Tag Archive | "Czech Republic"

Czech Republic: Draci In Top Spot


CZECH REPUBLIC – AVG Draci Brno took over sole possession of the top spot in the Czech League with a pair of wins last weekend. The 16-time defending national champion is 21-6 and leads second-place Kotlarka Prague by a half game.

Draci (21-6) rolled past the Arrows Ostrava 11-3 on Saturday before shutting out Skokani Olomouc 12-0 the following day to extend its winning streak to five games.

Kotlarka (23-7) dropped a 12-0 decision to last-place NAVISYS Hrosi Brno Saturday after slipping past MZLU Express Brno 7-6 earlier on the same day.

Technika Brno (17-11) collected two lopsided wins against Olomouc (11-0) and Ostrava (12-4), while Eagles Prague (18-12) are riding a seven-game winning streak after stopping Hrosi (8-3) and MZLU Express (7-2).

CZECH BASEBALL LEAGUE
1. AVG Draci Brno (21-6)
2. Kotlarka Prague (23-7)
3. Technika Brno (17-11)
4. Eagles Prague (18-12)
5. Arrows Ostrava (12-16)
6. Express Brno (11-18)
7. NAVISYS Hrosi Brno (7-23)
8. Skokani Olomouc (6-22)

Marvin Moore is a freelance international baseball writer who coached in Europe for six years. He currently teaches baseball to Filipino Kids at the Future Stars Baseball School.

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Czech Republic: Kotlarka Prague Stays Atop League


CZECH REPUBLIC – The top four teams in the Czech Baseball League all celebrated sweeps this past weekend as the playoff picture became alot clearer.

Kotlarka Prague (22-6) continued its surprising march towards the regular season crown with a pair of wins (8-3 and 6-1) over last-place NAVISYS Hrosi Brno (5-22). Riding a three-game winning streak, Kotlarka boasts the league’s second ranked offense and pitching unit.

16-time defending league champion AVG Draci Brno (19-6) stopped Skokani Olomouc (6-20) twice, 11-3 and 8-3, to remain a solid bet to claim an unprecedented 17th straight national title. Draci has scored a league-high 233 runs while limiting opposing hitters to a league-low 91 scores in 25 games.

A tussle between Technika Brno and a surging Eagles Prague squad is shaping up for the final two playoff spots. Technika (15-10) struggled but managed to deal the Arrows Ostrava (12-14) a pair of playoff-killing losses (9-4 and 5-4), while the Eagles (16-12) took two, 1-0 and 12-7, against Express Brno (11-16).

CZECH LEAGUE STANDINGS
1. Kotlarka Prague (22-6)
2. AVG Draci Brno (19-6)
3. Technika Brno (15-10)
4. Eagles Prague (16-12)
5. Arrows Ostrava (12-14)
6. Express Brno (11-16)
7. Skokani Olomouc (6-20)
8. NAVISYS Hrosi Brno (5-22)

Marvin Moore is a freelance international baseball writer who coached in Europe for six years. He currently teaches baseball to Filipino Kids at the Future Stars Baseball School.

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Czech Republic: Kotlarka Prague and Arrows Ostrava Split Twinbill


CZECH REPUBLIC – League-leading Kotlarka Prague rebounded from a 10-8 loss to Arrows Ostrava Saturday to salvage a twinbill split with a 11-1 victory in the Czech League. Kotlarka (20-6), which also split two games with the Arrows (12-12) last Wednesday, leads second-place AVG Draci Brno by four games.

Draci (16-6), the 16-time defending national champion, toppled Express Brno 13-6 before dropping the second game, 3-1. With the upset victory, the Express (11-14) kept alive its slim playoff hopes.

Technika Brno (13-9) swept a pair of games, 5-2 and 12-2, over NAVISYS Hrosi Brno, while Eagles Prague disposed of Skokani Olomouc twice, 5-1 and 9-4.

CZECH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Kotlarka Prague 20 06 Won 1
AVG Draci Brno 16 06 Lost 1
Technika Brno 13 09 Won 2
Eagles Prague 14 12 Won 3
Arrows Ostrava 12 12 Lost 1
Express Brno 11 14 Won 1
Skokani Olomouc 06 18 Lost 12
NAVISYS Hrosi Brno 05 20 Lost 2

 

Marvin Moore is a freelance international baseball writer who coached in Europe for six years. He currently teaches baseball to Filipino Kids at the Future Stars Baseball School.

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Czech Republic: Kotlarka Prague Extends Winning Streak to Eleven


CZECH REPUBLIC – Kotlarka Prague and AVG Draci Brno remained on a collision course as both squads captured doubleheader sweeps last weekend in the Czech League.

League-leading Kotlarka (17-3) extended its winning streak to 11 games with a pair of impressive wins, 12-0 and 7-2, over MZLU Express Brno. However, the 16-time reigning Czech champion remain on the heels of the Prague club.

Draci (14-4), boasting the league’s best offensive unit and pitching staff, beat the Arrows Ostrava 9-6 and 18-8.

Technika Brno (10-8), which nearly dethroned Draci in last year’s championship series, resides in third-place after stopping Skokani Olomouc (6-14) twice, 4-1 and 9-5.

Eagles Prague (11-11) moved into sole possession of the final playoff spot with 11-1 and 7-6 wins against NAVISYS Hrosi Brno (3-18).

CZECH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Kotlarka Prague 17 03 Won 11
AVG Draci Brno 14 04 Won 4
Technika Brno 10 08 Won 2
Eagles Prague 11 11 Won 2
MZLU Express Brno 10 11 Lost 2
Arrows Ostrava 08 10 Lost 2
Skokani Olomouc 06 14 Lost 8
NAVISYS Hrosi Brno 03 18 Lost 6

 

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

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Czech Republic: AVG Draci Brno Takes Two from Eagles Prague


CZECH REPUBLIC – AVG Draci Brno (12-4) swept a doubleheader against Eagles Prague, 14-1 and 11-0, this past weekend in the Czech Baseball League. The 16-time reigning league champion, boasting the league’s best pitching staff, has allowed just 47 runs while the batting lineup tops the league with 160 scores.

Kotlarka Prague extended its winning streak to nine games with a pair of 8-6 victories over Technika Brno Saturday. Kotlarka (15-3) is the frontrunner and is followed by second-place Draci.

The sweeps continued as the Arrows Ostrava took two games against NAVISYS Hrosi Brno, 7-3 and 6-4, while MZLU Express Brno turned back Skokani Olomouc twice, 13-8 and 9-5.

CZECH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Kotlarka Prague 15 03 Won 9
AVG Draci Brno 12 04 Won 2
MZLU Express Brno 09 09 Won 3
Technika Brno 08 08 Lost 3
Arrows Ostrava 08 08 Won 2
Eagles Prague 09 11 Lost 2
Skokani Olomouc 06 12 Lost 6
NAVISYS Hrosi Brno 03 15 Lost 3

 

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

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Czech Republic: Kotlarka Prague Runs Win Streak to Seven


CZECH REPUBLIC – Kotlarka Prague turned back upset-minded Skokani Olomouc twice last weekend to remain the frontrunner in the Czech Baseball League. Kotlarka escaped with a narrow 6-5 victory in the first game before claiming an 8-5 win in the twinbill finale.

The fourth-place Eagles Prague (9-9) moved to .500 with a pair of wins against Arrows Ostrava, and MZLU Express Brno stopped
NAVISYS Hrosi Brno 12-2.

CZECH BASEBALL LEAGUE RESULTS

Saturday, June 4th
Eagles Prague 8,9 – Arrows Ostrava 2,7
Kotlarka Prague 6,8 – Skokani Olomouc 5,5
Express Brno 12, NAVISYS Hrosi Brno 2

CZECH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
Kotlarka Prague 13 03 Won 7
AVG Draci Brno 10 04 Lost 1
Technika Brno 08 06 Lost 1
Eagles Prague 09 09 Won 5
MZLU Express Brno 07 09 Won 1
Arrows Ostrava 06 08 Lost 2
Skokani Olomouc 06 10 Lost 4
NAVISYS Hrosi Brno 03 13 Lost 1

 

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

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Czech Republic: CBA Appoints Andy Berglund National Team Head Coach


CZECH REPUBLIC – The Czech Baseball Association (CBA) has appointed Andy Berglund as the head coach of the Czech National Team. The American, who signed a two-year deal and will also be responsible for the Junior National Team, succeeds Arnost Nesnal.

Berglund previously worked as a MLB Envoy Coach in Europe, and steered Stockholm to the 2008 Swedish League championship. He is currently coaching in the United States and will arrive in the Czech Republic in mid-March.

Besides coaching the national teams, Berglund will also be calling the shots as skipper of the Czech club Prague Eagles.

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Czech Republic: MZLU Express Brno Adds Pitcher Radek Prochazka


CZECH REPUBLIC – The Czech League club MZLU Express Brno has added long-time AVG Draci Brno pitcher Radek Prochazka to its roster for the 2011 season. The Express finished the 2010 regular season in third-place with an 18-10 card.

Prochazka (1-0), who also served as the Draci pitching coach, was limited to just 17 innings in 2010 due to a shoulder injury. He is expected to join MZLU staff ace Leos Kubat in the starting rotation. Both hurlers were members of last year’s Czech national team.

Kubat (10-4) notched six complete games and collected 98 strikeouts in 121 2/3 innings last season. The veteran pitcher scattered three runs over five-plus frames to help Draci upset UGF Fortitudo Bologna 4-3 at the 2010 European Cup in Brno.

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New baseball field in T?ebí?, Czech Republic


By www.baseballeurope.com

In the middle of Czech Republic a new baseball field was built. Baseball Club T?ebí? Nuclears finished the construction in record time of 5 months. Financial resources were put together from the City of T?ebí?, Vyso?ina region and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

The club itself did also do a lot of work. The new stadium is a great award for the team that is known for its youth development. The field has all requirements for international competitions.

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Czech Republic: AVG Draci Brno Wins 16th Straight Title


CZECH REPUBLIC – Jan Jablonka and Pavel Budsky combined to drive in five runs, and Martin Schneider pitched six solid innings to help AVG Draci Brno capture its 16th consecutive Czech League crown with a 9-2 victory over Technika Brno in a winner-take-all Game 5 last Sunday at the AVG Arena.

Jablonka tallied three RBIs with a pair of doubles while Budsky, who reached on a walk, single and a two-bagger, joined Michal Ondracek with two RBIs.

Martin Schneider (1-0) scattered two runs and five hits with a walk and three strikeous to post the title-clinching win. Draci closer Wayne Ough fanned seven in three dominant relief frames to collect his third save of the finals.

Technika starter Daniel Mraz (0-1) was charged with the loss after surrendering seven runs and nine hits.

Draci claimed a key 7-2 win in Game 3 a day earlier to grab a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-five series. Radim Chroust drilled a pair of long balls and Ough added a late home run as the long-time champion moved within one win of maintaining one of the longest baseball dynasties in Europe.

Pat Ahearne (2-0) went the distance allowing two scores and 11 hits. The right-hander posted a 4-0 record and a 1.93 ERA during this year’s postseason.

Technika won a low-scoring 2-1 thriller in Game 4 in the first game Sunday to force a championship showdown. Trevor Caughey (2-0) put the team on his back with a sterling complete game outing with 13 strikeous, and singled home two early scores with the lumber. The American finished the postseason with a .419 batting average and five RBIs.

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

Game 1: AVG Draci Brno 2, Technika Brno 1
Game 2: Technika Brno 5, AVG Draci Brno 1
Game 3: AVG Draci Brno 7, Technika Brno 2
Game 4: Technika Brno 2, AVG Draci Brno 1
Game 5: AVG Draci Brno 9, Technika Brno 2

(AVG Draci Brno wins series 3-2)

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Czech: Technika Brno Ties Series at 1


CZECH REPUBLIC – American Trevor Caughey threw eight strong innings and Tomas Svoboda drove in two runs, as Technika Brno beat AVG Draci Brno 5-1 Sunday to even the Czech League Finals to one game apiece. The best-of-five championship series will resume on Oct. 16 with a lone game, and a possible twinbill slated the following day.

Draci took the series opener 2-1 as Pat Ahearne improved to 3-0 in this year’s postseason. The veteran right-hander posted a 3-0 mark with a 1.33 ERA over 27 innings during the regular season.

Canadian Ryan Murphy, the 2009 Dutch League MVP, was the tough-luck loser despite scattering two runs on six hits, two walks and seven strikeouts over eight frames.

Caughey (1-0), a former U.S. minor leaguer who went 8-2 with a 1.95 ERA during the regular season, shutdown the 13-time reigning league champion on five hits, three walks and six strikeouts in a clutch outing.

Svoboda tallied a pair of hits while Murphy had three hits, and Michal Koci added an RBI with a two-hit game.

Technika, which lost its first five meetings against Draci this season, overcame a 2-0 deficit against MZLU Express in the semifinals to reach the title series. Koci and Daniel Mraz both led the team with a .356 batting average, while Murphy (4 HR) and Martin Stritecky (5 HR) combined for nine long balls.

Draci has the longest running baseball dynasty in Europe and is facing a serious challenge for the second consecutive year. The Arrows Ostrava, led by Filipino dual threat Jon-Jon Robles, just missed dethroning the Czech powerhouse in 2009. The perennial titleholder swept Eagles Praha 16-6, 10-0 and 4-0 in the semifinals to continue their quest for an unprecedented 14th straight national championship.

Martin Schneider, who batted .447 (42-for-94) with 10 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 22 stolen bases and 41 RBIs, turned in a MVP-like season. other dangerous hitters for Draci includes hard-hitting shortstop Jakub Hajtmar (.444), Michal Ondracek (.418), Wayne Ough (.396) and Pavel Budsky (.367)

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

Game 1: AVG Draci 2, Technika 1
Game 2: Technika 5, AVG Draci 1
Game 3: at AVG Draci, Oct. 16, 1:00 PM
Game 4: at AVG Draci, Oct. 17, 12 NOON
Game 5: at Technika, Oct. 17, 4:00 PM*

* If necessary

(Series tied at 1-1)

Photo courtesy of Draci Brno

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USA Nabs Prague Baseball Week Title


CZECH REPUBLIC – The American AIST squad avenged an earlier loss to the Russian national team with a convincing 7-1 victory Saturday in the championship game to win the 29th Prague Baseball Week at Eagles Stadium in Prague. AIST, which dropped a nailbiting 6-5 contest to the Russians on Wednesday, finished the tournament with a 6-1 record.

FINAL STANDINGS:
1 – AIST (6-1)
2 – Russia (5-2)
3 – Czech Republic (4-2)
4 – Croatia (3-3)
5 – Austria (2-4)
6 – Czech Juniors (1-5)
7 – Israel (1-5)

The tournament featured two national teams from the Czech Republic – the junior and senior squads – as well as the national units from Austria, croatia and Russia. An American team (AIST) and a team from Israel rounded out the field.

2010 Prague Baseball Week Results:

Tuesday, July 13:
12:00 Israel 7, Czech Junior 4
15:30 AIST 9, Croatia 6
16:30 Czech Junior 12, Austria 11
19:30 Czech Republic 8, Russia 6

Wednesday, July 14:
11:30 Austria 8, Israel 5
15:00 Czech Republic 8, Croatia 4
16:30 Russia 6, AIST 5
19:00 Czech Republic 10, Czech Junior 4

Thursday, July 15:
12:00 Russia 8, Israel 2
15:30 Russia 9, Croatia 3
16:30 AIST 6, Czech Junior 1
19:00 Austria 8, Czech Republic 7

Friday, July 16:
12:00 Croatia 4, Israel 0
12:00 Russia 12, Austria 1
15:30 AIST 12, Austria 6
15:30 Croatia 6, Czech Junior 2
19:00 Czech Republic 7, Israel 2

Saturday, July 17:
12:00 Russia 15, Czech Junior 5
12:00 AIST 10, Israel 2
15:30 AIST 6, Czech Republic 5
15:30 Croatia 6, Austria 4
19:00 AIST 7, Russia 1

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Russia Wins European Juveniles Title


CZECH REPUBLIC – Anton Kuznetsov highlighted a three-run opening frame with a two-run double, and Russia survived a late rally by the Czech Republic to win the 2010 Juveniles European Championship with a 6-4 victory Saturday in Hluboka.

The Russians, which outscored their opponents 64 to 15, finished the tournament with a unblemished 4-0 record.  Czech Republic end the tourney with a 3-1 mark.

Kuznetsov, a two-way standout who earned Most Valuable Player honors, went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs to help Russia race out to a quick 3-0 lead. An RBI groundout by Nikita Selivanov and Nikita Laykov’s run-scoring single pushed the lead to 5-0 in the third. Meanwhile, Kuznetsov was throwing goose eggs until the tournament hosts snapped the shutout bid in the sixth.

FINAL STANDINGS
1 – Russia
2 – Czech Republic
3 – Lithuania
4 – Austria
5 – Slovakia
6 – Belarus
7 – Romania

The Czech Republic made things interesting in the seventh when Lukas Roubicek drilled a three-run triple off reliever Artem Kraevskiy to close the gap to a pair of scores, but the Russian squad kept their poise to claim the tournament championship.

Andrej Viskupic of Slovakia garnered the Best Pitcher award, while Czech slugger Adam Stejskal earned the Best Hitter trophy.

2010 European Championship (Juveniles) Results:

Tuesday, July 13
Russia 22, Romania 0
Lithuania 28, Slovakia 1
Czech Republic 20, Belarus 5

Wednesday, July 14
Austria 19, Romania 6
Belarus 18, Lithuania 11
Czech Republic 14, Slovakia 3

Thursday, July 15
Slovakia 16, Belarus 13
Russia 18, Austria 3
Czech Republic 11, Lithuania 1

Friday, July 16
Russia 18, Lithuania 8
Slovakia 22, Romania 10
Czech Republic 18, Austria 1

Saturday, July 17
Belarus 16, Romania 6
Lithuania 16, Austria 6
Russia 6, Czech Republic 4

Photo courtesy of Confederation of European Baseball (CEB)

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Czech Set European Championship Team


CZECH REPUBLIC – The Czech Baseball Association (CBA) has announced a 22-man roster for the 2010 European Baseball Championship which will be held in the German cities of Heidenheim, Neuenburg and Stuttgart from July 23 to August 1. The squad will be coached by AVG Draci Brno skipper Arnost Nesnal.

The Czech national team will prepare for the European Championship by competing at the Prague Baseball Week from July 13 to 17 on their home soil. Other participants slated for the tournament includes the national teams from Austria, Croatia, Israel, Russia, the Czech junior national team, as well as a team from the United States.

2010 CZECH REPUBLIC NATIONAL TEAM:

CATCHERS:
Petr Cech (Buchbinder Legionaere Regensburg), Jakub Vojak (Saarlouis Hornets) and Radim Chroust (AVG Draci Brno).

INFIELDERS:
Pavel Budsky (AVG Draci Brno), Jakub Sladek (Kotlarka Prague), Jakub Hajtmar (AVG Draci Brno), Martin Schneider (AVG Draci Brno), Jan Drabek (Eagles Prague), Tomas Polansky (AVG Draci Brno) and Petr Baroch (Kotlarka Prague).

OUTFIELDERS:
Jakub Malik (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Ales Navratil (Arrows Ostrava), Michal Ondracek (AVG Draci Brno), Karel Hrusovsky (AVG Draci Brno) andMartin Vesely (AVG Draci Brno).

PITCHERS:
Boris Bokaj (Buchbinder Legionaere Regensburg), Marian Gajdos (Kotlarka Prague), Jan Homolka (Eagles Prague), Vojtech Jelinek (AVG Draci Brno), Leos Kubat (MZLU Express Brno), Petr Minarik (AVG Draci Brno, pictured), Jan Rehacek (Minnesota Twins) and Radim Chroust (AVG Draci Brno).

COACHES:
Arnost Nesnal (Manager), Radek Prochazka (Assistant Coach), Jan Rubes (Assistant Coach), Greg McCarthy (Assistant Coach), Premysl Zak (Trainer) and Martin Mohyla (Doctor).

Photo courtesy of AVG Draci Brno

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Philadelphia Phillies Ink Czech Prospect


CZECH REPUBLIC – The Philadelphia Phillies have signed 16-year-old Czech pitcher Marek Minarik to a minor league contract. The right-hander chose to begin his professional career with the reigning National League champion after receiving offers from four Major League clubs.

The Lokomotiva Louny product also participated at this year’s MLB European Academy Tryout in Prague.

Photo courtesy of Lokomotiva Louny

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AVG Draci Brno Paces Czech League


CZECH REPUBLIC – AVG Draci Brno continued its winning ways last weekend with a doubleheader sweep against the Prague Eagles. The reigning Czech champion, which leads second-place Technika and MZLU Express by five games, improved to 11-0 on the young season.

Draci blanked the Eagles in the opening contest, 3-0, and finished off the day with a 6-3 victory in the second game. Draci has outscored its opponents by a margin of 91-32 so far in 2010.

Both Technika and MZLU Express, which share identical 6-5 records, split a twinbill against Kotlá?ka and Skokani Olomouc, respectively.

Technika claimed a suspenseful 5-4 win in the first game before mustering up little fight in a 7-1 setback in the second encounter. MZLU Express rebounded from a 6-3 loss in the opening matchup to salvage a split with a 7-4 triumph.

The final matchup last weekend had Navisys Hroši slipping past Arrows Ostrava, 1-0. The second game between the two teams was rained out.

CZECH LEAGUE:
1-Draci (11-0) 2-MZLU Express (6-5) 2-Technika (6-5) 4-Kotlá?ka (4-5) 5-Skokani (4-6) 6-Navisys Hroši (3-5) 7-Eagles (2-5) 8-Arrows (2-7)

Saturday, May 8
AVG Draci 3,6 Eagles 0,3
Technika 5,1 Kotlá?ka 4,7
Skokani Olomouc 6,4 MZLU Express 3,7
Navisys Hroši 1, Arrows Ostrava 0

Photo courtesy of AVG Draci Brno

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AVG Draci Begins Road Trip


CZECH REPUBLIC – AVG Draci Brno will begin a tough three-game stretch on Friday when the Czech League heavyweight battles MZLU Express on Friday. The 15-time defending league champion will clash with Technika and Navisys Hroši on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Draci (6-0), which has averaged almost nine runs an outing so far this season while allowing opponents a meager three scores, captured a pair of not-too-easy victories against Kotlá?ka (7-4 and 7-5) last weekend.

MZLU Express (4-2) moved into sole possession of second-place a week ago with a convincing sweep over the Arrows Ostrava, 17-3 and 11-4. Similar to Draci, the Express has a potent offensive attack and a pitching corps that has limited opposing lineups to less than four runs a game.

STANDINGS:
1-Draci (6-0) 2-MZLU Express (4-2) 3-Skokani (3-3) 3-Technika (3-3) 5-Navisys Hroši (2-2) 6-Eagles (1-1) 7-Kotlá?ka (1-3) 8-Arrows (0-6)

Friday, April 30
AVG Draci at MZLU Express
Technika at Navisys Hroši

Saturday, May 1
AVG Draci at Technika
Navisys Hroši at MZLU Express
Kotlá?ka at Eagles
Arrows Ostrava at Skokani Olomouc

Sunday, May 2
Navisys Hroši at AVG Draci
Technika at MZLU Express
Eagles at Kotlá?ka

Photo courtesy of AVG Draci Brno

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AVG Draci Hosting Arrows Ostrava


CZECH REPUBLIC – AVG Draci Brno will be hosting the Arrows Ostrava in a rematch of last year’s Czech title series on Saturday in one of three scheduled twinbills in the Czech League.

Draci (1-0) opened the season with an impressive 3-1 victory over Technika Brno and has assembled a talent-laden roster with an eye on making some noise at the European Cup tournament this summer. Meanwhile, the Arrows are a shell of the squad that posed a serious threat to the league crown last season.

Ostrava (0-1), which fell to Skokani Olomouc 9-3 in the season opener, is missing Filipino southpaw Job-Jon Robles and national team pitcher Boris Bokaj, who anchored the pitching staff a year ago.

Other matchups this weekend includes Technika hosting Skokani Olomouc, while the Praha Eagles will be on the road in Brno against Navisys Hroši.

STANDINGS:
1-Draci (1-0) 1-MZLU Express 1-Skokani 4-Eagles (0-0) 4-Kotlá?ka (0-0) 6-Arrows (0-1) 6-Navisys Hroši (0-1) 6-Technika (0-1)

Saturday, April 17
Skokani at Technika
Arrows at AVG Draci
Eagles at Navisys Hroši

Sunday, April 18
MZLU Express at Kotlá?ka

Photo courtesy of foto.mapy.cz

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AVG Draci Brno Survives Upset Scare


CZECH REPUBLIC – Reigning Czech League champion AVG Draci Brno opened the 2010 season last Sunday with a tough 3-1 road win against Technika Brno. However, the second game slated for Monday was postponed due to bad weather.

AVG Draci, which has captured the league title an astounding 15 consecutive seasons, are led by a talent-rich roster that features nearly the entire Czech national team. The Czech powerhouse has stockpiled an impressive array of quality arms with an eye on the European Cup tournament this summer.

Technika debuted a trio of import players who could pose a serious threat to Europe’s longest-running baseball dynasty. Former minor leaguers Alex Drehak and Trevor Caughey (pictured) joins ex-Mannheim Tornados middle infielder Billy Hess in Brno this year.

The MZLU Express and Skokani Olomouc also started the new season in the win column. MZLU spanked Czech League newcomer Navisys Hroši 16-1 at MBS in Brno, while Skokani Olomouc dealt the rebuilding Arrows Ostrava a 9-3 home loss.

STANDINGS:
1-Draci (1-0) 1-MZLU (1-0) 1-Skokani (1-0) 4-Eagles (0-0) 4-Kotlá?ka (0-0) 6-Arrows (0-1) 6-Navisys Hroši (0-1) 6-Technika (0-1)

Sunday, April 11
AVG Draci 3, Technika 1
MZLU Express 16, Navisys Hroši 1
Skokani 9, Arrows 3
Kotlá?ka vs Eagles (postponed)

Monday, April 12
AVG Draci vs Technika (postponed)
Kotlá?ka vs Eagles (postponed)

Tuesday, April 13
MZLU Express vs Navisys Hroši (postponed)

Photo courtesy of Mark Mauno

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2010 Czech League Season Preview


CZECH REPUBLIC – AVG Draci will head into its 2010 season opener Sunday against Technika as the heavy favorite to capture an unbelieveable 16th consecutive league crown. Other Czech League Opening Day matchups feature Skokani Olomouc visiting Ostrava to battle the Arrows, while Navisys Hroši and the Eagles will be on the road against MZLU Express and Kotlá?ka, respectively.

Coach Arnost Nesnal directs a talent-laden roster stocked with national team members, Aussie standout Wayne Ough, and player/coach Greg McCarthy. Veteran slugger Pavel Budsky headlines an offensive attack that also includes Jan Jablonka and Tomas Polansky.

Former MZLU Express ace Vojtech Jelinek joins a talented cast of pitchers led by Martin Schneider, Petr Minarik and Radek Prochazka.

The Arrows reached the league title series in 2009, but will be hard-pressed to emulate last year’s success after several key losses. Boris Bokaj, who teamed with Philippines dual threat Jon-Jon Robles last season to form a dynamic 1-2 punch on the mound, left for the German League along with talented backstop Petr Cech.

MZLU Express added several Draci players including national team catcher David Winkler, and pitchers Jakub Toufar and Vojtech Papez. Other newcomers are Premek Chroust and Arnost Dubovy

Pitchers Jakub Jonak and Jan Homolka will be calling the shots for the Eagles this season as playing coaches. The Praha club lost Basilio Barrios and Dominik Benatcan to Kotlá?ka, but pitcher Richard Prokop returns after a stint with in Liberec (Patriots).

National team pitcher Vojtech Holicky is the new head coach for Skokani Olomouc. Jakub Vojak was lured away by the German League club Saarlouis Hornets, but the team added former Temp Titans pitcher Lukas Josefus.

Technika lost top players Jakub Vancura (Kotlá?ka) and Ondrej Navrkal (Black Hill Blansko), but welcomes Jan Marek (Draci) and Jan Oralek (Black Hill Blansko) into the mix this season. However, the Brno club title hopes hinge on the return of their Australian import players.

Photo courtesy of http://brnensky.denik.cz/

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Tampa Bay Rays Sign Czech Southpaw


CZECH REPUBLIC – The Tampa Bay Rays have signed Czech national junior team pitcher Stepan Havlicek to a minor league contract. The 16-year-old left-hander attends the Sport Grammar School (Brno) and becomes the fourth European prospect to sign with the American League East club.

Havlicek (pictured, sliding) was a member of the Czech national teams that captured the gold at the 2004 European Juveniles Championship and the 2007 European Cadets Championship. He will travel to the United States in March for spring training, and is expected to train in Australia this summer.

2009 CZECH LEAGUE ANNOUNCES TOP AWARDS

The Czech Baseball Association announced recently the top five players from the 2009 season. The awards will be presented at the annual Czech League All-Star Game on May 8 in Brno.

Czech powerhouse AVG Draci Brno claimed three of the five awards. Veteran slugger Pavel Budsky was named Best Hitter while teammates Petr Minarik and Daniel Wayne Ough earned Best Pitcher and Playoffs MVP, respectively.

Other award winners included Marek Cervenka (Talent of the Year) of Kotlarka/Tempo Titans and Technika Brno’s power hitter Martin Stritecky (Home Run King).

CZECH LEAGUE INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

Best Hitter: Pavel Budsky, AVG Draci Brno
Best Pitcher: Petr Minarik, AVG Draci Brno
Talent of the Year: Marek Cervenka, Kotlarka/Tempo Titans
Home Run King: Martin Stritecky, Technika Brno
Playoffs MVP: Daniel Wayne Ough, AVG Draci Brno

Photo courtesy of kotlarka.rajce.idnes.cz

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Aussie Pitcher Cited For Beaning Czech Umpire


CZECH REPUBLIC – An Australian baseball player competing in the Czech Republic has been charged with a criminal complaint after hitting an umpire in the head with an errant pitch. However, Technika Brno’s import pitcher Blake Cunningham calls the incident an unfortunate accident.

A heated Czech League matchup on Oct. 8 between Technika Brno and the Ostrava Arrows spiraled out of control after two Technika players were ejected during the fourth inning. Before the start of the next frame, Cunningham threw a warmup pitch from the mound that skipped in front of home plate and hit the umpire in the head causing serious injury and requiring surgery.

The Czech Baseball Association (CBA) filed a criminal complaint against Cunningham for committing a serious injury. The CBA, afraid that Cunningham would leave the country before the disciplinary commission of the CBA could complete its own investigation, will let a court inquiry decide if the actions of the Australian pitcher were intentional.

In a letter to defend himself, Cunningham wrote “I deeply regret what has happened and by all means can say how bad I feel about the current situation. I need to stress my concern on the doubtfullnes of this being intentional or not, but I can honestly say that this was no case of an intentional pitch to hit the umpire. This was just a wild pitch which got away from the catcher and the umpire being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Cunningham added. “I apologize deeply for what I have done and I hope that this can be put behind us and fellow Australians wanting to come and play in the Czech Republic, as it is a great country with many great people and I have had a wonderful time here.”

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

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Around Europe: Hoboken Nears Title


BELGIUM – The Hoboken Pioneers opened the 2009 Belgian Series with a pair of tough wins over the Port of Antwerp Greys last weekend to move within one win of their first league title in 39 years.

The Pioneers, which lost to the four-time reigning Belgian champion Greys in last year’s finals, can sew up the best-of-five championship series this weekend.

Hoboken claimed a tense-filled 5-4 win in 10 innings in Game 1 last Saturday. Port of Antwerp overcame a 2-1 deficit with three ninth-inning scores to go on top, 4-2. But Dennis Ribbens drove in a pair of scores with a clutch, two-out RBI hit to send the game into extra innings, and Matthias Group finished off the comeback win with a run-scoring hit the following frame.

The Pioneers broke a 4-4 deadlock in the eighth with three runs to capture a 7-4 win in Game 2. A well-executed suicide bunt by Johnny Peerens gave Hoboken a one-run cushion, and Steven de Lannoy and Dennis Ribbens added RBI doubles to clinch the victory.

2009 Belgian Series Results/Schedule:

10/03: Hoboken Pioneers 5 – Port of Antwerp Greys 4
10/04: Hoboken Pioneers 7 – Port of Antwerp Greys 4
10/10: Port of Antwerp Greys at Hoboken Pioneers
10/11: Hoboken Pioneers at Port of Antwerp Greys*
10/17: Port of Antwerp Greys at Hoboken Pioneers*

(Hoboken Pioneers leads series 2-0)

AUSTRIA: WANDERERS ON TRACK FOR ABL CROWN

The SUPERFUND Wanderers opened the Austrian Baseball League (ABL) championship series with two wins, 12-4 and 5-4, over the Schwaz Tigers last weekend. The Wanderers will be looking to capture their first league title in 19 years when the two teams clash in Game 3 on Saturday in Vienna.

2009 Austrian Baseball League Finals:

10/03: SUPERFUND Wanderers 12 – Schwaz Tigers 4
10/03: SUPERFUND Wanderers 5 – Schwaz Tigers 4
10/10: Schwaz Tigers at SUPERFUND Wanderers
10/10: Schwaz Tigers at SUPERFUND Wanderers*
10/11: Schwaz Tigers at SUPERFUND Wanderers*

(Wanderers lead Series 2-0)

CZECH REPUBLIC: DRACI BRNO BACK IN FINALS

Czech powerhouse AVG Draci Brno swept three games from Skokani Olomouc to advance to the 2009 Czech League title series. The 14-time reigning Czech champion will meet the Ostrava Arrows in quest of the 15 straight crown since 1995.

Draci outscored Skokani Olomouc 29-2 (12-0, 12-0 and 5-2) in the three-game sweep, while the Arrows needed five games to dispose of Technika Brno, which won back-to-back titles (1993 and 1994) before Draci began their Czech League dynasty.

The Arrows dropped the series opener 9-1 before claiming a pair of one-run victories (8-7 and 7-6). Technika evened the series with a 5-2 win in Game 4, but Ostrava prevailed 2-0 in Game 5 to advance to the championship series.

Czech League Semi-Final Results:

09/26: AVG Draci Brno 12 – Skokani Olomouc 0
09/27: AVG Draci Brno 12 – Skokani Olomouc 0
10/03: AVG Draci Brno 5 – Skokani Olomouc 2

(Draci Brno wins series 3-0)

09/26: Technika Brno 9 – Ostrava Arrows 1
09/27: Ostrava Arrows 8 – Technika Brno 7
10/03: Ostrava Arrows 7 – Technika Brno 6
10/03: Technika Brno 5 – Ostrava Arrows 2
10/04: Ostrava Arrows 2 – Technika Brno 0

(Ostrava Arrows wins series 3-2)

SWITZERLAND: THERWIL FLYERS EYEING SWISS TITLE

The resurgent Therwil Flyers followed a 16-2 rout last Saturday over the Bern Cardinals in Game 1 with a methodical 4-2 win on Sunday to move closer to their first Swiss crown in six seasons.

Therwil, making their first finals appearance since 2004, lead the best-of-five championship series two games to none. The Flyers will try to dethrone the four-time defending Swiss champion Cardinals in Game 3 Saturday at Kanelmatt 1 in Therwil.

2009 Swiss NLA Finals Results/Schedule:

10/03: Therwil Flyers 16 – Bern Cardinals 2
10/04: Therwil Flyers 4 – Bern Cardinals 2
10/10: Bern Cardinals at Therwil Flyers
10/11: Bern Cardinals at Therwil Flyers*
10/17: Bern Cardinals at Therwil Flyers*

(Therwil Flyers lead series 2-0)

* if necessary

Photo courtesy of Therwil Flyers BSC

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Czech Republic Pares Down World Cup Roster


CZECH REPUBLIC – The Czech national team coaching staff has narrowed the preliminary roster for the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup to 29 players. A final 24-man roster is expected to be announced at the end of August.

The preliminary roster features a trio of U.S. minor leaguers in Jakub Sládek (Phillies), Petr Cech (Reds), and Matej Hejma (Twins). Other notable players includes MediaMonks RCH (Dutch League) outfielder Jakub Malík and veteran MZLU Express hurler Leoš Kubát.

The Czech national team will have a final training camp in Ostrava from September 3-6 to prepare for the World Cup which will be held in seven European nations next month.

PRELIMINARY ROSTER – CZECH REPUBLIC

Boris Bokaj (Arrows)
Aleš Navrátil (Arrows)
PavelBudský (Draci)
Tomáš Cervinka (Draci)
Jakub Hajtmar (Draci)
Karel Hrušovský (Draci)
Radim Chroust (Draci)
Petr Minarík (Draci)
Michal Ondrácek (Draci)
Ondrej Petrík (Draci)
Tomáš Polanský (Draci)
Radek Procházka (Draci)
Martin Schneider (Draci)
Jakub Toufar (Draci)
Martin Veselý (Draci)
Jan Homolka (Eagles)
Vojtech Jelínek (Express)
Leoš Kubát (Express)
Petr Baroch (Kotlárka)
Jan Blažek (Kotlárka)
Jakub Malík (Media Monks RCH/Netherlands)
Martin Drong (Olomouc)
Radek Nemec (Olomouc)
Jakub Voják (Olomouc)
Jakub Sládek (Phillies)
Petr Cech (Reds)
Daniel Mráz (Technika)
Matej Hejma (Twins)

Photo courtesy of thepraguepost.com

SOURCE: International Baseball Federation (IBAF)

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