Archive | Europe

Italy: Great Article on the Career of New Nettuno Manager Lenny Randle

It was announced late last year that former MLB player Lenny Randle will take over at the helm of Nettuno this coming season. Randle is no stranger to Italy having played for Nettuno back in the early 1980s after being released by the Seattle Mariners.

Randle’s story is one that has definitely been interesting. But I feel it is better to let me let Bruce Markusen tell it. Here is an article that Bruce wrote for the HardballTimes.com that is a fascinating read on how the world of Lenny Randle was turned upside down. But in the end he came out okay and continues to do good in the baseball world.

Card Corner Plus: The Redemption of Lenny Randle

Also here is a bonus video. One that I found was a great look at Italian baseball in the early 1980s. It’s brief but good and includes Lenny Randle as well. So take a look and enjoy and don’t forget to read Markusen’s article because it is a good one.

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Italy: Baseball and Softball Federation Unveils New Logo

The Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (FIBS) has unveiled a new logo via Twitter for 2015.

What do you think?

Here is a look at the old one and new one.

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Update: Field O’Dreams Baseball Field Being Built in Ireland

Almost two years ago we helped spread the word of the Field O’Dreams project in Ireland to help build the first proper baseball facility in the country. I am glad to report back to you today that the project is still underway and the field is in the process of being built.

We here at BaseballdeWorld are always wanting to see the game grow in countries where it has not been a big sport. To do so things like fields need to be built. That is why this project was one I was very interested in. I contacted John Fitzgerald over at the Baseball United Foundation who was helping run the Field O’Dreams project and he responded with some photos of the field being built.

Here is the progress of the field project. They raised over $2,500 and that helped the project reach the funds needed through the matching funds of the Irish government. Click on a photo to view it larger. If you would like to donate, you can do so at the Baseball United Foundation page. The work John continues to do is something we should all stand behind and support for the good of the game we all love. You can also find the Baseball United Foundation on social media including Facebook and Twitter.

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Great Britain: British Baseball Hall of Fame Announces Inductees

Press Release Project Cobb

On the customary second Tuesday in October, the sixth annual class of new inductees into the British Baseball Hall of Fame recognizes three more of the game’s greats: Alan Smith, Cody Cain, and Josh Chetwynd.

Alan Smith is the second most successful player in the British game’s history, as assessed by national titles, and he remains the holder of several modern top-tier pitching records. Off the field, he was a key administrator for the London Warriors , one of the country’s all-time best teams, and he provided instrumental support for Team GB’s silver medal at the 2007 European Championships.

Cody Cain was one of the truly great two-way players in modern British baseball history and featured consistently among the leaders of pitching and batting statistical categories throughout his time in the game. His 18-strike-out game in 2004 is still a modern record, and his 0.00 earned-run average in 1993 remains an unmatched top-tier feat.

Josh Chetwynd’s contribution to the sport in Britain has comprised a unique mix: prominent media roles; deep involvement in intitiatives to grow the game and chronicle its history; and consistent success as a player, both domestically and internationally. Across the first decade of wood-bat baseball in the modern era (2001-2010), Chetwynd not only had the highest batting average (.440) but was also the hardest player to strike out.

To see full biographies of the three 2014 inductees as well as the 22 other individuals enshrined in the British Baseball Hall of Fame, please visit: http://www.bbhof.org.uk/.

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Great Britain: A Look Back at the 2014 National Baseball League Season

A new champion was crowned in 2014 in the British National Baseball League. The Essex Arrows not only took the regular season crown, but they took home the NBL Championship trophy as well.

The Arrows took down the London Mets in the finals after the Mets advanced through the playoffs winning in the wild card round over Southern. The Arrows and Mets finished with the top two records during the regular season.

The Arrows swept the Mets in the best-of-three series winning 5-1 and 5-4. This was the first time Essex was in the finals.

Essex finished a disappointing 10-18 in 2013 before making the huge turnaround. Last year they were bounced out of the playoffs in the wildcard round by Southhampton who would go on to finish as the runner-ups.

In other league news, the yearly awards were also announced. Abelardo Salas of the Herts Falcons won the league MVP as a two-way player. Matt Tarrant of the London Mets won the Best Young Player Award in 2014.  This award is given to the most valuable player who is 18 or younger on the last day of the year. The fielding awards were also announced:

Catcher
Callum Vinall (Bracknell Blazers)

First Base
Gary Davison (Southampton Mustangs)

Second Base
Trevor Allen (London Mets)

Shortstop
Ryan Hackel (Herts Falcons)

Third Base
Maikel Azcuy (Essex Arrows)

Outfielders
Gio Escalona (Essex Arrows)
Josh Rapaport (London Mets)
Jacob Dean (Bracknell Blazers)

Final British National Baseball League Standings:

1. Essex Arrows 15-7
2. London Mets 15-9
3. Southhampton 14-10
4. Bracknell 12-9
5. Southern 12-10
6. Herts Falcons 7-14
7. South London 3-19

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Belgium: A Look Back at the Belgian First Division 2014 Season

The Belgian First Division was a close one this year. The top two teams finished just two games apart with the third place team not far behind. The Borgerhout Squirrels (28-6) and the Brasschaat Braves (26-8) both had solid seasons finishing one and two in the league and facing off with each other in the championship series. The Morstel Stars were not far behind the top two teams finishing at 24-10.

The Braves (26) and Squirrels (18) dominated the power rankings in the league’s hitting as both teams led the league in home runs. They were also the top two teams in doubles and slugging percentage. On the pitching side the two teams also led the league in ERA (Squirrels 2.65 and Braves 3.03).

Daniel Billingsley (Braves) was the most dominating pitcher of the year. He went 10-2 with 10 complete games and an ERA of just 2.00. He struck out 131 in 103.1 innings of work leading his team to the championship series. The top hitter of the season was Steven de Lannoy (Squirrels) who hit .410 on the year. He ranked high in just about every category finishing second in average, tied for first in home runs (4), second in total bases (71), second in runs (44), third in hits (48), fourth in RBI (36), and tied for fourth in doubles (9). He was also 21-23 in stolen bases which ranked him third.

The Belgian Series went the full five games as the Braves and Squirrels went back and forth splitting the first four games. The Braves kept the series alive with an 11-10 win in Game 4 but fell 8-1 in Game 5 as the Borgerhout Squirrels claimed the title. It was payback for the Squirrels after losing the 2013 title to the Braves.

Belgium 1st Division Final Regular Season Standings:

1. Borgerhout Squirrels 28-6
2. Brasschaat Braves 26-8
3. Mortsel Stars 24-10
4. Royal Greys 18-15
5. Namur Angels 11-24
6. Deurne Spartans 9-26
7. Merchtem Cats 4-31

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Sweden: A Look Back at the 2014 Swedish Elitserien

The Stockholm Monarchs simply dominated the competition in 2014. The Monarchs stormed to a 21-1 regular season record over the competition in the Swedish Elitserien. The only loss Stockholm took this regular season was against the Leksand Lumberjacks. The Monarchs and Lumberjacks would square off in the championship as well.

Losing only once in twenty-two times during the regular season, Stockholm dropped Game 2 of the semifinals against the Firehawks. Stockholm would prevail though winning the series and moving onto face the Lumberjacks in the championship.

In the finals once again Stockholm would drop Game 2 of the series. However, once they returned home the Monarchs dominated in Games 3 and 5 winning 10-0 and 14-2 to wrap up the title. The Lumberjacks forced a Game 5 winning the fourth game 10-5 but couldn’t finish off the series.

In other news from the Swedish Elitserien the Karlskoga Bats have withdrawn from the league. After evaluating their roster for the upcoming season they decided they were not up to par for the league and will drop down until they can rebuild. The Bats have won three championships in 2007, 2010, and 2012.

Final Standings Regular Season:

  1. Stockholm Monarchs 21-1
  2. Leksand Lumberjacks 16-5
  3. Sundbyberg Heat 11-10
  4. Soelvesborg Firehawks 9-13
  5. Karlskoga Bats 9-13
  6. Swedish Academy 3-9
  7. Goteborg Hajarna 2-20

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Switzerland: Review of 2014 Swiss NLA Season

The Swiss Nationalliga A Season was a good one with the Zurich Barracudas winning the regular season title but not finishing on top of the league after the playoffs. Instead, the second place team during the regular season, the Therwil Flyers, wound up as league champions once again.

The two teams in the 2013 championship were nowhere to be found in the playoffs. The defending champion Bern Cardinals had an off year finishing just 11-14 on the season. The 2013 runner-up Embrach Mustangs removed themselves from the Swiss NLA even before the season started dropping down a division for 2014.

The Flyers are no strangers to winning in the Swiss league having won eight previous championships. The Flyers dominated in the 1990s winning five straight titles. Their last one came in 2009.

In other news, the Swiss NLA announced the awards for best players for the 2014 season.

Best Player NLA – Best Pitcher: Gavin Guarrera (Flyers)

Best Player NLA – Best Batter: Rob Sedin (Challengers)

MVP Baseball NLA:  Ryan Byrne (Challengers)

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Baseball United Foundation Teams Up with Doc Gooden For Fundraising Luncheon

Press Release Baseball United Foundation

Former Star Pitcher Will Speak at Event in February

White Plains, NY – November 28, 2014 - The Baseball United Foundation has announced plans for a fundraising luncheon to benefit their programs to grow youth baseball programs in regions of the world where baseball is not traditionally played.

The luncheon – which is being called “Lunch with Doc” – will be held on February 21, 2015 at Graziella’s Italian Bistro in White Plains, NY. The event will feature a talk and Q&A session with former Mets and Yankees star Dwight “Doc” Gooden.

Gooden is a three-time World Champion, four-time All-Star, as well as a Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Award winner. He pitched for five MLB teams, including the New York Mets and Yankees. In 2010, he was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame.

The Baseball United Foundation was created by documentary filmmaker John Fitzgerald in 2006 and is headquartered in Westchester County, NY. In the past year, the foundation has sent American coaches and over 1,000 lbs of baseball equipment to Ireland to conduct baseball training clinics. In July 2014, the foundation launched it’s “Baseball Exchange Program,” by bringing a 14-year old Irish baseball player to New York for a week of advanced baseball training and activities.

“We are very excited to welcome Doc Gooden to our fundraising luncheon,” explained Baseball United Foundation founder John Fitzgerald. “Doc’s presence and the support of local baseball fans will help us continue our current programs to help kids all over the world who want to play baseball.”

For more information on the “Lunch with Doc” event and to purchase tickets, visit www.LunchwithDoc.com.

About the Baseball United Foundation

The Baseball United Foundation is a 501c3 organization based in New York. The foundation assists teams, leagues, and players in countries where the game of baseball is relatively new. In January 2014, the foundation sent 1,000 lbs. of baseball equipment to Ireland, along with professional coaches, to conduct a series of baseball clinics for kids.
####
Contact: John Fitzgerald
Baseball United Foundation
John@BaseballUnitedFoundation.org
www.BaseballUnitedFoundation.org
914-468-3108

flyerlunchwithdoc-copy

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Spain: A Look Back at the 2014 Division de Honor Season

The 2014 Spanish Division de Honor League was an interesting one. Two clubs had to move their games away from their home field because of a public swimming pool behind the fence. The city did not want either Baseball Navarra or CD Pamplona to play in Burlada ballpark due to the pool in fear of people getting hurt by balls. Without a playoff system in place the Tenerife Marlins wrapped up their second straight championship with two weeks left in the season due to their large lead over CBS Sant Boi.

CB Barcelona won the 2014 Copa del Rey defeating Tenerife in the championship. However, Barcelona would only finish in fourth place during the regular season. This will earn them a trip back to the Copa del Rey in 2015 along with Tenerife, CBS Sant Boi, and Astros Valencia.

Leading Tenerife to the title were several strong hitters including Yancarlo Franco (.463/3/35), Lesther Galvan (.431/6/45), and Richard Montiel (.397/2/30). Overall the team hit a whopping .350 for the season outscoring its opponents 295-126. Seven of the nine regulars hit over .300 for the season.

On the hill Leslie Nacar led the way with a minuscule ERA of just 0.81 over 15 games. Nacar went an amazing 14-0 striking out 130 over 100.1 innings.

Barcelona got a little stronger in the off-season. Returning from Japan is Jorge Balboa who spent 2014 playing with the Kochi Fighting Dogs. The Spanish national team pitcher played four seasons with Barcelona going a combined 36-6 with an ERA of 2.23.

Final Spanish Division de Honor Standings:

  1. Tenerife Marlins 26-6
  2. CBS Sant Boi 23-9
  3. Astros Valencia 21-11
  4. CB Barcelona 20-12
  5. San Inazio Bilbao 18-14
  6. CB Viladecans 15-17
  7. Baseball Navarra 14-18
  8. CD Pamplona 7-25
  9. El Llano 0-32

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Austria: Review of the 2014 ABL Season

The top four teams in the Austrian Baseball League were only separated by a mere three games in the standings at the end of the regular season. The Vienna Metrostars finished atop the league with a 14-6 record but were followed closely behind by the Vienna Wanderers and Dornbirn Indians both at 13-7. Rounding out the top four was the Stock City Cubs at 11-9.

The Metrostars took on the Cubs in one half of the semifinal match ups with the Wanderers and Indians in the other. Both semifinal matches started out with splits the opening weekend. The Metrostars and Indians would both prevail in six games sending them to the 2014 championship. There would be a new champion crowned with the Indians ending the Wanderers title defense.

That champion would need seven games to claim the title and they did so in dominating fashion in the end. The title would wind up staying in Vienna as the Metrostars claimed their first title since 2003. They stormed back trailing 3-games-to-2 in the best-of-seven series by winning games six and seven by 10-0 scores.

JT Hilliard and Jakob Simonsen both pitched complete game shutouts to clinch the title for the Metrostars. The series was a back and forth affair until the final two games with the two teams trading wins.

Game 6 and 7 Box Scores

Final Regular Season ABL Standings:

1. Vienna Metrostars 14-6
2. Vienna Wanderers 13-7
2. Dornbirn Indians 13-7
4. Stock City Cubs 11-9
5. Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 8-12
6. Attnang Athletics 1-19

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France: A Look Back at the 2014 French Division 1 Season

The 2014 French Division 1 season was one to remember. The Rouen Huskies, winners of 10 of the last 11 championships, did not make the finals, a team won its very first championship in the top league, and the final regular season standings were very close with such a competitive league this year.

The top four teams finished just 3.5 games apart with two tying atop the league for the best record. Montpellier and Paris tied atop the league with a 21-7 record. Rouen was close behind with a 20-8 record, but the eventual champ finished fourth in the regular season at 17-10. It was the first championship in Division 1 for the Senart Templars. They were runners up in 2007 and won the second division in 1997 and 2003.

Senart took care of Stade Toulouse in the quarter final round easily winning two quick games in the best-of-three series. In the other quarterfinal, Rouen took care of the Beaucaire Chevaliers in two close games.  Senart then took on top seeded Montpellier in a rematch of the Challenge of France tournament earlier in the year. Once again Senart would come out on top sweeping Montpellier in the best-of-five series to advance to the finals where they would play Paris who downed Rouen in three straight.

Senart continued to roll sweeping Paris in the finals to win its first Division 1 championship. Ernesto Martinez homered in the decisive Game 3. Ciro Silvino was named the series MVP.

In other league news, the 2015 dates and location for the Challenge de France is set. Chartres will host the event to be held from May 14-17. Montigny will be the location of the second field with the winner of the 12th annual event securing a spot in the European Cup in 2016.

Final Regular Season French Division 1 Standings:

1. Montpellier Barracudas 21-7
2. Paris UC 21-7
3. Rouen Huskies 20-8
4. Senart Templars 17-10
5. Stade Toulousian 13-15
6. Beaucaire Knights 10-18
7. Savigny Lions 6-22
8. Chartres Cubs 3-24

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Groups Set for 2015 European Cups

The Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) announced the groupings for the 2015 European Cups to take place in Paris and Rotterdam this coming summer. The tournaments will take place between June 1-7, 2015 with Paris UC and Curacao Neptunus playing as hosts. The winners of each pool will face off with one another in August for the European Club Championship.

T&A San Marino is the returning club champion after defeating Rimini in last year’s championship. They will head to Paris to defend their title.

GROUP 1 – ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS:

Heidenheim Heidekoepfe (Germany)
KNTU Elizavetgrad (Ukraine)
Senart Templiers (France)
Curacao Neptunus (Netherlands)
Rimini Pirates (Italy)
Draci Brno (Czech Republic).

GROUP 2 – PARIS, FRANCE:

Amsterdam Pirates (Netherlands)
Paris Universitie Club (France)
T&A San Marino (San Marino)
Moscow North Stars (Russia)
Solingen Alligators (Germany)
Fortitudo Bologna (Italy).

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Germany: Teams Announced for 2015 Buchbinder Cup

The teams were announced for the 2015 Buchbinder Cup. The sixth edition of the tournament to take place in Regensburg will include the host Legionaere and two other German Bundesliga teams. Accepting an invitation from Germany are the Paderborn Untouchables and the Bonn Capitals.  Also accepting an invitation from the Czech Extraleague are the Arrows Ostrava.

The tournament will take place between May 23-25 at Armin Wolf Arena in Regensburg.

In the 2014 edition of the tournament, the Untouchables lost out to the Heidenheim Heideköpfe in an exciting championship game 15-14.

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Germany: A Look Back at the 2014 Bundesliga Season

The German Bundesliga has been dominated by the Regensburg Legionaere have dominated for the past six seasons winning five titles in that span including the past four. However, there will be a new defending champion for the 2015 season as the Solingen Alligators picked up their second title.

Solingen is no stranger to winning having been the champions of the North Division six times in the past eight years. However, other than 2006 they have fallen short in their quest for a championship. This year was different as once again the Alligators were North Division champions with a record of 21-3.

Solingen took care of the Haar Disciples in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs winning the series 3-1. The semifinal round found the Alligators facing off with the four-time defending champion Legionaere in a rematch of the 2013 Finals. Only this time it would be a different result as the Alligators defeated the defending champs 3-1 to win the series and advance once again to the finals. This time they would face off with the Heidenheim Heidekopfe who had the leagues best record at 25-3 winning the South Division.

The finals would be an exciting match up. The first two games were an indication of that as the teams split wins in very different fashion. Solingen took Game 1 with a 12th inning walk-off home run by Tanner Leighton to win 2-1. However Heidenheim would come right back to win 9-0 in Game 2 to even up the best-of-five series.

The series then moved to Heidenheim where once again the Alligators would not only win a series 3-1 but again they won back-to-back games with 2-1 scores. Harry Glynne was named the series MVP after giving up just two runs over sixteen innings of work. Sascha Lutz picked up the award for best hitter and Tyler Lockwood for best pitcher.

The Alligators will begin their 2015 defense on April 4th as the league is scheduled to kick off that weekend. The Dohren Wild Farmers will be replaced by the Hannover Regents for the upcoming season. The league will once again feature 15 total teams.

In other news around the league, a new executive board was elected. Mirko Heid (Bonn) will serve as the new president taking over for Michael Hartmann. New to the board are also Philipp Hoffschild (Regensburg), Lena Foerst (Hamburg), Christopher Goulet (Paderborn), and Stefan Hoffmann (Darmstadt). They will join the lone returning member in Juergen Elsishans (Mannheim). Completing the board is Gunnar Schaefer (Magdeburg) who represents the DBV Youth Organization.

Photo by Gregor Eisenhuth, www.eisenhuth-photographie.de

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Netherlands: A Look Back at the 2014 Honkbal Hoofdklasse

The DOOR Neptunus made it back to the Holland Series for the third straight season and looked to defend its championship from a year ago. DOOR dominated the league during the regular season winning that title with a 34-7 overall record. Finishing in second and facing off with the Neptunus in the Holland Series would be L&D Amsterdam.

Entering the Holland Series Amsterdam led the league in ERA with a 1.89 over league play. Leading the way for Amsterdam on the hill was Kevin Heijstek who led the league in wins (10-3) and was second in ERA (1.33). Following closely behind Heijstek for Amsterdam was Rob Cordemans who went undefeated on the year (8-0) posting a 1.53 ERA.

Even with Amsterdam heading into the Holland Series with the best pitching, the Neptunus were right behind them finishing second in team pitching ERA on the year at 2.17. Leading the league in ERA on the season was Orlando Yntema at 1.13 who went 8-1 on the season. Diegomar Markwell also went 8-1 posting a 1.97 ERA helping DOOR to the league’s best record.

The strong Amsterdam pitching showed up in Game 1 of the Holland Series as the Pirates shut down the Neptunus 5-0 on a strong outing from Heijstek. The bats for the Pirates came out in Game 2 posting 17 runs roughing up ERA leader Yntema winning 17-7 to take a 2-0 lead. DOOR Neptunus finally got a solid outing from Markwell in Game 3 as he pitched a complete game victory winning 3-1. However, Amsterdam took a commanding 3-1 lead in the series with a win in Game 4 and was just a win away from the title. It wasn’t meant to be for Amsterdam as the Neptunus came roaring back with three straight wins to take the series.

The Neptunus finished off the series with a 1-0 victory in Game 7 behind a strong outing from Berry van Driel who tossed 7.2 innings of shutout ball out dueling Cordemans. Regular starting pitching Markwell was unavailable to pitch since he was serving a four game suspension for actions that occured during a brawl earlier in the series. Berry van Driel was awarded the Holland Series MVP honors after posting a 2-0 record and 1.56 ERA over three games.

The title was the 15th for the Neptunus and the 24th for the city of Rotterdam (including nine by Sparta). This will be the last, after 17 years, of DOOR sponsoring the Neptunus Rotterdam. A new sponsor, Curacao, will take over the title role for 2015.

In other news around the Dutch Major League, the awards for 2014 were announced.

Complete Dutch Major League Awards:

  • MVP 2014: Vince Rooi (Vaessen Pioniers)
  • Left-handed pitcher: Diegomar Markwell (DOOR Neptunus)
  • Right-handed pitcher: Kevin Heijstek (L&D Amsterdam)
  • Catcher: Gianison Boekhoudt (DOOR Neptunus)
  • First Base: Kenny Berkenbosch (L&D Amsterdam)
  • Second Base: Benjamin Dille (DOOR Neptunus)
  • Third Base: Vince Rooi (Vaessen Pioniers)
  • Shortstop: Michael Duursma (L&D Amsterdam)
  • Left field: Roeland Henrique Jr. (L&D Amsterdam)
  • Center field: Shaldimar Daantji (DOOR Neptunus)
  • Right field: Bas de Jong (L&D Amsterdam)
  • Designated hitter: Dè Flanegin (Vaessen Pioniers)
  • Best Coach: Evert-Jan ‘t Hoen (DOOR Neptunus)

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Italy: A Look Back at the 2014 Italian Baseball League

For our first look back on the leagues of 2014, we take a look at the Italian Baseball League.

In the first stage of the league, Unipol Bologna won Group A by four games over T&A San Marino. There was a tie atop Group B after the first stage between Rimini and ASD Parma.

Those four teams headed into phase 2 of the league with Unipol Bologna winding up on top of the group. Bologna won the phase by three games over Rimini who finished just one game ahead of T&A San Marino. Parma struggled finishing nine games out of first and five games out of third.

Finishing in first and second in the semi-final round, Bologna and Rimini would face off in the Italian Baseball Series. Heading into the series, Rimini took two-of-three from Bologna in the final weekend series to hold onto their one game lead over three-time defending champion T&A San Marino who just missed out on a return trip the championship.

The Italian Baseball Series did not disappoint going a full seven games. Rimini took a 2-1 lead in the series early on and then again was one game away from a championship going up 3-2 after five games. However, it wasn’t meant to be for Rimini as Bologna came back to win the final two games of the series to win their first championship since 2009.

Bologna has had a winning tradition over the years winning the European Cup three times since 2009 but not one title in Italy since. In Game 7, Raul Rivero pitched a complete game shutout striking out twelve en route to the series clinching win. Guillermo Rodriguez hit a home run and drove in two runs in the final game winning the Finals MVP.

Bologna 2014 IBL Champions

Bologna 2014 IBL Champions

While Rimini lost out to Bologna in the IBL and to San Marino at the European Champions Cup, they did win the Coppa Italia, or the consolation. They defeated Parma 7-2 in the championship booking themselves a return to the European Cup in 2015.

Awards were also announced for the 2014 season in the Italian Baseball League.

Gold Glove Winners:
First Base: Alex Sambucci
Second Base: Alessandro Vaglio
Third Base: Francesco Fuzzi
Shortstop: Juan Carlos Infante
Outfield: Alex Romero, Stefano Desimoni, Claudio Liverziani
Catcher: Riccardo Bertagnon
Pitcher: Yomel Rivera

Silver Slugger Winners:
First Base: Alex Sambucci
Second Base: Alessandro Vaglio
Third Base: Giuseppe Mazzanti
Shortstop: Willians Vasquez
Outfield: Carlos Duran, Alex Romero e Stefano Desimoni
Catcher: Osman Marval
Designated Hitter: Jairo Ramos

In other IBL news, the 2015 season will return to a single division of eight teams. The new season will kick off March 27/28, 2015 with the first phase ending on May 8/9 and the second phase ending on July 11/12.

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Final 2014 IBAF World Baseball Rankings: Japan Takes No. 1 Spot

With the conclusion of the 21U Baseball World Cup and the Central American and Caribbean Games, the final world standings have been released. There were only a few movers in the top 10 including Japan taking the No. 1 spot from the USA after making it to the finals of the 21 U BWC. The Netherlands also over took the Dominican Republic for No. 5 on the list.

The biggest mover in the top 30 was the Czech Republic moving up seven spots to No. 20. Argentina fell the furthest falling six spots to No. 28. The top 12 teams will be allowed to compete in the inaugural Premier 12 tournament to be held in Chinese Taipei in November 2015.

Final 2014 IBAF World Baseball Rankings:

Rank Nation  Points
2013 Trending
1  Japan 785.18 2 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
2  USA 766.02 1 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
3  Cuba 662.98 3
4  Chinese Taipei 605.48 4
5  Netherlands 433.50 6 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
6  Dominican Republic 379.18 5 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
7  Canada 353.52 7  –
8  South Korea 340.90 8
9  Puerto Rico 291.50 9
10  Venezuela 269.00 10
11  Italy 196.18 11
12  Mexico 136.78 12
13  Panama 132.92 13  –
14  Australia 127.82 14
15  Brazil 116.61 15
16  Nicaragua 110.77 18 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized2
17  Spain 105.52 17
18  Germany 78.90 19 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
19  Colombia 69.00 16 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized3
20  Czech Republic 68.93 27 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized7
21  China 68.25 20 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
22  Israel 55.47 26 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized4
23  Philippines 52.40 23
24  Pakistan 51.00 21 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized3
25  Great Britain 50.56 24 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
26  New Zealand 50.00 28 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized2
27  France 46.75 32 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized5
28  Argentina 42.91 22 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized6
29  South Africa 33.00 31 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized2
30  Thailand 30.50 25 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized5

Complete Rankings

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France: Montpellier Leads League Standings

In the French Division 1 Baseball League, the Montepellier Barracudas currently lead the league in a tense four-way battle for the lead. Montpellier has a slim lead over Senart. Both teams have the same number of loses, but Montpellier has two more wins. Not far behind are both Paris UC and Rouen. The rest of the league is under .500.

Montpellier is coming off a 10-inning 7-5 loss to the worst team in the league the Chartres French Cubs who only have three wins on the season. Meanwhile, Senart swept Rouen in a two game set to move into second place all by itself.

Montpellier is getting the job done on the mound leading the league with an ERA of just 2.04. Leading the way for the best pitching staff is ace William Musson who is 7-2 with an ERA of just 1.42. Thomas Langloys has also contributed a lot with an ERA of just 1.37 to lead the league and a record of 3-1.

The Barracudas are in the bottom half of the league in hitting with a team average of just .268.

Paris UC is dominating the hitting. They lead the league with a team average of .349. They lead the league in hits (279), doubles (47), triples (14), home runs (8), and stolen bases (58).

Cody Regis is dominating the league’s pitching. So far this season Regis is leading the league in average (.484), hits (44), runs scored (31), RBI (33), triples (7), home runs (3), and total bases (74). He is also second in stolen bases with sixteen.

French Division 1 Standings:

1. Montpellier Barracudas 16-6
2. Senart Templiers 14-6
3. Paris UC 15-7
4. Rouen Huskies 13-7
5. Stade Touluse 7-11
6. Beaucaire Chevaliers 7-11
7. Savigny Lions 3-13
8. Chartes French Cubs 3-17

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Germany: Solingen and Heidenheim Continue To Lead Divisions

The Solingen Alligators and the Heidenheim Heidekopfe still lead their respective divisions in the German Bundesliga. The Alligators are dominating the North Division with a 19-1 record leading by a full five games over the two teams tied for second. Heidenheim’s lead is not quite as big as they lead the Regensburg Leagionaere by only two games. 

Solingen is on a seventeen game winning streak. Their last loss came in game three of the season to the Cologne Cardinals 12-10. With four games left in the season they finish with two games against fourth place HSV Stealers and then two games with current second place Paderborn Untouchables.

In the South, Heidenheim has four games left with the two teams currently in seventh and eighth place in the standings setting up what could be an easy road to the number one seed in the South.

South Division League Leaders

Batting Average
1. Joseph Dyche (Haar) .488
2. Justin Kuehn (Regensburg) .462
3. Marcel Jiminez (Regensburg) .444

On-Base + Slugging
1. Thomas De Wolf (Stuttgart) 1.344
2. Christopher Howard (Regensburg) 1.312
3. Joseph Dyche (Haar) 1.248

Home Runs
1. Thomas De Wolf (Stuttgart) 7
2. James McOwen (Heidenheim) 6
3. Several tied with 5

Wins
1. Tyler Lockwood (Heidenheim) 7
2. Luke Sommer (Heidenheim) 5
3. Several tied with 4

Saves
1. Andres Perez (Stuttgart) 4
2. Several tied with 2

North Division League Leaders

Batting Average
1. Tanner Leighton (Solingen) .456
2. Dallas Burke (Cologne) .439
3. Daniel Sanchez (Solingen) .432

On-Base + Slugging
1. Tucker White (Paderborn) 1.376
2. Tanner Leighton (Solingen) 1.367
3. Dallas Burke (Cologne) 1.185

Home Runs
1. Tucker White (Paderborn) 6
2. Tanner Leighton (Solingen) 5
3. Several tied with 3

Wins
1. Christopher Mezger (Solingen) 9
2. Harry Glynne (Solingen) 7
3. Several tied with 4

Saves
1. Nobody with more than 2

South Division Standings:

1. Heidemheim Heidekopfe 19-3
2. Buchbinder Legionaere 19-5
3. Stuttgart Reds 12-8
4. Mainz Athletics 10-12
5. Mannheim Tornados 9-11
6. Haar Disciples 9-11
7. Tubingen Hawks 3-17
8. Bad Homburg Hornets 3-17

North Division Standings:

1. Solingen Alligators 19-1
2. Paderborn Untouchables 12-4
3. Bonn Capitals 13-5
4. HSV Stealers 10-8
5. Dohren Wild Farmers 5-17
6. Cologne Cardinals 4-16
7. Dortmund Wanderers 3-15

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Switzerland: Zurich Barracudas Tame the Zurich Lions

By Christopher Byrnes

The Zurich Barracudas have won 10 in a row and moved to 10-1 on the season sweeping the Zurich Lions 16-7 and 13-1. The Barracudas lead the second place Therwil Flyers by 3.5 games in the standings.

The Barracudas once again played solid defense and delivered timely hitting to support the pitching efforts of Roger Savoldelli. Savoldeli  took over the bus for the Barracudas as he pitched a complete game to earn his first win as a Zurich Barracuda. The Barracudas were led offensively by Strahil Georgiev who had four hits and four RBIs. Nelson Santana went 3-5 and added 2 RBIs.

In the nightcap it was the strong pitching of Bert Marsnik and Josh Crouse who combined on a one hitter and allowed the Barracudas to cruise to a 13-1 victory. It was the man from the Twin Cities Bert Marsnik who took over the bus for the Barracudas in game two. Marsnik pitched five strong innings on the mound and produced three hits and six rbi’s. Josh Crouse closed out the win with two perfect innings in relief.

The Barracudas are scheduled to play night games versus the Zurich Challengers on June 11 and June 13.

Swiss NLA Regular Season Standings:

Team Won Lost GB
Zurich Barracudas 10 01
Therwil Flyers 07 05  3.5
Luzern Eagles 05 04   4
Bern Cardinals 07 06   4
Zurich Challengers 04 05   5
Zurich Lions 00 12  10.5

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France: Four Way Battle for First in Division 1 Standings

The first two months are over in the French Division 1 league and surprisingly the Rouen Huskies are not leading the league.

Rouen, who have won eight straight titles, sits in fourth place currently. However, they are not far out of first. Both the Montpellier Barracudas and the Senart Templiers are leading the league with an 11-5 record. Rouen and Paris UC are right behind the top two teams at 10-6.

None of the top teams seem to want to take control of the league lead and pull away. Over the past weekend, Rouen split with Paris UC and Montpellier split with Stade Toulouse. Senart split as well after winning big in Game 1 of the weekend.

French Division 1 Standings:

1. Montpellier Barracudas 11-5
2. Senart Templiers 11-5
3. Paris UC 10-6
4. Rouen Huskies 10-6
5. Stade Touluse 7-5
6. Beaucaire Chevaliers 5-7
7. Savigny Lions 2-8
8. Chartes French Cubs 0-14

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Netherlands: Three Way Race for Top Two Spots Heading into Last Weekend of First Half

The first half of the Dutch Major League is about to conclude in the Netherlands. The race for the top spot is still up for grabs even with just a few games left in the first half. The Vaessen Pioniers lead the league so far with a record of 14-2-1 just a single point ahead of both the DOOR Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam.

Vaessen will face off with Amsterdam this weekend in a three game series. With the top two teams qualifying for the semifinals, this series will be huge as one team could knock the other out of the race. Vaessen will also have one make up game against UVV to end the first half. That game will be played next Tuesday.

While Vaessen and Amsterdam are battling it out, DOOR Neptunus will take on a 6-13 Mr. Cocker HCAW. The defending champs are set up nicely to qualify for the semifinals after the first half.

Dutch Major League Standings:

1. Vaessen Pioniers 14-2-1
2. DOOR Neptunus 14-4
3. L&D Amsterdam 14-4
4. Corendon Kinheim 12-7
5. Mr. Cocker HCAW 6-13
6. UVV 4-12-2
7. Ado Lakers 4-14-1
8. Mampey the Hawks 3-15

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Italy: Stage One is Nearing an End with Bologna and Rimini Leading

The Italian Baseball League is nearing the end of the first stage round robin play. This year the IBL was split into two groups that played a round robin for the stage one.  Each division has four teams. In Group A are defending champion T&A San Marino, Unipol Bologna, Godo Knights, and newbie Padua. Group B consists of Rimini, Nettuno, Nettuno 2, and Parma.

In Group A, Unipol Bologna has all but wrapped up the win with a record of 15-1. T&A San Marino sits behind them in second place at 9-6 with Padua (6-10) and Godo (5-11) pretty much out of the running.

Over in Group B, there is a tight race for the top spot heading into the second stage. Telemarket Rimini leads the group with a record of 10-5, but Parma is close behind at 10-6. Nettuno (6-10) and Nettuno 2 (2-14) are well behind the group leaders.

Each team has just four to five games left with the stage one ending the first full weekend of June.

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