Archive for the 'Israel' Category

Israel Qualifies for Olympics in Baseball

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Israel was able to overcome the European favorites Italy and Netherlands to qualify for the Olympics next year. In the Europe/Africa qualifier Israel defeated South Africa 11-1 to finish in first place in their round robin pool play. They become the second of six teams to qualify for the Olympics in baseball. Japan is the first because they are hosting the tournament.

The Premier 12 which will be held in Tokyo, Japan in November will determine two more. The Americas Olympic qualifier held in Arizona in March 2020 will determine the fifth country. A Global Qualifier to be held in Taiwan in March 2020 will determine the last Olympic qualifier.

Israel had lost to the Czech Republic the previous day to put them tied with Netherlands for first place at 4-1. They won the tie breaker, beating the Netherlands when they played them earlier. Italy hosted the tournament but had a disappointing showing. They lost three games, including their last game against Spain, when a brawl occurred after the game ended.

The one African representative, South Africa went winless for the tournament (0-5).

This is considered a bit of an upset since Netherlands, Italy and the Czech Republic were all rated ahead of Israel in the World Baseball rankings. But Israel was able to sprinkle in a few ex major and minor leaguers on their roster, names like Jeremy Bleich, Blake Gailen, Tyler Kelly and Daniel Valencia.

Netherlands Wins the Eruopean Championship

Monday, September 16th, 2019

The Netherlands wins the European championship defeating Italy 5-1 for their third consecutive European championship. The European Olympic qualifiers play this week with the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Israel all qualifying. In a critical game Czech Republic beat Germany 4-3 to become the fifth European team to qualify. South Africa is the lone African representative to play in the European/African qualifier for the Olympics.

Netherlands 5 Italy 1

Kalian Sams hit a grand slam homerun in the fourth inning and one out later John Polonius hit a solo shot to give the Netherlands an early 5-0 lead. Donny Breek coughed up a solo shot by Alberto Mineo in the fifth. He finished his outing after a two out walk in the fifth. Four different relief pitchers came on to shut out Italy for the remaining 4.1 innings.

Czech Republic 4 Germany 3

This game was critical because it determined the fifth European representative in the Europe/Africa qualifier for the Olympics. Martin Cervenka got the big hit for the Czechs with a three run homer in the third inning to erase a 2-0 German lead. After Germany tied it in the sixth it was a Martin Schneider solo shot in the 8th that put the Czechs up for good.

Germany loaded the bases in the 9th inning with no outs on two walks and a bunt single. The Czechs were able to pull a 6-2-5 double play to get two out and retired the last hitter on a pop up to escape with a victory.

Spain 16 Israel 11

Israel hit five homeruns and Spain just four, but Spain outhit Israel 20 to 11. It was nine inning batting practice.

Italy and Netherlands to Compete for European Championship

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

It was not as easy as in previous years. Spain and Israel battled with Italy and Netherlands in the semi-finals, but the usual suspects prevailed.

Netherlands 1 Spain 0

Spain has some explosive bats but a trio of Dutch pitchers managed to deaden them. Diegomar Markwell went the first three innings, Tom De Blok worked five innings and Juan Carlos Sulbaran danced out of trouble in the ninth to shut down Spain and win 1-0. Netherlands scored the only run of the game in the eighth inning on a clutch Calten Daal two out single that scored Kaliam Sams, who had led the inning off with a single. Spain put two runners on in the top of the ninth, but Jesus Martinez grounded out to end the game.

Lowuin Sacramento had limited Netherlands to just two hits until the eighth. Sacramento slowed down Ademar Rifaela, who had hit 6 homeruns and drove in 16 runs in his last four games. Rifaela went 0 for 3.

Italy 7 Israel 6

Italy rallied for three runs in the eighth to pull out their victory over Israel. Chris Colabello slugged his fifth homerun of the tournament, a solo shot that pulled Italy to within one. Later in the inning Alberto Mineo gave Italy the lead with a two run homer. Israel put two runners on in the ninth but Alex Bassani, working his second inning was able to get the last out to earn the save.

Israel slugged three homeruns to account for all their runs. Daniel Valencia and Rob Paller each hit solo shots while Simon Rosenbaum hit a grand slam homer in the fourth to give Israel a 5-4 lead. Italy scored four runs in the third inning, benefiting from two Israeli errors that made three of those run unearned.

European Championships - Playoff Time

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Below are the final pool standings. The big game on the final day of pool play was Netherlands sending Israel to their first loss in convincing fashion.

Pool A

1) Netherlands 4-1, 2) Israel 4-1, 3) Czech Republic 3-2, 4) Germany 2-3, 5) Great Britain 2-3, 6) Sweden 0-5

Pool B

1) Italy 5-0, 2) Spain 4-1, 3) France 3-2, 4) Belgium 2-3, 5) Austria 1-4, 6) Croatia 0-5

Netherlands 13 Israel 4

A six run seventh broke the game open. Ademar Rifaela continued to stay hot slugging a three run homer in the inning and finishing the game with five RBIs. He also mashed a two run homer in the fifth. That gives him five homeruns and 12 RBIs in his last two games. Hendrik Clementina and Kalian Sams also went deep with solo shots for the Netherlands. Daniel Valencia had a two run blast for Israel.

Italy 11 Belgium 4

Angelo Palumbo pitched five innings of two hit shut out ball and Chris Colabello slugged a three run homer to lead Italy to a win and a first place seed in the playoffs. John Andreoli got the scoring started with his solo homerun in the first. Alessandro Vaglio drove in three runs with a two run single in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth. Beau Maggi drove in two runs, each with a double.

Spain 19 Austria 1

Spain scored a run in all six innings they batted. Jesus Ustariz started the scoring with a two run homer in the first inning. Javier Monzon finished the game with five RBIs, a two run double in the fifth and a three run homer in the sixth. Oscar Angulo scored four times on a perfect 3 for 3 day with one walk.

Great Britain 13 Sweden 7

Great Britain received 9 RBIs from the bottom of their lineup to trigger their win. Nateshon Thomas led the charge with three RBIs and two runs scored on a perfect 3 for 3 day. He also stole two bases.

France 23 Croatia 0

A 14 run second ended this game in six. Bastien Dagneau finished the game with six RBIs. Dagneau had two singles in the third inning that drove in three runs and blasted a 3-run tater in the third.

Netherlands 10 Great Britain 2

In a makeup game the Netherlands romped. Sharlon Schoop drove in three runs on three hits. Rifaela continued his RBI tear with two more. He and Chris Colabello share the RBI lead with 14, but Rifaela has driven in all 14 of his run in the last three games. Orlando Yntema tossed six innings of three hit shutout ball to net the win.

Czech Republic 10 Germany 6

The Czechs win put them in third place in pool A. Matej Hejma clubbed a three run homerun and drove in four to prove the difference in the game.

In a couple of play in playoff games between the bottom two teams in pool play Austria defeated Great Britain 6-1 and Croatia blasted Sweden 17-2.

European Championships - Day 4

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Italy downed Spain to send them to their first loss. And there appears to be a new powerhouse in the European game, with Israel remaining undefeated after four games. The big test for Israel will be today when they play Netherlands.

Italy 13 Spain 3

This was the opportunity for Spain to show Europe that they could play with the big boys. The game was close until the bats for Italy came alive with 10 runs in the last three innings. Chris Colabello got the scoring started for Italy in the first with a two run homer. He would contribute three more RBIs with an RBI single in the 7th and a 2-run single in the 9th. Giuseppe Mazzanti blasted a 3-run homer in the 7th and added an RBI single in the third. Alberto Mineo added a three run homer in the six run ninth. Those three players combined to drive in 12 of the 13 runs scored by Italy.

Spain scored two in the sixth on a Aaron Galvan double to pull within one, 3-2, but that was as close as they would get.

Israel 7 Great Britain 4

Blake Gaillen broke a 3-3 tie with a two run homer in the seventh inning. He added another solo shot in the ninth for insurance. Zach Weiss came on in the ninth to close out the game.

Great Britain had jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on a 3-run homer from Ben Andrews in the first inning.

Netherlands 8 Germany 1

Lars Hujer kept the German bats quiet, limiting them to one run in 6.2 innings. He struck out 11, allowing just four hits. Ademar Rifaela had a pretty impressive hitting day, going deep three times to drive in 7 of the 8 Dutch runs. Sharlon Schoop drove in the first run for the Netherlands with an RBI single in the first. After that it was all Ademar, blasting a 2-run homer in the second, another 2-run homer in the fourth and finally finishing it off with a 3-run homer in the eighth.

France 12 Belgium 2

France stayed alive with a win over Belgium, both teams now sitting at 2-2. France battered the Belgium pitchers for 18 hits and three homeruns. Maxime Lefevre was a perfect 3 for 3 with two doubles and three runs scored. Maei Zan added a 2-run homer in the 4th, Andy Paz hit a 2-run homer in the 8th and Bastien Dagneau made it back to back with his solo shot in the 8th.

Marc-Andre Habeck went seven innings for France, giving up just one run and striking out nine.

Austria 12 Croatia 1

In a battle of the winless, Austria came out on top. An eight run sixth put the game out of reach. Alex Seidl pitched a complete game seven innings. Croatian pitchers walked nine batters. Samuel Hackl got the scoring started for Austria with a 3-run homer in the first. Dominik Talir closed out the scoring with a grand slam in the sixth.

Czech Republic 10 Sweden 3

The Czechs scored five in the first and it was over after that. Martin Cervenka drove in the first two runs with a single. Jan Tomek pitched six innings of one run ball. The Czechs are tied with Great Britain and Germany at 2-2 for third place in pool A.

European Championships - Day Three

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Israel and Italy continue to roll. Great Britain bounces the Czech Republic for their second loss. Only Israel is undefeated in pool A while Spain and Italy have yet to lose in pool B.

Italy 10 Austria 1

Chris Colabello hit a grand slam homerun in the eighth to cinch the victory. Andrew Maggi and John Andreoli each went deep earlier in the game to lead the Italian offense. Austria could score only one unearned run off four Italy pitchers.

Great Britain 4 Czech Republic 3

Great Britain scored a run in the top of the tenth without benefit of a hit, the Czechs preferring to sacrifice a run while they turned a double play. Richard Brereton stuck out a critical hitter with runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the tenth to salvage the win. Martin Schneider whacked a three run homer in the seventh to account for all the Czech runs. Except for the three run homer, Alex Webb pitched well, striking out 12 in 6.2 innings of work.

Belgium 9 Croatia 6

Belgium kept Croatia winless, rallying for six runs in the eighth to pick up the win. Thomas de Wolf got the big hit in the inning with a grand slam homerun. He finished the game with 5 RBIs. Kenny Branden pitched the last two innings without allowing a run to pick up the victory.

Slobodan Gales drove in four runs for Croatia on a double and triple.

Netherlands 9 Sweden 0

Netherlands got their first win of the tournament. Donny Breek pitched six innings of shutout ball, striking out 10. Ex-major or minor leaguers Roger Bernadina, Curt Smith and Sharlon Schoop all went deep for Netherlands to account for 7 of the 9 runs. Schoop was a perfect 5 for 5 with three RBIs, falling a triple short of the cycle.

The Swede hitters could manage only two hits and they struck out 15 times.

Spain 6 France 3

Spain scored all their runs in the seventh to come up with the win. France committed six errors in the game, three in the nightmarish seventh inning that allowed four unearned runs to score. Leonel Cespedes pitched six shutout innings and France decided to go with their bullpen and Spain erupted for six.

Israel 4 Germany 2

It took ten innings but Israel escaped with a victory to remain undefeated in pool play. For the hosts it was their first loss. Israel got seven shutout innings from their bullpen, Dean Pelman pitching the last inning to secure the victory.

Israel scored two in the top of the tenth, two hitbatsmen benefiting the rally. Nick Rickles broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI single, a second run erased on a throw out at home. Benjamin Wanger drove in an insurance run with a SF. Germany wasted a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the tenth when Kevin Kotowski was thrown out at home on a Simon Guehring single. Don Lutz ended the game grounding into a double play.

European Championships Day Two

Monday, September 9th, 2019

A big upset on the second day with the up and coming Czech Republic upsetting the Netherlands. Italy also was almost taken down, needing extra innings to beat Croatia.

Czech Republic 8 Netherlands 6

It was the first game for Netherlands since their opener yesterday was suspended. The Czechs got a solo homerun from Orioles farmhand Martin Cervenka in the fourth inning to score their first run. Cervenka also drove in a run in the ninth with a double.

The Czechs appeared to put the game away in the fifth when they scored four, two Netherlands errors contributing to the scoring. Calten Daal brought the Netherlands back with a three run homerun in the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the ninth, down 8-5, Netherlands was able to load the bases with no outs. They could only score one run on a sacrifice fly.

For the Czechs it was their first win after losing to Israel in the opener.

Italy 2 Croatia 1

Pavao Karin quieted the Italian bats, limiting them to just one run in nine innings. That was a fifth inning solo homerun from Andrew Maggi. Murilo Brolo threw six innings for Italy, giving up just one unearned run. Matteo Bocchi followed with three innings of shutout relief.

In the tenth Croatia put runners on first and second but that did not matter to Alex Bassani, who struck out the side in his only inning of work. The first batter for Italy, facing the bullpen for the first time, John Andreoli, lined a walkoff single to right field to give Italy the 2-1 win.

Israel 4 Sweden 3

Israel may be tough this year, but they needed a two out rally in the bottom of the ninth to win this game. Israel scored their two runs on a wild pitch, and after an intentional walk to load the bases a walk off walk. The Swedes walked 11 in the game, Israel stranding 15 runners on base, leaving the bases loaded in the third and ninth and two runners on in the first, second, fifth and eighth.

Sweden got a solo homerun from Nicolas Filice in the fourth. Jeremy Wolf drove in two runs for Israel with an RBI single in the second and the walkoff walk in the ninth.

Spain 13 Belgium 5

Spain remained undefeated, slugging five homeruns in the victory. Engel Beltre, Jesus Ustariz, Aaron Galvan, Jesus Martinez and Daniel Martinez each went deep for Spain. Spain hit three homeruns in the first inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead.

Belgium hit two homeruns, one from Sam Boermans and the other from Thomas de Wolf to account for three of their five runs.

France 12 Austria 6

Frederic Hanvi hit a grand slam in the third and a three run shot in the sixth to drive in seven runs to lead France to an easy victory. All 12 of their runs were scored in those two innings. Andy Paz contributed a two run double in the sixth and Bastien Dagneau added a leadoff solo shot in the sixth.

Moritz Scheicher went 4 for 4 for Austria in the leadoff spot.

Germany 1 Great Britain 0

Michael Roth pitched well, but gave up a solo homerun to Marco Cordoso in the fifth. That was his only casualty in his eight innings of work. Sascha Koch pitched just as well throwing seven innings of four hit shutout ball. Sven Schueller pitched the last two innings to complete the shutout.

Great Britain’s greatest opportunity for scoring came in the sixth when they had runners on first and third with two out but could not capitalize.

European Championships - Day One

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

The European Championships for baseball are now being played in two locations in Germany, Bonn and Solingen. The two teams that win are usually Italy and Netherlands. The Netherlands has won the last two championships. The last time a team other than Italy or the Netherlands won a championship was back in 1967 when Belgium won. The only other time Italy or the Netherlands did not win a championship was in 1955 when Spain won. In 2016 Spain pulled an upset by finishing in second, dropping Italy to third. That is probably the best hope for countries other than Italy or the Netherlands, to finish second.

Italy 16 France 2

Italy got off to a strong start with their rout of France. The Italians pounded out 21 hits with Sebastiano Pomo leading the charge with a 6 for 6 day, driving in five runs and scoring four times. Poma was a triple short of hitting for the cycle, blasting the second of back to back homers to lead off the fourth inning. Federico Celli started the inning off with a homerun and Italy was off to the races with a 3-0 lead. Ex-Cincinnati Red minor leaguer and NPB player Allessandro Maestri got the start for Italy, going four innings and giving up the two runs, one of those a solo shot by Andy Paz to lead off the fourth.

Ex-Twin Christopher Colabello is playing for Italy. He went 3 for 6 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Spain 3 Croatia 2

Spain scored two runs in the top of the 8th to take a 3-2 lead and hung on to earn the victory. Jesus Ustariz, Aaron Galvan and Jesus Martinez started off the inning with back to back to back doubles to score two. Ex-Astro and another NPB player Rhiner Cruz came on in the ninth and retired Croatia in order to earn the save. Jorge Balboa went seven innings to get the win for Spain. Marin Tadic also went seven innings for Croatia but took the loss after he gave up the three consecutive doubles in the eighth.

Leadoff hitter Kruno Gojkovic scored both runs for Croatia in the loss.

Israel 6 Czech Republic 1

Israel was led by Blake Gaillen, who went 4 for 4 with a solo homerun in the third, driving in two and scoring two and also falling a triple short of the cycle. The big hit was produced by Nick Rickles, whose double in the seventh was his only hit in the game, but it drove in three runs and broke a 1-1 tie.

Belgium 5 Austria 1

Axel Poesmans slugged a two run homerun in the second inning. It was all the runs Belgium needed to secure the victory. Cedric Desmedt worked seven shutout innings to get the win. Steven De Lannoy added a two run single in the eighth inning to add some insurance runs for Belgium.

Austria scored their lone run in the ninth on a Dominik Talir double. They loaded the bases in the inning, bringing the tying run to the plate, but Thomas De Wolf came on and struck out the only hitter he faced to clinch the win.

Germany 9 Sweden 1

The hosts scored early, and then late to blast Sweden. Pascal Amon blasted an RBI double in a three run first and a solo shot in the third to lead the German offense. Ex-major leaguer Donald Lutz drove in the first run for Germany with an RBI single in the first. He also added another RBI single in the eighth. Maximillian Boldt also contributed two RBIs for Germany. Samuel Steigert worked 5.2 innings of shutout relief to get the win.

Great Britain and the Netherlands was suspended. The Netherlands has Roger Bernadina on their roster if Nationals fans are wondering where he is at. Great Britain has South Carolina Gamecock star and ex-Angels pitcher Michael Roth on their roster.

Top European Prospects

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

It is a down year for European prospects. Most of them are still toiling in the Rookie Leagues or had poor years (Tom de Bok and Sven Schuller). Even the Bahamas seem to churn out more prospects than Curacao. Most of the prospects from this list have parents who are of European ancestry. Spencer Kieboom the tenth rated prospect graduated last year as did Dovydas Neverauskas the number three rated prospect from Lithuania. Both struggled in the their time in the major leagues, Kieboom hitting .232 and Dovydas finishing with an ERA at 8.00. He gave up 9 homeruns in just 27 innings. Kieboom will reach his ceiling as a backup catcher while Dovydas could see another opportunity at the back end of the Pirates bullpen.

Below are the top prospects from Europe and apologies if it does not look too European.

1. Carter Kieboom SS/2B (Netherlands/Nationals) - The younger brother of Spencer took all the baseball tools, plus he plays a more glitzy position. His father played baseball in the Netherlands and they moved to the States when they were young allowing Spencer and Carter to play baseball in the States during their youth. This spring Carter hit two homeruns off Justin Verlander. He is starting to show an impressive hit tool. Last year between Low A and AA he slugged 16 homeruns. With Trea Turner occupying short he may have to move to second base. Look for Carter to start the season in AA with a full time job with the Nationals in 2020.

2. J.B. Bukauskas RHP (Lithuania/Astros) - His Wikipedia page says he is of Lithuanian origin so we will include him on this list as we did last year. He dropped from number 1 to number 2. At 6′0″ he is a bit on the small side for a righthander. His fastball can ride towards the plate in the mid-90s and he complements it with an excellent slider. A car accident in spring training led to back issues, limiting him to 14 starts last year. He got one AA start where he pitched six one hit shutout innings. With the five High A starts J.B. finished with a 1.61 ERA with the opposition hitting him at a .138 clip. If healthy he should start the 2019 season in AA where he will work on harnessing his command. If he does not make it in the rotation he could be an impact pitcher in the bullpen.

3, Dean Kremer RHP (Israel/Orioles) - His parents have Israeli citizenship though Kremer was born in California. He was one of the players the Dodgers traded for Manny Machado. Not an overpowering fastball, sitting in the low 90s, he may best be used out of the bullpen. The Orioles used him in the starting rotation where he limited the opposition to a .228 average. His 178 strikeouts led the minor leagues last year so his curve ball gets a lot of swings and misses. Drafted in the 14th round in 2016 he averages 11.4 whiffs per nine innings. Dean could see some time with the rebuilding Orioles in their rotation late in the year but myworld suspects the bullpen will be his best home.

4. Shervyen Newton SS (Curacao/Mets) - The Mets appear to be overloaded at the shortstop position with Ahmed Rosario in the major leagues, Andres Gimenez ready to make an impact in 2019 and Ronny Mauricio and Luis Guillorme also playing the position. Newton signed in 2015 for $50,000 but did not appear in the States until last year. He played in the Dominican Summer League his previous two years. Newton showed a good bat at the Rookie level, hitting .280 with a .408 OBA. At 6′4″ he may outgrow shortstop, especially with his lack of speed. The power could be there to move to third. Next year he will be 20. A full season league will be open for him to break out into the spot light.

5. Hendrik Clementin C (Curacao/Reds) - Hendrik had a break out season last year with his 18 homeruns at Low A. Whether he can continue to hit for that power will be answered in 2019 when he applies his craft at High A. The Dodgers signed him in 2013 and traded him to the Reds for Tony Cingrani. At 6′0″ and 250 pounds he needs to watch his weight. The defensive tools are there to be an average catcher, but if the bat plays that could turn him into a starter.

6. Ray-Patrick Didder Utl (Aruba/Braves) - Like Curacao, Aruba is a possession of the Netherlands. Didder was signed in 2013. While playing in the minor leagues he has played at every position but catcher and pitcher. He is athletic enough to play the middle infield and centerfield. If the Braves can turn him into a Marwin Gonzalez clone that could be a plus. The speed is there for him to steal bases and cover ground in centerfield. The bat lacks power and will keep him limited to hitting .250. The 2019 season will see him in AA. If his bat can play he could be up with the Braves some time this year.

7. Martin Cervenka C (Czech Republic/Orioles) - The first true European. He was signed by the Indians and labored as a back up for his first couple years in the minor leagues. Last year he showed some pop in his bat with 15 homeruns. Myworld thought the Orioles would call him up but perhaps the 2019 season will be his major league debut. Martin will be turning 27 this year so his time as a prospect is getting short. Catchers take more time to develop their craft. At best Cervenka will not be more than a backup in the major leagues, which he could see sometime in 2019.

8. Marcus Solbach RHP (Germany/Dodgers) - Marcus was originally signed by the Twins and pitched in their minor league system way back in 2011. The last two years he has been pitching Independent ball in the Canadian American Association. Last year he was named pitcher of the year in the Australia Baseball League, finishing with a 0.43 ERA in six starts. That convinced the Dodgers to sign him. At 27 and at 6′5″ he could be used out of the bullpen.

9. Marten Gasparini OF (Italy/Royals) - Marten signed with the Royals back in 2013 for $1.3 million. He was originally a shortstop but his inconsistency in the field forced the Royals to put him in centerfield. His one big tool is his speed, but it does not work well when stealing bases (82 out of 122). The bat is soft with a career .222 average and .315 slugging. The 2019 season could be his last in the minor leagues where he will become a six year minor league free agent. If his bat does not show some production it will be hard to convince another team to sign him.

10. Alberto Mineo C (Italy/Blue Jays) - Albert was originally signed by the Cubs but now plays for the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays acquired him in the minor league portion of the Rule V draft. He bats lefthanded and hit .462 in AAA last year, but that was in only 13 at bats. His career average is .256 with very little power. The defensive tools are there for him to possibly make it as a back up in the major leagues but the bat will need to play more. In High A he hit .294 so that is an improvement from his Cubs years. His three homeruns were also a career high. Next year he should be playing at AA where at 24 he still has some time to develop as a major leaguer.

Bay Sox Homeruns Deflate Rubber Ducks

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

The Akron RubberDucks had won 9 straight games over the Bowie Bay Sox, including a 12-5 thrashing Monday night that reminded the Bay Sox of previous 15-0 and 18-2 losses that also happened at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie. Perhaps that is why Akron is in first place and the Bay Sox are in last.

It was a different story last night with Aderlin Rodriguez hitting a three run homer in the first and catcher Audry Perez going deep with two solo shots to give the Bay Sox a 8-4 win over the RubberDucks. For Perez he has hit 8 homeruns in his 27 games with the Bay Sox.

The Bay Sox ace pitcher Keegan Akin got the start. He showed no command, walking six hitters in his four innings of work. He walked the leadoff hitter in his first three innings, twice resulting in runs for the RubberDucks. His best inning was the fourth when he retired the side in order. This is the first time myworld has seen Akin and with a 8-5 record and 2.53 ERA we were hoping for some stuff. We came away a bit disappointed, especially with his lack of control. His fastball is not overpowering and with 32 walks in 81.2 innings he needs to learn the strike zone. At best he could be a mid-rotation starter. His breaking pitch found too much dirt, and though it got some swings and misses it will not be as effective against major league hitters if he does not find the strike zone more.

Bobby Bradley went deep with his third homerun in two games. His inability to play first base and his propensity for the swing and miss make his major league prospects doubtful. That inability to make contact has brought his average to .199, although his strikeout rate the last couple years has been better than it has been his first three years.

Branden Kline impressed me the most with his stuff. His fastball sits at 95-97. Bobby Bradley was the first batter he faced and he took his 96 mile per hour fastball over the right field fence. After that Kline settled down, striking out two and retiring the next six hitters he faced. Kline was a second round pick of the Orioles way back in 2012 but injuries have prevented him from reaching his potential. That has always seemed to be a problem for Oriole pitchers. Hunter Harvey is taking the same career path as Kline, currently on the disabled list where he has spent most of his minor league career.

Some interesting international notes about the rosters of these two teams. Leadoff hitter Tyler Krieger played for Israel in the last World Baseball Classic. He plays centerfield but myworld can’t say we see a major league player in him. Danny Salters was the son of missionaries and lived in Kenya for eight years (ages 5-13). We did like his ability to block pitches from behind the plate, but at age 25 he probably has a couple more years in the minor leagues. We did not see Kieran Lovegrove pitch, but he was born in South Africa, moving to Los Angeles at the age of five. He was a third round pick of the Indians in 2012, with 13 games in relief. He has a 0.95 ERA but 12 walks in 19 innings.

The Orioles are usually pretty boring when it comes to drafting international players. Most of their international players are signed by other teams. They do have a connection in Curacao with Calvin Maduro there. Ademar Rifaela is one of their promising outfielders from Curacao that they actually signed. His power has been a big disappointment this year. After clubbing 24 homeruns in 2017 he only has two with the Bay Sox this year. Martin Cervenka was originally signed by the Indians but the Orioles picked him up as a minor league free agent this year. He is a catcher from the Czech Republic. Myworld first saw him play in a tournament in Taiwan. His batting average has dropped to .232 and he may never hit enough to make it to the major leagues, though we were impressed with his abilities to catch.