Tag Archive | "ECC Final Four"

2012 European Champions Cup Final Four Canceled


On Saturday the Technical Commission of the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) announced it had canceled the 2012 European Champions Cup Final Four. A common date couldn’t be found between the CEB and the four teams that were to be played including Danesi Nettuno (ITA), Unipol Bologna (ITA), L&D Amsterdam (NED), and the Rouen Huskies (FRA).

National team and club level commitments made it too difficult to come to an agreed upon date. The Commission will advice the CEB Executive to award the two winners of the European Cups as European Club Champions for 2012.

However, this is not over yet.

The teams that qualified are moving for the CEB to reconsider. The Rouen Huskies sent out a press release asking just that. The French Federation president is working with the other federations to make a proposal about dates and locations.

It would be a shame if the Final Four couldn’t be played this year, especially since the CEB didn’t set firm dates before the season began.

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Nettuno Wins European Baseball Champions Cup


SPAIN – Former big league pitcher Jeff Farnsworth racked up 14 strikeouts and Danesi Nettuno captured their second consecutive European Champions Cup Final Four title with a 1-0 victory over Fortitudo Bologna on Sunday.

The 33-year-old right-hander, who appeared in 44 games for the Detroit Tigers in 2002, worked his way out of two early jams en route to claiming the two-day tournament MVP award.

Bologna’s Venezuelan shortstop and leadoff man Juan Carlos Infante drilled a 1-2 pitch into right field to start the bottom of the first, and then stole second base with one out. But, the Wichita, Kansa native struck out fellow American Joseph Mazzuca to end the inning.

Nettuno tagged Bologna starter Yulman Ribeiro (0-1) for the lone run of the game in the second. Giuseppe Mazzanti reached on a walk to open the inning, and was picked off before Canadian catcher Matthew Stocco’s throwing error allowed the burly Nettuno infielder to scamper to third. Manuel Gasparri followed with an RBI single up the middle to give the defending champion a 1-0 lead.

FINAL STANDINGS
1 – Danessi Nettuno, Italy
2 – Fortitudo Bologna, Italy
3 – Corendon Kinheim, The Netherlands
4 – L&D Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Farnsworth (1-0) found himself in trouble again in the bottom of the same inning. Juan Angrisano walked on five pitches to start the second, andAmerican pitcher Jeff Farnsworth Bologna was in business when Daniele Frignani singled to left field to give Bologna a pair of baserunners with no outs. But Luca Breveglieri’s sacrifice bunt attempt with two strikes landed in foul territory, and two outs later the American strolled back to the dugout with a one-run cushion.

Both starting pitchers found their comfort zones until the sixth when Nettuno chased Ribeiro. Dominican shortstop Manny Alexander opened the frame with a base hit and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Bologna brought in left-hander Fabio Milano, who retired Juan Camilo on a flyout to centerfield and intentionally walked Mazzanti before making a quick exit. Victor Moreno took over on the mound and struck out Gasparri to preserve Nettuno’s slim lead.

Meanwhile, Farnsworth was having his way with one of the Italian Baseball League’s most potent batting lineups. The 1996 Seattle Mariners second round draft pick retired 15 hitters in a row – including eight strikeouts – before Mazzuca lined a single into right field to start the seventh. However, a sacrifice bunt and two strikeouts later and the score remained unchanged.

Bologna finally chased Farnsworth in the ninth when Stocco opened the inning with a two-base hit into the gap in left-center. Southpaw Carlos Pezzullo retired the next two batters on three pitches, and after intentionally walking Frignani after missing with three straight pitches, caught Breveglieri looking at a called third strike to clinch the European club championship.

KINHEIM TOPS AMSTERDAM FOR THIRD PLACE

Danny Rombley smacked a two-run homer in extra-innings to lift Corendon Kinheim to a 3-1 victory over the L&D Amsterdam Pirates in Sunday’s consolation game at the European Champions Cup Final Four.

Amsterdam struck first with a run in the third to take the early lead. Wesley Connor reached on an error by Kinheim second baseman Rene Cremer, and crossed the plate on Sidney de Jong’s RBI single.

The former Dutch title-holder pulled even with the reigning league champion in the eighth. Cremer opened the inning with a base hit and motored to third on a double by Rafael Jozefa. Rombley followed with a clutch RBI sacrifice fly to the warning track in right field to knot the score.

A defensive miscue by Amsterdam shortstop Marvin Bleij sparked Kinheim’s game-winning rally. Kevin Weijgertse reached on the key error and Rombley delivered a two-run bomb with two outs to give his team a 3-1 lead.

The Pirates threatened to tie the score in the bottom of the 10th after Pavel van Zaane and Connor tallied a single and double, respectively. But Kinheim second-year pitcher Robin van Eis (1-0), who earned the win despite allowing four hits in two innings of work, retired Maikel Benner on a groundout to seal the win.

Photos courtesy of Ratti/Fibs

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ECC Final Four: Bologna, Nettuno Beat Dutch Foes


SPAIN – Jesus Matos handcuffed Europe’s best-hitting team for eight innings on Saturday to lead Fortitudo Bologna to a 6-0 win against the L&D Amsterdam Pirates at the 2009 European Champions Cup Final Four in Barcelona, Spain.

The Dominican right-hander, who leads the Italian Baseball League with 93 strikeouts, surrendered a two-out double to Sidney de Jong in the opening frame before reeling off eight consecutive outs. The Dutch national team catcher reached base again on a walk in the fourth, and Matos retired 14 of the final 17 batters he faced to put Bologna within one win of capturing the European club title.

Bologna tagged Amsterdam starter Adam Blackley with a pair of scores in the second. American second baseman Joseph Mazzuca reached on a one-out single and jogged home moments later on Juan Angrisano’s RBI triple. Daniele Frignani followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to increase the lead to 2-0.

The score remain unchanged until the eighth when Claudio Liverziani opened the inning with a two-base hit to the gap in left-center off reliever Nick Stuifbergen. Mazzuca, who reached base four times, tallied his third hit of the game – an RBI single – to make the score 3-0. However, the Italian squad was just getting started.

The American swiped second and sprinted home on an RBI double by Angrisano to stretch the lead to 4-0. Luca Breveglieri finished off the four-run inning with an RBI single, and Bologna added a run in the ninth to seal the tournament-opening win.

Reliever Fabio Milano overcame a pair of hits in the ninth to preserve the shutout.

Bologna will battle Danesi Nettuno in the championship game on Sunday.

DANESI NETTUNO RALLIES PAST CORENDON KINHEIM

Giuseppe Mazzanti drilled a clutch three-run home run and Nettuno turnedGiuseppe Mazzanti connects for a three-run bomb. back Kinheim 6-4 Saturday to advance to the European Champions Cup Final Four title game on Sunday.

Mazzanti, who won the IBL batting title last season with a .392 average, has struggled mightly this season with a .237 mark. But the Nettuno third baseman broke a scoreless deadlock with an RBI double in the sixth and added a three blast an inning later to erase a 4-3 deficit.

Kinehim fought back with four runs in the sixth to climb out of an 0-2 hole. Tjerk Smeets’ RBI single cut the lead in half and Rafael Jozefa delivered a three-run triple later in the inning to put the Dutch heavyweight on top, 4-2.

The Dutch team had a golden opportunity to get back into the game in the seventh after loading the bases. However, reliever Giovanni Carrara retired Dirk van’t Klooster on an inning-ending double play groundball to escape the jam.

Carrara allowed three hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings to pick up the win.

Nick Veltkamp was pinned with the loss after giving up two runs in just 1/3 of an inning.

The European Champions Cup is held between the top teams of the European baseball leagues of and organized by the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB).

The first competition was held in 1963 and it has been held annually ever since. Not since 1968 has any team playing outside the professional leagues of Italy or the Netherlands won the competition. Although a professional team from San Marino won the competition in 2006, they play in the Italian Serie A1.

Since 2008, with the extinction of the CEB Cup Winners’ Cup, the top two teams at the European Cup qualify, together with the top two teams from the CEB Cup, to play the European Champion Cup Final Four. Danesi Nettuno won the title in 2008.

Photos courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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Preview: 2009 European Baseball Champions Cup


SPAIN – Four of Europe’s elite baseball teams will battle for supremacy on the old continent when the 2009 European Champions Cup Final Four gets underway this weekend in Barcelona, Spain.

The reigning Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam will clash with 2008 Italian Baseball League regular season title-holder Fortitudo Bologna in the tournament opener on Saturday. Former European and Dutch champion (2006-07) Corendon Kinheim will tangle with 2008 European champion Danesi Nettuno (Italy) in the second matchup. The two winners will meet on Sunday for the European club title.

L&D Amsterdam Pirates (22-8) vs Fortitudo Bologna (20-10)

L&D Amsterdam will enter the two-day showdown with eight starters hitting .296 or higher, while featuring an offensive lineup that is hitting .317 as a group with a tournament-high 328 hits and 61 doubles. 48-year-old Cuban slugger Fausto Alvarez Rizo remains one of the most feared hitters in Europe.

Aussie left-hander Adam Blackley and closer Pim Walsma anchor a solid but not overwhelming pitching corps. Nick Stuifenberg has served up a team-high four home runs and dual threat Kenny Berkenbosch might be the key ingredient for the Pirates championship hopes.

Bologna also boasts a potent offense attack in the pitching-rich IBL, but willBologna ace Jesus Matos need to get added production from Italian players Claudio Liverziani, Giovanni Pantaleoni and Daniele Frignani if it is to knock off Amsterdam and contend for the title.

Latin hurlers Jesus Matos and Yulmann Ribeiro are two of the best pitchers in the Italian Baseball League and make Bologna the favorite to win this year’s crown. However, Bologna has a balanced attack with a bevy of potent bats in its arsenal.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Amsterdam won the European Cup (Nettuno): beat Port of Antwerp Greys 4-2; lost to Rouen Huskies 8-5; beat Danesi Nettuno 4-0; beat Marlins Puerto Cruz 17-9; beat Regensburg Legionaere 8-4. Bologna won the European Cup (Matino): beat Corendon Kinheim 6-2; beat Senart Templiers 5-0; beat F.C. Barcelona 2-1.

TOP HITTERS:

Amsterdam: RF Kenny Berkenbosch (.395, 2 HR, 13 RBI), 2B Zaïr Koeiman (.375, 3 HR, 11 RBI), CF Wesley Connor (.333, 0 HR, 19 RBI), DH Fausto Alvarez Rizo (.333, 4 HR, 35 RBI), SS Björn Henrichs (.329, 0 HR, 13 RBI), 3B Pavèl van Zaane (.318, 0 HR, 11 RBI), C Sidney de Jong (.314, 0 HR, 14 RBI), LF Maikel Benner (.296, 0 HR, 12 RBI), 1B Vince Rooi (.273, 0 HR, 11 RBI).

Bologna: IF Joseph Mazzuca (.316, 5 HR, 20 RBI), RF Claudio Liverziani (.288, 1 HR, 19 RBI), C Matt Stocco (.309, 3 HR, 19 RBI), 3B Giovanni Pantaleoni (.250, 2 HR, 11 RBI), LF Stefano Landuzzi (.137, 0 HR, 7 RBI), 2B Francesco Alaimo (.214, 1 HR, 10 RBI), 1B Daniele Frignani (.278, 1 HR, 8 RBI).

TOP PITCHERS:

Amsterdam: LHP Adam Blackley (5-2, 1.74), RHP Pim Walsma (3-1, 2.40, 8 saves), RHP Jos de Jong (3-3, 3.47), RHP Nick Stuifbergen (4-1, 3.95), RHP Kenny Berkenbosch (3-0, 2.37).

Bologna: RHP Jesus Matos (6-3, 2.25, 93 K), RHP Yulmann Ribeiro (6-2, 2.27), RHP Fabio Betto (3-3, 4.84), LHP Fabio Milano (3-0, 1.83).

Danesi Caffe Nettuno (17-13) vs Corendon Kinheim (19-11)

Corendon Kinheim was the toast of Europe with back-to-back European andKinheim ace David Bergman Dutch titles before getting blindsided by L&D Amsterdam in the Holland Series a year ago. After a slow start, Kinheim is once again in the hunt for two of Europe’s most prestigious crowns.

Former Dutch batting champion Danny Rombley and veteran hit-machine Dirk van ‘t Klooster highlight an offensive lineup hitting .283. Closer Michiel van Kampen has had his struggles this season but Kinheim features one of the deep pitching staffs in the tournament.

Nettuno’s European title last year was tainted due to Kinheim’s decision to skip the late season event to prepare for the Dutch playoffs. Nonetheless, one of Europe’s most storied baseball clubs is back again in quest of another title.

2008 IBL batting champion Giuseppe Mazzanti is hitting 155 points lower than his .392 batting mark last season. The third baseman tops a long list of Nettuno hitters who have yet to find their strokes this season. Mazzanti and key free-agent signee Manny Alexander (.331) – hitting a paltry .241 this season – must deliver if the bridesmaid of the IBL the past two seasons are to defend their 2008 crown.

Carlos Richetti is having a fine season on the mound while former Boston Red Sox right-hander Jeff Farnsworth has also thrown the ball well this season.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Nettuno placed second at the European Cup (Nettuno): beat Regensburg Legionaere 6-1; beat Marlins Puerto Cruz 12-2; lost to Amsterdam 4-0; beat Port of Antwerp Greys 7-0; beat Rouen Huskies 7-3. Kinheim placed second at the European Cup (Matino): beat Senart Templiers 8-1; lost to Fortitudo Bologna 6-2; beat T&A San Marino 8-2.

TOP HITTERS:

Nettuno: CF Juan Camilo (.328, 6 HR, 16 RBI), SS Manny Alexander (.241, 1 HR, 12 RBI), 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti (.237, 4 HR, 20 RBI), C Manuel Gasparri (.212, 1 HR, 13 RBI), 2B Renato Imperiali (.179, 2 HR, 12 RBI).

Kinheim: CF Danny Rombley (.364, 2 HR, 17 RBI), RF Dirk van ‘t Klooster (.336, 1 HR, 23 RBI), LF Remco Draijer (.308, 0 HR, 9 RBI), 1B/OF Bryan Engelhardt (.298, 4 HR, 19 RBI), C/DH Jason Halman (.294, 1 HR, 16 RBI), 1B/DH Rafael Jozefa (.270, 2 HR, 13 RBI), 3B Kevin Weijgertse (.270, 0 HR, 13 RBI), C Tjerk Smeets (.262, 2 HR, 16 RBI), SS Josh Renick (.252, 0 HR, 15 RBI).

TOP PITCHERS:

Nettuno: RHP Carlos Richetti (4-2, 2.49), RHP Jeff Farnsworth (3-3, 3.38), LHP Massimiliano Masin (1-2, 4.41).

Kinheim: LHP Patrick Beljaards (6-0, 1.66), RHP David Bergman (5-4, 2.24), RHP Duko Jansen (5-2, 3.10), RHP Michiel van Kampen (2-1, 4.96, 6 saves).

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:

Saturday, June 20
Game 1: L&D Amsterdam Pirates vs. Fortitudo Bologna
Game 2: Danesi Caffe Nettuno vs. Corendon Kinheim

Sunday, June 21
3rd Place: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2
ECC Final: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2

Photo courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

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