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2010 European Championship

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The 2010 European Championship featured 12 teams from Europe. It was held in July and August 2010 in the German cities of Heidenheim, Tuebingen and Stuttgart. The Dutch national team tried to defend its title from the 2007 European Championship but had to settle for Silver as Italy won for the first time since 1997. The host Germans won their first Medal since 1975 by getting the Bronze. The event, conducted on a biennial basis for decades, was pushed back from its original 2009 date when slated 2009 host Russia fell through and the 2009 Baseball World Cup was assigned to Europe.

The top four finishers qualified for the 2011 Baseball World Cup.

Seven teams qualified for 2009 based on their 2007 performances - Flag of Netherlands Netherlands, Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom, Flag of Spain Spain, Flag of Germany Germany, Flag of France France, Flag of Sweden Sweden and Flag of Italy Italy. In the 2008 European Championship Qualifiers, 23 teams competed for the other 5 spots - Flag of Belgium Belgium, Flag of Ukraine Ukraine, Flag of Croatia Croatia, Flag of Greece Greece and Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic won those events to round out the field.

See 2010 European Championship (Rosters) for roster information.

Contents

[edit] Schedule

[edit] July 23

  • Flag of Germany Germany 10, Flag of Ukraine Ukraine 0. The hosts start off on a high note against an easy opponent. 700 fans turned out to watch a 2-hit combined shutout by Martin Dewald (8 K in 5 IP), Dominik Hartinger (3 K in 2 IP) and Moritz Sckaer (2 K in 1 IP). Ukrainian veteran Anatoliy Korolev, meanwhile, allowed four German runs in the first and there was no looking back after that for Deutschland. C Simon Gühring led the way, going 4 for 5 with two doubles, a home run, two runs and 3 RBI.
  • Flag of Italy Italy 9, Flag of Spain Spain 1. Spain had won the last three Bronze Medals in European Championship play, but they looked horribly outclassed today. Former AA hurler Manny Olivera was knocked out in the first inning, having allowed four runs, and fellow former minor leaguer Pedro Pablo Belmonte continued the bleeding. Mario Chiarini got things going with a 2-run homer in the first and finished four for five with a double, two home runs, three runs and five RBI. Anthony Granato debuted for the Italian national team with three runs. The Pittsburgh connection also did well for Italy - Pittsburgh-born Chris Cooper allowed one run in six while Pitt alumnus Justin Cicatello threw two shutout innings.
  • Flag of Greece Greece 12, Flag of Sweden Sweden 9. Greece goes up 4-0 after three innings but Sweden rallies for eight runs off A.J. Brack in the fifth inning, with the big hit being a grand slam by Kristoffer Sjöberg. Greece rallies back, though, scoring five runs in the sixth to take the lead for good. They would win, 12-9, despite giving up 18 hits to the Swedes. The second basemen led the way - Chris Demetral was 4 for 5 with a walk, two runs and two RBI while Adam Sorgi went 4 for 5 with a run and RBI.

[edit] July 24

  • Flag of Germany Germany 6, Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic 2. Czech skipper Arnošt Nesňal turned to Boris Bokaj, as the right-hander had been starring in the German Bundesliga. He had trouble right out of the gate, allowing two runs in the first and two more on the second (thanks to two errors by former minor leaguers). Meanwhile, Enorbel Marquez-Ramirez kept the Czech squad off the board for seven innings before leaving. 3B Tomáš Polanský hit a 2-run homer off Eugen Heilmann to close the gap but it wasn't enough. Polanský's German counterpart, Dominik Wulf, doubled and homered as the top German batter. 1,650 fans came to watch the home team, more than double their crowd in the opener.
  • Flag of Belgium Belgium 9, Flag of Ukraine Ukraine 0. The Ukrainians suffered their second straight shutout, this time getting only four hits off Terence Antonacci, who went the distance. SS Denys Agapov was easily their star, with a double and triple from the leadoff slot. The top six batters in the Belgian lineup got multiple hits off Roman Yatsyuk and his two relievers. LF-SS Dennis Ribbens got 2 hits, a walk and 3 runs, while 1B Hans Heyrman had three hits.
  • Flag of Spain Spain 7, Flag of Croatia Croatia 6. After a disappointing loss in their opener, Spain eked out what should have been a rout against Croatia. They started strong, scoring five times off Croatian starter Marin Vukmirović, who was yanked in the fourth. It was 6-0 entering the 7th when Croatia finally got an unearned run off Yoel Hernandez, who fanned 9 and allowed only 3 hits. Spain's bullpen nearly blew it, though, with a 7-1 lead entering the 9th. RF Filip Berecka and CF Slobodan Gales both hit two-run singles off Ruben Fente as part of a 5-run 9th. Jose Cruz finally put out the threat, relieving Fente and retiring PH Marin Farkaš on a game-ending grounder.

[edit] July 25

  • Flag of France France 6, Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic 1. France got their first win, behind an excellent outing from 37-year-old Samuel Meurant. The veteran kept the Czechs in check, allowing one unearned run in 8 1/3 innings and throwing 134 pitches before Pierrick Lemestre finished things up. St. Martin-born American high schooler Omar Williams goes 3 for 4 with a homer and 3 RBI to lead a balanced French offense. Leoš Kubát suffers the loss.
  • Flag of Germany Germany 8, Flag of Belgium Belgium 4. Germany remained unbeaten and attendance continued to pick up for the hosts, topping 2,500 this Sunday. In the first inning, CF Steven Delanoy opened with a double for Belgium and later stole home off André Hughes in a double-steal with 1B Hans Heyrman. Germany quickly answered with a one-out, two-run homer by 3B Dominik Wulf off Robbe De Jongh in the bottom of the frame and never lost the lead again. Belgium had a chance to tie it in the 8th against Markus Winkler, loading the bases for Delanoy. He slugged one deep to left but German LF Sascha Lutz made a game-saving grab. SS Edward Martinez, one of the few German squad players not born in Germany, homered twice from the #8 slot in the order, driving in four.
  • Flag of Italy Italy 12, Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 2. Italy won in a rout for the third game in a row, all of them against teams that had medalled in the Euros during the prior decade. Cody Cillo fans seven through five innings of one-hit, no-run ball before Chris Di Roma wrapped up. DH Evan Romanchuk (2B, 2 BB, R, no outs) and 1B-C Sam Wiley (2 for 3, 2-run HR) provided basically all the British offense. Italy lit up Mike Renery for eight runs through four and showed little mercy to the British bullpen either. SS Anthony Granato (3 for 5, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI) and LF Laidel Chapellí (4 for 4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) led the Italian onslaught.
  • Flag of Greece Greece 13, Flag of Spain Spain 9. Greece put this one away very quickly. In the first inning, 3B Mike Tonis (a former big leaguer) drilled a 3-run homer off Diamondbacks farmhand Sammy De Los Santos (a late addition to the Spanish team). In the second, Greece scored five more runs off De Los Santos and 46-year-old Cuban Remigio Leal. Leal issues a bases-loaded walk to Erik Pappas and gave up a 2-run double to Tonis. Leal wound up walking seven and allowing six runs in two innings. SS Nick Theodorou scored three times for Greece. Meleti Melehes pitched well, allowing two runs in six, but the bullpen allowed Spain a rally to make it a game. CF Daniel Martinez had three runs and 3B Marc Carrillo three RBI.
  • Flag of Sweden Sweden 12, Flag of Croatia Croatia 2. Sweden went over .500 by easily beating Croatia. Jakob Claesson matched brother Joakim's 0.00 ERA, though he did allow two unearned runs in his seven-inning outing. Venezuelan-born Ernesto Pereira imploded for eight runs in under four innings in a loss. Leading the Swedish offense were two veterans in LF Tony Dermendziev (2B, HR, 4 RBI) and SS Rickard Reimer (1 for 2, 2 BB, 3 R).

[edit] July 26

  • Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 5, Flag of Spain Spain 1. The Spanish woes continued, as the defending Bronze Medal winners dropped their third game out of four, with only a one-run win over a weak Croatian squad on the positive side. In the second inning, former A's farmhand Iván Granados hit 1B Evan Romanchuk with the bases loaded, forcing in 2B Richard Klijn for a 1-0 British lead. Spain tied it in the fifth when 5' 5" second baseman Daniel Sánchez took Jeff Mottl deep. LF Matt McGraw homered off Granados in the 6th to put England in front, 2-1. They got three insurance runs in the 7th off Jose Cruz to finish the scoring. Stephen Spragg pitched four scoreless innings of one-hit relief for the win. McGraw was 3 for 3 with a double, walk and steal as well as the homer.
  • Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic 10, Flag of Belgium Belgium 1. Petr Minařík rules the roost here, tossing shutout ball for seven innings against Belgium before yielding a run in the 8th. Rain canceled the final inning of the game. Meanwhile, six Czech batters get multiple hits in their first win of the event, burning starter Kenny Vandenbranden for 10 hits and 7 runs in 1 2/3 IP. 1B Jakub Sládek, a former Phillies minor leaguer, goes 3 for 3 with three doubles, a walk, two runs and three RBI, to lead a strong Czech offense.
  • Flag of France France 10, Flag of Ukraine Ukraine 2. Anthony Piquet contained Ukraine on only two hits; he would have had a shutout but for a 2-run error by 2B Felix Brown in the fourth inning. His counterparts were less impressive - Viktor Dovgalenko walked five and allowed three runs in two innings while Dmytro Limarenko surrendered 12 hits and 7 runs in six frames. Brown drew four walks to compensate for his error and scored once, while both 3B Omar Williams (3 doubles, 2 runs, RBI) and RF Joris Bert (3 for 5, R, RBI) had three hits for France.
  • Flag of Greece Greece vs. Flag of Croatia Croatia - rain delayed with Croatia ahead 7-1; will be resumed another day

[edit] July 27

  • Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic 11, Flag of Ukraine Ukraine 1. Martin Schneider locked up 4th-place in their pool for the Czechs, just missing the top-six round, with a 2-hit, one-run win over the Ukrainians. Schneider needed only 78 pitches for his complete game (which ended after 7 due to the mercy rule). 3B Tomáš Polanský drove in four for the Czech Republic while CF Karel Hrušovský was 3 for 3 with a double and three runs. Kostyatyn Korolev allowed ten runs in five innings to take the loss as Ukraine finished last in the pool.
  • Flag of Greece Greece 4, Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 3. For four and a half innings, Greece's A.J. Brack and Britain's Alex Smith did not allow any runs. In the 5th, Greek RF Max Warren bunted for a single-plus-error as C Mitch Evans misplayed it. He stole third and scored on a sac fly by LF Gus Panagotacos. The lead lasted until the 7th, when Brack tired. Having given up only three hits to that point, he yielded an Evans single, then walked 3B Michael Johnson. CF Brad Marcelino singled to tie the game. RF Chris Falls singled as well, but Brack escaped further damage. Meleti Melehes relieved Brack in the 8th and Britain went ahead on a double by LF Matt McGraw, a wild pitch and a fielder's choice. Greece tied it in the bottom of the 8th on walks by 2B Chris Demetral and C Erik Pappas and a single by 1B Chris Lemonis off reliever Stephen Spragg. In the 10th, British 1B Sam Wiley drove in a run to go up 3-2. But in the bottom of the inning, Greece tied it when CF Peter Maestrales drew a bases-loaded walk and then won it when Pappas ground in a run. The loss was crucial for Britain, as it eliminated them from the top-six round.
  • Flag of Germany Germany 10, Flag of France France 9. In a match-up of two teams already slated to move on to the top-six round, France put up a tough fight against the host country, but Germany squeaked out a win to remain unbeaten. Martin Dewald struggled on the hill for Germany, beginning the game with a walk to 2B Felix Brown and a single to 1B Florian Peyrichou. He struck out the next two batters, but a double steal preceded a RBI single by LF Gaspard Fessy. In a crucial play in retrospect, Peyrichou was thrown out trying to score on the hit, gunned down by LF Sascha Lutz. Germany got the lead in the bottom of the second when Nicolas Dubaut allowed a single to 1B Ludwig Glaser and hit C Simon Gühring. With one out, RF Robert Gruber doubled in both runners for a 2-1 lead. Dewald and Dubaut kept things even until the bottom of the 4th, when the home team struck again.

3B Dominik Wulf began the fourth with a single, then Glaser walked and Gühring got a bunt hit. DH Klaus Hopfensperger hit a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead and Gruber singled in two more runs to make it 5-1, Germany. France had a huge fifth to take the lead and then some. CF Kenji Hagiwara and C Boris Marche opened with singles, then SS Maxime Lefevre (the #9 hitter) singled in one run. Brown bunted the runners over and Peyrichou singled to close it to 5-3. 3B Omar Williams singled to close within a run. Philipp Hoffschild relieved Dewald and retired DH and cleanup man David Gauthier on a fly. Fessy again came through, singling in Peyrichou to tie it. RF Joris Bert grounded to SS Eddie Martinez, who had a chance to end it, but threw it away to load the bases. Hagiwara singled for a 6-5 lead, then Marche doubled in three more and France led 9-5.

Germany made it a close game again in the bottom of the inning. CF Cedric Bassel drew a leadoff walk from Dubaut. With one out, 2B Jendrick Speer hit into an error by young Lefevre. A balk by Dubaut moved both runners over, then Wulf doubled home Bassel. Glaser was given an intentional walk, but former Brewer farmhand Gühring made them pay with a 2-run single to close it to 9-8. Arold Castillo relieved Dubaut and retired Hopfensperger and Gruber to end that inning.

The Germans tied it in the 6th. With one out, Bassel was plunked by Castillo. He advanced on a passed ball by Marche, then scored on a Lutz double. France got hits by Fessy and Bert in the 7th, but Hagiwara flew out and Marche grounded out, Hoffschild having settled down. In the 8th, Gruber led off with a solo homer to give Germany the 10-9 lead; he would finish a triple shy of the cycle and drive in five as the game's big star. Nils Hartkopf began the bottom of the 9th by fanning Gauthier on three pitches, but hit Fessy (who finished 3 for 4). Bert and Hagiwara then both struck out to give Germany the win.

[edit] July 28

  • Flag of Croatia Croatia vs. Flag of Ukraine Ukraine - the 11th/12th place game was rained out. The teams will be ranked as finishing tied for 11th.
  • Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 3, Flag of Germany Germany 0. Leon Boyd and Arshwin Asjes kept up the excellent Dutch pitching, combining on a 3-hit, 9-strikeout whitewashing of the home team, which was (like the Netherlands) unbeaten entering this game. Tim Henkenjohann, the first Dutch minor league pitcher since the 1960s when he played in the early 2000s, did okay but was no match for Boyd. In the third, he allowed a leadoff single to SS Mike Duursma, then walked LF Gene Kingsale, 3B Raily Legito (with one out) and C Sidney de Jong (with two out) to force in a run. The other two runs came in the 7th. Kingsale opened with a walk and was bunted over. Henkenjohann was yanked after a rain delay in favor of Eugen Heilmann, who walked Legito. DH Bryan Engelhardt singled in Kingsale and Sidney de Jong singled in Legito for a 3-0 lead.

[edit] July 29

  • Flag of Sweden Sweden 3, Flag of Italy Italy 2. With Sweden having its backs to the wall, needing a win to retain hopes of a Medal, they stunned previously unbeaten Italy with a quick start. The start was delayed for over an hour by the rain that had plagued the tournament. Swedish manager Dennis Cook sent out his best pitcher so far, Joakim Claesson, while Italy, with less riding on the contest, turned to veteran Riccardo De Santis. The 2004 Olympian allowed a run in the first when LF Tony Dermendziev drew a leadoff walk, stole second with one out, advanced on a single by 1B Magnus Pilegård and coming home on another hit, this one by 3B Kristoffer Sjöberg. In the second, C Björn Johannessen and DH Rickard Leander both homered to make it 3-0. Italy allowed no runs over the next eight innings and De Santis and Chris Di Roma combined to fan 12, but Sweden had all the runs it would need.

At the top of the sixth inning, there was a long rain delay. When things resumed, Claesson was not as sharp, serving up one-out dingers to RF Mario Chiarini and 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti. C Simone Albanese opened the 7th with a double and Cook replaced Claesson with Nick Soubiea. 2B Jack Santora bunted Albanese to third. CF Stefano De Simoni launched a fly to left, caught by Dermendziev. He fired home to Johannessen and there was a close play at the plate. Umpire Serge Makouchetchev called Albanese out and the Italian backstop promptly argued the call, earning himself an ejection.

After a quiet 8th, Italy rallied in the 9th. With one out, LF Laidel Chapellí singled. DH Lorenzo Avagnina popped up, then Chapellí stole second. Backup C Juan Pablo Angrisano drew a full-count walk from Soubiea, bringing up Santora. The former Diamondbacks AAA player grounded out to 2B Adam Sorgi to give Sweden the crucial win, sending Spain out of the top-six pool. It would be only the second time Sweden didn't make the top six in a European Championship (following 2001).

  • Flag of Germany Germany 17, Flag of Greece Greece 8. The home team begins the medal round by winning a slugfest that was closer than the final score looked. Germany outhit Greece only 19-16 and each team had six walks. LF Sascha Lutz got things going in the bottom of the first, being plunked by Max Warren and later coming around on a single by 1B Ludwig Glaser. In the third, Greece got to German starter Enorbel Marquez. SS Nick Theodorou bunted his way on board then 2B Chris Demetral drew a walk. C Simon Gühring then came up with a big defensive play, picking Theodorou off second base. CF Peter Maestrales doubled and C Erik Pappas walked to load the bases. 3B Mike Tonis singled in the tying run and 1B Chris Lemonis singled home Maestrales. Warren helped his own cause with a 2-run single to put Greece ahead, 4-1.

Germany staged a rally in the third. Lutz and 2B Jendrick Speer opened with singles, then 3B Dominik Wulf grounded to Tonis, who threw to Demetral for one out, but Demetral threw it away, letting Lutz score. Glaser singled and Gühring. DH Chris Howard struck out swinging but Warren plunked RF Robert Gruber to force in a run and close it to 4-3. The fourth inning was even more explosive. CF Cedric Bassel and Lutz singled, then Speer bunted them over. Wulf grounded out, but Glaser doubled in two runs, Gühring walked and Howard smashed a 3-run homer. Warren was moved from pitcher to right field and Tim Karkatselos relieved, getting Gruber on a K to end the frame, with Gerrmany up 9-4.

Neither team scored in the 5th or 6th as Karkatselos provided good relief to match Germany's Marquez and Moritz Sckaer. The scoring resumed in the 7th as Greece again made it a game. Former big leaguers Pappas and Tonis got it going with singles, then Lemonis singled to load the bags. Warren hit into a force at home. Stephen Palos pinch-hit for Karkatselos and singled to close it to 9-5. LF Gus Panagotacos singled to cut the deficit to three. Greg Frady summoned Nils Hartkopf to replace Sckaer. He threw a wild pitch that made it 9-7 and put the tying run on second. Theodorou struck out, but another wild pitch cut Germany's lead to one. Demetral walked, but Maestrales struck out on three pitches as Germany survived a scare.

Costa Kapothanasis came in to pitch the 8th. With one out, Bassel and Lutz singled. Speer flew out, but Wulf got hit. Glaser then walked to force home Bassel and give Germany an insurance run. Hartkopf went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 8th, retiring both former big leaguers, Pappas and Tonis, the latter by strikeout. Hartkopf would finish with the win to improve to 2-0.

A.J. Brack got two quick outs to open the bottom of the 8th, only needing three pitches. All heck then broke loose for Greece and a close game became a rout as Germany scored 8 runs with two away. SS Edward Martinez, Bassel and Lutz hit three straight singles to go up 11-8. Speer drew a walk to load the bags then Wulf cleared them with a triple. Glaser singled to give Germany its 15th run. Gühring hit into an error by Tonis, putting men on the corners. Chris Howard then cracked his second 3-run homer of the day and Germany led, 17-8. In the bottom of the 9th, Martin Almstetter let Greece load the bases on a walk, error and single. With one out, Demetral ground into the game-ending double play.

Lutz finished 4 for 4 with 4 runs and Glaser 4 for 4 with two walks and 5 RBI. Howard drove in six on his two three-run jacks.

[edit] July 30

  • Flag of Belgium Belgium vs. Flag of Spain Spain - 9th/10th place game canceled due to rain makeup games. Both teams awarded a tie for 9th. It is Spain's worst finish ever, in over 50 years of European Championship play.

The seesaw continued as Britain retook the lead in the bottom of the second. With one out, CF Brad Marcelino and SS Sam Whitehead singled and Klijn hit a sac fly. After Falls doubled, Petr Minařík relieved and would go on to pitch 4 1/3 shutout innings to quell the British bats. Stephen Spragg relieved Smith to open the third. Ondráček bunted into an error. With one out, C Jakub Voják reached on a fielder's choice. An out later, both runners stole and SS Jakub Hajtmar singled them in for a 4-3 lead. Ondráček would score 3 runs on the day.

The Czech Republic built their lead to 8-3 going into the bottom of the 9th. Former Astros farmhand Jan Řeháček walked the first two batters, though, and was relieved by Leoš Kubát. Whitehead singled to load the bases. Klijn struck out, though, and Falls hit into a run-scoring force after going 3 for 4 previously. #3 hitter McGraw then flew out to end the British hopes. The Silver Medalists from 2007 finished 8th, while the Bronze Medalists (Spain) had tied for 9th, both teams falling far while teams with far more authentic European players surpassed him.

  • Flag of Sweden Sweden 3, Flag of France France 2. In an expected close matchup of 2007's 5th- and 6th- place finishers, Sweden again rode the arm of a Claesson brother to victory. Sweden got its first run in the second against Samuel Meurant. With two away, SS Rickard Reimer doubled and CF Christoffer Johansson doubled him in; Johansson would finish 4 for 4. France tied it in the third but had a chance to get more against Jakob Claesson. With one out, SS Maxime Lefevre drew a four-pitch walk but was caught stealing. 2B Felix Brown singled and 1B Florian Peyrichou walked. 3B Omar Williams singled in Brown but Peyrichou was thrown out trying to score on the play, France's second baserunning out of the inning.

The game remained deadlocked at one until the 6th. RF Peter Johannessen led off with a double and advanced to third on a grounder by brother Björn Johannessen. DH Rickard Leander then delivered the big blow, a 2-run homer. Sweden would load the bases with two outs but #3 batter Magnus Pilegård flew out.

France closed the gap in the 8th when Claesson left in favor of young Oscar Carlstedt. Williams drew a four-pitch walk, then DH David Gauthier walked. Nick Soubiea relieved and got two outs before hitting CF Kenji Hagiwara. C Boris Marche hit into an error by Reimer that made it 3-2 and loaded the bases. Lefevre stepped in and the 19-year-old infielder worked the count full before flying out in France's last chance to take control.

The lead switched hands twice in the third. With two away in the top of the inning, 2B Jendrick Speer walked and 3B Dominik Wulf singled. Glaser singled in Speer. C Simon Gühring singled and an error on the play let Wulf score to make it 3-2, Germany. In the bottom of the inning, SS Anthony Granato walked, RF Mario Chiarini singled and Mazzanti drew a four-pitch walk. Gizzi singled in a run, knocking out Hughes. Dominik Hartinger, a newcomer to the German national team, relieved and the Starnberg native retired LF Laidel Chapellí on a sac fly. Hartinger plunked DH Joe Mazzuca, then C Simone Albanese ground into a double play but Italy now led, 4-3.

Germany would rally, though. Gühring opened the 6th with a walk from reliever Tiago Da Silva. Two outs later, SS Edward Martinez went deep to make it 5-4. The next inning, Wulf took Da Silva yard as well for a 6-4 edge. In the top of the 8th, Italian skipper Marco Mazzieri was ejected by Henri van Heijningen for arguing a balk call against Marco Grifantini.

Hartinger threw four shutout innings of relief and Germany still led 6-4 going into the bottom of the 8th, when their run for a title came crashing down. Backup C Juan Pablo Angrisano singled off Philipp Hoffschild, as did 2B Jack Santora. De Simoni bunted into a 2-run Hoffschild error to tie the game. Eugen Heilmann relieved to try to stop the damage, but Granato greeted him with a RBI single to go ahead. Chiarini and Mazzanti walked to load the bags. Gizzi lined out, but Cuban native Chapellí singled for an insurance run. Grifantini struck out the side in the 9th to get the win.

  • Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 15, Flag of Sweden Sweden 0. The Netherlands throw their second shutout of the day while again reaching double digits in runs. David Bergman allows just two hits in five innings, fanning eight, as the game ends early due to the mercy rule. Sweden struggles defensively with five errors and neither Peter Jansson nor Michael Andersson can stop the Dutch bats. 11 different players score for the Netherlands, with C Sidney de Jong driving in three.

[edit] July 31

  • Flag of Italy Italy 11, Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 3. Europe's top two powers historically and the top two teams of this tourney faced off. Italy won to clinch a spot in the finals, a rematch with the Orange. 2B Dwayne Kemp's 2-run homer off Chris Cooper in the third put the Netherlands on board first. Italy battled back and tied it at three in the 5th against Gregory Gustina. In the 7th, Italy went ahead when 1B Jairo Ramos Gizzi hit a 2-run shot off Dave Draijer in a matchup of international tournament veterans. Italy pounded Berry van Driel for six runs in the 9th to make it look like more of a rout than it was. Gizzi finished with two homers and four RBI while SS Anthony Granato reached base all five times up and scored two.
  • Flag of Greece Greece 14, Flag of France France 5. Greece finished fourth, their highest since 2003, despite 18 French hits off Tim Karkatselos and A.J. Brack. SS Felix Brown got four of the hits but six French hitters had at least two. Unfortunately, they wound up stranding 16 baserunners. Greece scored one run off Nicolas Dubaut in each of the first three innings before getting four in the 5th off Arold Castillo despite no hits (a walk, three hit batsmen, an error by Brown, a balk and a wild pitch). France then put in Joris Bert, normally an outfielder, and Greece piled on 7 runs in the next four innings. SS Nick Theodorou was 3 for 6 with a homer, steal, 3 runs and 3 RBI while C-3B Erik Pappas was 2 for 2 with two times hit-by-pitch, two runs and two RBI.

[edit] August 1

  • Flag of Italy Italy 8, Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 4. The Netherlands fails to take the Gold for the first time since 1997 after five consecutive titles, with Italy rebounding from 7th place in 2007 to their first Gold since '97. The Netherlands allowed only three runs in their first seven games before giving up 19 in two contests against Italy as good hitting again beat good pitching. 3,248 fans showed up to watch the game.

The Netherlands looked strong to start off. LF Eugene Kingsale led off with a homer off Brazil-born Tiago Da Silva. CF Danny Rombley singled, 3B Raily Legito walked and C Sidney de Jong singled. Italy then took control as 1B Bryan Engelhardt fouled out, DH Bas de Jong fanned and RF Dirk van 't Klooster grounded out. In the bottom of the first, Diegomar Markwell walked SS Anthony Granato with one away and Granato stole second. RF Mario Chiarini singled, then 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti doubled home two. 1B Jairo Ramos Gizzi walked and LF Laidel Chapellí singled. C Juan Pablo Angrisano hit a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead. After two more Dutch players reached in the second, Da Silva was yanked in favor of Justin Cicatello. Cicatello and Markwell dueled evenly from there until the 6th.

In the 6th, Leon Boyd relieved Markwell and allowed a leadoff dinger to Mazzanti, followed by a Gizzi homer to make it 5-1, Italy. The Netherlands came within a run in the bottom of the eighth. Legito and de Jong led off with singles, knocking out Cicatello after a great outing that would earn him the win. Carlos Pezzullo relieved and gave up a RBI single to Engelhardt to make it 5-2. Friday's winner, Marco Grifantini, relieved. Angrisano had a passed ball, scoring de Jong to close it to 5-3. Bas de Jong struck out on a full count after twice fouling off a potential strike three. Van 't Klooster grounded Engelhardt to third and 2B Dwayne Kemp doubled him in. With a chance to tie, SS Mike Duursma went down swinging against Grifantini.

Italy put it away in the bottom of the 8th. Gizzi drew a walk from Arshwin Asjes and Chapellí singled. Angrisano bunted his way on during a fielder's choice. 2B Jack Santora coaxed a walk to force home Gizzi. Michiel van Kampen relieved and plunked PH Lorenzo Avagnina to force in Chapellí. After a fly out, van Kampen threw a wild pitch to make it 8-4. In the 9th, Grifantini got Kingsale, Rombley and Legito in order to end it.

[edit] Final Standings

[edit] Awards

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