Asia Winter Baseball League 2016: Europe gives it away in final two innings

Asia Winter Baseball League
After a day of rest, team Europe took on the NPB East team (which is a kind of all star team of the NPB Ni-Gun League (minor league) of the NPB’s Central League (one of the two Japanese Major Leagues). The Europeans managed to tie the game after trailing by three runs but eventually gave it away thanks to a couple of errors and lost 8-4.

On the pitching of Spain’s Daniel Alvarez,  Japan took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. But Europe bounced back in the bottom of the very same inning. Mattia Mercuri drew a one out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Frederico Celli then hit to left field to drive in Mecuri to put Europe on the board.
The Japanese extended their lead with a run in the top of the third inning when Kotaro  Yamazaki hit a double to left field and then stole third. He was driven in on a sac fly by Hirasawa Taiga.

After the Japanese scored another run in the top of the fifth inning, Europe started a rally in the bottom of that inning. With runners on fist and second, Dutch Urving Kemp hit a ground ball single to third base and drove in his fellow country man Paul Brands to cut the NPB’s lead in half. Italy’s Frederico Celli then hit down the left field line to drive in another Dutchman, Eugene Helder to bring Europe within a run of the NPB East.
Jesus Ustariz then hit to right field to drive in the game tying run for Europe.

In the next two innings Artur Strzalka from Poland did a fine job as he limited the Japanese to only one hit as he struck out two and walked three.

Unfortunately Diego Fabiani from Italy did not get much help from his defense in the eighth and ninth innings. He allowed four runs of which only one was earned.
As Fabiani gave up the go-ahead run he took the loss today.

The best hitter for Europe was Jesus Ustariz who went 3 for 3 with two runs batted in and a walk.

Other batting results by team Europe:

Urving Kemp: 1 for 3, 1 RBI, 1 run, 2 SO
Frederico Giordani: 0 for 2
Mattia Mercuri: 2 for 4, 1 run, 1 SO
Frederico Celli: 1 for 5, 1 RBI, 3 SO
Leo Rodriguez: 0 for 4, 2 SO
Kevin Weijgertse: 0 for 4, 2 SO
Paul Brands: 1 for 3, 1 run, 1 BB, 2 SO
Martin Muzik: 0 for 2, 1 SO
Vincent Ahrens: 0 for 2, 1 SO
Eugene Helder: 2 for 4, 1 run

Pitching results:

Daniel Alvarez:  4.0 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned runs, two walks, three strikeouts.
Misja Harcksen: 1.0 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 earned run, 1 walk.
Artur Strzalka: 2.0 IP, 1 hit, 3 walks, 2 strikouts.
Diego Fabiani: 2.0 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 1 earned run, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 1 homerun

So far we can say that this European team is playing pretty good. They are able to keep pace with their opponents for a long time during games. It remains to be seen if they can keep up their play like this as many of the team members are not used to play more than twice a week.

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