBI sacrifice fly. The score remained unchanged until the seventh when Wuillians Vasquez smacked a solo homer to knot the score.

Francesco Imperiali doubled home Avagnina for an insurance run in the final frame to seal the win. Reliever Luca Martignoni (1-0) was credited with the win.

Phelps clubbed a two-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Pirates to a 6-5 win in the first game. Giovanni Pantaleoni went deep for the Titans and Pete Sikaras (1-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Ivan Granados.

San Marino opened the series last Thursday with an easy 12-1 victory. Giovanni Pantaleoni highlighted a seven-run fourth with a grand slam, and Carlos Duran homered and tallied four RBIs. Mario Chiarini went deep for Rimini.

Henry Bonilla (3-0) issued one run on three hits and a walk over seven impressive innings to garner the win.

BOLOGNA TAKES SERIES AGAINST NETTUNO
Unipol Bologna stopped Danesi Nettuno twice to win the weekend series and remain tied for the top spot in the IBL. Nettuno parlayed a five-run rally in the seventh into a 5-3 victory Friday night to take the opener. Juan Camilo and Renato Imperiali tallied two hits apiece. Fernando Gutierrez (1-0) came out of the bullpen to defuse a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, and Remigio Leal worked three scoreless innings to notch the save.

Bologna regrouped a day later to take both ends of a doubleheader. Daniele Malengo capped a four-run third with an RBI double as the home side claimed a 5-3 win. American right-hander Cody Cillo (2-0) scattered three runs and six hits over eight frames. Camilo hit his second homer of the season for Nettuno.

Fabio Betto (4-0) tossed six-plus innings of one-run ball to lead Bologna to a 7-1 victory in the rubber match. Juan Carlos Infante went 3-for-4 with a trio of RBIs, while Juan Pablo Angrisano drove in a pair of scores.

PARMA SWEEPS NOVARA UNITED
Cariparma Parma extended its winning streak to five games with a series sweep over Novara United. The reigning Italian Series champion won the opening game 7-2 Friday night as Romanian hurler Mihai Burlea (3-0) worked 6 2/3 effective frames. Marco Yepez and Orlando Munoz combined to go 5-for-7 with five RBIs.

Marco Grifantini (1-1) threw six shutout innings and Parma blanked Novara 3-0 Saturday in the first part of a twinbill despite managing just four hits. Riccardo Bertagnon’s RBI groundout in the second proved to be the game-winning score, and Yepez and Stefano De Simoni added late run-scoring singles to seal the win.

Bologna rolled to a lopsided 20-1 victory in the series finale. Munoz and Bertagnon both collected five RBIs as Bologna erupted for 20 hits. Roberto Corradini (2-0) allowed a run on three hits and a walk in five innings to post the win.

GROSSETO CONTINUES NORTH EAST WOES
Montepaschi Grosseto continued its winning ways with a three-game sweep over the North East Knights. Leonardo De Donno’s grand slam highlighted a six-run fourth to help Grosseto roll to a 10-1 victory in the series opener last Friday. Alessandro Vaglio and Luca Bischeri combined to drive in four scores. Jean Granado (2-2) scattered a lone run on four hits and three walks over six innings to earn the decision.

Manuel Gasparri drove in three runs with four hits and Grosseto took the opening game of a twinbill on Saturday, 8-6. Terrence McClain homered for the Knights. Yovany D’Amico (1-1) worked four-plus scoreless relief innings to notch the win.

Grosseto completed the doubleheader sweep with a 5-2 triumph in the second encounter. Riccardo De Santis (3-0) threw no-hit ball over eight frames before running out of the gas in the ninth. Bischeri knocked home a pair of runs with three hits. Stefano Naldoni’s two-run double in the final inning foiled the shutout bid.

ITALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
T&A San Marino 09 03 Won 1
Unipol Bologna 09 03 Won 2
Montepaschi Grosseto 08 04 Won 4
Telemarket Rimini 08 04 Lost 1
Cariparma Parma 07 05 Won 5
Danesi Nettuno 05 07 Lost 2
North East Knights 01 11 Lost 5
Novarra Baseball United 01 11 Lost 11

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Netherlands: L&D Amsterdam Pirates Sweep HCAW

THE NETHERLANDS – Seb Visser capped a five-run fifth with a clutch two-run single to lift the L&D Amsterdam Pirates to a 6-5 victory Sunday over Mr. Cocker HCAW in a Dutch League matchup in Amsterdam. With the win, the league-leading Pirates finished off a three-game sweep and dealt HCAW its eighth consecutive setback.

The Pirates tagged HCAW starter Moises Melendez with a score in the first inning on Bas de Jong’s RBI single before the visitors charged back in the fifth with five runs highlighted by a three-run blast off the bat of Lennart Koster. However, Amsterdam answered back in the bottom of the same frame to grab the lead for good.

Frank van Heijst (1-0) lowered his ERA to 0.75 with 1 1/3 scoreless relief innings.

Amsterdam celebrated a 9-4 triumph a day earlier as Bas Nooij drove in three scores and reached base five times on a single, two doubles, and a pair of walks. Jos de Jong (3-0) allowed four runs and eight hits over six innings to earn the decision.

The Pirates opened the series last Thursday with an 8-4 win as Vince Rooi tallied four doubles. Percy Isenia went 4-for-4 with an RBI, and Sidney de Jong homered and reached base three times on walks. Rob Cordemans ()fanned eight while allowing two runs and four hits in seven strong innings.

KINHEIM WHITEWASHES ADO
Corendon Kinheim got back on the winning track with three victories against ADO. Dirk van’t Klooster’s two-run triple highlighted a three-run seventh on Thursday as the visitors claimed a 4-1 win. David Bergman (3-0) worked eight strong innings to get the decision.

Duko Jansen (2-0) struck out nine over eight solid frames to help Kinheim roll to a 7-1 triumph on Saturday. Rene Cremer led the offense with a 4-for-5 effort at the plate and two RBIs.

Bryan Engelhardt doubled and homered to lead Kinheim to a 9-0 victory one day later in the series finale. Nick Veltkamp (2-1) surrendered five hits and two walks in six stellar innings to earn the win.

NEPTUNUS TROUNCES SPARTA/FEYENOORD
DOOR Neptunus outscored their crosstown rivals 31-4 en route to a trio of victories in Rotterdam. The two-time defending Dutch champion used a six-run eighth to take the series opener 9-0 last Thursday. Rien Vernooij drove in four scores with a double and a triple, while Eugene Kingsale added two extra-base hits. Diegomar Markwell (3-1) threw six innings of one-hit ball to notch the win.

Vernooij continued swinging the bat well on Saturday with a pair of three-run doubles to help Neptunus post a lopsided 20-4 victory. Shaldimar Daantji paced a 22-hit attack with a single, triple and a couple of two-baggers. Kevin Heijstek (3-1) allowed a run and three hits in five innings to pick up the win.

Neptunus extended its winning streak to seven games the following day with a 2-0 victory as Craig Anderson (2-1) and three relievers combined on a three-hitter. Former Chicago Cubs farmhand Dwayne Kemp went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a pair of walks.

PIONIERS SWEEP PAST UVV
The Vaessen Pioniers moved into fourth place with a three game sweep over UVV in Hoofddorp. The hometown squad opened the series with a convincing 11-2 win Thursday as De Flanegin homered and tallied four RBIs. Nik Gumeson drove in three scores and Mika de Lincel (1-0) worked a trio of scoreless relief frames to earn the win.

Vaessen plated three early scores and survived a late rally by UVV to claim a 4-2 victory on Saturday. Kevin Dirksen hit a solo home run and Eddie Aucoin (3-1) scattered two runs over seven-plus innings.

Dirksen and Michael Duursma combined to drive in four runs to help the Pioniers finish off the sweep a day later with an 8-4 triumph. Lars Huijer (1-0) worked 5 2/3 effective frames to notch the win.

DUTCH MAJOR LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
L&D Amsterdam Pirates 13 02 Won 4
Corendon Kinheim 09 03 Won 3
DOOR Neptunus 11 04 Won 7
Vaessen Pioniers 07 05 Won 3
UVV 06 06 Lost 4
Sparta/Feyenoord 03 09 Lost 3
Mr. Cocker HCAW 01 11 Lost 8
ADO 01 11 Lost 3

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com


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Movie Review: Gift of the Game

Originally posted at BaseballJourneyman.com

In 1980, writer Randy Wayne White was in Mariel Harbor, Cuba to help a friend retrieve his family during the MarielBoatlift. After the week plus that he spent under armed control in the harbor by the Cuban military, he swore he would never go back.

Twenty years later, White set out for Cuba to try and resurrect a children’s baseball league founded by Ernest Hemingway many years before. He set out to find a team to go with him to bring equipment to the kids where Hemingway taught the game years prior. His team would include a priest, his son, and along with many others two former Major Leaguers in Bill “Spaceman” Lee and Jon Warden.

It took them a year to get the people and equipment in place, not to mention talking the American government into allowing them to go. But with equipment in hand, they set off for Cuba and what took place showed how great this game is.

The original plan was to go to the same area where Hemingway lived to seek out the old players from Hemingway’s Gigi Stars team and try to resurrect the children’s league. Things don’t always go as planned, especially when you are in a place like Cuba.

After first arriving, they were denied by the Cuban government help in finding the former players and were told they couldn’t even play a pick up game. So White, with names of the old players in hand, wonders the streets looking for them and finds some of them. They are greeted by smiles and hugs from Hemingway’s former players who are eager to talk about playing baseball with the great writer. They meet with several of the team members and agree to return in 5 days with the equipment to give to the children and hopefully restart the league.

Back in 1980, White had heard about a pitcher nicknamed “the man with 100 moves” and he was anxious to see if he could find him, so he set off to see. Finding the area where he lives, White was told he was not home but to come back the next day. Little did he know that would not be necessary as Perfidio (sp?) Perez would come find him after hearing they were looking for him.

Throughout their trip, White and the guys saw kids playing baseball everywhere with homemade bats and balls. The bats would be hand carved out of tree limbs and they would fashion balls out of anything they could find. It was amazing to see the love of the game there. They don’t have cable TV, Nintendo, and things like malls that take up so much of the attention of kids in other parts of the world. Seeing the looks on the kid’s faces when the guys would stop their bus and hand out equipment was priceless. Holding a real ball or bat in their hands their smiles would light up the night sky.

Twice White, Lee, Warden, and the rest of the guys play pick up games. They were usually out manned but everyone involved always had a great time. After every game a party would spring up and dancing, eating, and drinking would spring about. Just the simple happiness seen in the people of the land was infectious. But it wasn’t always the case.

In downtown Havana things were quite different. There people were much more aware of the police presence around them and were quick to quiz the Americans if they were some sort of police. On one hand you can see the passion for the game and the pure simple joy they get out of it, and the next minute you can see the oppression and fear that these people experience on a daily basis.

Perhaps the best example was from the former players themselves. After returning to hand out the equipment, they were told there would be no game and no party. The joy in their faces had gone and they were very serious. It turns out that higher ups had deemed it wasn’t going to happen and they had no choice but to follow suit. A compromise was soon had that there would be no game, but there would be a party.

The government had allowed the guys to play one sanctioned exhibition game with the Cuban Over 40 team. These were all ex-players who could still play a bit. While the game highlights and banter were fun to watch, the real excitement came after the game. This is when a government official came with armed soldiers to take all the equipment they had brought. They took everything from the bus that they had on them. Luckily they were smart enough to pay someone to hide a lot of the equipment for the kids so when it came time to give it out it was there.

I really enjoyed this film. Bill Lee is always fun to watch. He is a great ambassador for the game and always funny. I was not familiar with Jon Warden but the grew on me very quickly. He is a fun-loving and funny guy who just wants to make people smile. But the best part of the film was the kids. They benefited in the form of equipment and were very excited anytime a hat, ball, glove, or bat was handed out. It’s a shame that they are unable to get the proper equipment needed for the game. There is, and always has been, a wealth of talent there.

I highly recommend anyone who is a baseball fan to watch this film.

If you enjoy this film, you might also want to check out Bill Lee’s journey to Cuba to share the game in Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey.

 

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