2005 European Championship
The 2005 European Championship was held in the Czech Republic in Blansko, Chocen, Olomouc, and Prague from July 7 through July 18, 2005. It was won by the Dutch national team, the traditional powerhouse. Italy returned to their usual second after failing to make the Gold Medal game in 2001 or 2003, the first time since the 1950s that they had missed two Gold Medal games in a row. Ivanon Coffie, the Netherlands 3B, won the MVP award.
- Croatia finished last of the 12 teams. Pitcher Tetsuhiro Monna led the competition with 18 strikeouts but the 1-9 Croatians were outscored 68-20.
- Czech Republic finished 5th while playing host. They were 4-1 in the first half of the round-robin but 1-4 against the other teams in the top tier in the second phase. Tomáš Ovesný had a .586 OBP (second in the event) while Leoš Kubát struck out 14.
- France placed sixth. They were 3-2 in the first phase while allowing 10 runs (the second least in that round) but last all their games against the other top five squads by a 38-7 margin. 3B Jamel Boutagra tied for the lead in doubles (4) and was 5th with 9 RBI; SS Sebastien Herve led with 5 steals. 2B Luc Piquet made the All-Tournament Team. Samuel Meurant had a 0.00 ERA in 17 2/3 innings while closer Patrice Briones (1 Sv) allowed a .147 average.
- Germany almost won their first Medal since 1975, going to the Bronze Medal game before a 7-3 loss to Spain. Germany squeezed into round two with a 2-3 first round. Simon Gühring (.457) led the tourney in singles (16), tied for third in runs (10), was 5th in average, tied for third in home runs (2) and 2nd in slugging (.714). Marvin Appiah tied for the lead in doubles (4). 1B Alexander Lauterbach was second in home runs (3) and slugging (.714). Eugen Heilmann tied for the lead with two saves while Manuel Möller allowed a .089 average, the lowest. The club had no one on the tourney All-Star Team.
- United Kingdom was 2-3 in round one but then went 4-1 against the other second-tier clubs to finish 7th. Ian Young tied for the best average (.500) and led with a .600 OBP.
- Greece finished 9th at 5-5 but were outscored 84-38 and allowed the most runs in the tourney.
- Italy went 8-2, with both of their losses coming against the Netherlands. They were blown out of the Gold Medal game, 15-0, in 7 innings. All-Star 1B Jairo Ramos Gizzi was among the leaders in hits (15, 2nd) while All-Star CF Frank Candela tied for third in runs (10) and led in times hit by pitch (6). James Buccheri was 5th with 13 hits and tied for third with 2 home runs. David Rollandini allowed a .135 average and had a 0.00 ERA. Peter Nyari tied for the save lead (2) while Chris Di Roma added one.
- Spain won their 11th Bronze. They were 5-0 in round one before round two losses to the Netherlands and Italy. 1B Jose Luis Riera led in triples (2). Javier Zabalza was second with 11 RBI and 13 runs and tied for second with 4 steals. All-Star SS Nestor Perez tied for third in RBI (10). Felix Cano was the All-Star DH. All-Star RHP Xavier Civit led in wins (3-0) while Pedro Pablo Belmonte was 2-0.
- Netherlands won their 19th Gold Medal in 28 European Championships and their fourth in a row. They swept all 10 games they played, scoring 87 runs and allowing only 12. Almost every position player finished among the leaders in an offensive department. All-Star C Sidney de Jong was 4th in average (.462), third in OBP (.563) and tied for third in runs (10). 1B Evert-Jan 't Hoen tied for 4th with 7 walks. Percy Isenia tied for third in hits (14), was 4th in slugging (.710) and tied for third in RBI (10). 2B Mike Duursma led with 14 walks. SS Raily Legito tied for the lead with 4 doubles and won the Best Defensive Player Award. All-Star 3B Ivanon Coffie led in home runs (8), slugging (1.300), runs (14) and RBI (17), was third in average (.467), 5th in OBP (.526) and tied for third in hits (14). Johnny Balentina was fifth with 3 doubles. All-Star LF Danny Rombley tied for the best average (.500), was 5th in slugging (.708) and 4th in OBP (.556). RF Harvey Monte also was an All-Star. Six of their eight position player starters also fielded perfectly - Legito, de Jong, Duursma, 't Hoen, Monte and OF Dirk van 't Klooster. On the mound, All-Star LHP Patrick Beljaards, Rob Cordemans and Diegomar Markwell each won two games to tie for second. Cordemans was 5th with 12 strikeouts and both he and Markwell had 0.00 ERAs. Dave Draijer tied for third with one save.
- Sweden finished 8th at 4-6. They were 1-4 in round one but then went 3-2 against the other bottom-tier squads.
- Russia had a disappointing 11th, going 1-4 in both phases. Artemiy Artamonov tied for third in home runs (2). Oleg Korneev had a 0.00 ERA.
- Ukraine finished 4-6 to place 10th. Oleksandr Trofimenko was second in strikeouts (15).