2009 European Cup
From BR Bullpen
The 2009 European Cup was held in two phases, as in 2008, with the first phase taking place at two different sites. The first phase was in March and April, while the Final Four was held in June. Nettuno won its second straight Cup. The MVP was Jeff Farnsworth, a pitcher for Nettuno who starred in the finale.
 Fortitudo Bologna (Italy)
 FC Barcelona (Spain)
FC Barcelona won the Regensburg part of the 2008 European Cup. The team is limited by a couple injuries to regular performers and foreign player limits.
 T&A San Marino (San Marino)
T&A San Marino won the 2008 Italian Baseball League title, taking the Italy Series in 7 games. They won the 2006 European Cup. The club includes Tiago da Silva, Horacio Estrada, Max De Biase, Willie Vasquez, Johnny Gregorius, Randolph Kirindongo and Ardley Jansen.
 Corendon Kinheim (Netherlands)
 Templiers de Sénart (France)
 AVG Draci Brno (Czech Republic)
 Nettuno (Italy)
 L&D Amsterdam Pirates (Netherlands)
The L&D Amsterdam Pirates won the 2008 Holland Series. They are managed by Rikkert Faneyte. The team includes Sidney de Jong, Adam Blackley, Vince Rooi, Kenny Berkenbosch, Jos de Jong, Pim Walsma, Nick Stuifbergen and Fausto Alvarez.
 Rouen Huskies (France)
The Rouen Huskies have won four consecutive Division Elite titles. They are managed by Francois Colombier. The team includes Robin Roy, T.J. Stanton, Keino Perez, Giovanni Ouin, Mathieu Crescent, Alexandre Sochon, Dany Scalabrini and Boris Marche.
 Marlins Puerto Cruz (Spain)
 Buchbinder Legionaere Regensburg (Germany)
Regensburg's Buchbinder Legionäre won the 2008 Bundesliga pennnat. They are managed by Martin Helmig. The roster includes Scott Lonergan, Eddie Aucoin, Martin Almstetter, Benedikt Antwi, Ludwig Glaser, Philipp Howard, Alex Lauterbach and Klaus Hopfensperger.
 Antwerp Royal Greys (Belgium)
The Antwerp Royal Greys have won four Belgian titles in a row.
 March 31
- Amsterdam Pirates 4, Antwerp Royal Greys 2. Amsterdam got all the offense they needed in the first inning when 48-year-old DH Fausto Álvarez tripled home two runs and then scored on a grounder by RF Bas de Jong. Jos de Jong allowed one run in four and Nick Stuifbergen one run in two before rain cut short the game after six innings.
- Nettuno 6, Regensburg Legionare 1. Eddie Aucoin had a fine debut for Regensburg, holding the hosts to one run (unearned) in five innings, but took the loss when the German offense wilted against Carlos Richetti and Remigio Leal, who fanned 12. Nettuno ran away with the game against the Regensburg bullpen.
- Rouen Huskies 0, Marlins Puerto Cruz 0. The game was rained out after 1 1/2 innings; the score was nothing-nothing. Played innings do not count and the game was rescheduled for Wednesday morning, 9:30 am local time.
 April 1
- Rouen Huskies 2, Marlins Puerto Cruz 0. Keino Perez tossed a gem, allowing only 3 hits and two walks in a complete game shutout win. Leslie Nacar matched him for 4 innings and fanned 15, allowing only two unearned runs in a great losing effort. In the 5th inning, Rouen got on the board when Dodgers farmhand Joris Bert singled, moved to third on an error by Lesther Galván and scored on a Dany Scalabrini hit. In the 8th, Boris Marche walked, was bunted over and scored when David Gauthier's fly ball was dropped.
- Rouen Huskies 8, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 5. After beating the Spanish entry in the morning, Rouen Marvin Bleij to score Wesley Connor. In the bottom of the first, Rouen CF Joris Bert led off with a homer. David Gauthier added a 2-run single later in the inning and a sacrifice fly made it 4-1. Rouen tacked on two more in the second and another in the fourth for a 7-1 lead. Amsterdam rallied from there but never came close enough to challenge significantly. Robin Roy walked 7 in 5 1/3 IP and allowed 5 runs but got the win. Gauthier drove home 3, while Dany Scalabrini went 3-for-3 with a walk and 3 runs to offset 2 errors at short.
- T&A San Marino 6, Draci Brno 1. After rain delayed the start of the Matino contests, the Cup kicked off action there with San Marino easily beating the Extraliga champions. Draci Brno scored in the third against former major leaguer Horacio Estrada but it was their only run and they struck out 16 times overall. San Marino got ahead in the 4th when Max De Biase homered following a Willie Vasquez single. Vasquez added a sacrifice fly in a 2-run 5th and a 2-run double in the 7th.
- Corendon Kinheim 8, Templiers de Sénart 1. Duko Jansen and two relievers held the French squad to one unearned run, while the Kinheim bats reached Templiers veteran Samuel Meurant for 3 runs in 6 innings before running away with it against the Sénart bullpen. Key Kinheim hitters were Danny Rombley (2 for 5, 3 R, RBI, 3B, HBP) and 1B Jeffrey Verbij (2 for 2, R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, HR). Rombley was fresh from an appearance in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
 April 2
 Nettuno and Anzio
- Marlins Puerto Cruz 8, Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg 5. Three Spanish players drove in multiple runs to support Ivan Granados's so-so outing. Martin Almstetter surrendered 8 runs in 6 1/3 IP for the loss.
- Rouen Huskies 5, Antwerp Greys 4. Rouen struggled to remain in first place with a close match from Antwerp. Antwerp went ahead 2-1 early, but Rouen scored three times in the third, with a 2-run hit by Kenji Hagiwara and David Gauthier doubling in another. By the 5th, Antwerp tied it, with Bryon Bell delivering the tying homer off Alexandre Sochon. In the 7th, Keino Perez relieved Sochon and gave up one hit in 4 1/3 shutout innings on short rest after his complete game two days earlier. In the 10th, Bell moved to the mound to replace Robbe De Jongh, who had thrown 148 pitches. In the 11th, Nicolas Dubaut opened with a walk and the next batter hit into a force; Jordan Bert pinch-ran and stole second. Jordan's brother Joris Bert walked, then Boris Marche singled to load the bases. Dany Scalabrini struck out. Kenji Hagiwara was then plunked by Bell to force in Jordan Bert with the winning run. Perez improved to 2-0.
- Danesi Caffe Nettuno 12, Marlins Puerto Cruz 2. 45-year-old Cuban Remigio Leal allowed runs in the first and third but then settled down to contain Nettuno. Nettuno scored in the third and tied it in the 4th when Giuseppe Mazzanti came home on an error. In the fifth, former Yankees farmhand Andrea Castri cracked a grand slam to put the game away. Ramón Tavárez double home 3 more in the 6th and the rout was on as the hosts went on to win 12-2.
- Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg 7, Antwerp Royal Greys 1. Philipp Hoffschild of the German national team fanned 12 in a complete game win. Providing the offensive support was a balanced attack led by former Angels minor leaguer Ludwig Glaser, who had one run and 2 RBI.
- L&D Amsterdam Pirates 4, Danesi Caffe Nettuno 0. The hosts were handed their first loss, as Adam Blackley (3 H, 0 R in 7 IP), Kenny Berkenbosch (1 H, 0 R in 1 IP) and Pim Walsma (0 H, 0 R in 1 IP) combined on a whitewash. It was Blackley's debut in Europe after having played in the minor leagues for a few years. In the third, Zaïr Koeiman was plunked by former big leaguer Jeff Farnsworth, stole second and came home on a Maikel Benner hit. It was the only run Farnsworth gave up in six innings but the bullpen allowed Amsterdam to build a solid cushion. Benner finished with 3 hits, a run and 2 RBI to lead the Dutch attack.
- Fortitudo Bologna 6, Corendon Kinheim 1. Kinheim got 13 hits but failed to convert numerous opportunities in a loss. Their only run was in the second when Jeffrey Verbij tripled in Bryan Engelhardt. Patrick Beljaards tossed shutout ball through four innings before Bologna ran away with it on sloppy Kinheim defense. Matt Stocco doubled with one out and came home on a single by Daniele Frignani. Two Kinheim errors helped Bologna score 3 more runs that inning. Bologna added another 2 unearned runs in the 6th.
- FC Barcelona 4, Draci Brno 1. Venezuelan Homer Baez went the distance for Barcelona, striking out 13 while shutting down the Czech bats for the most part. Draci Brno went ahead in the third on a solo homer and Pat Ahearne tossed six shutout innings. In the 7th, Ahearne faded and allowed the tying run. Then in the 8th, Barcelona loaded the bases and Orlando J. Díaz cleared them with a 3-run double off the former major leaguer to give the Spaniards the win.
 April 3
 Nettuno and Anzio
- L&D Amsterdam Pirates 17, Marlins Puerto Cruz 9. Richard Montiel had 3 hits and 5 RBI for the Marlins, but the Pirates pummeled the Spanish pitching to pull off a rout. Fausto Álvarez doubled, homered and drove in five and 7 Amsterdam batters got multiple hits in the win.
- Regensburg Legionäre 5, Rouen Huskies 4. The Rouen hopes of advancing to the Final Four took a hit when they were handed their first loss. In the meantime, the German squad kept its Final Four hopes alive by improving to 2-2. Nicolas Dubaut and former minor leaguer Scott Lonergan traded goose eggs for 3 1/2 innings. In the 4th, Dubaut allowed a leadoff double and a walk. A throwing error by C David Gauthier scored one run and set up a second. Regensburg scored in the 7th when Markus Gienger was hit by a pitch and Rodney Gessmann tripled to make it 3-0.
The game really had a dramatic turn in the 8th inning. Rouen finally got to Lonergan. Olivier Israel was hit by a pitch. After an out, Boris Marche singled and a fielder's choice followed. Kenji Hagiwara drew a walk to load the bases. Gautheir made up for his earlier defensive gaffe with a 2-run single to close it to 3-2. Lonergan threw a wild pitch, then gave up a 2-run single to Luc Piquet to put Rouen ahead 4-3.
In the bottom of the inning, Regensburg struck back. Philipp Howard drew a 4-pitch walk from Dubaut and was balked to second with one out. Ludwig Glaser singled to tie the game, then Klaus Hopfensperger doubled to make it 5-4.
Rouen went down 1-2-3 in the 9th to end it.
- Cafe Danesi Nettuno 7, Antwerp Greys 0. The hosts got a stellar pitching performance from two-time Olympian Massimiliano Masin, who had a no-hitter going into the 9th inning before settling on a combined one-hit shutout. A balanced attack provided Nettuno with 7 runs.
- T & A San Marino 12, FC Barcelona 0. San Marino scored two in the first and never looked back. Tiago da Silva and William Lucena combined on a four-hit shutout. Francesco Imperiali reached base five times in five appearances and score five runs. Max De Biase was 4 for 5 with 4 RBI, while Dean Rovinelli also drove home four in the rout.
- Fortitudo Bologna 5, Templiers de Sénart 0. Evan Blesoff was hurt by 3 errors leading to four unearned runs, but the one earned run he gave up was still too much. Yulman Ribeiro, Alessandro Ularetti and Fabio Milano teamed on a 5-hit shutout for Bologna, fanning 12.
 April 4
 Nettuno and Anzio
- L & D Amsterdam Pirates 8, Regensburg Legionäre 4. Amsterdam clinched a spot in the Final Four but it was a close call. Jos de Jong gave up two first-inning runs. Amsterdam went ahead 4-3 in the third and the game remained a one-run affair until the 7th, when the Pirates scored four unearned runs. Eddie Aucoin took the loss, only lasting 3 innings. Four Pirates scored multiple runs.
- Antwerp Greys 2, Marlins Puerto Cruz 1. The Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the first and made it last all the way until the bottom of the 9th, but Antwerp rallied for two runs for its lone win of the tournament.
- Danesi Nettuno 7, Rouen Huskies 3. With a spot in the Final Four on the line, Nettuno and Rouen T.J. Stanton. In the third, a Kenji Hagiwara error scored Manny Alexander and Giuseppe Mazzanti came home on a wild pitch for a 4-0 edge. Rouen battled back in the bottom of the 4th with a double by Boris Marche, a single by Dany Scalabrini, RBI double by Hagiwara and a 2-run single by David Gauthier. Carlos Richetti retired the next batter, but then Flavien Peron singled to put men on the corners. Giovanni Carrara replaced Richetti and the long-time major leaguer would shut out Rouen for the next 3 innings before Remigio Leal closed it for the save. Nettuno tacked on 3 more off Stanton in the 7th to put it away. Mazzanti was 3 for 5 with 2 runs and a RBI to lead Nettuno.
- Draci Brno 5, Templiers de Sénart 1. The last-place match in Matino came to the Czech and French teams. The Templiers got ahead in the first when Ernesto Martinez singled in a run for the first of 3 hits. It was all the Czechs would allow, though, as Radek Procházka, Leoš Kubát and Jakub Toufar combined to give up only one hit by someone other than Martinez. Samuel Meurant gave up 4 straight singles in the 4th inning to put Draci Brno ahead 2-1. It was all Meurant surrendered in 7 innings before Draci Brno tacked on some insurance off the Templiers bullpen.
- Fortitudo Bologna 2, FC Barcelona 1. With a spot in the Final Four on the line for both clubs, Bologna won a close game against the Spanish entry. Former minor leaguers Jesus Matos and Pedro Pablo Belmonte traded goose eggs for five innings. In the 6th, Claudio Liverziani (another former US pro) singled off Belmonte and advanced on two wild pitches. Joe Mazzuca singled in Liverziani for a 1-0 lead. Errors by Mazzuca and Daniele Frignani helped Barcelona tie it in the bottom of the sixth. They almost took the lead but CF Eddy Garabito threw out a runner at home to save the day. In the 7th, a couple Barcelona miscues gave Bologna the lead for good. Barcelona almost tied it in the 9th but Garabito started a second double play from center field to end the game.
- Corendon Kinheim 8, T&A San Marino 2. The last spot on the Final Four came down to this contest. It was 1-1 after two before Kinheim exploded to five runs in the third to put the game in hand. David Bergman and two relievers combined on a solid effort while Dirk van 't Klooster went 3 for 5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI to lead the offense.
 Final Four
 June 20
- Fortitudo Bologna 6, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 0. Bologna had an easy time with the 2008 Holland Series victors, as Jesus Matos fanned 8 and allowed 3 hits in 8 shutout innings; Fabio Milano completed the shutout. Adam Blackley took the loss, unable to stop the Italian batters. Joe Mazzuca was 3 for 4 with a walk for Bologna, while Juan Pablo Angrisano scored 2 and drove home 2.
- Nettuno 6, Kinheim 4. Carlos Richetti and David Bergman traded goose eggs for five innings. In the 6th, Nettuno scored twice, but Kinheim came back for 4, led by a 3-run triple by Rafael Jozefa. Unfortunately for Kinheim, Nettuno came back with four of their own in the 7th against the Kinheim bullpen. A 3-run homer by Giuseppe Mazzanti off of Michiel van Kampen was the big blow.
- Corendon Kinheim 3, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 1. The two Dutch teams battled valiantly for third place. Amsterdam got on the board in the third off Patrick Beljaards. Wesley Connor reached on a Rene Cremer error and both Maikel Benner and Sidney de Jong singled for a 1-0 lead. Jos de Jong pitched 7 shutout innings for Amsterdam but his bullpen failed to hold the game together. In the 8th, Cremer singled, Rafael Jozefa doubled and Danny Rombley hit a sacrifice fly to tie it.
In the top of the 10th, Kinheim's Kevin Weijgerste grounded to Marvin Bleij, who made an error. After two outs, Rombley homered to left off of Kenny Berkenbosch for a 3-1 lead. Robin van Eis had trouble putting it away, giving up hits to Pavel van Zaane and Connor; runners were on second and third when he retired Benner to end the contest.
- Danesi Nettuno 1, Fortitudo Bologna 0. Jeff Farnsworth dominated, fanning 14 and allowing only five hits, two walks and no runs in 8 innings before Carlos Pezzullo wrapped it up with the save. Matching Farnsworth almost perfectly were Yulman Ribeiro, Fabio Milano and Victor Moreno, who allowed 5 hits and 4 walks while surrendering one run.
The only score came in the second. Giuseppe Mazzanti took a four-pitch walk. C Matt Stocco threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt, putting Mazzanti on third. Manuel Gasparri singled him home. Bologna twice got runners to third but never further.
- L&D Amsterdam Pirates
- Danesi Nettuno
- Rouen Huskies
- Regensburg Legionäre
- Antwerp Greys
- Marlins Puerto Cruz
 Barcelona (finals)
- Average: Maikel Benner, Amsterdam .500
- ERA: Keino Perez, Rouen 0.00 (13 1/3 IP)
- Hits: 9 tied with 7
- Runs: 4 tied with 6
- RBI: Fausto Alvarez, Amsterdam & David Gauthier, Rouen 8
- Doubles: Klaus Hopfensperger, Regensburg 4
- Triples: 6 tied with 1
- Home Runs: 7 tied with 1
- Total Bases: Klaus Hopfensperger, Regensburg & Ludwig Glaser, Regensburg 14
- Stolen Bases: Matt Vance, Regensburg 3
- Strikeouts: Audie Nunez, Puerto Cruz 17
- Average: Max De Biase, San Marino & Willie Vasquez, San Marino .583
- ERA: Yulman Ribeiro, Bologna 0.00 (7 IP)
- Hits: Dirk van 't Klooster, Kinheim 8
- Runs: Francesco Imperiali, San Marino 6
- RBI: Max De Biase, San Marino & Willie Vasquez, San Marino 6
- Doubles: Ernesto Martinez, Sénart 3
- Triples: 3 tied with 1
- Home Runs: 6 tied with 1
- Total Bases: Willie Vasquez, San Marino 12
- Stolen Bases: Andrew Smith, Sénart 2
- Strikeouts: Homer Baez, Barcelona 13
- Average: Joe Mazzuca, Bologna .500
- ERA: Jeff Farnsworth, Nettuno & Jesus Matos, Bologna 0.00 (8 IP)
- Hits: Joe Mazzuca, Bologna 4
- Runs: Giuseppe Mazzanti, Nettuno 3
- RBI: Giuseppe Mazzanti, Nettuno 4
- Doubles: Matt Stocco, Bologna 2
- Triples: Juan Pablo Angrisano, Bologna & Rafael Jozefa, Kinheim 1
- Home Runs: Giuseppe Mazzanti, Nettuno & Danny Rombley, Kinheim 1
- Total Bases: Giuseppe Mazzanti, Nettuno 6
- Stolen Bases: Joe Mazzuca, Nettuno & Juan Infante, Bologna 2
- Strikeouts: Jeff Farnsworth, Nettuno 14
 Criticism from the coaches
Some coaches have expressed concern that the first stage of the tournament was played so early in the year. The reason it was scheduled earlier than usual was because of the 2009 Baseball World Cup being held in Europe in the fall, when the final phase of the Cup would normally wind up.
Peter Meijers, general manager for Amsterdam felt that even though his players were anxious to play, having the games later on in June would allow more time to prepare.
Paul Roevens, manager for Antwerp thought the timing was hardly ideal, and wondered if the lack of practice could affect his team's performance at the Cup and could also affect them later in the season.
François Colombier, manager for Rouen also thought the timing was odd, stating he would prefer to play in May. He prepared his team the best he could, given the cold and rainy winter weather they experienced beforehand.