Tag Archive | "Austria"

Austria: Vienna Wanderers to Defend Title Against the Metrostars in Finals


The championship series is set in the Austrian Baseball League as the Vienna Metrostars will face off with defending champion Vienna Wanderers.

The Metrostars and Wanderers tied for the leagues best record after the regular season along with the Dornbirn Indians.  However, due to tiebreakers the Wanderers received the #1 seed and faced off with the Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks.

The Wanderers jumped all over the Diving Ducks at home in games 1 and 2 outscoring them 27-6 in the two wins. However, the Ducks weren’t going to just lie down and roll over. They came back with a win in Game 3 behind the big bat of Jake Turcato. Turcato went 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBI.

But that would be the only win for the Diving Ducks. The Wanderers came back to win both Game 4 and 5 to close out the series. Game 5 was not exactly a pitching clinic as the Wanderers won 13-12 by scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning.

Joseph Wilson led the offense for the Wanderers hitting at a .467 clip. Max Scholdan wasn’t far behind at .444. Scholdan led the team in hits (8) and RBI (14).  Hiroyuki Sakanashi led the team in stolen bases (9/11) and tied for the lead in runs (10).

Andrew Dowl led the pitching with a 2-0 record in a pair of starts. He allowed just two earned runs in 15 innings for a 1.20 ERA. He will now go up against a strong Metrostars offense.

In the other semifinal series, the Vienna Metrostars downed the Dornbirn Indians in five games.

Dornbirn won the first game 6-5 behind a Danny Hall Jr. home run. However, they would see the Metrostars come back to sweep the next four games.

The Metrostars unleashed the bats the rest of the way. The lowest run total they had in the final four games was eight. They finished the series with a flourish and 23 runs.

Over the course of the five game series, Peter Ferek hit at a .524 clip to lead the Metrostars. He led the team in nearly every offensive category including hits (11), doubles (3), RBI (12), and total bases (17). He also hit the teams only home run.

As a team the Metrostars posted a line of .316/.441/.391 which is pretty impressive and led all teams in the semifinals.

The team also posted an impressive team ERA of just 2.90. Led by Stefan Ludescher who pitched a shortened complete game not allowing an earned run. Jakob Simonsen also had a nice series pitching 12.2 innings while posting a 2.84 ERA.

2013 Austrian Baseball League Semifinals Scores:

Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 3, Vienna Wanderers 15 (7)
Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 3, Vienna Wanderers 12
Vienna Wanderers 5, Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 6
Vienna Wanderers 7, Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 1
Vienna Wanderers 13, Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 12

Vienna Metrostars 5, Dornbirn Indians 6
Vienna Metrostars 18, Dornbirn Indians 6 (8)
Dornbirn Indians 3, Vienna Metrostars 11
Dornbirn Indians 3, Vienna Metrostars 8
Dornbirn Indians 3, Vienna Metrostars 23 (6)

2013 Austrian Baseball League Finals Schedule:

Friday September 20
7:00 pm Vienna Metrostars at Vienna Wanderers

Saturday September 21
7:00 pm Vienna Metrostars at Vienna Wanderers

Rest of schedule including times TBA

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Austria: 2013 Playoffs Start Friday


The playoffs get going this coming weekend in the Austrian Baseball League. The league finished its play this past weekend when the Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks and the Dornbirn Indians played the final two games.

With a sweep the Indians would have finished first in the standings, but that wasn’t meant to be. The Diving Ducks and Indians split the weekend series which resulted in a three-way tie for first place, while the Diving Ducks took the last spot in the playoffs.

Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 6, Dornbirn Indians 4
Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 1, Dornbirn Indians 9

With the win in Game 2, the Indians push the Ducks into the #4 seed while the Indians claim the #2 seed.

With the three-way tie for first, the Vienna Wanderers claim the top spot in the playoffs gaining home field and will take on the #4 seed Diving Ducks in round 1 of the playoffs. The other match up will be the #2 Dornbirn Indians against the #3 Vienna Metrostars.

The best-of-seven series begin this weekend.

2013 Austrian Baseball League Playoff Schedule:

Friday August 23
7:00 pm Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks at Vienna Wanderers

Saturday August 24
1:00 pm Vienna Metrostars at Dornbirn Indians
4:00 pm Vienna Metrostars at Dornbirn Indians
7:00 pm Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks at Vienna Wanderers

Saturday September 7
1:00 pm Vienna Wanderers at Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks
1:00 pm Dornbirn Indians at Vienna Metrostars
4:00 pm Vienna Wanderers at Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks
4:00 pm Dornbirn Indians at Vienna Metrostars

Sunday September 8
*12:00 pm Dornbirn Indians at Vienna Metrostars
*3:00 pm Vienna Wanderers at Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks

Saturday September 14
*1:00 pm Vienna Metrostars at Dornbirn Indians
*1:00 pm Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks at Vienna Wanderers
*4:00 pm Vienna Metrostars at Dornbirn Indians
*4:00 pm Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks at Vienna Wanderers

*if necessary

Final Regular Season Standings:

1. Vienna Wanderers 12-8
2. Dornbirn Indians 12-8
3. Vienna Metrostars 12-8
4. Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 11-9
5. Stock City Cubs 9-11
6. Attnang Athletics 4-16

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Austria: Dornbirn Indians Take Over First; Have Two More Games to Play


The schedule is finished for most of the teams in the Austria Baseball League. All but the Dornbirn Indians, who are leading the league, and the Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks are finished. The Indians and Diving Ducks will play one final series next weekend that will determine the playoff seeds.

Dornbirn leads the league by winning percentage but has one fewer wins than two other teams. If Dornbirn can win both games against the Diving Ducks, they will claim the 2013 ABL title. With a split or a Ducks sweep, we could see a three-way tie for first.

Dornbirn Indians 5, Vienna Metrostarts 2
Dornbirn Indians 11, Vienna Metrostarts 0 (8)

The Dornbirn Indians went into Vienna and swept a weekend series with the Metrostars. Paul Astl tossed a complete game win for the Indians in Game 1. He gave up two runs on six hits while striking out six to improve to 4-5 on the season.

Simon Plagg had a great day at the plate for Dornbirn. He went 3-for-4 scoring twice. Astl helped himself out at the plate driving in two runs going 2-for-3.

Game 2 was all Indians. Patrick Steinkellner scored three runs in the lead-off spot in the lineup going 1-for-4 with a walk. Devery Van de Keere drove in three runs going 2-for-4. Joachim Frick (2-for-4) also added a pair of hits and two RBI. Danny Hall Jr. hit a solo home run in his only at bat as the Indians pounded out 11 hits to win big.

In other ABL action:

Logan Nordquist had a big day going 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in a win for Attnang.

Walter Strasser picked up the win for Attnang pitching six innings. He allowed just one run on five hits.

Emilia Podreka homered in a win over Attnang for the Vienna Wanderers going 1-for-3.

Andrew Dowl picked up the win for the Wanderers allowing just one run on two hits over eight innings.

Richard Hauwirth homered, drove in four runs, and scored three more going 2-for-3 in a win for the Stock City Cubs.

ABL Scores:

Dornbirn Indians 5, Vienna Metrostarts 2
Dornbirn Indians 11, Vienna Metrostarts 0 (8)

Stock City Cubs 15, Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 2

Vienna Wanderers 3, Attnang Athletics 4
Vienna Wanderers 4, Attnang Athletics 1

ABL Standings:

1. Dornbirn Indians 11-7
2. Vienna Wanderers 12-8
2. Vienna Metrostars 12-8
4. Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 10-8
5. Stock City Cubs 9-11
6. Attnang Athletics 4-16

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Austria: Vienna Metrostars Runs Winning Streak to Six Games


With the final games approaching in the Austrian Baseball League, the top spot heading into the playoffs is still up for grabs.

Currently the Vienna Metrostars are leading the league by a game over the Vienna Wanderers. With both teams having two games left on the season, the Metrostars will face off with current 4th place Dornbirn while the Wanderers have two games left with last place Attnang.

Dornbirn Indians 3, Vienna Wanderers 4
Dornbirn Indians 1, Vienna Wanderers 3

The Wanderers swept through the Indians over the weekend helping push them up toward the top of the standings into second place. Felix Zimmerle pitched great in Game 1 for the Wanderers. He tossed a complete game victory giving up three runs, only one earned. Francois DuToit had a nice game at the plate for Vienna going 2-for-4 scoring a run and stealing a base.

Game 2 was more of the same as Andrew Dowl pitched the Wanderers to victory. He threw eight innings allowing just one unearned run on three hits. Amin Many went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a double to help Vienna to the sweep.

Attnang Athletics 4, Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 11
Attnang Athletics 12, Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 19

Game 1 was full of errant play in the field from both teams as they combined to commit seven errors. The Athletics outhit the Diving Ducks 10-8, but fell well short in the runs column. The Diving Ducks used an eight run fourth inning getting to Athletics reliever Raphael Mayr for seven of those runs. Mayr struggled with control walking five batters in 0.2 of an inning.

Clemens Cichocki picked up the win for Vienna going seven innings and allowing four runs (two earned).

Game 2 was a slugfest with the teams combining for 30 hits. However, they also combined for ten errors (seven from Attnang).

Ferdinand Obed was perfect at the plate in the second game. He went 6-for-6 with six RBI including a home run and two stolen bases.. Clemens Cichocki also had a nice game at the plate going 3-for-5. He tripled twice, drove in four runs, and scored three times.

Attnang actually had the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, cut the Diving Ducks exploded for 10 runs to put the game away.

Stock City Cubs 4, Vienna Metrostars 14 (8)
Stock City Cubs 3, Vienna Metrostars 4 (10)

After starting the season 6-6, the Metrostars have rattled off six straight wins to take over first place. In Game 1 against the Cubs, the Metrostars took advantage of five Cubs’ errors in a lopsided win.

Will Owens went 3-for-4 with five runs scored. He walked twice, drove in two runs, and stole two bases. He was joined by Richard Alzinger in the hit parade as Alzinger drove in four runs going 2-for-5.

Samuel Hackl hit a solo home run for the Cubs in the loss.

Game 2 was much closer, but both teams fell victim to shoddy play in the field as they combined for seven errors. J.T. Hillard picked up the win for Vienna pitching seven innings allowing just three runs (one earned).

David Whigham pitched well for the Cubs but was plagued by bad defense behind him. He tossed all 9.2 innings of play giving up four runs (one earned) on four hits. He struck out 13.

Austrian Baseball League Standings:

1. Vienna Metrostars 12-6
2. Vienna Wanderers 11-7
3. Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 10-7
4. Dornbirn Indians 9-7
5. Stock City Cubs 8-11
6. Attnang Athletics 3-15

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Russia Wins B-Level European Championship in Vienna


The B-Level European Championships were held this week in both Zurich and Vienna. Six teams competed at each site trying to win a spot in the 2014 European Championship to be held in the Czech Republic.

While Great Britain, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Switzerland, and Slovenia were competing in the B-Level Championship in Zurich. Austria, Belarus, Russia, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Ireland were playing in Vienna.

Through the round robin play, three teams were tied with a 4-1 record. Austria, Russia, and Belarus all finished with just a single loss. Due to the tie-breaker rules, Austria and Russia would face off with one another in the Championship Game for a spot in the 2014 European Championship.

It was a close and exciting game, but Russia would come out on top when it was all settled by a score of 3-2. Errors played a big role in the game as both team picked up unearned runs.

Austria jumped out on top 1-0 with a run in the second inning. With two outs, Felix Zimmerle (1-for-4) singled to start the rally. Lukas Scheicher (2-for-3) then singled to move Zimmerle to second, but an error by the Russia center fielder let Zimmerle come all the way around to score the first run of the game.

Austria picked up another run in the third inning. Fabian Hirnschal (0-for-2) led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. He was quickly sacrificed to second base. Then after another ground out moved him to third, Peter Ferak singled (1-for-4) him home to give Austria a 2-0 lead.

Christian Tomsich was cruising on the mound for Austria. Through eight innings he had given up just one a run and had allowed only seven hits. However, in the top of the ninth he walked the lead off hitter and then gave up a single before being pulled for reliever Werner Harrasser.

Harrasser got the first batter he faced on a sacrifice that put runners at second and third with just one out. Then Aleksandr Maksiakov (1-for-2) was caught trying to steal home for the second out of the inning. It all looked good for Austria. The next hitter had an 0-2 count and it looked like they would advance. Then it happened.

A fly ball to center fielder Dominik Talir was dropped allowing a run to score to tie the game and opening up the way for Russia to take the win away from Austria. The next two hitters singled scoring the go ahead run for Russia and putting Austria in a corner heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Austria would make it interesting in the ninth. A one-out walk started it all, but with two outs and facing elimination, Richard Alzinger came up with a pinch-hit single to put runners at the corners. Austria was just a hit away from tying the game up. However, Andrey Lobanov settled down to get the final out and the win for Russia.

Lobanov went the distance for Russia giving up just two runs (one earned) on seven hits while striking out nine.

Peter Ferek (Austria) was named the tournament MVP. He hit .500 with five RBI. Victor Samchuk (Russia) was named the tournaments best hitter. He finished with a .750 average (6-for-8) with five walks. He was also 4-of-5 in stolen base attempts. Nikita Lobanov (Russia) was named the best pitcher. He struck out eight in his one appearance tossing a complete game and giving up just one unearned run.

B-Level European Championships Vienna Final Standings:

1. Russia 4-1
2. Austria 4-1
3. Belarus 4-1
4. Slovakia 2-3
5. Lithuania 1-4
6. Ireland 0-5

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Austria: Dornbirn Indians Stay Atop League with Weekend Sweep


The Dornbirn Indians stayed atop the Austrian Baseball League standings with a sweep of the Attnang Athletics. They won a couple of close games including a pitcher’s duel in the second game of the weekend.

In other action, the Vienna Wanderers won two games over the Stock City Cubs to keep pace with the Indians and stay just a couple games behind. And in the last weekend series, the Vienna Metrostars and the Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks split their series.

Dornbirn Indians 5, Attnang Athletics 2
Dornbirn Indians 2, Attnang Athletics 1

Dornbirn got a great start out of Paul Astl who tossed eight shutout innings of three-hit ball to earn the win. Astl struck out eight and walked only two.

The Athletics managed only three hits and didn’t score a run until the Indians pulled Astl for the ninth inning. They picked up two runs without getting a hit in the ninth.

Devery Van de Keere had a nice Game 1 at the plate for Dornbirn going 2-for-3. He scored three runs, drove in two, and hit a double and home run for the Indians in the win. Patrick Steinkellner (2-for-4) added a pair of hits of his own from the lead off spot.

Lukas Scheicher had two of the three total hits for the Athletics going 2-for-5 in Game 1.

Game 2 saw a pair of very nice pitching performances with the Indians coming out on top again.

Danny Hall Jr. tossed a complete game win for Dornbirn allowing just five hits and one run. He improved his record for the year to 3-0.

On the other side, John Dobkowski pitched well too, but couldn’t get any offensive support. Dobkowski tossed eight innings allowing just two runs on six hits taking the loss for the Athletics.

Devery Van De Keere homered again for the Indians in the win. Felix Wilhelm (2-for-4) was the only Athletics hitter with more than one hit in Game 2.

In other Austrian Baseball League action:

Derek Bettinson went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles for the Stock City Cubs in Game 1 of their weekend series against the Vienna Wanderers. In Game 2, he went 3-for-5.

Joseph Wilson knocked in two runs going 4-for-4 for the Stock City Cubs in their Game 1 win. He homered and drove in two runs in Game 2 of the series too.

Jakob Simonsen tossed seven innings allowing just two runs (one earned) to pick up the win for the Vienna Metrostars in Game 1 against the Diving Ducks.

Joseph Rollwagen went 3-for-4 with four RBI in the Metrostars blowout win in Game 1.

Will Owens went 3-for-4 and scored three runs in the blowout too. In Game 2 of the weekend, Owens went 4-for-5 including a double.

Richard Alzinger went 3-for-5 in a Game 2 loss to the Diving Ducks for the Metrostars. He also stole two bases.

Wayne Ough had a nice day at the plate in Game 2 of the weekend for the Diving Ducks going 3-for-4.

Austrian Baseball League Scores:

Dornbirn Indians 5, Attnang Athletics 2
Dornbirn Indians 2, Attnang Athletics 1

Stock City Cubs 5, Vienna Wanderers 6
Stock City Cubs 4, Vienna Wanderers 5

Vienna Metrostars 12, Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 2 (7)
Vienna Metrostars 8, Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 9

Austrian Baseball League Standings:

1. Dornbirn Indians 5-1
2. Vienna Wanderers 6-3
3. Vienna Metrostars 4-3
4. Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks 5-6
5. Stock City Cubs 5-6
6. Attnang Athletics 1-7

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Austria: Attnang Athletics Split Series with Stock City Cubs


Week five is in the books in the Austrian Baseball League. However, only a couple of the game were played this weekend due to some cancellations.  The Attnang Athletics and Stock City Cubs did get in their two game set this weekend with the two teams splitting the series.

The Diving Ducks and Dornbirn Indians were rained out. So were the Vienna Wanderers and the Vienna Metrostars but they were able to make up that game on Tuesday.

Attnang Athletics 2, Stock City Cubs 9
Attnang Athletics 2, Stock City Cubs 1

Game 1 saw the Cubs get a strong outing from its starter Michael Schneider who tossed a complete game win. Schneider gave up just two runs on eight hits while striking out six to improve his record to 2-2.

Moritz Hackl had a nice day at the plate for the Cubs going 2-for-5. Hackl doubled and drove in a pair of runs.

Thomas Schrittwiese took the loss for the Athletics falling to 0-2 on the year.

The Athletics got a nice start out of pitcher/coach John Dobkowski (W, 1-1) in Game 2. Dobkowski tossed 7.1 innings allowing just one run on four hits while striking out seven. Walter Strasser (S, 1) came on to pick up the save giving the Athletics their first win of the season.

Lukas Scheicher led the Athletics offense going 2-for-4 with a stolen base and a RBI.

David Whigham (L, 0-2) pitched very well for the Cubs but took the loss. He pitched all nine innings allowing just two runs on six hits while striking out 16 in the loss.

Vienna Wanderers 5, Vienna Metrostars 4

Joseph Wilson (W, 1-2) picked up the win for the Wanderers on Tuesday. He tossed six innings allowing all four Metrostars runs on four hits. Hiroyuki Sakanashi (S, 1) came on to pick up the save pitching the final three innings allowing just one hit while striking out four.

The Wanderers scored five runs but did so on only five hits from three batters. Felix Zimmerle (2-for-4), Andrew Dowl (2-for-4/2 RBI), and Amin Many (1-for-4) were the only batters to get a hit in the game.

Austrian Baseball League Standings:

1. Dornbirn Indians 3-1
2. Vienna Metrostars 3-2
3. Vienna Wanderers 4-3
4. Stock City Cubs 5-4
5. Diving Ducks 4-5
6. Attnang Athletics 1-5

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Austria: ABL Kicks Off First Full Weekend; Cubs and Indians Lead League with Sweeps


The first full weekend of the Austrian Baseball League is in the books with two teams leading the way after a weekend sweep.  The Dornbirn Indians took care of the Attnang Athletics in a pair of games, while the Stockerau Cubs downed the defending champion Vienna Wanderers in a pair of games.

Attnang Athletics 0, Dornbirn Indians 2
Attnang Athletics 2, Dornbirn Indians 7

The Indians got a great start out of Paul Astl who tossed seven innings of three-hit, no-run ball. He struck out nine en route to the win for the Indians. Franz Haisjackl picked up the save tossing two scoreless innings to finish the game.

Walter Strasser pitched well for the Athletics but got no offensive support. He pitched six innings allowing just two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out 10.

Both teams collected just five hits apiece. The Athletics Raphael Mayr (2-for-4) was the only hitter on either team with more than one hit.

Game 2 featured a bit more offense and another Indians win.

Danny Hall Jr. pitched well for Dornbirn giving up just two unearned runs in six innings to pick up the win. Again, Franz Haisjackl picked up the save tossing three scoreless innings of relief.

John Dobkowski took the loss for the Athletics pitching seven innings allowing six runs on 12 hits.

Joachim Frick (1-for-3) homered and drove in a pair of runs for the Indians. Patrick Steinkellner set the table for the Indians in the lead off spot going 3-for-5. Devery Van de Keere also homered and went 3-for-4 in the win.

Lukas Scheicher was the only Athletics hitter with more than one hit going 2-for-5 with a double.

In other league action:

Andrew Oberthaler went 3-for-9 with a home run and three RBI in a pair of games for the Vienna Wanderers.

Max Scholdan hit a solo home run for the Wanderers.

Arian Quirantes had a huge weekend for the Stockerau Cubs. In the two games he went 5-for-8 with a home run in each game.

Derek Bettinson had a huge second game for the Cubs hitting a home run and going 4-for-5.

Mark Brunnthaler picked up two wins in relief for the Cubs tossing five innings giving up just one run.

Lutz Rauch went 4-for-8 for the Vienna Metrostars over the weekend.

Wayne Ough scored four runs and went 3-for-7 for the Diving Ducks.

Claus Seiser went 3-for-5 in the first game for the Diving Ducks. He finished the weekend 4-for-9.

ABL Scores:

Attnang Athletics 0, Dornbirn Indians 2
Attnang Athletics 2, Dornbirn Indians 7

Vienna Wanderers 6, Stockerau Cubs 7 (11)
Vienna Wanderers 6, Stockerau Cubs 7

Diving Ducks 8, Vienna Metrostars 7
Diving Ducks 3, Vienna Metrostars 4

ABL Standings:

1. Dornbirn Indians 2-0
1. Stockerau Cubs 2-0
3. Diving Ducks 2-2
4. Vienna Metrostars 1-1
5. Vienna Wanderers 1-3
6. Attnang Athletics 0-2

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Austria: Vienna Wanderers Kick Off Season with a Pair of Wins


The Austrian Baseball League kicked off this past weekend with a two-game series between the Vienna Wanderers and the Vienna Neustadt Diving Ducks.

Game 1 saw a complete game from Wanderers starter Feliz Zimmerle as he led them to a 6-4 win. Zimmerle held off a 9th inning comeback attempt by the Ducks to hold on for the win as the defending champions started the season off on the right foot.

Game 2 was a little more interesting. The Ducks won on the field 5-1, but would wind up losing the game officially 9-0.

The reigning MVP Ryan Kroko helped lead the Ducks to the win along with Wayne Ough. Kroko went seven innings allowing just two runs (one earned) while striking out five. Ough pitched the final two innings to earn the save.

Joseph Wilson took the loss tossing six innings.

However, the Ducks used three foreign players to which the Wanderers filed a protest. A day later, the league awarded the Wanderers the win after upholding their protest.

So, instead of splitting the series like they did on the field, the Wanderers start the season 2-0 while the Diving Ducks start 0-2.

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The 2013 Austrian Baseball League Preview


By Dave Burns

With the start of the Austrian baseball league just around the corner, many people are waiting in anticipation as to how things are going to unfold this year. With some big changes to the league this year, things are going to be quite different.

First of all, the ABL decreased from 8 teams to 6. In my 8 years of ABL experience, this was a good move since typically the bottom two teams are competing at a different level and the season goes way to long.

Second, they increased the number of imports permitted on the field from one to two. I also agree with this change as it will only raise the level of play even more while still leaving plenty of opportunities for Austrians to play ball.

With that being said, a lot of teams have beefed up their rosters in anticipation for what appears to be a dogfight. In this year more than any, it appears that it is anyone’s title to win.

With that being said, I will go out on a limb and make some predictions, something that I am not very good at doing and with all these changes, a difficult task to say the least.

Attnang Athletics

After an early exit in the 2012 postseason, some changes may be welcome in Attnang. Although some changes apparently are going to hurt the Athletics, I believe change for this club is maybe what it needs.

This change is going from an almost automatic playoff spot the past five seasons to the underdog who many will predict will be in a fight to stay in the ABL come the end of the season. This is largely due to the retirement of Johnny Kashuba and the year pause of Harold Pointner, two of the club’s top infielders and a huge offensive threat in Kashuba.

Also moving on is a highly skilled and youthful Markus Effedinger (work related), a player who many had hoped to be the future of the Athletics. To top it off Martin Rabengruber is out for most of the season with a knee injury. With these changes, the A’s will be looking to their young players this year to carry some of the load as the old guys like myself and Gruber will take a step back.

New are pitcher/coach John Dobkowski, add Richard Bermudez from the Vikings to the list along with Andre Gruber coming out of retirement and you may ask why I believe the Athletics are the underdog?!?

Well that is because you haven’t heard what some of the other clubs are up to yet.

The Athletics pitching depth will be the big question mark for the A’s success. The Athletics cannot rely on Walter Strasser to continue to shut down teams game-after-game for 9 innings each appearance. And with a limited number of arms to back him up in that first game, the Athletics will have a tough time sweeping doubleheaders like they used to.

Stockerau Cubs

Unlike the Athletics, the Cubs do not have many changes that I am aware of. David Whigham is the import pitcher replacing Seth Blevins. Whigham has been playing Indy ball for 6 years now and brings with him a ton of experience. Arian Quirantes will continue to give the cubs the big bat and if they can continue to play small ball like they did against us last year, behind the strong Austrian pitching of Mark Brunnthaler and Michael Schneider, these Cubs can give any ABL team a run for their money.

The Cubs were third in the league last year in hitting, a statistic that will probably drop as Seth Blevins was a good hitting pitcher. On the mound I expect the Cubs to improve with the addition of Whigham however, I believe their pitching depth may be an issue.

They will need to win a number of close games to find success deep into the season.

Wr. Neustadt Divings Ducks

Wow. This team is hungry is all I have to say. After getting destroyed by them in the playoffs last season, I am able to confidently say that this team comes to play.

The Ducks have undergone some big changes coming into the 2013 season. Changes that I think can only help the them….. a lot. To the dismay of most opposing batters, last year’s top pitcher Ryan Kroko is back. However, as if that wasn’t enough, the Ducks went and added stud Australian pitcher Wayne Ough who spent the last season tearing up the Czech Elite League. At 34, Ough still has game and not only on the mound. Ough hit .430 in the Czech Republic last year and posted a .262 era.

Oh wait, I am not done. The Ducks decided to add an Australian catcher by the name of Jake Turcato just to make things more interesting. Lastly, bringing it all together is new import coach Ryan Myers.

I heard rumors they lost a couple of players in Julio Diaz and Jason Wall. If that is the case they more than made up for it. With ringleader Clemens Cichocki on the mound in game one, you can start placing your bets that the Ducks will see themselves in a familiar place come September.

Last year the Ducks finished 5th in batting but did not show that at all in the playoffs. With the addition of Ough and Turcato, I expect them to be in the top three. Pitching wise they finished fourth, a statistic that I think they will improve on this year, especially when considering the way Cichocki ended last season. When it comes to their Austrian pitching depth, I believe they fall a bit short here and this could be their only problem if Cichocki can’t pick up where he left off.

Dornbirn Indians

The Dornbirn Indians last year finished 7th in both era and batting average, despite having American pitcher coach Danny Hall, Canadian Devery van deKeere (one of the top hitters) and catcher / Canadian Matt Patrick on the roster. Hard to understand but summed up by the fact that there is not a lot of depth on the bench.

In the offseason that problem was solved by the folding of the Schwarz Tigers which led to the acquisition of Paul Astl and Franz Haisjackl, the Tigers top two Austrian pitchers and batsmen. With the return of the aforementioned foreign players (two of which play as Austrians), I expect the Indians to improve on their 2012 5th place finish by at least two notches. Throw Joachim Frick into that line up and you can expect a lot of early departures from opposing starting pitchers. With Hall and van deKeere both able to chuck, and the addition of the Tigers top boys, I don’t see any weaknesses in this team. I have them jockeying to have their name engraved on the trophy at the end of 2013.

Vienna Metrostars

The Vienna Metrostars held the best record at the end of the 2012 regular season. Like the Athletics, they had a disappointing finish as they were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by their home park rivals and eventual champions the Vienna Wanderers. Departing is Jeff Tezak and Ross Husky. Replacing Tezak is outfielder Will Owens. However the Mets are welcoming back JT Hilliard, Marcel Ceska and Elias Niel back from injuries.

Full with some of Austria’s best talent, this team has proven year after year that they are a hitting machine with a ton of pitching depth. Their pitchers aren’t going to come in and blow you away for 9 innings necessarily, but they are clever and consistent. With coach Tim Patrick quick to throw in a new arm when he sees the need, opposing hitters find themselves constantly adjusting to new pitching styles and speeds throughout the 18 innings. The question will be, will the Mets hit the import pitching well enough to support their Austrian pitching staff?

As usual, I expect this team to be standing when the dust settles at the end of the regular season, gearing up for the final four. However, more than ever, this is far from a guarantee like it has been in past years.

Vienna Wanderers

I almost forgot, we still haven’t gotten to last years cinderella team and champions, the Vienna Wanderers. The 2012 Wanderers are the prime example of why change is sometimes good in sports, even if it appears like change for the worse on paper. Last year everyone counted the Wanderers out before a pitch was even thrown. They had lost some key veteran players, Cichocki being one of them, and everyone had them pegged as bottom two. As far as I remember, that is the way it seemed it was going to play out after the first 6 games when the Wanderers found themselves near the bottom.

But something changed. Something lit a fire under them that was impossible to extinguish. The Wanderers got hot at the right time and with the addition of Andrew Overthaler into their lineup late in the season, this club went on a terror and never looked back.

Coming into 2013, they made no changes that I am aware of. Hiro Sakanashi will continue to work his magic and get the most out of his players and they will continue to have fun while playing baseball. That was what I personally noticed with this club, they were having fun and had good team chemistry.

Joe Wilson is back and is a big bat and a solid presence on the mound. He finished the season super hot and you can look to him to pick up where he left off. Felix Zimmerle, yet to hit is prime and already one of the top Austrian pitchers, will start most Austrian ends of the doubleheader with veteran Johannes Godler backing him up.

The only question is how the Wanderers will stack up in the import game with the talented import pitching throughout the ABL this year. Will Wilson, the ageless ChristianTomsich and Sakanshi be able to carry the load on the mound? My guess is yes.

Summary

I am pretty sure that there will be a couple more changes made and some info that I am not aware of but nevertheless, here is my vague prediction:

I believe the two Vienna clubs, the Ducks and Indians will be battling it out in the end. However, you can’t count the Athletics and Cubs out and I would not be surprised to see any team win it this year. That is as far as I am going to go with a prediction. On paper these four clubs look the best but we all know come playoffs anything can happen and a lot rides on injuries and who is hot and who is not.

All I know, is I can’t wait to see what happens!

If any of you clubs want to add one more import before the deadline, there are plenty of talented players still looking for homes at:

www.internationalbaseballcommunity.com

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Austria: Attnang-Puchheim Athletics Name John Dobkowski New Head Coach


The Attnang-Puchheim Athletics qualified for the playoffs by finishing second in the standings in 2012, a game out of first at 18-10. Then they got ousted in the semifinals of the Austrian Baseball League playoffs by the eventual runner-up,  the Wiener Neustadt Diving Ducks. When they suit up for the 2013 campaign they will have a new leader at the helm.

American John Dobkowski will take over the reins and lead the Athletics this season, and he is no stranger to the European baseball scene. Over the past few years he has played in the Netherlands (2009/Den Hague Storks) and followed that up with a few years in Germany pitching for the Gauting Indians. He also competed with the Polish Baseball National Team in the 2011 Qualifier of the European Championship. There he earned the best pitcher award for his complete game victory over Austria helping Poland to finish third.

Dobkowski got his playing days started at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Division III team. There he pitched earning 30 victories over his career and helping them to the CUNY Championship in 2007. In his time at John Jay College, he was named a CUNY All-Star three times.

He is also no stranger to the role of coach. For the past five seasons he has been the pitching coach for John Jay College and is one of the directors of The International Game where he has coached some of the U.S.A.’s top collegiate players.

The International Game is an elite travel team made up of collegiate players that travels annually to Europe to play in some of the top tournaments including the Athletics own Finkstonball Tournament.

During his time with the Athletics he will be charged with bringing the title back to Attnang-Puchheim where they haven’t seen the championship trophy since 2010.

Dobkowski will not only serve as head coach of the senior team, but he will also be the coordinator of the youth teams. He will also bring his experience to the mound for the Athletics as a pitcher.

The Athletics will kick off its season on May 4 on the road against the Dornbirn Indians.

Dobkowski

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Finkstonball Dates Announced for 2013 #BaseballJourney


One country I am dying to visit is Austria.

My sister-in-law went to high school there. I’ve been fascinated with so many photos of travelers visiting. Everything I have read and heard about it makes it seem like an amazing place to me.  The history, scenery, people, food, and beer really interest me. So how could you add all of this together and package it to make it even more attractive? Throw in a baseball tournament!

That’s exactly what they have done in Attnang-Puchheim with the Finkstonball Tournament each year.

Each summer they host a weekend long baseball tournament that is also paired with a music festival.

The dates for 2013 have been announced, and I am going to try to make it next year on my European trip, at least that is the plan right now.

For 15 years, the fine folks here have been putting on the tournament. Over 2000 players from more than 80 teams in 19 different countries have played here.

To me it doesn’t get much better than this when you add up the baseball, the location, and the people.

Have you been before? Or would you like to go? Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear some feedback.

The dates for 2013 are May 18th – 20th.

For more information visit Finkstonball.com.

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Bad Homburg Hornets Win 2012 Finkstonball Baseball Tournament


AUSTRIA – The German Baseball League club Bad Homburg Hornets defeated the GEI Attnang-Puchheim Athletics 6-2 Monday to win the Finkstonball XV international baseball tournament.

The Hornets, currently residing in seventh-place in the South Division with a 1-13 record, went undefeated in four tourney outings with wins over the Belfast Northstars (3-0), Hluboka Cardinals (5-3), Janossomorja Rascals (13-2) and Attnang-Puchheim.

Bad Homburg slugger Jeremy Jenkins, who won the Home Run Derby, was also named the tournament MVP. Other awards were given to Ty Eriksen (Best Batter) and David Statsny (Best Pitcher).

2012 FINKSTONBALL TOURNAMENT RESULTS:

SATURDAY, MAY 26TH:
Attnang Athletics 8 – Erbach Grashoppers 0
Janossomorja Rascals 4 – Tempo Titans 3
Domazlice Wolfs 2 – BK Vindija 1
Bad Homburg Hornets 3 – Belfast Northstars 0
Attnang Athletics 1 – Athletic Sofia 0
Sissach Frogs 4 – Tempo Titans 3
Bad Homburg Hornets 5 – Hluboka Cardinals 3
Athletic Sofia 8 – Erbach Grashoppers 0
Janossomorja Rascals 3 – Sissach Frogs 1
Swiss National Team 14 – Domazlice Wolfs 7

SUNDAY, MAY 27TH:
Swiss National Team 9 – BK Vindija 3
Hluboka Cardinals 8 – Belfast Northstars 0
Sissach Frogs 13 – Domazlice Wolfs 0
Hluboka Cardinals 19 – Domazlice Wolfs 1
Bad Homburg Hornets 13 – Janossomorja Rascals 2
Attnang Athletics 4 – Swiss National Team 2
Athletic Sofia 8 – Sissach Frogs 2
Tempo Titans 23 – Erbach Grashoppers 2
Belfast Northstars 10 – BK Vindija 9
Tempo Titans 5 – Belfast Northstars 4
BK Vindija 18 – Erbach Grashoppers 7

MONDAY, MAY 28TH:
Athletic Sofia 4 – Hluboka Cardinals 0
Swiss National Team 6 – Janossomorja Rascals 5
Bad Homburg Hornets 6 – Attnang Athletics 2

RECENT FINKSTONBALL CHAMPIONS:

2007 – Weert Indians (Netherlands)
2008 – Dinamo Bukarest (Romania)
2009 – Bad Homburg Hornets (Germany)
2010 – Attnang Athletics (Austria)
2011 – Swiss National Team (Switzerland)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Austria: Attnang-Puchheim Athletics Take Over First Place


AUSTRIA – The GEI Attnang-Puchheim Athletics swept past the Schwaz Tigers on Saturday to take over sole possession of first place in the Austrian Baseball League.

Attnang-Puchheim (9-3) captured a 12-4 win in the opening game as Jon Kashuba, Martin Rabengruber and Dave Burns all homered for the host squad. Rabengruber and Burns continued the power display in the second match as the A’s finished off the twinbill sweep with a high-scoring 16-11 victory.

The Vienna-Neustadt Diving Ducks (6-4) stunned the Stock City Cubs (7-3) twice to move into third place, while the Dornbirn Indians (5-5) and Union Kufstein Vikings (2-8) split a doubleheader.

The lone matchup on Sunday featured a pair of nailbiters between the Vienna Metrostars (5-5) and the Vienna Wanderers (4-6). The Metrostars claimed a 6-5 win in the first encounter before the Wanderers salvaged a split with a 7-5 decision in the second game.

SATURDAY, MAY 19:
Union Kufstein Vikings 12,1 – Dornbirn Indians 7,2
GEI Attnang-Puchheim Athletics 12,16 – Schwaz Tigers 4,11
Vienna-Neustadt Diving Ducks 4,5 – Stock City Cubs 2,1

SUNDAY, MAY 20:
Vienna Metrostars 6,5 – Vienna Wanderers 5,7

2012 AUSTRIAN LEAGUE:

1.GEI Attnang-Puchheim Athletics (9-3)
2.Stock City Cubs (7-3)
3.Vienna-Neustadt Diving Ducks (6-4)
4.Dornbirn Indians (5-5)
4.Vienna Metrostars (5-5)
6.Vienna Wanderers (4-6)
7.Schwaz Tigers (2-6)
8.Union Kufstein Vikings (2-8)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Interview: Wiener Neustadt Diving Ducks Player Ryan Kroko


Last week, the Wiener Neustadt Diving Ducks foreign import Ryan Kroko sat down to answer a few questions about playing in Austria. Here is what he had to say.

You grew up in Georgia and pitched in college in South Carolina. How did you wind up in Austria?

I was training at a place called American Baseball Institute in Tampa. The pitching guy there, chris holt actually came over and played a couple years ago. The player personal for the ducks asked chris if knew any pitchers that would want to come play over here.

Had you visited Europe before making the move to play in Austria?

No this was my first time out of the country. I had to get my passport before I came here.

You are about a month into the season so far. What has it been like so far?

It gone really fast actually. I am really enjoying it here, everything from the food, people and lifestyle.

With league games on weekends, how do you spend the rest of your time?

I have gotten into a routine for the mornings of either working out or running. I started reading a little more once I got over here also. I just finished Tim Teebows book.

Have you met any of the other foreign players in the league? What advice or insights have they given you if any?

Actually one of my good friends plays for the Wanderers now. They needed a shortstop and a week later he was here. But most the teams we play I’ll talk to their import player after the game and see where they are from. Chris was actually really good about telling me about what it was going to be like here.

There are many players that are sort of on the European circuit so to speak bouncing from country to country. Is this something you are interested in?

Yeah I am interested in that for sure. Any chance that I get to put on a uniform and play I’m going to consider.

How has the level of competition been so far?

It’s been pretty good. I have had to pitch out of some situations.

How has the level of communication been so far being as Austria is a German speaking nation?

I have learned that either the people know english and I can have a conversation with them or they don’t know any at all. I have learned some of the basic words though.

Many of the players in Europe are also managers. Is this something you would be interested in getting into one day?

Yeah I would be. I have been blessed to have some good coaches over the years and I want to pass some of this knowledge on to younger players.

I want to thank Ryan for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. If you want to learn more about what it’s like to play in Austria, you can follow Ryan on his blog at Baseball in Austria, or follow him on Twitter, @rkroko

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Austria: Union Kufstein Vikings Pick Up First Win of Season


AUSTRIA – The Union Kufstein Vikings picked up its first win of the 2012 season with a 6-4 victory over the top-ranked Stock City Cubs this past weekend in the Austrian Baseball League.

Bubbie Buzachero drilled an early two-run shot to help the Vikings snap a seven-game losing streak and deal the surprising Cubs their first setback of the year in the opening game of a twinbill.

Stock City (7-1) salvaged a split with a narrow 3-2 win in the second game as Cubs starter Seth Brevins outdueled Buzachero in a low-scoring affair.

The Vienna Wanderers and the GEI Attnang-Puchheim Athletics battled to a draw. Raphael Mayr singled home a pair of scores to help the A’s claim a 3-1 victory in the first contest.

The Wanderers avoided the sweep in a big way with a lopsided 12-0 victory. Jeff Reeves punched out 10 batters in just four frames to post the win.

The Diving Ducks Vienna Neustadt and Dornbirn Indians also split a pair of games, while the twinbill between the Schwaz Tigers and the Vienna Metrostars was rained out.

2012 AUSTRIAN LEAGUE:

Stock City Cubs (7-1)
GEI Attnang-Puchheim Athletics (7-3)
Dornbirn Indians (4-4)
Vienna Metrostars (4-4)
Vienna-Neustadt Ducks (4-4)
Vienna Wanderers (3-5)
Schwaz Tigers (2-5)
Union Kufstein Vikings (1-7)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Austria: Stock City Cubs Stay Unbeaten


AUSTRIA – The Stock City Cubs continued its perfect start to the 2012 season with a pair of hard-fought Austrian Baseball League victories over the Vienna Metrostars. With the twin bill sweep, the Cubs improved to 6-0 on the young season.

Moritz Hackl collected an inside-the-park home run to help Stock City claim a 6-4 win in Sunday’s opening contest. The Cubs finished off the sweep with a 4-2 triumph in the second game.

The Attnang-Puchheim Athletics (6-2) knocked off the Dornbirn Indians (3-3) twice, 12-2 and 6-4, while the Vienna Wanderers (2-4) topped the Union Kufstein Vikings (0-6) in a pair of hotly-contest encounters, 6-5 and 3-1.

The final matchup on slate last weekend saw the Vienna-Neustadt Ducks (3-3) split a doubleheader against the Schwaz Tigers (2-4).

2012 AUSTRIAN LEAGUE:

Stock City Cubs (6-0)
Attnang-Puchheim Athletics (6-2)
Vienna Metrostars (4-4)
Vienna-Neustadt Ducks (3-3)
Dornbirn Indians (3-3)
Schwaz Tigers (2-4)
Vienna Wanderers (2-4)
Union Kufstein Vikings (0-6)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Austria: Schwaz Routes Dornbirn 30-0, Split Twin Bill


AUSTRIA – The surprising Stock City Cubs used strong pitching to sweep the Vienna Wanderers this past Saturday to hold onto the top spot in the Austrian Baseball League.

Stock City (4-0) coasted to a 7-1 win in the twinbill opener before edging Vienna (0-4) in 11 innings, 2-1, behind a 13 strikeout, complete game outing by Seth Blevins.

The second-place Dornbirn Indians (3-1) regrouped after a 30-0 drubbing at the hands of the Schwaz Tigers (1-3) to salvage a doubleheader split with a 4-2 win in the second game.

Reigning ABL champion Vienna Metrostars drew even with the Vienna-Neustadt Diving Ducks, and The GEI Attnang-Puchheim Athletics bagged two victories against the winless Union Kufstein Vikings.

SATURDAY, APRIL 28:
Metrostars 6,2 – Ducks 5,8
Cubs 7,2 – Wanderers 1,1
Tigers 30,2 – Indians 0,4

SUNDAY, APRIL 29:
Athletics 7,11 – Vikings 1,8

2012 AUSTRIAN LEAGUE:

Stock City Cubs (4-0)
Dornbirn Indians (3-1)
Attnang-Puchheim Athletics (4-2)
Vienna Metrostars (4-2)
Vienna-Neustadt Ducks (2-2)
Schwaz Tigers (1-3)
Union Kufstein Vikings (0-4)
Vienna Wanderers (0-4)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Website of the Week: Baseball in Austria


Ryan Kroko is playing with the Wiener Neustadt Diving Ducks this season in the Austrian Baseball League. The Atlanta native who pitched collegiately at South Carolina Beaufort joins the Ducks who are back in the ABL after a short absence.

Ryan has decided to document his playing time in Austria through a blog at, Baseball in Austria. I think you would find it an interesting read as he tells tales of life as an import in the Austrian Baseball League.

You can also follow Ryan on Twitter, @rkroko

So head on over and check it out as the season is beginning.

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Austria: Attnang-Puchheim Splits Twinbill with Vienna to Open Season


AUSTRIA – The Vienna Metrostars and the GEI Attnang-Puchheim Athletics fought to a twinbill split this past Saturday as the Austrian Baseball League unwrapped its 2012 regular season.

Attnang-Puchheim, winners of the 2010 ABL crown, knocked off the reigning Austrian champion 6-1 in the season opening contest. Staff ace Walter Strasser (1-0) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth en route to seven scoreless frames to earn the win.

Vienna retaliated with a 9-5 comeback win in the second game. The Metrostars put together a four-run eighth to overcame home runs by Horst Efferdinger and Michael Nedelcu. Reliever Jakob Simonsen (1-0) notched the win out of the bullpen.

2012 AUSTRIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE:

Attnang-Puchheim Athletics (1-1)
Vienna Metrostars (1-1)
Dornbirn Indians (0-0)
Soroptimist Stockerauer Cubs (0-0)
Schwaz Tigers (0-0)
Union Kufstein Vikings (0-0)
Vienna Wanderers (0-0)
Wr. Neustadt Diving Ducks (0-0)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Austria: Attnang-Puchheim Athletics Sign American Kris Edwards


AUSTRIA – The GEI Attnang-Puchheim Athletics have signed American right-hander Kris Edwards for the upcoming 2012 Austrian Baseball League campaign.

The 25-year-old Edina product began his college career at UW-Whitewater before arm problems led to Tommy John surgery. He transferred to the University of St. Thomas and was 1-0 with 0.69 ERA and 13 strikeouts in six appearances for the 2009 Division III champion.

Edwards posted an 8-4 pitching mark with a 1.87 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 77 innings for the Tommies in 2010. The following season, he earned All-Region and All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) honors by going 4-5 with a 2.72 ERA, seven saves, 69 strikeouts and just 14 walks in 73 innings.

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Austrian Baseball League to Start April 14


AUSTRIA – The reigning Austrian Baseball League champion Vienna Metrostars will collide with the Attnang-Puchheim Athletics in the 2012 ABL season opener on April 14. All eight squads will be in action the following week as the new season gets underway in earnest.

Other teams joining the Metrostars and Athletics in the ABL this year includes the Schwaz Tigers, Vienna Wanderers, Dornbirn Indians, Union Kufstein Vikings, Stock City Cubs and Diving Ducks Wr. Neustadt.

The top four squads at the end of the regular season on August 12 will advance to the playoffs. The two winners of the best-of-three semifinal playoff series will meet in the ABL championship series.

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Austria: 15th Annual Finkstonball Baseball Tournament


AUSTRIA – The 15th Annual Finkstonball Baseball Tournament will be played from May 26 to 28 in Attnang-Puchheim. The international baseball tournament will feature 12 teams from eight European countries.

The tournament hosts, the Attnang-Puchheim Athletics, will welcome teams from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland.

2012 FINKSTONBALL TOURNAMENT
- Athletic Sofia (Bulgaria)
- Attnang-Puchheim Athletics (Austria)
- Bad Homburg Hornets (Germany)
- Belfast Northstars (Ireland)
- Domazlice Wolfs (Czech Republic)
- Erbach Grasshoppers (Germany)
- Hluboka Cardinals (Czech Republic)
- Janossomorja Rascals (Hungary)
- Oslo Pretenders (Norway)
- Sissach Frogs (Switzerland)
- Swiss National Team (Switzerland)
- Tempo Titans Baseball (Czech Republic)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Interview with Schwaz Tigers Player/Coach Adam Sowell


Adam Sowell is a veteran of the European baseball leagues having played in Sweden (where he was MVP), Belgium, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and now Austria. So we asked Adam to tell us a little bit about life in Europe as an American player.

You initially went to Temple College in Texas out of high school. What was it like playing for former MLB pitcher Craig McMurtry?

Probably the scariest coach I’ve played for, lol. I remember after an away game watching Coach McMurtry turn a trash can round to hide the huge hole he put into it from beating it with a bat after something went wrong during a game. I was with him
in his first 2 years as coach, I enjoyed playing for him and I always try to check up on the Leopards to see how they are doing.

After college you signed with the Rivercity Rascals in the Frontier League. What was the biggest difference in playing in the minors and college ball?

In college if you don’t run hard in practices, the coaches are yelling at you. Once you get to the pros, the coaches don’t watch you anymore, you’re on your own.

You quickly found a home in the leagues of Europe jumping around from Belgium (Hoboken Pioneers), to Sweden where you were the MVP, to a short stint in the Dutch League, and so on while playing in the Czech Republic last season. Why do you keep returning to Europe?

I enjoy seeing new countries and learning new cultures. Little responsibility, some monthly cash, a free apartment and lots of baseball…. I guess I’m just a big kid at heart.

What has been your favorite place to play in Europe?

 The Czech League. The weather there wasn’t as cold and rainy as the other countries I’ve played in. The Eagles complex was also very impressive.

What about your favorite city to live in or visit?

So far it has been Karlskoga, Sweden, a small town with a population of about 27,000. The people in the town were very friendly, spoke pretty good English and it was easy to get around. I enjoyed going to the night club Stat and hanging out at Cafe Paris, a popular coffee shop in the city center. Okay who am I kidding, the girls are hot and my exact type. I’m considering returning to Sweden at some point to play for a team.

How would you rank the leagues in Europe against say college or the independent leagues in the States?

I’d say if you took an average independent league team and put them up against one of the better teams in Europe, for one game, it would be close. Teams in America have a lot more depth and the gap between the best college teams and the worst college teams are much smaller than the best and worst in Europe.

Aside from playing ball in Europe, what was the best part of living there as an American?

 I feel like I continue to improve and grow as a person as I learn and experience the non-tourist cultures of every new country I  live in. Most Americans rarely travel outside of America and when they do, it’s only for a short time in a touristy area where everyone speaks perfect English.

You are currently in Thailand, but are you looking to return to the diamond somewhere in Europe for the 2012 season?

Yes, I just committed to the Schwaz Tigers in Austria today as the new player/coach. They are in the process of getting the contracts together so it hasn’t been official announced yet. I chose the Tigers because the town and the club reminded me a lot of the Karlskoga Bats in Sweden in which I enjoyed greatly.

With your experience and success, have you ever thought of trying to make it either back in the States in the minors as a player or coach?

I haven’t really given it too much thought. It might be something I’d look into further down the road, but for now I’m looking into crossing off a few more European countries on my baseball list over the next few years.

I’d like to thank Adam for taking some time to answer a few questions for us.

You can follow Adam and his adventures overseas on his blog at AdamVanWildest and on his YouTube page. Right now you can check out some videos on living in Thailand and hopefully soon some videos on life in Austria.

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