SWEDEN – For the third time in the last four years, Stockholm BSK won the Swedish Championship after a three-game sweep of the Gothenburg Sharks in the finals.
After the two first games, played last weekend in Skövde since Göteborgs home field was unplayable due to flooding, Stockholm held a commanding 2-0 lead after winning two close games, 6-3 and 11-8.
In those games, however, the two top starters, brothers Joakim and Jacob Claesson went down with injuries. Joakim Claesson, one of Team Swedens top starters, broke his wrist after a hit by pitch, and Jacob Claesson experienced discomfort in his shoulder.
Therefore, in a surprise move, the Stockholm club relied on 17-year old southpaw Albin Sivard, a product of the club’s deep youth program, to take the hill in game three of the Swedish Finals.
Like the Claesson brothers, Albin Sivard has been bred trough the Stockholm youth program at the Skarpnäck field and now also practices year round as he studies at the Swedish Baseball and Softball Academy.
Albin Sivard had only pitched three innings in the Elite League this year, after an injury held him on the sidelines, but looked more like a seasoned veteran on the mound than a young rookie pitcher.
The young lefthander responded to the challenge by throwing seven shutout innings, only allowing one hit and two base on balls while striking out 12 batters en route to his first playoff win for Stockholm.
Offensively, Stockholm capitalized on six Gothenburg errors as they scored in every inning except the sixth, and by that time held a commanding 8-0 lead. The game was called in the bottom of the eight as Stockholm finished off Gothenburg, 10-0.
Curtis Dionne took the loss for Gothenburg, allowing seven runs (four earned) over three innings.
Magnus Pilegård earned MVP honors after hitting 5 for 12 in the finals with five rbi’s, four runs scored, and an important homerun in the second game.
Press Release: Swedish Baseball and Softball Federation