Tag Archive | "European Championship"

2014 European Championship First Round to be Played in Germany and the Czech Republic


The 2014 European Championship will be hosted by two countries. The Czech Baseball Association has announced an agreement with the Regensburg Buchbinder Leagionaere to host a first round group at Armin-Wolf-Arena. Joining Regensburg, Germany will be two Czech cities in hosting the event. Once Czech city will host the other first round while the last will host the final round.

In the running for the two Czech cities are Prague, Brno, Trebic, and Ostrava.

The tournament will be played next September starting with two groups. Group A will feature Greece, Czech Republic, Spain, Russia, Croatia, and the Netherlands. This group will play the first round in a Czech city.

Group B will be played in Regensburg and will feature France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, and Sweden.

Both Great Britain and Russia won the B-Level Championship earlier this year to qualify for next year’s tournament. Italy will look to defend its title from 2012. Italy has won the previous two titles and ranks second only to the Netherlands in total medals and gold medals.

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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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Great Britain Wins B-Level European Championship in Zurich


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.

Competing in Vienna were Austria, Belarus, Russia, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Ireland. And over in Zurich were Great Britain, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Switzerland, and Slovenia.

Each team played in a round robin format playing every other team once. The two teams with the best record would play one final game for the championship and a spot in next year’s European Championship.

In Zurich, Great Britain swept through the round robin play undefeated. They were led by Ian Young who led the entire tournament in hitting with a .571 average. He collected eight hits (2nd) and seven RBI (2nd to teammate Zach Wiley’s eight).

As a team Great Britain led the tournament in hitting (.359), doubles (12), runs (49), and fewest strikeouts (14). They also dominated the pitching stats as well. As a team its ERA was just 2.20 (1st), with 51 strikeouts (1st), and two saves (1st).

They faced off with a Ukraine team that went 3-2 in pool play losing only to Great Britain (4-2) and Switzerland (5-2). They placed second as a team in hitting, joining Great Britain as the only other team to hit over .300 with an average of .314.

The Championship Game was a close one once again with Great Britain coming out on top 2-0.

Greg Hendrix pitched a masterful game giving up just five hits tossing a complete game shutout. He struck out 13 in the win giving Great Britain a spot in next year’s European Championship.

Great Britain scored both of their runs in the second inning. The first coming off of an Ian Young (2-for-3) RBI single. Ryan Trask (2-for-3) came up with the other RBI when he singled in the second run of the inning. Hendrix did the rest.

Hendrix was named the MVP of the tournament. He won both of his starts giving up just four runs (two earned) in 16 innings while striking out 28 batters.  Ian Young was named the tournaments best hitter.

B-Level European Championship Zurich Final Standings:

1. Great Britain 5-0
2. Ukraine 3-2
3. Bulgaria 3-2
4. Poland 2-3
5. Switzerland 2-3
6. Slovenia 0-5

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Great Britain Baseball Releases Roster for 2013 European Championship Qualifier


Press Release by Great Britain Baseball

Great Britain Baseball has released its preliminary roster for the upcoming European Championship Qualifier in Zurich, Switzerland from 22-28 July. The team will include a number of familiar faces mixed with some new recruits, and will have several domestic-based players.

Team GB is expecting to field a strong, competitive squad, as it looks to return to the European A Pool at the first attempt following a surprising relegation in 2012.  Over recent years, the team has won the European Championship Qualifier in Israel in 2011 and took the silver medal from the 2007 European Championships.

SELECTION PROCESS

The final roster will be confirmed one week before the tournament, but a preliminary 20-man roster has been selected by Head Coach Sam Dempster.  Coach Dempster will be assisted by Pitching Coach and former GB player Brian Essery and former MLB player Philip Stockman, with details of the final coaching position to be confirmed shortly.

The squad has been drawn from the BBF’s National Baseball League as well as from Europe, North America and Australia.

You can read more about the Team GB staff here and details of the 2013 European Championship Qualifier here.

Player

Position

Azcuy, Maikel 3B
Cramman, Jonathon 1B
Davison, Gary P
Evans, Mitch C
Foley, Luke SS
Hendrix, Greg P
Heggen, Andy P
Kreisberg, Spencer P
Pearson, Ben P
Rees, David P
Renery, Mike P
Rosen, Brett C
Roxburgh, Matt OF
Sims, Chris 2B
Trask, Ryan OF
Waterman, Paul P
Wiley, Nate P
Wiley, Sam C
Wiley, Zack SS
Young, Ian OF

 

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2012 European Championships: Day 2 Recap


NETHERLANDS – Day 2 has come and gone at the European Championships hosted by the Netherlands. Day 2 saw a few more blowouts, as Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands won big.

Spain 10, Russia 1

Spain got a great start from Ricardo Hernandez picking up the win. Hernandez went 7 innings giving up only 1 run on 3 hits. He threw only 75 pitches in 7 innings.

Spain pounded out 20 hits in the rout. Francisco Figueroa had a big day at the plate for Spain going 3-for-5 with 2 doubles. Daniel Martinez doubled twice, drove in 3 runs, and scored another. Franklin Tavarez chipped in with 3 hits and a RBI, and Nestor Perez drove in 2 runs on 3 hits as well.

Yury Bakalets was the only Russian hitter with more than 1 hit going 2-for-3. Niko Chermoshentsev took the loss lasting only 4.2 innings giving up 4 runs on 11 hits.

Belgium 2, Germany 10

Germany rode the arm of starter Andre Hughes to victory as he went 7 innings allowing just 1 run on 10 hits. Robbe De Jongh took the loss for Belgium starting and going 7.1 innings allowing 8 runs on 13 hits.

Offensively Germany was led by Maximilian Kepler who homered for the second straight day going 3-for-5 and driving in a pair of runs. Max Boldt had a nice day as well going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a RBI. Christopher Howard drove in 3 runs including a pair on a 2-run double as Germany pounded out 16 hits.

Stijn Janssens drove in both runs for Beligum with a pair of hits going 2-for-4. Benjamin Dille, Thomas de Wolf, and Lorenzo Oeyen all had 2 hits for Belgium in the loss.

Croatia 2, Greece 7

Greece found the win column in their 2nd game against Croatia. Greece jumped out to a 6-0 lead scoring 6 in the 3rd inning and held on for the victory.

Piter Tountas doubled twice driving in a run and scoring another. Iason Zachos picked up a pair of hits along with a RBI as it was a team effort for Greece as 7 different batters drove in a run.

On the hill, Panagiotis Sykaras pitched well for Greece picking up the win tossing 6 innings allowing 2 runs (0 ER) on 5 hits.

Mathew Susac took the loss starting and going 3 innings allowing 6 runs (3 ER) on 5 hits. Michel Curic drove in a run going 2-for-4 for Croatia. Filip Berecka added a pair of hits as well in the loss.

France 0, Netherlands 15 (5)

The Netherlands ran all over France on Day 2 of the tournament winning big. The Netherlands pounded out 11 hits and worked 5 walks en route to 15 runs.

Michael Duursma drove in 3 runs and scored 3 runs going 2-for-2. Hainley Statia doubled twice, drove in 2 runs, and finished the day 2-for-4, while Nick Urbanus (2-for-3/2 RBI) and Danny Rombley (2-for-2/RBI) both scored 3 runs.

On the mound, the Netherlands got a great start out of Robbie Cordemans who pitched a complete game shutout allowing only 4 hits and striking out 8.

Quentin Pourcel started and lasted only 0.2 innings giving up 6 runs (4 ER) on 2 hits and 3 walks.

Czech Republic 1, Great Britain 6

Great Britain looking to get back onto the medal stand picked up a win to improve to 1-1 so far. Great Britain used a steady attack scoring a single run in 6 different innings to pick up the win.

Gregory Hendrix picked up the win tossing a complete game 5-hitter allowing just the 1 run and striking out 8.

Five different batters drove in a run as Aaron Hornostaj led the way offensively picking up 3 hits including a triple, a RBI, and 2 runs scored. Matthew Roxburgh, Matthew McGraw, Michael Johnson, and Richard Klijn all picked up 2 hits for Great Britain in the win.

Marek Cervenka took the loss for the Czech Republic pitching 5 innings allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 7 hits.

Sweden 1, Italy 8

Italy jumped out to a 4-1 lead with a 4-run second inning and they never looked back picking up their 2nd straight win.

Luca Panerati picked up the win pitching 6 strong innings allowing only 1 run (0 ER) on 2 hits. Nicklas Melin took the loss lasting only 3.1 innings giving up 5 runs on 4 hits.

Juan Carlos Infante blasted a 3-run home run to cap the 4-run 2nd inning for Italy. Christopher Colabello and Tyler Latorre both picked up 2 hits in the win.

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European Championships: A No-Hitter and a Cycle Highlight Day 1


THE NETHERLANDS – Day One of the 2012 European Baseball Championships is in the books. Six games in all were played on Friday, and all but two were blowout wins.

Greece 0, Spain 10 (8)

Spain got off to a good start as Leslie Nacar tossed 7 shutout innings allowing only 3 hits and striking out 9 en route to the win. Franklin Tavarez (2-for-3) doubled and scored 3 times from the number 2 spot in the order. Leonardo Hernandez picked up 3 hits including a double driving in a run to help in Spain’s 14 hit attack.

Efthymio Karkatselos took the loss for Greece lasting only 2.1 innings giving up 6 runs on 7 hits. The Greece offense was stifled all day as they only picked up a total of 3 hits.

Russia 1, Sweden 14 (7)

Russia cut the Sweden lead to 4-1 and then the flood gates opened as Sweden got 7 runs in the bottom of the 4th to blow the game open.

Peter Johannessen drove in 4 runs with a 2-run double and 2 RBI ground outs going 1-for-4 on the day. Matthew Merrifield had a big day at the plate going 3-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored. In total, Sweden pounded out 11 hits in the rout to pick up a win to start the tournament.

Rikard Leander tossed 6 innings allowing a single run on 7 hits while striking out 6. Anton Shirokiy took the loss for Russia.

Germany 5, Czech Republic 4 (10)

In perhaps the best game of Day 1, the Czech Republic came back from down 3-1 to tie it and send it into extra innings, but couldn’t complete the comeback falling short in the 10th inning.

A walk and a pair of errors in the bottom of the 8th inning by Germany allowed the Czech Republic to tie the game at 3 forcing the extra frame. In the 10th, Germany score twice. They got the first run on a bases loaded hit by pitch and the second on a sacrifice fly.

In a dramatic finish, the Czech Republic loaded the bases on a bunt single (tie break rules put runners at 1st and 2nd to start the inning) with no outs. That was followed by a pair of strike outs before Jan Drabek (2-for-5) singled up the middle driving in a run only to have the tying run thrown out at the plate for the final out of the game.

Luke Sommer pitched well for Germany but didn’t factor into the decision. Martin Dewald picked up the win pitching 3.1 innings in relief. Jendrick Speer drove in 3 runs, and Maximilian Kepler (2-for-5) blasted a solo home run.

Marek Minarik took the loss for the Czech Republic pitching 3 innings in relief allowing 2 runs on 4 hits. Paval Budsky (3-for-5) doubled twice and drove in a run in the loss.

Great Britain 1, France 3

Patrice Briones pitched a complete game allowing just 1 run on 6 hits to lead France to the win over Great Britain.

With the game tied at 1 in the bottom of the 4th inning, France picked up a run on a throwing error and another on a RBI single to take the lead for good. Maxime Lefevre drove in a run with a single in the 4th inning. Frederic Hanvi didn’t pick up a hit but with a pair of walks he wrecked havoc on the base paths stealing 2 bases and scoring 2 runs.

Aeden McQueary-Ennis took the loss for Great Britain pitching 4 innings allowing 3 runs (2 ER). Matthew McGraw picked up a pair of hits for Great Britain going 2-for-3 with a double.

Croatia 0, Italy 16 (5)

Italy made short work of Croatia pounding out 20 hits en route to the big win to open the tournament. Tiago Da Silva and Carlos Richetti combined to no-hit the Croatians on Friday night. Da Silva pitched 4 innings striking out 6 and Richetti finished off the no hitter in the 5th.

Tyler Latorre went 3-for-3 with a double, a RBI, and 3 runs scored to help Italy to the win. Mario Chiarini drove in 3 runs picking up a pair of hits including a triple. Every starter for Italy picked up at least one hit in the game.

Belgium 0, Netherlands 17 (6)

Tom Stuifbergen tossed 6 shutout innings allowing just 4 hits to pick up the win against Belgium in the opener for the Netherlands. The offense pounded out 14 hits in the rout as Kalian Sams put an exclamation point on the game with a grand slam in the 6th inning. Sams hit for the cycle going 4-for-4 and driving in 8 runs on the night.

The schedule for Saturday features the following:

Spain vs Russia

Belgium vs Germany

Croatia vs Greece

France vs Netherlands

Czech Republic vs Great Britain

Sweden vs Italy

 

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2012 European Baseball Championships Start Today


NETHERLANDS – The 2012 European Baseball Championships start today, Friday September 7 and play will continue through September 16. Twelve teams are divided into two pools as play begins as Italy looks to defend its championship from 2010.

Games will be played in Rotterdam, Haarlem, and Utrecht with the final taking place in Rotterdam.

The opening games for Friday September 7th are as follows:

2:00pm
Spain vs Greece
Sweden vs Russia
Czech vs Germany

7:30pm
France vs Great Britain
Croatia vs Italy
Belgium vs Netherlands

In 2010, Italy defeated The Netherlands 8-4 in the championship game winning their 9th gold medal at the European Baseball Championships. Germany finished with the bronze medal and Greece finished a strong 4th place.

Historically The Netherlands and Italy have dominated the tournament winning 20 and 9 gold medals respectively. Only Belgium (1967) and Spain (1955) have also won a gold medal.

A few teams are looking to get back onto the medal stand in Great Britain and Greece. Great Britain won the silver in 2007 when the tournament was in Spain. However, they finished a disappointing 8th in 2010. Greece won its only medal, a silver, in 2003. Since then they have finished 9th in 2005 and didn’t even qualify in 2007.

We will try to bring you daily updates here on the site. You can also follow all the action at http://www.ekhonkbal2012.nl/en.

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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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Schedule for 2012 European Championship announced


The Technical Commission of the Confederation of European Baseball announced the approved schedule for the 2012 European Championship in Rotterdam, Haarlem and Utrecht, Netherlands on Friday. The tournament will be played from September 7 to 16, 2012.

No change to the format in comparison to the 2010 edition in Germany. After a preliminary round robin, the top three teams in each pool move up into the second round, which again will be played in a round-robin format. The top two teams will play in the championship game.

Italy is the defending champion after defeating the Netherlands in the Gold Medal Game in Stuttgart in the summer of 2010. Germany finished in third place, Greece in fourth.

Pools:

Pool A
Italy
Greece
Sweden
Spain
Croatia
Russia

Pool B
Netherlands
Germany
France
Czech Republic
Belgium
Great Britain

Schedule:
Preliminary round

Friday 7-sep-12.
1. Haarlem 14:00. ESP-GRE
2. Utrecht 14.00. SWE-RUS
3. Rotterdam 14.00. CZE-GER
4. Utrecht 19:30. FRA-GBR
5. Haarlem 19:30. CRO-ITA
6. Rotterdam 19:30. BEL-NED

Saturday 8-sep-12.
7. Haarlem 14:00. RUS-ESP
8. Utrecht 14:00. GER-BEL
9. Rotterdam 14:00. GRE-CRO
10. Utrecht 19:30. GBR-CZE
11. Haarlem 19:30. ITA-SWE
12. Rotterdam 19:00. NED-FRA

Sunday 9-sep-12.
3. Utrecht 14:00. FRA-BEL
14. Rotterdam 13:00. NED-CZE
15. Haarlem 14:00. SWE-CRO
16. Rotterdam 19:30. GER-GBR
17. Haarlem 19:30. ITA-ESP
18. Utrecht 19:30. GRE-RUS

Monday 10-sep-12.
19. Utrecht 14:00. CRO-RUS
20. Rotterdam 14:00. SWE-ESP
21. Haarlem 14:00. FRA-CZE
22. Utrecht 19:30. BEL-GBR
23. Haarlem 19:30. ITA-GRE
24. Rotterdam 19:30. NED-GER

Tuesday 11-sep-12.
25. Rotterdam 14:00. GER-FRA
26. Utrecht 14:00. ESP-CRO
27. Haarlem 14:00. GRE-SWE
28. Utrecht 19:30. CZE-BEL
29. Haarlem 19:30. RUS-ITA
30. Rotterdam 19:30. GBR-NED

Classification ranking 7th – 12th
Wednesday 12-sep-12.
31. Utrecht 14:00. 4A – 4B *
32. Haarlem 14:00. 5A – 5B *
33. Rotterdam 14:00. 6A – 6B *

2nd Round
Thursday 13-sep-12.
34. Haarlem 14:00. A2 – B3
35. Haarlem 19:30. A1 – B2
36. Rotterdam 19.30 A3 – B1

Friday 14-sep-12.
37. Rotterdam 14:00. B2 – A3
38. Rotterdam 19.30 B1 – A2
39. Haarlem 19.30 B3 – A1

Saturday 15-sep-12.
40. Haarlem 14:00. A3 – B3 *
41. Haarlem 19:30. A2 – B2 *
42. Rotterdam 19:00 A1 – B1 *

Final
Sunday 16-sep-12.
43. Rotterdam 13:00. #1 – #2

*Home team to be decide by draw of lot

If the Netherlands qualifies for the 2nd round their games will be played in Rotterdam at 19.30, except on Saturday 15th when the game starts at 19.00.

If Italy qualifies for the 2nd round their games will be played in Haarlem at 19.30 except the game versus the Netherlands which will be played in Rotterdam.

Courtesy IBAF.org

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Italy Nabs 2010 European Championship


GERMANY – Redemption.

Italy arrived at the 2010 European Baseball Championship intent on burying the ghosts of 2007, when the Azzurri failed to win a medal for the second time in four years. Mission accomplished.

Giuseppe Mazzanti and Jairo Ramos both homered, and Tiago Da Silva survived a major jam in the opening frame as Italy dethroned the Netherlands, 8-4, Sunday to claim their first European title since 1997.

MISSED DUTCH OPPORTUNITY
The Dutch threatened to put the Italians into an early deep hole. Eugene Kingsale slugged a full count fastball over the center field fence for a leadoff home run, and two singles and a walk later the five-time reigning European champion had the sacks full with no outs. But, Da Silva got an over-anxious Bryan Engelhardt to foul out to the catcher on the first pitch, and then sent Bas de Jong back to the dugout with just three pitches. Dirk van’t Klooster grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice to complete the David Blaine-like escape.

Mazzanti, who captured the 2008 Italian Baseball League batting title, continued swinging a red-hot stick as Italy answered back with three scores in the bottom of the first. Tony Granato reached on a one-out walk and stole second before Mario Chiarini legged out an infield hit. Mazzanti delivered a two-run double, and later crossed the plate on Juan Angrisano’s sacrifice fly.

Former minor leaguer Danny Rombley collected his second hit in as many innings one frame later to put Kingsale in scoring position with two down. However, Da Silva induced a rally-killing flyout off the bat of Raily Legito to foil the Dutch again.

ITALY FLEXES MUSCLES
Neither squad could get its offense untracked until the sixth when Italy teed off against one of Europe’s top hurlers. Mazzanti greeted DOOR Neptunus right-hander Leon Boyd with a solo blast to start the inning, and Ramos followed with another bases-empty long ball to stretch the lead to 5-1.

The Dutch came charging back in the eighth to make things interesting. Legito and Sidney de Jong opened the frame with back-to-back singles to chase reliever Justin Cicatello, who limited the defending title-holder to a pair of scores and a trio hits in five stellar relief innings.

THE COMEBACK TRAIL
Engelhardt made it three hits in a row with a run-scoring single off Carlos Pezzullo to close the gap to 5-2, and de Jong sprinted home on a passed ball thrown by Cariparma Parma right-hander Marco Grifantini. Former Chicago Cubs prospect Dwayne Kemp drove in the final run of the inning with a two-base hit to make it a one-run affair.

The relief pitching woes of the usually reliable Dutch bullpen continued in the bottom of the eighth as Italy tacked on three key insurance runs. Arschwin Asjes issued a bases-loaded walk before getting replaced by Michiel van Kampen, who hit pinch-hitter Lorenzo Avagnina with an inside pitch to force in another score. The Italians sealed the title-clinching win in earnest when Angrisano motored home on a wild pitch.

Grifantini tossed a perfect ninth to notch the save for the newly-crowned European champion. Cicatello (1-0) turned in a big-time long relief outing to earn the win for skipper Marco Mazzieri’s squad.

2010 EBC FINAL STANDINGS
1 – Italy
2 – Netherlands
3 – Germany
4 – Greece
5 – Sweden
6 – France
7 – Czech Republic
8 – Great Britain
9 – Belgium
9 – Spain
11 – Croatia
11 – Ukraine

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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Italy In European Championship Final


GERMANY – Chris Cooper and Yovani D’Amico combined to limit the Netherlands to a meager four hits, and Italy pounded the reigning European champion 11-3 Saturday to clinch a berth in the championship game at the 2010 European Baseball Championship. The same two squads will butt heads again on Sunday for the gold medal.

Cooper found himself in an early jam after hitting back-to-back batters in the opening frame with just one down. However, the crafty southpaw needed just six pitches to strikeout both Jason Halman and Bryan Engelhardt.

The Dutch struck paydirt in the third when Dwayne Kemp followed a leadoff walk to Shaldimar Daantji with a two-run homer. Dirk van’t Klooster reached on a single up the middle and later scored on an error to give the five-time defending champion a 3-0 advantage.

The Italians cut the lead in the fourth on a leadoff solo blast by Jairo Ramos before pulling even one frame later. Ramos singled through the right side to collect his second RBI of the contest, and Laidel Chapelli’s fielder’s choice knotted the score.

Ramos (pictured) continued his assault at the plate with a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh. Italy polished off the lopsided win with a six-run ninth showcased by long balls from Chapelli and mario Chiarini.

Cooper (1-0) allowed three runs and two hits while striking out eight in six innings of work. D’Amico tallied the final nine outs with two hits and four strikeouts to pick up the save.

GREECE 14, FRANCE 5
Nicholas Theodorou and Mike Koutsoantonakis both homered as Greece broke open a deadlocked game with eight runs in the middle innings to pull away from France and claim fourth-place Saturday at the Heidekoepfe Ballpark in Heidenheim.

The surprising Greek squad plated four runs in the fifth without a hit to take a 7-3 lead, and Koutsoantonakis launched a two-run blast the following frame to highlight another four-run inning. Theodorou finished off the rout with a three-run shot in the ninth.

Efthymio Karkatselos (1-1) scattered three runs on nine hits in five innings to earn his first win of the tournament.

Sunday, August 1 (Championship Game)
Italy vs. Netherlands

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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2010 EC: Germany Wins Bronze


GERMANY – Cedric Bassel drove in two runs with three hits and Jendrick Speer added three RBIs to help Germany beat Sweden 8-0 on Saturday to capture the bronze medal at the 2010 European Baseball Championship at TVC Stadium in Stuttgart. The Germans, which placed fourth at the last two EBC tournaments, won its first medal in 35 years.

Bassel put the host nation on the board in the second with a base hit, and Germany tacked on another run in the third on a single off the bat of Simon Guehring. Sweden threatened to get back into the game in the fourth, but faltered badly.

Magnus Pilegard and Kris Sjoberg started the inning with singles off German starter Tim Henkenjohann, who was working on just two days of rest. American skipper Greg Frady signalled for reliever Martin Dewald, who picked off Pilegard before sandwiching an infield hit and a wild pitch between two strikeouts to escape the jam unscathed.

Henkenjohann was saddled with the no-decision outing after limiting Swedish hitters to a trio of hits and two walks with four strikeouts in three shutout frames.

The Germans nursed their slim 2-0 lead until the sixth when Sweden committed three errors to spark a four-run uprising.

Chris Howard reached on an error to start the game-deciding frame, and a throwing error by Swedish starter Rickard Leander followed a stolen base, hit by pitch and bunt single to stretch the lead to three runs. But the German squad was just getting started.

Bassel greeted reliever Joakim Claesson with a run-scoring single, but Eddie Martinez was gunned down at the plate by centerfielder Chris Johansson. Speer delivered a clutch two-out RBI hit, motored to third on a single off the bat of Dominik Wulf, and jogged home on a balk call that led to the ejection of the Swedish manager, former Major league pitcher Dennis Cook.

Germany sewed up its historic third-place finish with a pair of scores in the seventh on a two-run single by Speer, who finished 2-for-3 with a walk and stolen base.

Dewald (1-0), who worked six scoreless relief innings, allowed five hits, two walks and fanned six to earn the win.

Sunday, August 1 (Championship Game)
Italy vs. Netherlands

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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2010 EC: Italy Turns Back Germany


GERMANY – Italy sent 10 batters to the plate in a pivotal four-run eighth to rally past Germany 8-6 Friday and inch closer to advancing to Sunday’s title game against the Netherlands at the 2010 European Championships.

The host nation grabbed a quick lead in the first on a two-bagger off the bat of Ludwig Glaser, but Italy answered back in the bottom of the same inning on a two-run double by Jairo Ramos.

The fireworks continued in the third as both squads tacked on two more scores. Glaser knotted the score with an infield hit before Dominik Wulf crossed the plate on a throwing error to give the Germans a brief lead. Ramos singled down the right field line to pull the Italians even, and Laidel Chapelli’s sacrifice fly put the Azzurri back on top.

Germany retaliated with three unanswered runs to hold a two-run advantage. Eddie Martinez drilled a two-run homer in the sixth with two down, and Wulf added another two-out long ball an inning later. But skipper Marco Mazzieri’s rejuvenated squad batted around in the eighth to turn back the tournament host.

Marco Grifantini (1-0) scattered a hit and struck out four in two relief frames to earn the win.

ITALY 9, FRANCE 2
Tony Granato sparked a five-run fifth with a two-run home run to lead Italy past France in Stuttgart. With the win, Italy moved closer to reaching the championship game against the Netherlands.

Italy opened the scoring in the third on a single off the bat of Mario Chiarini, and stretched the lead to 6-0 after five frames. The French broke through against Italian starter Carlos Richetti the following inning on a leadoff solo homer by Kenji Hagiwara. But the Azzurri put the game away in the seventh as Jairo Ramos highlighted a three-run frame with a two-run shot.

Robin Allemand tagged Italian reliever Carlos Pezzullo with a two-out solo long ball in the ninth.

Richetti (1-0) limited French hitters to a run on three hits while notching 10 strikeouts to pick up the win.

SWEDEN 3, FRANCE 2
Rickard Leander snapped a tied ballgame with a two-run blast in the sixth and Sweden continued its surprising run with a narrow win against France at TVC Stadium in Stuttgart. The Swedish (4-2; 2-1) can book a ticket to the championship game with a win over Germany on Saturday, and a loss by Italy to the Netherlands.

The Cinderella squad opened the scoring in the second on a pair of two-out doubles by Rickard Reimer and Chris Johansson. France pulled even one inning later on a single by Omar Williams, and the score remained unchanged until Leander belted the first pitch he saw from French starter Samuel Meurant over the fence in right center.

The French closed the gap to a lone score in the eight and had the tying run just 90 feet from paydirt. However, Nick Soubiea retired Max LeFevre on a flyout to left field to escape a bases-loaded jam, and worked a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his second save.

Jacob Claesson (2-0) surrendered a run on five hits and overcame six walks in seven innings to earn the decision.

2010 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE:

Saturday, July 31
Italy vs. Netherlands (Stuttgart)
Sweden vs. Germany (Stuttgart)
Greece vs. France (Heidenheim)

Sunday, August 1
Netherlands vs. TBD (Stuttgart)

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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Dutch Nears European Championship Title


GERMANY – Sidney de Jong drove in three runs and the Netherlands used a pair of five-run outbursts to advance to the 2010 European Championship title game with a 15-0 win against Sweden on Friday at the Heidekoepfe Ballpark in Heidenheim.

The Dutch (7-0; 4-0), which have won 20 gold medals in 30 tournament appearances, will be making their 21st consecutive trip to the championship matchup.

Swedish starter Peter Jansson lasted just three innings as the Dutch came out swinging red-hot sticks. Danny Rombley followed a leadoff walk to Eugene Kingsale with a two-base hit, and Raily Legito opened the flood gates with a single before de Jong cleared the bases with a three-run drive. Jansson (0-1) walked Shaldimar Daantji with the sacks full to put his team in an early five-run hole.

The Dutch parlayed two walks and a single into a score in the second, and Kingsale and Legito tallied RBI hits the following frame to give the Dutch a comfortable 8-0 cushion. A two-run error in the fourth stretch the lead to 10 runs before Kemp singled home a pair of scores to highlight a game-ending, five-run fifth.

David Bergman (1-0) allowed two hits, a walk and struck out eight to earn the five-inning complete game win.

NETHERLANDS 10, GREECE 0
Raily Legito and Dwayne Kemp both went deep and the Netherlands blasted Greece to move within one win of advancing to the championship game. The five-time reigning European champion claimed their sixth win in as many games, and improved to 3-0 in the final round.

Legito teed off against Greek starter Constantinos Kapothanasis (1-2) with a two-run shot in the opening frame, and Kemp singled home a score the following inning. Sidney de Jong padded the lead in the third with a two-run base hit.

The Dutch went down quietly in the fourth before Bryan Engelhardt plated a run in the fifth with a double. Kemp homered with two outs and the sacks empty one frame later, and Engelhardt collected his second RBI of the game in the seventh. Danny Rombley finished off the rout the next inning with a two-run double.

Rob Cordemans (2-0) scattered six strikeouts with seven hits and four walks over six innings to notch his second win of the tournament. Michiel van Kampen hit two batters and fanned one in a pair of relief frames to preserve the shutout.

CZECH REPUBLIC 8, GREAT BRITAIN 4
Karel Hrusovsky homered and Petr Minarik tossed four-plus shutout innings out of the bullpen to help the Czech Republic earn seventh place with a win over Great Britain. The Czech team won its last three games to finish the tournament with an overall 3-3 record.

Jakub Malik put the Czech Republic on the board in the first with a double, but the British answered back with two scores in the bottom of the inning on RBIs by Matt McGraw and Sam Wiley. The two squads traded lone runs the following frame before the Czech took the lead for good in the third on a two-run single by Jakub Hajtmar.

Meanwhile, Minarik (1-0) and Boris Bokaj combined to throw six scoreless frames as the Czech squad built an 8-3 lead. Hrusovsky, who popped a solo homer earlier in the game, drove in a run in the fifth with a sacrifice fly and the Czech tacked on three more scores en route to the win.

2010 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE:

Saturday, July 31
Italy vs. Netherlands (Stuttgart)
Sweden vs. Germany (Stuttgart)
Greece vs. France (Heidenheim)

Sunday, August 1
Netherlands vs. TBD (Stuttgart)

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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2010 EC: Sweden Upsets Italy


GERMANY – Bjorn Johannessen finished 2-for-3 with a home run, and Rickard Leander also went deep, as Sweden upset Italy, 3-2, Thursday in the final matchup of the first round to advance at the 2010 European Championship.

Italy threatened to go on top in the first after Mario Chiarini doubled with two outs, and Giuseppe Mazzanti reached on a walk. But Swedish starter Joakim Claesson sat down Jairo Ramos on an infield pop-up to strand both runners.

The underdogs manufactured a run in the bottom of the same frame to take the lead. Italian starter Riccardo De Santis missed on a full-count pitch to leadoff man Anthony Dermendziev, who stole second base with one down. Magnus Pilegard’s infield hit moved the speedy centerfielder 50 feet from paydirt, and Kris Sjoeberg singled up the middle.

Sweden pushed its cushion to three in the second. Johannessen led off with a shot over the right field fence, and Leander followed with a drive in the same direction. Meanwhile, Claesson was limiting the hard-hitting Italian lineup to a pair of hits over the first five frames.

In the top of the sixth, Italy cut its deficit to 3-2 with a pair of runs after a rain delay. Chiarini homered off an 0-1 offering from Claesson with one out and Mazzanti followed with his fourth long ball in five games to make it a one-run affair.

A controversial call heated tempers an inning later. Simone Albanese chased Claesson with a leadoff double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Stefano Desimoni delivered a potential game-tying sacrifice fly to left field but Albanese, who appeared to beat the throw, was called out at the plate and ejected for protesting the botched call.

The Azzurri put the tying run on second with two outs in the ninth before reliever Nick Soubiea induced a game-ending groundout off the bat of Jack Santora.

Claesson (2-0) earned the win after he pitched six innings and allowed two runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts.

De Santis (0-1) started on the hill for the visitors and was charged with three runs on six hits over four frames.

GERMANY 17, GREECE 8
Chris Howard drove in six runs and smacked two home runs, and both Sasha Lutz and Ludwig Glaser added four hits as Germany used a late burst of offense to down Greece in the opening game of the final round.

Dominik Wulf tallied three RBIs and Cedric Bassel scored a trio of runs on three hits for the Germans who picked up their fifth win in six games.

Greece used a four-run third to climb out of a one-run hole before the host nation closed the gap with two scores in the bottom of the third. Glaser doubled home a pair of runs the next inning to give Germany the lead, and Howard capped the frame with a three-run bomb.

The Greek squad collected five hits, and crossed the plate twice on wild pitches, in the seventh to pull even. However, the Germans took the lead again in the bottom of the same inning, and Howard drilled his second three-run drive of the game the following frame as the tournament hosts piled on eight scores to blow the game wide open.

Nils Hartkopf (2-0) overcame two bases-loaded wild pitches to earn his second win.

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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2010 EC: Netherlands Subdues Germany


GERMANY – Leon Boyd showed again why he is one of the top pitchers in European baseball. The right-hander limited Germany to a pair of singles and a walk as the Netherlands claimed the top seed in Pool A with a 3-0 shutout win Wednesday on a soggy evening at Heidekoepfe Ballpark in Heidenheim.

Boyd (1-0, pictured), who has posted a 7-0 record and a Dutch League-best 0.47 ERA over 57-plus innings this year, overcame a trio of fielding gaffes with a stellar 99-pitch outing and six strikeouts.

The Germans put a runner in scoring position in each of the first two frames, but came away empty-handed. Boyd struck out Dominik Wulf and Ludwig Glaser to escape a jam in the first, and fanned Cedric Bassel an inning later to defuse another threat.

The Dutch broke through against German starter Tim Henkenjohann in the third. Michael Duursma reached on a leadoff single before the Bonn Capitals staff ace walked three of the next five hitters to force in the first run of the game.

Henkenjohann opened the sixth with two quick groundouts before surrendering a pair of two-out hits to Dirk van’t Klooster and Dwayne Kemp. However, the hard-throwing right-hander retired Duursma on an inning-ending fielder’s choice.

The bad weather that has plagued the tournament over the past week reared its ugly head, again, with one out in the bottom of the seventh. When play resumed, German skipper Greg Frady turned the game over to his bullpen.

Reliever Eugen Heilmann walked Raily Legito to put runners on first and second with one down, and then allowed back-to-back RBI singles off the bats of Bryan Engelhardt and Sidney de Jong. The righty bounced back to end the inning without further damage, but the insurance runs all but settled the outcome.

Dutch manager Jim Stoeckel called on Arshwin Asjes to close out the game on the mound, and the 24-year-old reliever wiggled out of a major jam in the eighth to seal the Germans fate.

Bassel opened the frame with an infield hit before Sasha Lutz, who reached base three times, walked on four pitches to put the host nation back in business. Asjes rebounded to get a pair of outs on a twin-killing groundball off the bat of Jendrick Speer, but Duursma botched a potential inning-ending groundout to give Germany another clutch hit opportunity. But the relief pitcher punched out Glaser to end the frame, and dialed up a 1-2-3 ninth to collect the save.

Henkenjohann (0-1), who allowed two runs on four hits with six walks and four strikeouts, was charged with the loss despite an erratic but solid outing.

Germany stood eye-to-eye with Europe’s premier national team, but faltered in the clutch going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

CROATIA 13, GREECE 1
Ivan Racic homered and collected three RBIs to lead Croatia to a lopsided win over Greece in a Pool B matchup on Wednesday. Both squads used a combined 26 players in a meaningless game that saw the Croatians notch their first tournament win.

Racic went 4-for-4 with a two-run blast in the sixth to finish off the scoring, and Benjamin Goldstrom drove in three scores with a trio of hits.

Danijel Levak (1-0) went the distance allowing a lone run on four hits while striking out seven.

Photo courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

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2010 EC: Italy Trounces Croatia


GERMANY – Roberto Corradini and three relievers limited Croatia to just three hits, and Laidel Chapelli and Giuseppe Mazzanti both smashed their third home run, as Italy continued its impressive showing at the 2010 European Baseball Championship with a 13-1 blowout win.

Corradini struck out six in four innings of work that included a run on three hits in a solid no-decision effort. The right-hander, who threw just 56 pitches, led Cariparma Parma to the Italian Baseball League (IBL) regular season title with a 10-2 record.

Chapelli (pictured) cracked a one-out solo drive to spark a nine-run fourth, and capped the game-deciding frame with an RBI single. The San Marino slugger went 2-for-4 to increase his batting average to an eye-popping .750 (12-for-16) in four games.

GROUP B STANDINGS:
1 – Italy (4-0)*
2 – Greece (3-1)*
3 – Sweden (2-2)**
4 – Spain (2-3)**
5 – Great Britain (2-3)
6 – Croatia (0-4)

Mazzanti connected for a three-run shot in the fourth before plating a run the following frame with a groundout. The 2008 IBL batting champion has collected a team-high 11 RBIs in 18 at-bats so far in the tournament.

Tony Granato drove in four scores with a pair of two-run hits, and Jaun Carlos Infante tallied three hits and two RBIs for the Azzurri.

Reliever Yovani D’ Amico (1-0) struck out the side in the fifth to notch the one-inning win.

SPAIN 16, SWEDEN 6
Daniel Martinez and William Domero each drove in five runs to help Spain stay alive with a rout against Sweden. Spain, which had been the biggest disappointment of the tournament before Tuesday’s performance, will advance to the second round if top-seeded Italy beats Sweden on Wednesday.

Martinez drilled a three-run homer in the fourth to give the Spanish squad a 7-0 cushion. The 23-year-old left-handed hitter, who ended the game with a two-run, walk-off single in the seventh, reached base four times on three hits and a walk.

Domero broke a scoreless deadlock with a two-run double in the second before launching a three-run bomb to give Italian skipper Mauro Mazzotti’s squad a 10-6 lead.

Jose Luis Riera added a pair of RBIs and Emmanuel Febles tallied three hits and a walk.

Peter Johannessen brought the Swedish team to within a run with a three-run homer in the sixth.

46-year-old reliever Remigo Leal (1-0), who posted eight saves with Danesi Nettuno (IBL) in 2010, was credited with the win despite giving up three runs and four hits in just three-plus innings.

GREECE 4, GREAT BRITAIN 3 (10)
Erik Pappas delivered a walk-off RBI groundout in the 10th to help Greece advance to the final round with a narrow win against Great Britain in extra-innings. With the loss, the British squad failed to make it past the opening round.

The Greek squad got on the board first on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Constant Panagotacos in the fifth. Great Britian answered back with RBIs by Bradley Marcelino and Evan Romanchuk in the sixth and seventh to go on top. However, Chris Lemonis knotted the score in the eighth with a single up the middle.

Matt McGraw went 4-for-6 with a double for the British squad.

Meleti Meleches (2-0) surrendered two runs on five hits in three innings to earn his second win of the tournament.

GROUP B SCHEDULE/RESULTS:

Friday, July 23
Great Britain 10, Croatia 1
Greece 12, Sweden 9
Italy 9, Spain 1

Saturday, July 24
Spain 7, Croatia 6
Sweden 4, Great Britain 1
Italy 13, Greece 1

Sunday, July 25
Italy 12, Great Britain 2
Sweden 12, Croatia 2
Greece 13, Spain 9

Monday, July 26
Great Britain 5, Spain 1
Croatia vs Greece (Ppd)
Sweden vs Italy (Ppd)

Tuesday, July 27
Spain 16, Sweden 6
Greece 4, Great Britain 3 (10)
Italy 13, Croatia 1

Wednesday, July 28
Croatia (0-4) vs. Greece (3-1)
Sweden (2-2) vs. Italy (4-0)
Ukraine (0-5) vs. Croatia (0-4) 11th-12th Place Game

* Advanced to the Final Round
** Sweden must beat Italy to advance

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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2010 EC: Dutch Spanks Belgium


GERMANY – Kevin Heijstek and Dave Draijer combined on a four-hit shutout and the Netherlands captured their fourth consecutive win at the 2010 European Baseball Championship with a methodical 10-0 romp over Belgium Tuesday at TVC Stadium in Stuttgart. The five-time reigning European champion will meet unbeaten Germany Wednesday in Heidenheim with the top seed in Group A on the line.

Heijstek (1-0) yielded four hits and a walk with five strikeouts, allowed only one runner to reach second base, and threw 105 pitches in his first appearance at this year’s competition.

The Dutch, which have bagged 20 gold medals in 27 tournaments, hit three long balls to remain on course for their sixth title in a row. Bas de Jong’s solo shot broke a scoreless affair in the second, and Dirk van’t Klooster highlighted a four-run fifth with a pinch-hit three-run blast. Eugene Kingsale added a two-run drive an inning later as American skipper Jim Stoeckel’s squad cruised to the easy win.

GROUP A STANDINGS:
1 – Germany (4-0)*
1 – Netherlands (4-0)*
3 – France (3-2)*
4 – Czech Republic (2-3)
5 – Belgium (1-4)
6 – Ukraine (0-5)

Sidney de Jong went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, and five other players had two hits apiece for the tournament favorites.

Draijer tallied the final three outs with a walk and two strikeouts.

GERMANY 10, FRANCE 9
Robert Gruber led off the eight with a go-ahead solo home run and unbeaten Germany overcame an eight-run fifth by France to escape with the win. Gruber drove in five runs with a three-hit game, including a pair of two-run hits, to help the tournament host improve to 4-0.

Simon Guehring scored twice and singled home two runs, and Sasha Lutz added a game-tying double in the sixth for Georgia State skipper Greg Frady’s confident bunch.

France erased a four-run deficit with eight runs in the fifth with Boris marche delivering the biggest blow with a three-run double to the gap in right center. Gaspard Fessy drove in two scores with three hits, while Kenji Hagiwara and Florian Peyrichou contributed two hits each.

Nils Hartkopf (1-0) struck out all four batters he faced to close out the win for the hometown team.

FRANCE 8, BELGIUM 2
Gaspard Fessy keyed a six-run opening frame with a bases-clearing double and France booked a ticket to the final round with a win against Belgium. Fessy scored a run and finished the contest 2-for-4 with a pair of two-base hits.

Joris Bert also tallied two hits for the French who managed only five hits off Belgian ace Terrence Antonacci (1-1), who was pitching on a meager two days rest. Leadoff hitter Maxime Lefevre scored two runs on a pair of walks and swiped a base.

Pierrick Lemestre (1-0) gave up two runs on nine hits and four walks in seven effective frames to earn the clutch win.

CZECH REPUBLIC 11, UKRAINE 1
Tomas Polansky highlighted a seven-run uprising in the fifth with a three-run double to help the Czech Republic knock off winless Ukraine. With the win, the Czech squad ended the first round with a 2-2 mark to finish fourth in Group A.

Petr Baroch and Jan Drabek collected two RBIs apiece, and No. 9 hitter Karel Hrusovsky (pictured) finished the game 3-for-3 with three runs scored.

Martin Schneider (1-0) scattered a run, two hits, one walk and five strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game effort

GROUP A SCHEDULE/RESULTS:

Friday, July 23
Germany 10, Ukraine 0
France vs. Belgium (Ppd.)
Czech Republic vs. Netherlands (Ppd.)

Saturday, July 24
Belgium 9, Ukraine 0
Netherlands 10, France 0
Germany 6, Czech Republic 2

Sunday, July 25
Germany 8, Belgium 4
France 6, Czech Republic 1
Netherlands 12, Ukraine 2

Monday, July 26
Netherlands 7, Czech Republic 1
Czech Republic 10, Belgium 1
France 10, Ukraine 2
Netherlands vs. Germany (Ppd)

Tuesday, July 27
France vs. Belgium (Stuttgart)
Ukraine vs. Czech Republic (Heidenheim)
Belgium vs. Netherlands (Stuttgart)
Germany vs. France (Stuttgart)

Wednesday, July 28
Netherlands (4-0) vs. Germany (4-0)
Ukraine (0-5) vs. Croatia (0-4) 11th-12th Place Game

* Advanced to the Final Round

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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2010 EC: Dutch Stop Czech Republic


GERMANY – Raily Legito and Dirk van’t Klooster both went deep and the Netherlands remained unbeaten at the 2010 European Baseball Championships Monday with a 7-1 win over the Czech Republic in Pool A action at Heidekoepfe Ballpark in Heidenheim.

Legito tagged Czech starter Jan Homolka with a two-run drive in the opening frame to put the five-time reigning European champion on the board. The veteran infielder, who celebrated his 32nd birthday with a 1-for-5 effort, is currently ranked third in the Dutch League with a .369 batting average.

The Czech squad racked up three hits in the bottom of the first but failed to cross the plate. Dutch left-hander Diego Markwell picked off Jakub Hajtmar and recorded a pair of strikeouts to strand two runners.

GROUP A STANDINGS:
1 – Germany (3-0)
1 – Netherlands (3-0)
3 – France (2-1)
4 – Belgium (1-2)
5 – Czech Republic (1-3)
6 – Ukraine (0-4)

Jeroen Sluijter and Shaldimar Daantji both tallied RBIs in the second to stretch the lead to 4-0, and van’t Klooster singled home a score in the fifth. Petr Baroch drove in the lone run for the Czech in the bottom of the same frame before van’t Klooster finished off the win with a one-out solo blast in the seventh, and a run-scoring double in the ninth.

The 34-year-old outfielder went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Sluijter and Danny Robley added a pair of hits apiece.

Markwell (1-0, pictured), who allowed 10 hits and struck out six, worked in and out of trouble for seven-plus innings to pick up the win

FRANCE 10, UKRAINE 2
Anthony Piquet tossed a complete game two-hitter and Omar Williams collected three doubles to help France inch closer to a second round berth with a convincing win over winless Ukraine. Piquet (1-0) surrendered a pair of unearned runs and four walks in a 114-pitch outing to earn the win.

Williams went 3-for-3 and ripped doubles in the fifth, seventh and eighth to pace a 14-hit attack by France, which claimed its second win in three games.

Joris Bert tallied three hits and stole a base, and the trio of Haigwara, David Gauthier and Boris Marche each contributed two hits apiece.

CZECH 10, BELGIUM 1
Jakub Sladek reached base five times and Petr Minarik worked eight impressive frames to help the Czech Republic rout Belgium in the first game of the day. Sladek drove in three runs with a pair of walk and three triples as the Czech opened the game with a five-run first.

Minarik (1-0) allowed a run on seven hits with one walk to notch the first win of the tournament for the Czech squad.

Jakub Hajtmar led a group of five players who tallied two hits apiece as the Czech lineup pounded three Belgian pitchers for a whopping 18 hits.

GROUP A SCHEDULE/RESULTS:

Friday, July 23
Germany 10, Ukraine 0
France vs. Belgium (Ppd.)
Czech Republic vs. Netherlands (Ppd.)

Saturday, July 24
Belgium 9, Ukraine 0
Netherlands 10, France 0
Germany 6, Czech Republic 2

Sunday, July 25
Germany 8, Belgium 4
France 6, Czech Republic 1
Netherlands 12, Ukraine 2

Monday, July 26
Netherlands 7, Czech Republic 1
Czech Republic 10, Belgium 1
France 10, Ukraine 2
Netherlands vs. Germany (Ppd)

Tuesday, July 27
France vs. Belgium (Stuttgart)
Ukraine vs. Czech Republic (Heidenheim)
Belgium vs. Netherlands (Stuttgart)
Germany vs. France (Stuttgart)

Photo courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

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2010 EC: Great Britain Foils Spain


GERMANY – Stephen Spragg worked four shutout relief innings and Matt McGraw homered, and Great Britain continued Spain woes with a 5-1 victory Monday at the 2010 European Baseball Championship at TVC Stadium in Stuttgart.

The British put two runners in scoring position with no outs in the second off Spanish starter Ivan Granados, but managed only a lone run. McGraw followed a leadoff single by Evan Romanchuk with a double, and the southpaw walked and hit a batter to force in a run with just one out. However, the Tenerife Marlins ace fanned the next two hitters to escape the bases-load jam.

GROUP B STANDINGS:
1 – Italy (3-0)
2 – Greece (2-1)
2 – Sweden (2-1)
4 – Great Britain (2-2)
5 – Spain (1-3)
6 – Croatia (0-3)

Spain pulled even in the fifth on a leadoff solo shot by speedster Daniel Sanchez, who went deep only once in 107 at-bats this year in the Spanish League. However, McGraw hit a go-head long ball with the sacks empty an inning later to give Great Britain the lead for good.

Spragg (1-0) replaced British starter Jeff Mottl to start the sixth with the game knotted at 1-1. The 27-year-old right-hander walked Sant Boi slugger Marc Carrillo before fielding a bunt off the bat of slow-footed Barcelona catcher Orlando Diaz to start a 1-6-3 double play.

Sanchez reached on a leadoff walk in the seventh, stole second with one out, and moved to third on a groundout. But Spain was denied the game-tying run when Spragg induced a groundball from Luis Perez to end the inning.

Great Britain added three insurance runs in the bottom of the same frame to seal their second win in four games.

McGraw finished the contest 3-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, and Romanchuk added a pair of hits.

Granados (0-1) was pinned with the setback despite allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

RAIN HARASSING TOURNEY SCHEDULE
The Monday matchups pitting Germany against the Netherlands (Heidenheim), and Italy against Sweden (Stuttgart) were both cancelled due to wet weather in Germany.

GROUP B SCHEDULE/RESULTS:

Friday, July 23
Great Britain 10, Croatia 1
Greece 12, Sweden 9
Italy 9, Spain 1

Saturday, July 24
Spain 7, Croatia 6
Sweden 4, Great Britain 1
Italy 13, Greece 1

Sunday, July 25
Italy 12, Great Britain 2
Sweden 12, Croatia 2
Greece 13, Spain 9

Monday, July 26
Great Britain 5, Spain 1
Croatia vs Greece (Ppd)
Sweden vs Italy (Ppd)

Tuesday, July 27
Spain vs. Sweden (Heidenheim)
Greece vs. Great Britain (Neuenburg)
Italy vs. Croatia (Heidenheim)

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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2010 EC: Italy Stomps Great Britain


GERMANY – Cody Cillo struck out seven in five dominant innings and Tony Granato hit a pair of home runs to lead unbeaten Italy to a 12-2 win against Great Britain Sunday at the 2010 European Baseball Championship at TVC Stadium in Stuttgart. The Pool B favorites improved to 3-0 in the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) tournament.

Cillo (1-0), who posted a 6-3 record during the Italian Baseball League regular season, limited British hitters to just one hit and two hits to earn the win.

Granato (picture) sparked a three-run first with a solo homer, and added a two-run drive in the fifth. The San Marino shortstop tallied three RBIs with a trio of hits.

Italy jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on a double by Giuseppe Mazzanti and a single by Laidel Chapelli. Mazzanti singled home another score in the third before Chapelli, who went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, capped the frame with a two-run shot to stretched the score to 6-0.

Jairo Ramos drove in two runs for the Azzurri in the fourth, and Stefano Desimoni and Juan Carlos Infante plated a run apiece with a double and fielder’s choice, respectively, in the sixth to finish off the lopsided win.

Sam Wiley had two hits for Great Britain, including a two-run long ball in the seventh.

GREECE 13, SPAIN 9
Michael Koutsoantonakis drove in five runs with a pair of early extra-base hits and Greece raced out to a big lead and held on to upset Spain.

Koutsoantonakis smacked a three-run blast in the opening frame before plating two scores an inning later with a double. Nicholas Theodorou collected three hits and Peter Maestrales added a pair of RBIs for the surprising Greek squad.

Marc Carrillo went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs, while Kuis Perez and Lesther Galvan plated two runs apiece for Spain.

Meleti Meleches (1-0) issued two runs on five hits and a walk in six innings.

SWEDEN 12, CROATIA 2
Tony Dermendziev and Kris Sjöberg plated a combined seven runs, and Jacob Claesson scattered two runs over seven innings as Sweden routed Croatia to claim its second consecutive win. Claesson (1-0) limited opposing hitters to six hits and two walks while striking out three.

Dermendziev jacked a three-run shot in the second and added a run-scoring double in the fifth, while Sjöberg cleared the sacks in the fourth with a two-base hit.

Adam Sorgi and Peter Johannessen each added two hits, a double and an RBI for Sweden.

Slobodan Gales accounted for the Croatian squad only scores with a two-run homer in the fifth.

GROUP B SCHEDULE/RESULTS:

Friday, July 23
Great Britain 10, Croatia 1
Greece 12, Sweden 9
Italy 9, Spain 1

Saturday, July 24
Spain 7, Croatia 6
Sweden 4, Great Britain 1
Italy 13, Greece 1

Sunday, July 25
Italy 12, Great Britain 2
Sweden 12, Croatia 2
Greece 13, Spain 9

Monday, July 26
Great Britain (1-2) vs Spain (1-2)
Croatia (0-3) vs Greece (2-1)
Sweden (2-1) vs Italy (3-0)

Photo courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

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2010 EC: Dutch Crushes Ukraine


GERMANY – Dwayne Kemp and Bas de Jong collected a trio of hits apiece, and the Dutch plated six runs in the opening frame to cruise past Ukraine 12-2 Sunday in Pool A matchup at the 2010 European Baseball Championship at Heidekoepfe Ballpark in Heidenheim.

Corendon Kinheim ace David Bergman started for the five-time reigning European chanpion, retiring all nine batters he faced before exiting after three innings.

Kemp drove in a run in the first with a triple, and singled in the third and fifth. The former minor league finished the contest 3-for-4 and scored a run.

One of two de Jong’s in the lineup, Bas crossed the plate twice and tallied an RBI on three singles. The versatile L&D Amsterdam Pirates slugger is currently eighth in the Dutch League batting race with a .325 average.

Michael Duursma, who hit one of three long balls for the tournament favorites, capped the six-run first with a two-run drive over the left field fence. Jeroen Sluijter and Shaldimar Daantji opened the sixth with back-to-back home runs to spark a five-run rally.

Ruslan Deykun and Bogdan Stovba drove in the only runs for Ukraine with a double and single, respectively.

Gregory Gustina (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits and a walk in four relief innings to get the decision.

FRANCE 6, CZECH REPUBLIC 1
Samuel Meurant tossed one-run ball over eight-plus innings, and Omar Williams and Kenji Hagiwara combined to drive in five runs, as France knocked off the Czech Republic. Meurant (1-0, pictured) fanned six while giving up six hits and five walks to lead the French to their first win of the tournament.

Williams broke a scoreless in the second with a single before followed a double by Gaspard Fessy in the eighth with a two-run homer. The 18-year-old slugger tallied three hits and scored a run.

Hagiwara went 3-for-4 from the the No. 9 slot in the batting orderwith run-scoring singles in the second and fourth frames.

David Gauthier and Joris Bert both added a pair of hits for the French squad.

Tomas Polansky reached base on three occasions and plated the lone score for the Czech with a two-base hit in the third.

GERMANY 8, BELGIUM 4
Eddie Martinez blasted a pair of home runs and Germany topped Belgium for its third consecutive win. Dominik Wulf put the host nation on the board in the first with a two-run shot, and RBIs by Julius Uelschen and Sascha Lutz the following frame pushed the lead to 4-1.

Belgium closed the gap to a run in the third on a two-run homer off the bat of Hans Heyrman. However, Martinez launched a three-run drive in the bottom of the same frame, and led off the sixth with a solo bomb for American skipper Greg Frady’s unbeaten squad.

Solingen Alligators southpaw Andre Hughes (1-0) scattered three runs and five hits over six innings to earn the win.

GROUP A SCHEDULE/RESULTS:

Friday, July 23
Germany 10, Ukraine 0
France vs. Belgium (Ppd.)
Czech Republic vs. Netherlands (Ppd.)

Saturday, July 24
Belgium 9, Ukraine 0
Netherlands 10, France 0
Germany 6, Czech Republic 2

Sunday, July 25
Germany 8, Belgium 4
France 6, Czech Republic 1
Netherlands 12, Ukraine 2

Monday, July 26
Czech Republic (0-2) vs. Netherlands (2-0)
Czech Republic (0-2) vs. Belgium (1-1)
France (1-1) vs. Ukraine (0-3)
Netherlands (2-0) vs. Germany (3-0)

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European Championship: Dutch Blanks France


GERMANY – Rob Cordemans and Dave Draijer combined on a seven-inning no-hitter, and Raily Legito drove in three runs with four hits, as the Dutch national team shutout France 10-0 on Saturday at the 2010 European Baseball Championship at the Atomics Ballpark in Neuenburg.

Cordemans (1-0) retired the first 10 batters he faced before walking Felix Brown with one out in the fourth. The L&D Amsterdam Pirates’ ace, who ranks second in the Dutch League this season with a 1.03 ERA in 61 1/3 innings, followed with an inning-ending double play groundball to keep the no-no intact. The 35-year-old right-hander sat down seven consecutive hitters after losing the perfect game, and racked up eight strikeouts before exiting after six frames.

Legito sparked a three-run first for the five-time reigning European champion with a two-base hit, and led off the third with his second double of the game. Bryan Engelhardt followed with a two-run bomb off French starter Joris Navarro to give American skipper Jim Stoeckel’s squad a 5-0 lead.

The Curaçaon native continued his assault on French hurlers with a run-scoring single in the fourth to ignite a three-run scoring spree, and followed a double by Danny Rombley an inning later with an RBI single up the middle.

Rombley and Bas de Jong (pictured) both tallied three hits for the tournament favorites, and former Chicago Cubs prospect Dwayne Kemp plated the final run for the Dutch in the sixth with a double.

GERMANY 6, CZECH REPUBLIC 2
Enorbel Marquez-Ramirez tossed seven scoreless innings and Dominik Wulf collected a pair of extra-base hits to help Germany remain unbeaten with an impressive win against the Czech Republic.

Marquez-Ramirez (1-0) surrendered seven hits and two walks and fanned eight as the German squad improved to 2-0. The 35-year Cuban-born southpaw has posted an impressive 9-2 record this season with a 2.37 ERA for the IBL club Telemarket Rimini.

Germany touched Czech right-hander Boris Bokaj for two runs in the first on singles by Ludwig Glaser and Klaus Hopfensperger, and added a pair of scores in the second to give its prized left-hander all the support he would need. Wulf drilled a leadoff homer in the third and a throwing error by Czech shortstop Jakub Hajtmar in the sixth gave the German a 6-0 cushion.

The Czech Republic foiled the shutout in the eight off reliever Eugen Heilmann. Martin Schneider started the frame with a double to right field, and Tomas Polansky follwed with a two-run blast to right center. However, the German hurler regrouped to strike out the side, and racked up two more strikeouts in the ninth to clinch the win.

BELGIUM 9, UKRAINE 0
Terence Antonacci went the distance in a sterling 101-pitch outing, and Hans Heyrman drove in two wins with three hits as Belgium dealt Ukraine its second consecutive shutout loss.

Heyrman paced a 14-hit attack that featured six players with two or more hits. Benjamin Dille drove in a pair of runs while leadoff man Steven Delanoy collected two doubles and an RBI. Dennis Ribbens, Dennis De Quint and Randy Giorgiadis combined for six hits and five runs scored.

Antonacci (1-0), who pitched the Hoboken Pioneers to a 1-0 upset win over DOOR Neptunus at this year’s European Cup, turned in another big-time performance. The American-born right-hander limited Ukraine to four hits and no walks while tallying seven strikeouts to notch the win.

GROUP A SCHEDULE/RESULTS:

Friday, July 23
Germany 10, Ukraine 0
France vs. Belgium (Ppd.)
Czech Republic vs. Netherlands (Ppd.)

Saturday, July 24
Belgium 9, Ukraine 0
Netherlands 10, France 0
Germany 6, Czech Republic 2

Sunday, July 25
Germany (2-0) Belgium (1-0)
France (0-1) vs. Czech Republic (0-1)
Netherlands (1-0) vs. Ukraine (0-2)

Photo courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

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European Championship: Italy Routs Greece


GERMANY – Giuseppe Mazzanti hit two of Italy’s four home runs and Tiago Da Silva worked five solid innings to help Italy pound Greece 13-1 on Saturday at the 2010 European Baseball Championship at Heidekoepfe Ballpark in Heidenheim. With the win, the Pool B favorites moved into sole possession of first place with a 2-0 record.

Mazzanti (pictured), who was drilled by an inside pitch in the first, retaliated with a grand slam in the third. The 2008 Italian Baseball League (IBL) batting champion added a solo blast in the seventh to finish the contest with five RBIs.

Greece tagged Da Silva with a quick score in the opening frame when Nicholas Theodorou stroked a leadoff single, stole second and later crossed the plate on a wild pitch. However, the Azzurri dominated the rest of the match.

Laidel Chapelli stretched the Italian squad lead to 6-1 with a two-run blast in the fifth. The 38-year-old finished ninth in the IBL batting race this season with a .322 average, but failed to hit a long ball in 149 at-bats.

Italy torched Greek reliever Christofor Rompinson to put the game away with a six-run sixth. The veteran right-hander sandwiched a flyout and a double between a pair of walks, and then uncorked a wild pitch to force in a run. Another walk followed by another wild pitch plated the second run of the frame, and Jack Santora jacked a 2-0 pitch from the struggling hurler over the right field fence for a grand slam.

Da Silva (1-0) allowed just two hits with one walk and five strikeouts to earn the win in a nifty 70-pitch outing. Carlos Pezzullo retired all six batters he faced to seal the lopsided win.

SPAIN 7, CROATIA 6
Yoel Hernandez (1-0) scattered three hits over seven innings and Willian Domero had three hits as Spain rebounded from a tournament-openng loss to Italy with a victory against Croatia.

Domero highlighted a two-run second with an RBI single, and opened the fourth with a leadoff double to spark a three-run rally.

Daniel Martinez smacked a solo homer in the sixth before Croatia got on the board an inning later on an RBI groundout by Ivan Racic.

Emannuel Febles (pictured, right) stretched the Spanish lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the seventh, but Croatia made things interesting with a five-run ninth featuring a pair of two-run singles by Filip Berecka and Bobo Gales. But with the tying run 90 feet away, Jose Estebin Cruz replaced Ruben Fente on the mound and retired Marin Farkas on a groundout to end the game.

SWEDEN 4, GREAT BRITAIN 1
Joakim Claesson worked eight-plus effective innings and Sweden turned five double plays to capture their first win of the tournament against Great Britain. The Stockholm staff ace, who has posted a 5-0 record this season for the two-time reigning Swedish champion, allowed nine hits and four walks in a blue-collar like effort.

British starter Brian Essery (0-1) balked in Magnus Pilegard in the second, and Sweden pushed the lead to 3-0 the next frame on singles by Rickard Reimer and Kris Sjoeberg.

Claesson (1-0) ran out of gas in the ninth and forced in a run with a walk after loading the sacks with a trio of free passes. However, burly right-handed reliever Kent Karlsson induced a groundout from Richard Klijn to seal the win.

GROUP B SCHEDULE/RESULTS:

Friday, July 23
Great Britain 10, Croatia 1
Greece 12, Sweden 9
Italy 9, Spain 1

Saturday, July 24
Spain 7, Croatia 6
Sweden 4, Great Britain 1
Italy 13, Greece 1

Sunday, July 25
Great Britain (1-1) vs Italy (2-0)
Sweden (1-1) vs Croatia (0-2)
Spain (1-1) vs Greece (1-1)

Photos courtesy of Ezio Ratti/FIBS

Posted in Europe, TournamentsComments (0)

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