Archive for the 'Spain' Category

Netherlands Downs Spain for European Championship

Monday, September 19th, 2016

The Netherlands was missing Kalian Sams, one of their top hitters when the game started because his wife was giving birth. He did arrive in the fourth inning and was put in the game in the 8th inning as a defensive replacement. That was the only inning in which Spain scored both their runs.

The Netherlands took an early 2-0 lead on a Nick Urbanus two run single in the second inning. With runners on first and third with one out Netherlands had the chance to score more but a fielder’s choice at home and a Yurendell de Caster strikeout with the bases loaded killed any remaining threat. Yurendell would make up for his failure in the 10th inning.

Antonio Noguera came on to pitch the third against the Netherlands and quieted their bats for the next five innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out seven. The Netherlands went with Rob Cordemans for the first four innings and Lars Huijer for the next three to keep Spain off the scoreboard. They finally put together a rally in the 8th off Shairon Martis, whose biggest claim to fame is pitching a no hitter in the first World Baseball Classic against South Africa.

Martis gave up a hit to the first batter he faced Oscar Angulo. The second hitter Engel Beltre also singled. The Dutch were fortunate to pick off Angulo at second for the first out. With two outs Jesus Martinez mashed a ball into right field for a two run homer to tie the game at 2-2.

The Netherlands blew an opportunity to take the lead in the bottom frame. With runners at first and second and one out Kalian Sams singled to left field. Yurendell de Caster, who had doubled to start the inning stopped at third, but Gianison Boekhoudt, who had been walked intentionally was caught advancing too far off second and was thrown out by the catcher. Randolph Oduber struck out to leave de Caster stranded at third.

Spain could not score in the top of the 10th with runners on second and third with one out. Oscar Angulo and Engel Beltre both struck out against Netherlands closer Loek Van Mil. The Netherlands had their opportunity to put runners on first and second. Andres Perez, facing his first batter in the tenth Christopher Garia hit him to load the bases with no one out. Yurendell de Caster ended the game with a walk off single up the middle, making amends for his failure to drive in a run in the second inning.

The Netherlands Van Der Meer Stijn won the MVP award for the tournament. It was his second MVP award in the last three months after being awarded the MVP of the Honkball tournament in July. Stijn was a 34th round pick by the Astros in the 2016 draft out of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. He played in 21 rookie league games hitting .329. He plays shortstop for the Netherlands but for the Astros he bounced around between shortstop and second base, with some action at third.

For the Netherlands it was their second consecutive championship. Italy had won the previous two after the Netherlands had put together five straight championships. For Spain they had finished in third place for five out of the last six championships. The second place finish was their highest result since the championships began, when they finished in second for the first European championships in 1954 and won the second European championships in 1955. After those first two they have never been able to finish better than third.

European Championship Recap

Friday, September 16th, 2016

The two top European teams slugged it out and Netherlands found themselves on top. For Italy it was their second loss which puts them in a tie for third place, meaning they may not be playing in the championship game.

Netherlands 6 Italy 5

Kalian Sams hit a two out infield single in the bottom of the ninth to drive in the tying run to send the game into extra innings. Italy took advantage of a Dutch error to score two in the top of the tenth. The Netherlands tied the game on a Stijn Van Der Meer RBI single and won the game on a Christopher Garia walk off single. Tiago Da Silva pitched five innings of shutout relief for Italy but after he was removed Netherlands rallied for five of their six runs.

Spain 9 Czech Republic 3

Spain got back into second place with a win over the Czechs. With the loss the Czechs were eliminated from any championship game. Daniel Martinez drove in three runs and Blake Ochoa bashed a solo shot in the fifth to lead the Spanish 17 hit attack.

Germany 14 Belgium 2

Christopher Howard and Maurice Wilhelm went deep for Germany, but lead off hitter Eric Brenk drove in five runs with a double and triple to lead the German offense. The German win put them in a tie for third place with Italy.

Spain needs to beat Germany to take second place. The Netherlands even with a loss in their last game against Belgium has clinched an appearance in the championship game. A loss by Spain to Germany would complicate things especially if Italy wins their game to create a three way tie for second place.

European Championships - Second Round Games

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

The top six teams have been identified and they will play each other to determine the European champions. All the games except one were close.

Czech Republic 4 Belgium 3

Petr Zyma drove in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI single to send the game into extra innings. Belgium scored a run in the top of the tenth but the Czechs rallied for two in the bottom frame, Matej Heijma driving in both runs with a two run walk off double.

Netherlands 1 Spain 0

The battle of the undefeateds saw a pitcher’s duel. Shairon Martis went seven innings for the Netherlands and Ricardo Hernandez only allowed one run in just over four innings. Christopher Garia hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth to drive in the only run. Tom De Blok and Loek Van Mil each threw a perfect inning to close out the win. For Spain it was their first loss of the tournament.

Italy 12 Germany 0

Orlando Oberto threw a complete game nine inning shutout and the Italian bats banged out 14 hits to give Italy the win. A six run ninth inning made the game appear more lopsided than it was.

European Championship Highlights

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

A big game between two undefeated teams turns out to be a blowout. One player hits three homeruns in the game to create the blowout. A couple upsets and a surprise undefeated team.

Netherlands 10 Czech Republic 0

A big game for Kalian Sams, who slugged three homeruns in his first three at bats to drive in seven runs. Curt Smith had a 4 for 4 day to drive in the other three runs. Lars Huder got the call on the bump for the big game and throws six innings of two hit shutout ball.

Spain 8 Italy 3

The big upset of the day. A five run ninth breaks a 3-3 tie, Oscar Angulo closing out the scoring with a three run blast. Blake Ochoa had a two run homer in the third to open up the scoring for Spain. Antonio Neguera tossed 4.2 innings of shutout ball in relief to quiet the Italian bats and ex-major league closer Rhiner Cruz pitched the last two innings to get the victory. Spain broke the tie in the ninth after three consecutive walks forced in the go ahead run, one of the walks being intentional.

Belguim 14 France 3

Belgium shocked France scoring six runs in the first inning to run away with the game. Thomas de Wolf crossed the plate four times, collecting a double and homerun to drive in two. Steven de Lannoy also went deep to drive in three runs. His 3-run homer in the first made the score 4-0. Kenny Vandenbranden went all nine innings to get the win.

Croatia 10 Greece 0

Croatia was another team to beat up on Greece. Philip Smith drove in three runs for Croatia with his four hits. Lead off hitter Andrija Tomic ignited the offense scoring four times with two hits, two hitbatsmen and two stolen bases. Antonio Horvatic tossed an eight inning shutout.

Germany 16 Russia 4

Ludwig Glaser drove in three runs with a homeruns and Maximilian Boldt and Shawn Larry also contributed three RBIs in the slaughter. Larry hit two triples and crossed the plate four times.

Sweden 9 Great Britain 6

The Swedes kept the Brits winless with an 11 inning victory. Two British errors and a hitbatsman did the damage to the Brits in the 11th inning. The Brits had rallied from a 5-0 deficit to get the game into extra innings.

Spain 6 France 0

Spain continued their unbeaten streak with a shutout of France, who dropped to 2-3. Leslie Nacar threw six innings of shutout ball to lead the Spanish to the win. Luis Guillorme drove in two runs and Jesus Ustariz blasted two doubles from his three hits to drive in a run and score another to lead the offense.

Germany 3 Czech Republic 1

In a game for second place in the pool Germany rallied for three runs in the ninth to pull out the victory. Christopher Howard had the RBI single to tie the game. Erik Brenk drove in the go ahead run with a single. Maximilian Schmitz retired the side in order in the ninth to pick up the win. He had come on in the 8th inning with the bases loaded and one out and walked in the go ahead run. He made amends for that error by striking out the next two hitters to limit the damage to one run. Radim Chroust pitched great for the Czechs, finally being removed after giving up a one out single in the ninth. Enorbel Marquez pitched seven innings of shutout ball for Germany, but was taken out in the 8th after giving up a leadoff double.

Netherlands 8 Sweden 3

The Netherlands took advantage of 9 walks and four errors to take down the Swedes. Kalian Sams did not hit a homerun but he roped a triple in the game.

Russia 11 Great Britain 5

Russia got their first win. The Brits went winless. Artemiy Artamonov drove in four runs. Daniil Khomyakov went deep, driving in two runs for the Russians. Great Britain had jumped out to an early 4-0 lead but Denis Leonov quieted the Brit bats in the last seven innings of relief work, striking out 11. The Russians scored all 11 of their runs in two innings, the sixth and seventh.

Italy 22 Croatia 4

Not much of a game as the Italians padded up their offensive stats. Allessandro Vaglio and Alex Liddi went deep for the Italians.

Belgium 18 Greece 1

Belgium became the latest team to pound on the hapless Greeks. It only took them four innings of offense to score their 18 runs.

Standings Pool A

Netherlands 5-0, Germany 4-1, Czech Republic 3-2, Sweden 2-3, Russia 1-4, Great Britain 0-5

Standings Pool B

Spain (5-0), Italy (4-1), Belgium (3-2), France (2-3), Croatia (1-4) and Greece (0-5)

Top three teams in each pool advance to the higher round.

European Championships - Day Three

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Again no big upsets in the European baseball championships.

Spain 6 Croatia 0

Lowuin Sacramento threw seven innings of four hit shutout ball, striking out 10 to pace Spain in their victory. Lesther Galvan drove in three with his two hits to pace the offense.

Czech Republic 6 Sweden 1

Boris Bokaj threw six shutout innings. Tomas Junec drove in two runs with his three hits to lead the offense. The Czechs remain undefeated after three games but have their big test today when they face the Netherlands.

France 7 Greece 1

Marc-Andre Habeck limited the Greeks to just one run in his seven innings of work. Frederic Hanvi carried the big bat with his three hits in three at bats driving in three runs. Two of his three hits were two baggers.

Netherlands 3 Russia 1

Russian pitcher Nikolay Markov limited the Netherlands bats to just two runs in seven innings. The Russian bats could manage just one run off the duo of Mike Bolsenbroek and Orlando Yntema. The big bat for the Netherlands was Chadwick Tromp, who slugged a two run blast in the second inning that proved to be the difference. Curt Smith added a solo shot in the 8th after Russia scored one to reduce the lead to one.

Germany 3 Great Britain 2

Errors killed the Brits leading to unearned runs in the first and fifth innings. Maximilian Boldt broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI single in the seventh, his third hit of the game. Maximilian Schmitz tossed two perfect innings to finish off the victory for the Germans.

Italy 15 Belgium 0

Italy scored in all five innings, an 8 spot in the fifth ending it. Eight different players for the Italians drove in a run. Carlos Richetti threw the abbreviated five inning shutout, giving up just four hits.

Second Day of European Baseball Championships

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

The second day of the European championships found the games a bit more competitive. No big upsets.

Netherlands 10 Germany 2

Germany is rising in the ranks of European baseball, but they still have a ways to go to compete with Netherlands. A six run third inning in which the errors (3) exceeded the hits (2) created the nightmare for Germany. A familiar name to the baseball circles Roger Bernadina hit a solo homer in the fourth after the Netherlands had built a 8-2 lead. Kalian Sams had another good game with two doubles. Simon Guehring had three hits for Germany in a losing cause.

Italy 6 France 3

Allessandro Vaglio scored four of the six runs for Italy to fuel their win. Vaglio drove in the first run for Italy with a solo shot to lead off the second inning. He walked to lead off the fourth and sixth innings to score two runs and a two out double in the seventh led to the last Italian run.

Sweden 8 Russia 1

The Swedes got their first victory with Emil Sahlin going seven to get the win. He did walk six and allowed five hits but only one unearned run crossed the plate. Johan Klarberg and Mathew Merrifield each drove in two runs to lead the offense. Joel Johnson blasted two doubles and crossed the plate three times from the lead off spot to ignite the offense.

Spain 12 Greece 1

Spain remained undefeated easily handling the team from Greece. Jesus Ustariz ripped a three run homer in the opening frame, his second homer in two days to lead the Spanish team to victory. Yancarlo Franco drove in four runs with two doubles. Jorge Balboa threw five shutout innings before leaving the game after Spain held a comfortable lead. The Greeks scored their only run on a solo shot from Max Gouoren in the sixth after Spain was up 8-0.

Czech Republic 4 Great Britain 1

The Czechs show how far they have advanced in baseball by winning their second, sending the British to their second loss. Petr Zyma mashed a two run homer in the fourth to give the Czechs a comfortable 4-0 lead. Martin Schneider pitched five innings of shutout ball to get the win. Greg Hendrix came on for Great Britain and threw the last four innings without giving up a run to keep the Brits in the game. Conrad Cornell came up with two men on in the sixth and eighth representing the tying run, but struck out and grounded out to foil any comeback.

Belgium 5 Croatia 1

The two teams combined for 24 hits, but Belgium took greater advantage of their 13. Hens Heyrman drove in two runs, accumulating three hits. Terrance Antonacci went the distance to get the win, throwing 126 pitches.

Day One of the European Championships

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

September is the time when the countries of Europe do battle for the top country in European baseball. Netherlands (21) and Italy (10) have been the big winners but Belgium and Spain have won championships. This was the opening day for the two groups hosted by Netherlands.

Netherlands 11 Great Britain 1

The Netherlands pounced on Great Britain on opening day. Kalian Sams and Dashenko Ricardo went deep for the Netherlands. Four players combined for two RBIs each as the bats spread out their offense. Diego Markwell limited the Englishmen to two hits in his six innings of work. The game was stopped after seven innings because of the 10 run rule.

Italy 21 Greece 2

Mattia Reginato hit for the cycle in a 4 for 4 day driving in six runs to lead the Italians in a battering of Greece. Erick Epifano slugged three doubles to drive in four runs in the offensive onslaught that had the mercy rule invoked after seven innings. Ex-major leaguer Alex Liddi went deep in the game for one of his two hits to drive in three runs.

Germany 4 Sweden 0

Maximilian Boldt drove in three of the four runs for the Germans with two sacrifice flies and a single. Enorbel Marquez limited the Swedes to just two hits in his six innings of work before turning it over to the bullpen for the final three innings. This was the only game of the day that went 9 innings.

Czech Republic 12 Russia 0

The Czechs were a little too much for the Russians. Matej Hejma went deep twice to drive in four runs in another game shortened by seven innings because of the slaughter rule. Radim Chroust shutout the Russians for the first four innings then turned the ball over to Michael Sobotka, who completed the shutout in the last three innings.

France 16 Croatia 1

France scored in every inning but one. Croatian pitchers helped the cause with 12 walks and five hit batters. Rene Leveret had the big bat driving in four runs despite only one hit, a two run double. He also drew two walks with the bases loaded. Leonel Cespedes threw six complete innings to get the win.

Spain 11 Belgium 1

Oscar Angulo was a doubles machine, cranking out four two baggers to drive in two and score three in Spain’s big slaughter over Belgium. Jesus Martinez slugged a big three run homer in the first inning, finishing the game with five RBIs. Jesus Ustariz added a two run homer in the fifth.

France Eliminates Spain in WBC

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Ernesto Martinez drove in three runs leading France to a 5-3 win over Spain. Ernesto drove in two runs in the first with a single and a third run in the third with a single. Andy Paz also drove in a run in the first and scored a run in the third. Pierrick Le Mestre retired Spain in order in the ninth to pick up the save. His biggest out came in the eighth when he struck out Jesus Ustariz with the tying run on second.

In 2012 Spain shocked the baseball community by advancing to the WBC. This year they were eliminated in two games.

Colombia Clubs Spain

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

In the opening round of the Panama World Baseball Classic qualifying round Colombia had an easy time over Spain, defeating them 9-2. Going into the game many felt Colombia was the favorite to win in Panama because of the number of major league affiliated players they had on the team. Spain had a roster filled with Cubans with Spanish ancestry and were the surprise winners during the last qualifier in 2012 when it was played in Jupiter, Florida, but the Colombians were clearly the better team here.

Spain did not help their cause with their pitchers walking 12 batters, a two out walk in the first inning beginning the rout. After Sergio Perez retired the two toughest hitters in the Colombian lineup, Harold Ramirez and Dilson Herrera to start the game he walked Reynaldo Rodriguez. This led to the first run after back to back singles from Jesus Valdez and Adrian Sanchez scored Rodriguez.

In the third inning a throwing error by third baseman Jesus Merchan allowed Harold Ramirez to reach second. A wild pitch advanced him to third where he scored on a sacrifice fly by Dilson Herrera. Colombia was up 2-0.

Colombia broke the game open in the fifth. Reynaldo Rodriguez buried a one out triple into centerfield to end the day for Sergio Perez. Richard Castillo came in to pitch and intentionally walked Jesus Valdez. The ploy seemed to work after Adrian Sanchez popped out. Mauricio Ramos came through hitting an infield single to score the first run, Steve Brown grounded a single up the middle to score the second run and back to back walks scored the third run. Colombia was clearly in charge 5-0.

Colombia got four innings of one hit pitching from William Cuevas. He was able to bail Colombia out in the first and second innings after errors put runners on in each inning. Kendy Batista went in to replace Cuevas in the fifth inning. Spain was able to score their first two runs off Batista in the sixth after he walked the first two hitters in the inning. That brought in Angel Vilchez to replace Bautista. He gave up a single to Jesus Utariz to load the bases. A double play ground out scored the first run and a Jesus Golindano single scored the second run. Spain had some glimmer showing in their eyes, cutting the lead to 5-2.

That all ended in the eighth when Colombia rallied for four runs to put the game out of reach. With the bases loaded and no one out Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a routine fly ball to left which appeared to be a sacrifice fly to score one. Left fielder Daniel Martinez could not catch it and all three runners scored on the error, Reynaldo advancing to third where he eventually scored on a ground out.

Reynaldo Rodriguez was the big bat for Colombia with a walk, two big hits and a sacrifice fly that resulted in three runs scoring. He also scored three times. Dilson Herrera, Carlos Vidal and Luis Martinez each walked three times. Spain got three hits from Jesus Golindano.

Colombia will play the winner of the Panama/France night cap.

Panama World Baseball Classic Qualifying Rosters

Friday, March 11th, 2016

The host is Panama. The games will be played at Rod Carew stadium beginning March 17th and end March 20th. Below are the rosters for the countries playing in the tournament.


RHP - Alberto Acosta, Dario Agrazal, Harold Arauz, Euclides Bethancourt, Manny Corpas, Paolo Espino, Saul Gonzalez, Ariel Jurado, Humberto Mejia,

LHP - Alberto Baldonado, Angel Cuan, Eliecer Navarro, Andy Otero, Davis Romero

Catcher - Carlos Ruiz, Josee Camerena

Infield - Jorge Bishop, Ramon Castillo, Gerald Chin, Javier Guerra, Edgar Munoz, Carlos Quiroz, Edmundo Sosa, Eduardo Thomas

Outfield - Anthony Amaya, Luis Castillo, Jorge Miranda, Isaias Velasquez

Ruiz is a major league surprise. He could not play for Panama when they played in the WBC in 2013. Now that he is getting older he wanted the opportunity to represent his country. Javier Guerra may be the best player on this roster. Manny Corpas has seen many bullpen appearances in the major leagues.


Right handed Pitchers - Horacio Acosta, Kendy Batista, Randy Consuegra, Nabil Crismatt, William Cuevas, Jhonaton Escudero, Yeizer Marrugo, Arismendy Mota, Yesid Salazar, Karl Triana, Angel Vilchez

Left handed pitchers - Carlos Diaz, Kevin Escorcia, Greg Nappo, Dewen Perez

Catchers - Luis Martinez, Jesus Posso

Infielders - Dilson Herrera, Ronald Luna, Charlie Mirabal, Mauricio Ramos, Adrian Sanchez

Outfielders - Steve Brown, Tito Polo, Harold Ramirez, Reynaldo Rodriguez, Jesus Valdez, Carlos Vidal

Harold Ramirez is having a torrid spring and Dilson Herrera is a major leaguer who could be used in the leadoff spot. Tito Polo just missed making myworld’s list of top ten Colombians in the minor leagues.


Right Handed Pitchers - Rogelio Armenteros, Jorge Balboa, Richard Castillo, Jose Cruz, Rhiner Cruz, Lazaro Leyva, Leslie Nacar, Andres Perez, Sergio Perez, Carlos Sierra

Left Handed Pitchers - Ivan Granados, Ricardo Hernandez

Catchers - Iker Franco, Rolando Merino, Blake Ochoa

Infielders - Oscar Angulo, Jesus Golindano, Luis Guillorme, Jesus Merchan, Yunesky Sanchez, Gabe Suarez, Jesus Ustariz

Outfielders - Engel Beltre, Lesther Galvan, Yasser Gomez, Daniel Martinez

No major leaguers on this roster but Rhiner Cruz is playing in the NPB for the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Yunesky Sanchez is an ex-major leaguer. Engel Beltre is a borderline major leaguer.


Righthanded Pitchers - Daniel Camou, Leonel Cespedes, Gregory Cros, Pierrick Lernestre, Samuel Meurant, Jonathan Mottay, Owen Ozanich, Keino Perez, Anthony Piquet, Lucas Serafin, Yoann Vaugelade, Antoine Villard

Left Handed Pitchers - Ernesto Martinez Wilson, Esteban Prioul

Catchers - Dylan Gleeson, Frediric Hanvi, Ernesto Martinez, Andy Paz

Infielders - Felix Brown, Jorge Hereaud, Maxime Lefevre, Rene Leveret, Douglas Rodriguez, Frederic Walter

Outfielders - Jacquies Boucheron, Bastien Dagneau, Jonathan Duforest, Norbert Jongerius

Not a lot of familiar names. Andy Paz is a Cuban of French ancestry.