In the twenty-sixth European Championship final between Italy and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the latter stayed at the right side of the score. One big inning was enough for the Dutch to clinch their twenty-third European Championship.
In the first three innings not much happened as both pitchers, Luis Lugo for Italy and Donny Breek for Kingdom of the Netherlands, kept the opponent in check very well.
But in the fourth inning, Lugo’s defense showed some cracks and as a result, he loaded the bases with one out. With Kalian Sams at bat, Lugo served up a 2-2 pitch that Sams hit away for a towering home run that just cleared the center field fence. John Polonius gave it another billing in his at-bat as he homered down the right field line to give the Kingdom of the Netherlands a 5-0 lead.
Donny Breek started the fourth inning with giving up a walk to Sebastiano Poma. Breek appeared to struggle as John Andreoli worked the count but Breek then served up a pitch that ended in the glove of center fielder Roger Bernadina. Chris Colabello and Giuseppe Mazzanti also flied out to center field as both aimed for the fences.
In the bottom of the fifth, catcher Alberto Mineo fired a warning shot as he hit the ball far away for a foul ball. But the next pitch he saw was gone for a home that cleared the right field fence and disappeared into the night. With two outs, Breek gave up a walk to
Erick Epifano. That was the sign for manager Evert-Jan ‘t Hoen to replace him with Tom Stuifbergen. Andrew Maggi then doubled to left field where Ademar Rifaela almost caught the ball but he couldn’t get a good grip so the ball dropped and Maggi advanced to second and Epifano moved to third base. Despite the runners in scoring position, Stuifbergen got out of the inning without further damage for the Dutch.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Tom Stuifbergen was replaced by Mike Bolsenbroek. Bolsenbroek managed to record the first out of the inning but then gave up to consecutive singles to give Italy a runner in scoring position. Then Andrew Maggi lined out to first baseman Curt Smith, who fired to ball towards second base where Federico Celli was called safe as he was tagged while diving back for the bag. Italy really threatened when Bolsenbroek gave up a walk to Sebastiano Poma to load the bases. With the bases loaded, some of the other Italian games must have come to the Dutch minds as Italy managed to come back from behind several times this week. But Kevin Kelly, who replaced Bolsenbroek, retired John Andreoli for the third out with a pop up towards the shortstop.
In the remaining two innings the Italian lineup couldn’t step up anymore and the Dutch cruised to another championship.
Winning pitcher was Kevin Kelly, who pitched a perfect 1.1 innings. Best hitter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands was Kalian Sams, who went 2 for 3 with a grand slam home run.