2008 European Championship Qualifiers
The 2008 European Championship Qualifiers, held in July 2008, determined the final five teams in the 2010 European Championship. 23 teams competed for the five slots.
- Finland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine competed. A big match-up was on July 9 when Romania beat Ukraine 1-0 in 10 innings when Mihai Burlea outdueled Oleksandr Trofimenko as both aces went the distance. Ukraine roughed up Burlea in the finals, though, 8-1, and won the rubber game with Romania by a 16-4 rout to deny Romania its first European Championship trip. The Ukraine was 5-1 and Romania 4-2. Slovakia (2-2), Hungary (1-3) and Finland (0-4) wrapped up the standings. The MVP was Ukrainian OF Dmytro Nelipo, who hit .368/.571/.474 with 7 runs and 6 RBI in 6 games.
Prague, Czech Republic
- Belarus, Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia competed. The host Czech team surprisingly needed 11 innings to top Slovenia 3-2 on the 9th of July. They did better in the rematch in the finals, with a one-hitter by Radek Procházka and Jan Řeháček to finish 5-0. The Czech team featured three former minor leaguers and one player from NCAA Division I. Slovenia (2-3) was second, followed by Poland (2-2), Belarus (2-2) and Latvia (0-4). The MVP was Czech SS Petr Baroch, who batted .429/.500/.643 with 4 steals and 5 runs in 4 games.
- Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Lithuania and Serbia competed. The host Croatians are favored and cruised to a 5-0 record, though they won their finale by just one run over Lithuania. Lithuania (2-3) was second, followed by Israel (2-2), Bulgaria (2-2) and Serbia (0-4). The MVP was from third-place Israel, 2B Oren Gal (.529/.579/.765, 6 R, 4 RBI, 3 E in 4 G).
- Greece, Republic of Ireland, Portugal and Russia competed. Russia had one former minor leaguer while Greece features a couple Greek-Americans who played in the majors in Mike Tonis and Erik Pappas. Greece swept with a 4-0 record, followed by 2-2 Russia, 1-2 Portugal and 0-3 Ireland. Greece beat Russia 5-0 in the last game behind a perfect game by Tom Lyons. Lyons (1-0, 0.69, 17 K in 13 IP) won the MVP award for the competition.
- Austria, Belgium, Malta and Switzerland competed. Austria beat Malta 30-4 on July 10 in a game ended after 4 1/2 innings due to the mercy rule. LF Joachim Frick went 6 for 6 with 5 runs and 6 RBI in the shortened game. Belgium went 4-0 to advance, followed by 3-1 Austria. Switzerland was 2-2 and Malta 0-4. Malta allowed "only" 43 runs in their 3 losses outside of the blowout by Austria. The MVP was Belgian SS Benjamin Dille, who hit .526/.609/.579 with 11 runs in 5 games (though he made five errors).