Archive for the 'Czech Republic' Category

Top European Prospects

Thursday, February 13th, 2020

There are no Max Kepler’s on this list. Carter Kieboom has the potential to be a Kepler, but it was his dad who played in the Netherlands. Carter grew up with his brother Spencer playing baseball in the United States. There are a number of players from Curacao, which is a colony of the Netherlands. They have not been generating ballplayers as talented as Andrelton Simmons, Andruw Jones, Kenley Jansen and Jonathan Schoop. Only Carter Kieboom from the list last year made the major leagues, and he only appeared in 11 games. Not a list rich in potential major leaguers, but there is potential.

1. Carter Kieboom SS/2B (Nationals/Netherlands) - His dad played baseball in the Netherlands. Carter has played all his ball in the United States. He played so well that in 2016 the Nationals made him their first round pick. Last year he made his major league debut, playing in 11 games but only hitting .128. With Anthony Rendon departing via free agency there is an opportunity for Carter to make the roster at third base or second. His natural position is short, but Trea Turner occupies that position. Carter has some pop in his bat and has hit for a high batting average in the minors. His power will play at third, but it would be extra special at second. Expect Kieboom to contribute to the Nationals roster quite a bit in 2020.

2. J.B. Bukauskas RHP (Diamondbacks/Lithuania) - His Wikipedia page says he is of Lithuanian origin so we will add him here. He was drafted by the Astros in the first round of the 2017 draft. The Astros later included him in the trade to acquire Zack Greinke. At 6′0 J.B. does not have the height scouts look for in righthanded pitchers. His fastball does cross the plate in the high 90s, but it crosses straight and true with very little plane. His slider is an impressive swing and miss pitch. Last year was a struggle for J.B. in AA. His ERA was above 5.25 and he struggled with command, walking 59 batters in 93 innings. The Diamondbacks could promote him to AAA next year, or return him to AA and hope he achieves some success.

3. Dean Kremer RHP (Orioles/Israel) - Dean was part of the unimpressive haul the Orioles got for Manny Machado. He was a Dodgers 14th round pick in 2016. Dean pitched for Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualifier but did not pitch for Team Israel that qualified for the Olympics. Dean throws in the low 90s with a plus curveball that gives enough swings and misses to get above 9 strikeouts per 9 innings. He had four rough starts in AAA last year (8.84 ERA) where the opposition hit him at a .366 clip. He hopes to return there in 2020 and pitch well enough to make his major league debut.

4. Sherten Apostel 3B (Rangers/Curacao) - The Pirates initially signed Apostel but traded him to the Rangers in the Keone Kela deal. Last year was his first year in full season ball and he broke out with 19 homeruns. In two previous years of rookie ball he did not hit double digit homerun numbers, but he hit for enough power to slug .450 or greater. At 6′4″ his height and weight could get so bulky that it would force a move from third base to first base. Sherten is still a couple years at best away from the major leagues.

5. Shervyton Newton 2B/SS (Mets/Curacao) - The tool that stands out most for Newton is his 6′4″ height, which translates into above average power. The Mets got a bargain signing him for just $50,000 in 2015. Last year was his first year in full season ball and it will not be a season to remember. He hit only .209 with a 37/139 walk to whiff ratio. In rookie ball he showed more patience at the plate so he needs to focus on waiting for his pitches to hit. The Mets are crowded at short and defensively he may be a better fit at second. The arm is strong enough to move to third or play a corner outfield, but he lacks the speed to cover a lot of ground in center. He is still a few years away from making it on the Mets roster.

6. Hendrik Clementina C (Reds/Curacao) - Hendrik originally signed with the Dodgers for $50,000 way back in 2013. The Reds traded Tony Cingrani to the Dodgers to acquire Clementina in 2017. After four years playing in rookie ball Hendrik made his full season debut in 2018 and blossomed with 18 homeruns. Last year he played in the spacious parks of the Florida State leagues and still hit 14 homeruns. He is only 6′0″ weighing 250, which calls into question how mobile he will be behind the plate as his body ages. He does not have a strong arm and only had a 14 percent success rate in throwing out runners, so he still has some issues. The power could allow a team to carry him as a backup catcher with the new 26 man rosters. Next year he should start in AA so a callup could happen in 2020 if injuries force the Reds to dig deep for a catcher. Hendrik lacks the tools to surpass Tyler Stephenson for the number one role.

7. Donny Breek RHP (Twins/Netherlands) - The Twins signed Donny after his performance in the Under 18 World Cup in Thunder Bay, Canada. While he did not make the all tournament team myworld identified him as a player to watch after his 1-1, 1.08 ERA in 16.2 innings where he limited the opposition to a .151 average. He also pitched the Netherlands to the European championships in 2019 in a win over Italy. His fastball sits in the low 90s and he complements it with a decent change. Last year he was dominant in his second year of Rookie ball, finishing with a 0.74 ERA with a .165 opposition average. His command can be a little spotty, but he has yet to give up a homerun in 74 innings. Myworld believes he will win a full season role in 2020, which could begin his journey to the major leagues.

8. Sem Robberse RHP (Blue Jays/Netherlands) - The Blue Jays signed Sem for $125,000 in 2019, which is a pretty generous bonus for a European player. He rewarded them with a 2-0, 0.87 ERA in rookie ball. He only pitched 10 innings so it is a small sample size. Sem showed pretty good command, not walking a single hitter, but they did hit .275 off him. He won’t turn 19 until October. Currently his fastball sits in the high 80s/low 90s but the Blue Jays feel that as he puts on more weight the velocity will increase. The secondary pitches are still in their development phase. He will probably see one more year in rookie ball before advancing to full season ball in 2021.

9. Leonardo Seminati 1B (Reds/Italy) - Leonardo did make the All Tournament team in Thunder Bay, Canada for the 18 and under team as the first baseman. He hit .423 with two homeruns and seven RBIs. Some others who made the all tournament team are Cesar Prieto from Cuba who is a about to sign a large contract, Brice Turang and Alek Thomas. Matthew Liberatore, Triston Casas, Victor Mesa and Korean superstar Baek-Ho Kang are four players who did not make the all tournament team. Leonardo has the potential for big time power, slugging 9 homeruns in 58 games in the Rookie Pioneer League. He also shows the ability to swing and miss with 80 whiffs. He also played a little outfield and third base but may lack the speed to be a viable outfielder. If he can eliminate the lack of contact Leonardo could make an impact in the minor leagues. Next year should be his debut in full season ball.

10. Martin Cervenka C (Orioles/Czech Republic) - We have not given up on Martin despite his 27 years of age falling outside normal prospect range. He will probably never make it as a number one catcher, but with some injuries he could make it as a back up. He signed initially with the Cleveland Indians way back in 2009. Last year injuries limited him to just 58 games but he reached AAA. If he can stay healthy the Orioles catching depth is not strong. Last year when he played in AA he had a 46 percent success rate in nabbing baserunners, so the defensive tools are there. He also hit .372 in a short 12 game debut with AAA Norfolk. This is his fifth and probably last year on our top European prospect team. Way back in 2014 he made our under 21 world cup all tournament team with Taiwan superstar Po Jung Wang and Japan All Star Seiya Suzuki. All he needs is a couple months and he earns a pretty sweet major league pension.

Other true Europeans to consider who are all in the Rookie League are Niklas Rimmel RHP (Twins/Germany), who was signed the same time as Breek, Anton Kuznetsov LHP (Phillies/Russia) and Darryl Collins OF (Royals/Netherlands)

World Baseball Classic Officially Announces Qualifiers

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

The World Baseball Classic has officially announced their qualifiers, both to be played in Tucson in March. The games will be played at the Kino Sports Complex.

Pool 1 (March 12-17) - Brazil, France, Germany, Nicaragua, Pakistan and South Africa

Pool II (March 20-25) - Czech Republic, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines and Spain.

The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the World Baseball Classic that will be held March 2021. All 16 teams who participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic have qualified for the 2021 event. Those countries include the defending champion United States, Australia, Canada, Cuba, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Venezuela

Under 23 World Cup Qualifying Round

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

The Under 23 Baseball World Cup qualifying round will be held in Nicaragua and Honduras. Competing in the Nicaragua competition will be Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and the hosts Nicaragua. In Honduras, other than the hosts the competition will be Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala and Panama. Absent from the competition are the United States and Canada. Even Puerto Rico is absent in the tournament.

The Under 23 World Cup will be held October 2-11 in Mexico. Mexico are the defending champions having defeated Japan in 2018 when it was played in Colombia. Other countries who have qualified to play are Germany and Czech Republic (European qualifier), New Zealand (Oceania - Australia dropped out), Taiwan, Japan and China (Asia Qualifier), Korea (wild card selection) and Mexico as the host.

Honduras is an interesting country to choose to be a host for a baseball qualifier since baseball is not a big sport in that country. If you want to grow the game you have to expose the countries not usually exposed to baseball. Not sure why the United States and Canada chose not to participate but the major and minor league pipeline availability probably has something to do with that.

2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

Major league baseball did announce that they would be holding the World Baseball Classic in 2021. That is one year after the Olympics, where two remaining teams are still undecided to be one of the six competitors for the Olympics. One of those Olympic qualifiers is to be scheduled in Arizona from March 22-26.

It could be a busy time for baseball in Arizona in March. With spring training and the Olympic qualifiers and now also the two World Baseball Classic qualifiers to be held in Arizona. Where will they find all the fields?

Baseball Reference.com shows that there will be two World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Arizona. The first will be held from March 12-17 and the second from March 18-26. Below are the teams that will be participating in those qualifiers.

March 12-17

Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Philippines and South Africa

March 18-26

Czech Republic, France, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Panama and Spain.

The top two teams from each of these pools will advance to the World Baseball Classic for 2021.

What got me interested in this was an article appearing in baseballasia.org that talked about the rise in baseball in the Philippines. The Philippine Amateur Baseball Association President talked about participating in the WBC qualifiers in March 18-25, which are different dates from what the Philippines appears to be scheduled in according to Baseball Reference.com. They also talk about adding Tim Tebow, who was born in the Philippines to their roster. Tim Tebow has recently been invited to the New York Mets spring training tryouts and they train in Florida.

So there is not a lot of publicity being issued on these qualifiers but they appear to be happening some time in March. That could be a good time to travel to Arizona to watch some International baseball. Poor Nicaragua appears to be scheduled to play in both the Olympic Qualifiers in Arizona and the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Arizona. Good way to save on travel costs, provided the tournaments are not scheduled during the same week.

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.

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.