2019 European Championship
The 2019 European Championship was the 35th European Championship. Competing were the top 10 teams from the 2016 European Championship: Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Sweden and Croatia as well as Austria (winner of the 2018 European Championship Playoff) and Israel (winner of the 2019 European Championship Playoff). Israel was making its debut and Austria just its second trip. The event was held from September 8 to September 15, 2019. The top five finishers advanced to the 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier for the 2020 Olympics.
See also 2019 European Championship (Rosters)
- Spain 3, Croatia 2. Croatia nearly pulls off an upset in the opener as Marin Tadić and Antonio Horvatić hold Spain, with two former major leaguers in the lineup, to 3 runs while SS Kruno Gojković scores a pair. Jorge Balboa fans 9 in 6 innings for the win and former big leaguer Rhiner Cruz saves it.
- Israel 6, Czech Republic 1. Israel makes its European Championship debut bolstered by numerous American Jewish players (four with MLB experience) gaining citizenship to help their Olympic hopes. Zack Weiss gets the win and CF Blake Gailen goes 4 for 4 and falls a triple shy of a cycle. Radim Chroust takes the defeat. In the bottom of the 1st, the Czechs got their lone run when RF Jakub Malík drives in SS Martin Schneider against Joey Wagman.
- Belgium 5, Austria 1. Austria's first European Championship game in 12 years shows them to be competitive. Cédric De Smedt pitches 7 shutout innings for the win and Thomas De Wolf comes in with the bases loaded and two outs in the 9th, fanning CF Dominik Talir to save it; Talir had gone 2 for 3 with Austria's lone RBI. Christian Tomsich has a quality start (2 R, 4 H in 7 IP) for Austria but takes the loss. CF Steven De Lannoy and C Axel Poesmans each drive in two.
- Italy 16, France 2. In the first rout, Italy pounds France's bullpen for 12 runs over the last four innings to break open what had been a close game. LF Sebastiano Poma went 6 for 6 with 4 runs and 5 RBI while finishing a triple shy of the cycle, 1B Chris Colabello had 3 hits, DH Giuseppe Mazzanti and CF Federico Celli scored three while RF/3B Aldo Koutsoyanopulos drove in 3. Michael Johnson got the win in relief, while Keino Perez took the loss. C Andy Paz homered for France.
- Germany 9, Sweden 1. The hosts start off strong as Samuel Steigert gets the win with 5 1/3 shutout innings out of the pen and CF Kevin Kotowski, the #9 hitter, goes 3 for 3 with two walks, two runs and a RBI. Jesper Svedhem took the loss; SS Alex Rubanowitz had two hits for the Swedes.
- Netherlands- United Kingdom suspended by darkness with the Netherlands up 10-2
- Spain 13, Belgium 5. Lowuin Sacramento got the win and was backed by five homers as Spain's bats woke up. CF Engel Beltre drove in 3. Ben Van Nuffel gave up five runs in one inning for the loss, while LF Sam Boermans was Belgium's offensive star, with a double, homer and two RBI.
- Israel 4, Sweden 3. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th, Israel rallies for a pair off Jakob Syrén to win it for Jon Moscot. RF Jeremy Wolf draws Israel's 11th walk to force in DH Danny Valencia with the winning run. 3B Nico Filice goes 2 for 2 with a homer for Sweden.
- France 12, Austria 6. France bounced back in their second game, with CF Frédéric Hanvi hitting both a grand slam and a 3-run homer and C Andy Paz driving in 3 more. Owen Ozanich pitched 3 shutout innings in his surprise return from injury, while Dan Camou got the win. Ryan Rupp took the loss. SS Moritz Scheicher was 4 for 4.
- Czech Republic 8, Netherlands 6. The Czechs stun the defending champions after having previously gone 1-11 against the Netherlands. C Martin Červenka doubles and homers to lead a balanced offense while Martin Schneider saves it for Marek Minařík. 2B Calten Daal has 3 hits and 3 RBI in a losing effort while Tom de Blok struggles on the mound.
- Italy 2, Croatia 1. Croatia again gives a traditional power a scare as Pavao Karin holds Italy to one run in nine despite seven walks. In the 4th, RF Andrija Tomić singles off Murilo Gouvea to score 1B Slobodan Gales. Italy ties it in the 5th when SS Drew Maggi hits a solo shot. In the top of the 10th, Alex Bassani fans all three batters he faces. He gets the win when CF John Andreoli singles off Borna Strelec in the bottom of the inning to score Maggi.
- Germany 1, United Kingdom 0. Sascha Koch and Sven Schüller combine on a five-hitter (RF Jordan Serena getting two of the hits) in a shutout for the hosts. The Germans get their only run against former major leaguer Michael Roth (who gives up just 3 hits) on a solo homer by 2B Marco Cardoso in the 5th.
- Italy 10, Austria 1. Andrea Pizziconi allows one unearned run in five, scattering seven hits, for the win against Austria and Thierry Letouzé. LF Aldo Koutsoyanopulos scores three, CF John Andreoli falls a triple shy of a cycle and 1B Chris Colabello smacks a grand slam off Paul Astl. 2B Benjamin Salzmann has two hits for Austria.
- Belgium 9, Croatia 6. Croatia leads 6-3 entering the bottom of the 8th with 4 RBI from RF/1B Slobodan Gales and a good start by Jose Diaz. Diaz tires in the bottom of the 8th as the first two batters reach. Antonio Horvatić relieves and does not wrap it up, giving up the two inherited runs and then four unearned runs. RF Thomas De Wolf's grand slam caps the scoring and gives him a 5-RBI day.
- Netherlands 9, Sweden 0. The defending champions get their first win as Donny Breek (debuting for the national team), Diegomar Markwell, Shairon Martis and Kevin Kelly combine to fan 15 and walk only one and allow just two hits. SS Sharlon Schoop goes 5 for 5 with a double, homer, 2 runs and 3 RBI and CF Roger Bernadina doubles twice and homers. Jakob Claesson takes the loss. Sweden's only hits come from CF Joel Johnson and C Oscar Jerfsten.
- United Kingdom 4, Czech Republic 3. Alex Webb blanked the Czechs for 6 and held a 3-0 lead before SS Martin Schneider hit a 3-run dinger in the bottom of the 7th. The Czechs loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th but failed to score off Paul Kirkpatrick. Former Orioles farmhand Jan Novák gave up an unearned run in the top of the 10th when 1B Alex Crosby grounded into a double play to score 2B Richard Klijn. The Czechs again blew a bases-loaded opportunity in the bottom of the 10th, loading them with one out against Richard Brereton but 1B Tomáš Juněc went down swinging and 3B Martin Červinka hit into a force.
- Spain 6, France 3. In a matchup of Cuban natives, France's Leonel Cespedes outduels Spain's Carlos Sierra and leaves with a 3-0 lead after six, with a 2-run homer by DH Bastien Dagneau the big hit. In the bottom of the 7th, though, Eric Moore relieves. An error and two walks follow, then C Blake Ochoa singles to make it 3-2. Dan Camou replaces Moore and 3B Leomartires Rodriguez (the #9 hitter) singles in the tying run. CF Engel Beltre hit into a Camou error to score two more and give Spain the lead for good. Andrés Pérez got the win and Rhiner Cruz the save.
- Israel 4, Germany 2. Two unbeaten teams square off in a contest that goes extra innings. Germany starts strong, chasing Gabe Cramer with 7 baserunners and 2 runs while he retires just six. DJ Sharabi (3 IP), Zack Weiss (2 IP), Jonathan de Marte (2 IP, W) and Dean Pelman (1 IP, Sv) shut out Germany the rest of the way, though. In the 10th, C Nick Rickles singles in 2B Mitch Glasser with Glasser's 3rd run and LF Benjamin Wanger's sacrifice fly brings in DH Danny Valencia. In the bottom of the 10th, CF Kevin Kotowski is thrown out at home and DH Donald Lutz (the first major leaguer raised in Germany) hits into a game-ending twin killing.
- France 12, Belgium 2. France kept their Olympic hopes alive with a needed win over Belgium. Marc-André Habeck strikes out nine and allows one run in seven while SS Maxime Lefevre has 3 hits and 3 runs, C Andy Paz drives in 3 and RF Bastien Dagneau raps three hits. Artuur Driessens is handed the loss.
- Israel 7, United Kingdom 4. Israel remained unbeaten as 1B Blake Gailen homers twice and drives in 3, while Zack Weiss saves it for Joey Wagman. 1B Ben Andrews falls a triple shy of a cycle and drives in 3 for Britain, while Greg Hendrix takes the defeat.
- Austria 12, Croatia 1. Austria gets its first European Championship win ever and does it in a 7-inning mercy rule rout. Alex Seidl allows just two hits (to 1B Slobodan Gales and 3B/P Ronnie Krsolovic) and one run (SS Ross Vukovich driving in Krsolovic). C Samuel Hackl drives in 3 and CF Dominik Talir hits a grand slam. Borna Strelec takes the loss.
- Italy 13, Spain 3. Two of the three remaining unbeaten teams faced off and Italy led 3-2 after 6 before making it a blowout over the final three. Luis Lugo got the win and had plenty of offensive help: 2B Alessandro Vaglio (3 H), CF John Andreoli (3 R), 1B Chris Colabello (3 R, 5 RBI), 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti (3 H, 4 RBI) and C Alberto Mineo (4 RBI, a triple shy of the cycle) all had big days. Ricardo Hernández took the loss. CF Engel Beltre had 3 hits for Spain and LF Lesther Galván drove in a pair.
- Czech Republic 10, Sweden 3. Jan Tomek held Sweden to one run in six as the Swedes remained winless, and CF Matěj Hejma had 3 hits and drove in two. 3B Nico Filice drove in two in a losing effort and Leo Bristow took the defeat.
- Netherlands 8, Germany 1. Lars Huijer struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings, while LF Ademar Rifaela homered 3 times and drove in 7, including C Hendrik Clementina on each of the 3 homers. Daniel Thieben was the losing pitcher. Germany's only run came in when 2B Marco Cardoso drove in 3B Eric Brenk.
- Italy 11, Belgium 4. Italy finishes the first round 5-0. Angelo Palumbo pitches five shutout innings, allowing two hits, both 2B Alessandro Vaglio and 1B Chris Colabello drive in 3 and C Beau Maggi has 2 doubles, 2 runs and 2 RBI. CF Leonel Reina Viant drove in two for Belgium, with Jace Van Droogenbroeck getting the decision.
- Spain 19, Austria 1. In a 6-inning mercy rule rout, 2B/1B Oscar Angulo had 4 runs and 3 hits, LF Javier Monzón 5 RBI, CF Daniel Martinez 3 runs, 1B Jesús Ustariz 3 RBI, PR/SS Jhonny Bethencourt 3 runs and SS/3B Leomartires Rodriguez 3 hits. Leslie Nacar got the win. 2B Moritz Scheicher homered for Austria's only run. Christoph Vanas took the loss.
- United Kingdom 13, Sweden 7. 1B Alex Crosby had 3 hits and 3 runs and CF Nateshon Thomas 3 hits and 3 RBI. Michael Roth got the win, Per Sjörs the loss as Sweden fell to 0-5.
- Netherlands 13, Israel 4. Netherlands handed Israel its first loss. 2B Calten Daal and LF Ademar Rifaela each got 3 hits, Rifaela tacking on two more homers and driving in five in another big day. Tom Stuifbergen won it for the Dutch. DH Danny Valencia's 2-run homer for Israel was a bright spot while Shlomo Lipetz was handed the defeat.
- France 23, Croatia 0. In the 5th straight rout of the day, Croatia ended the first round without a win. Lilian Amoros, Yoann Vaugelade (W) and José Paula allowed 3 hits in a 5-inning mercy rule win. Ross Vukovich and two relievers are hammered for 18 hits in 30 at-bats. SS Maxime Lefevre scores 4 and drives in 3, C Andy Paz drives in 3 as well, RF Bastien Dagneau drives in 6 and has 3 hits and DH/LF Jonathan DuForest has 4 runs and 3 hits.
- Netherlands 10, United Kingdom 2. The game suspended on day one was concluded with no further scoring, eliminating Britain from Olympic contention. RF Kalian Sams scored 3 runs, 3B Sharlon Schoop had 3 hits and 3 RBI and 2B Calten Daal drove in 3. Orlando Yntema pitched six shutout innings, allowing three hits, and Shairon Martis had a 3-inning save. Ethan Solomon took the loss.
- Czech Republic 10, Germany 6. The hosts lose out to the Czechs. CF Matěj Hejma drives in four and Daniel Padyšák gets the win, while Julius Spann is handed the loss. 2B Marco Cardoso and SS Alex Schmidt each have 3 hits in a losing effort.
- Austria 6, United Kingdom 1. Austria jumps on Rei Martinez for 4 hits, 5 walks and 5 runs in 1 1/3 IP, whereas Tobias Kiefer allows just one run in six for Austria. Moritz Hackl saves the game for Kiefer. RF Ferdinand Obed scores three times, while DH/P Benjamin Salzmann collects four hits. 1B Alex Crosby's homer is the bright spot for Britain.
- Croatia 19, Sweden 2. The two winless teams face off and it's a one-sided affair. After Sweden scores twice in the first, Antonio Horvatić shuts them down the rest of the way while Croatia scores 19 times in 5 1/3 innings for a mercy rule win. Jesper Svedhem fell to 0-2. SS Kruno Gojković has 4 hits and 3 runs and 1B Philip Smith 3 hits and 3 RBI while the big star is C Andrija Tomić, who falls a triple shy of a cycle, scores 3 and drives in 3.
- Israel 8, France 2. Israel made it to the Europe/Africa Olympic qualifier with balanced offense and pitching. 3B Danny Valencia had two runs and two RBI, while DJ Sharabi got the win. Owen Ozanich allowed 7 runs in 3 innings in the loss, while 2B Felix Brown and SS Maxime Lefevre had four of France's five hits.
- United Kingdom 12, Sweden 2. Paul Kirkpatrick throws five shutout innings of relief in win as Sweden falls to 0-7, Elvis Hammarstedt taking the loss. SS Will Savage scores 3 and has 3 hits as a leadoff sparkplug, while RF Jordan Serena scores two and drives in a pair as well. CF Joel Johnson has two hits for the Swedes, who lock up last place.
- Austria 10, Croatia 0. Veteran Christian Tomsich fires a gem, allowing two hits and no walks in seven innings in a mercy rule win. RF Ferdinand Obed has 3 hits, 2 doubles and 2 runs, 2B Benjamin Salzmann 2 runs and 2 RBI and SS Moritz Hackl 3 RBI. Marin Tadić fell to 0-2. 1B Philip Smith and C Andrija Tomić get the only Croatian hits.
- Netherlands 17, Belgium 2. The Dutch get the next spot in the Olympic qualifier as their hitters go an impressive 20-for-31 with 8 homers in a mercy rule rout that ends in the bottom of the 5th. CF Roger Bernadina goes 4 for 4, 1B Curt Smith has 3 runs and 3 RBI, LF Ademar Rifaela drives in another 3, C Hendrik Clementina homers twice and drives in 3, backup C Dashenko Ricardo drives in 3 and DH Dwayne Kemp has 3 hits. Orlando Yntema is the beneficiary of all that offense, while Artuur Driessens and two relievers get pounded. LF Leonel Reina Viant has 2 of Belgium's 3 hits.
- Spain 5, Czech Republic 4. The Czechs nearly got their second upset of the tournament before falling in extra innings. 1B Jesús Ustariz scores 3 and drives in 2, while Antonio Noguera gets the win. SS/P Martin Schneider hits a 2-run homer but takes the loss.
- Italy 7, Germany 5. The hosts nearly get their own upset, jumping on Alessandro Maestri for 5 runs in the first 3 but Maestri and Michael Johnson blank them the rest of the way. C Alberto Mineo hits a 2-out, 2-run homer in the bottom of the 9th off Samuel Steigert to win it. 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti goes 4 for 4 with a walk.
- Czech Republic 5, Belgium 4. Belgium's Olympic hopes come to an end. LF Martin Mužík's solo shot off Kenny Vandenbranden in the 8th breaks a 4-4 tie. DH Petr Čech also goes deep for the Czechs, while 19-year-old Daniel Padyšák saves the game for Marek Minařík. SS/2B Benjamin Dille reached base four times for Belgium, while scoring one run and driving in another.
- Netherlands 1, Spain 0. The defending titlists eke out a win over the defending Silver Medalists. Diegomar Markwell (3 IP), Tom de Blok (5 IP, W) and Juan Carlos Sulbaran (1 IP, Sv) combine on a five-hit shutout but are nearly matched by globetrotting Lowuin Sacramento, who blanks the Dutch for 7 innings. In the bottom of the 8th, RF Kalian Sams singles for the third hit off Sacramento. DH Dwayne Kemp bunted him over but SS John Polonius struck out. 2B Calten Daal singled in Sams, who beat the throw home from SS Jhonny Bethencourt for the only run of the day.
- Germany 14, France 4. France's Olympic hopes ended as Leonel Cespedes fared much worse in his second start of the tournament (7 R in 1 2/3 IP). C Simon Gühring (3 R, 4 RBI), DH Donald Lutz (4 H, 4 RBI), 1B Max Boldt (3 H), 2B Marco Cardoso (3 RBI) and SS Alex Schmidt (4 H) all had big days. Enorbel Márquez gets his 11th win for the German national team, extending his record.
- Italy 7, Israel 6. For the second day in a row, catcher Alberto Mineo hits a decisive 2-run homer, this time off Benjamin Wanger with Italy down 6-5 in the 8th to tie it. Andrea Pizziconi goes to 2-0 and Alex Bassani fans 4 in 2 innings for the save. 1B Simon Rosenbaum drives in four for Israel.
- United Kingdom 5, Croatia 1. RF Jordan Serena has two hits and two RBI, while Michael Roth throws five shutout innings of two-hit relief for the win to end Croatia's tournament. Jose Diaz took the loss. Due to an error in the statistics program entry for the tournament, the stats for this game are not currently included in the cumulative statistics for either team, rendering those stats as incomplete.
- 5th/6th place game: Czech Republic 4, Germany 3. The Czechs got the last spot in the Africa/Europe Olympic Qualifier, knocking out the hosts. Germany got two in the second off Marek Minařík. Czechia got two men on in the bottom of the 3rd off Sven Schüller and Samuel Steigert relieved. C Martin Červenka drilled a 3-run homer off him to put the Czechs ahead. In the 6th, German #9 hitter CF Kevin Kotowski's sacrifice fly brought in 2B Marco Cardoso with the tying run. In the 8th, SS Martin Schneider homered off Twins farmhand Niklas Rimmel to give Czechia the lead for good. Jan Novák pitched three shutout innings for the win.
- 9th/10th place game: United Kingdom 11, Austria 9. Austria holds the lead until the 7th, when Great Britain gets five runs to pull ahead. Cody Chartrand gets the win and Daniel Cooper the save, as they pick up for a poor start from Nateshon Thomas. RF Jordan Serena and 3B Ben Andrews each score three times while CF Richard Brereton drives in three. C Samuel Hackl has three hits for Austria. Alex Seidl took the defeat.
- Bronze Medal Game: Spain 16, Israel 11. Traditional #3 Spain holds off newcomer Israel in a match of countries that rely heavily on players not native to those countries. It is a native Israeli, Alon Leichman, who takes the loss while Antonio Noguera saves it for Leslie Nacar. Israel hits five homers, Spain four. DH Danny Valencia drives in 4 for Israel and LF Rob Paller 3. For Spain, 2B Oscar Angulo is a triple shy of a cycle and drives in 4, SS Jhonny Bethencourt has 3 hits and 3 runs, CF Engel Beltre drives in 3 and LF Lesther Galván and RF Yancarlo Franco each has 3 hits.
- Gold Medal Game: Netherlands 5, Italy 1. The top two teams in European Championship history faced off for the title, something that had happened many times before. Both the Netherlands' Donny Breek and Italy's Luis Lugo threw no-hit ball for the first three. In the top of the 4th, 1B Curt Smith hit into an error by 3B Erick Epifano and Lugo threw a wild pitch. With one out, LF Ademar Rifaela walked. C Sicnarf Loopstok drew a 8-pitch walk to load the bags. RF Kalian Sams then smacked a grand slam to center for a 4-0 lead. After an out, SS John Polonius also homered. Matteo Bocchi, Yomel Rivera and Nick Pugliese threw five shutout relief innings for Italy but the 4th inning had been enough for the Netherlands. Italy got their only run in the bottom of the 5th when C Alberto Mineo went deep yet again, breaking up Breek's no-hit bid. Tom Stuifbergen, Mike Bolsenbroek, Kevin Kelly (who got the win as Breek did not go five innings) and Juan Carlos Sulbaran shut Italy down from there. Italy did challenge in the 7th, loading the bases against Bolsenbroek before Kelly retired MLB veteran John Andreoli to escape the jam.
- 1. Netherlands
- 2. Italy
- 3. Spain
- 4. Israel
- 5. Czech Republic
- 6. Germany
- 7. Belgium/ France - tie
- 9. United Kingdom
- 10. Austria
- 11. Croatia
- 12. Sweden