On day one of the European Champions Cup, the following games were scheduled:
Rouen Huskies @ Curaçao Neptunus, Bonn Capitals @ Parmaclima Baseball, Heidenheim Heideköpfe @ Fortitudo Bologna, and Arrows Ostrava @ L&D Amsterdam Pirates.
Rouen Huskies 4 – 14 Curaçao Neptunus
Neptunus needed eight innings to clinch the victory in the opening game of the tournament. The team wasn’t caught watching the paint dry as the team had a flying start. A three run homer by Dwayne Kemp gave Neptunus a 3-0 lead. A double by Benjamin Dille drove in Gianison Boekhoudt for the fourth run. The fifth run was scored without any base hit. Shaldimar Daantji drew a walk and advanced to third on a passed ball. He was driven in thanks to a sac fly by Stijn van der Meer. John Polonius followed with a solo home run to right field. Three consecutive walks in the bottom of the fourth inning, heralded another big inning for Neptunus. With the bases loaded, John Polonius hit a sac fly that drove in the seventh run for Neptunus. Then, a double and a single drove in three more. Eventually, in the seventh inning, Rouen Huskies got on the board. With runners in scoring position, Louis Brainville singled to right center field and drove in Jacob Biller and Gabriel Harrison. With runners on first and second, Gaetan Moulin doubled to right field and drove in two more runs for the Huskies. But that was all, Rouen was capable of. Neptunus scored two more runs, one in the bottom of the seventh and one in the bottom of the eighth.
Kevin Bakker earned the win for Neptunus. In 4.2 innings he allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks as he struck out three. Arthur Magnien took the loss. He lasted two innings and gave up six runs on three hits and four walks and struck out one.
Gianison Boekhoudt was the best hitter for Neptunus as he went 2 for 3 with a run scored. Dwayne Kemp belted three home runs and drove in five runs.
Bonn Capitals 5 – 4 Parmaclima Baseball
The first surprise of the tournament.
In a matchup between the runners up of their own baseball league, Bonn Capitals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. With Eric Brenk on second base, Vincent Ahrens singled to left center field to drive in the opening run. In the second inning, Parmaclima pushed for the game tying run as Alex Sambucci hit a leadoff double and advanced to third on a groundout to first base. But with Sambucci on third base, Sascha Koch kept his cool and retired the next two batters. In the third inning, with runners on the corners and two outs, Bonn extended its lead when Daniel Lamb-Hunt drove in Joseph Wittig on a single to right field. Also in the bottom of the third inning, Parma pushed to score some runs. It even had the bases loaded but this time Alex Sambucci flied out to right field for the final out of the inning. Where Parma didn’t grab their opportunities, Bonn seized the ones they got and walked away to a 3-0 lead.
But in the seventh, Sascha Koch, who kept Parma in check for six innings, was finally pulled after one hundred and five pitches. He retired one batter in the seventh but allowed two runners on base. He was replaced by Samuel Steigert, who didn’t start well as he hit Stefano Desimoni with a pitch to load the bases. Then, Leonmartines Rodriguez hit a sac fly to right field to drive in Parma’s first run and to put runners on the corners. A balk led to the second run for Parma but Steigert then recorded the third out to get out of the inning. Bonn scored two more runs in the ninth with the bases loaded on a throwing error and a walk. In the end, the game became a nail biter as Parma came within a run but eventually, Nicholas Micelli recorded the final out for Bonn’s win.
Sascha Koch earned the win. In 6.1 innings, he was tabbed for two runs on seven hits and three walks and struck out six. Nicholas Micelli earned the save. Julio Cesar Vivas Colmenares took the loss. In six innings, he allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk and struck out eight.
Anthony Rodriguez Klinzing was the best hitter for the Bonn Capitals as he went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
Heidenheim Heideköpfe 3 – 4 Fortitudo Bologna
Fortitudo Bologna had to go deep to clinch the win against the Heidenheim Heideköpfe. Until the inning, this matchup between the champions of Germany and Italy was a close affair. Dutchie Mike Bolsenbroek pitched seven decent innings to keep Heidenheim in the game. He also got the needed run support as Heidenheim scored a run in the fifth and the sixth inning. But nevertheless, Fortitudo Bologna managed to score some runs off Bolsenbroek: a two-run homer by Ernesto Paulo Liberatore in the fourth inning and a solo shot by Daniel Xavier Monti in the fifth.
With two outs and runners on the corners in the seventh inning, Shawn Larry singled through the right side to drive in Sascha Lutz from third base to tie the game. The Heideköpfe came close to take the lead when Gary Owens singled through the left side but Simon Gühring, who came from second base and dashed home, was thrown out at the plate. Eventually, Bologna scored the winning run in the eighth inning when Ericson Neptali Leonora singled through the left side to drive in Rawendley van Gurp.
Alex Bassani earned the win. In 1.1 inning in relief, he gave up three hits. Enorbel Marquez took the loss as he gave up the game winning run to Bologna. Henry Alberto Rodriguez Rivera earned the save.
Best hitter for Bologna was Ericson Neptali Leonora, who went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Notable feat: Belgian Drew Janssen was the best hitter for Heidenheim and of the game as he went 3 for 3 with a home run, an RBI and a run scored.
Arrows Ostrava 6 – 8 L&D Amsterdam Pirates
L&D Amsterdam Pirates clinched its first victory of the tournament. Noblesse oblige as they say in proper in English. But my oh my, what did the team have to go deep.It started promising with a two-out, three-run homer by Sicnarf Loopstok that gave L&D Amsterdam Pirates an early lead in the first inning. But Arrows Ostrava came back in the top of the second inning. Two walks and a fielding error loaded the bases, before Naut Kragt allowed a run thanks to a wild pitch. Another walk, given up to Radim Novotny, loaded the bases once again but Kragt got out of the inning without further damage as he struck out Jakub Kubica for the final out.
In the second inning, it was like batting practice for Ostrava, as the team jumped on Naut Kragt and took the lead on back-to-back-to-back-to-back solo home runs by Tyler Smith, Jakub Malik, Brett Holtz, and Petr Cech. In the fourth inning, Pirates had a major chance to blow open the score as it loaded the bases with no outs. But Pirates only managed to score one miserable run on a 4-1 groundout. Pirates tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Sicnarf Loopstok got on base thanks to a fielders choice and Gilmer Lampe scored from third base. But it was another bases-loaded situation with less than two outs in which Pirates failed to score more than one run. But eventually, in the eighth inning, Pirates regained the lead when Gilmer Lampe hit a two-run homer to center field, followed by a solo shot to center field, hit by Kalian Sams.
On the defensive side, Pirates didn’t play its best game either as it committed three errors of which two in the final inning. Anyhow, Shairon Martis pitched four innings for the win. He allowed one run on one hit and struck out seven. Matej Satoria took the loss. In two innings, he gave up four runs on six hits and a walk.
Best hitter for L&D Amsterdam Pirates was Sharlon Schoop, who went 3 for 3 with a run scored.