By Gabriel Fidler
BRASSCHAAT, Belgium — As the Federation Cup — the third of four tiers in CEB’s continental club competition structure — got underway, it was Spain and Great Britain that claimed wins on Opening Day. The Astros Valencia continued the club’s impressive performance in European competitions with a one-sided victory over Bulgaria’s representative, the Sofia Blues. In the nightcap, the London Mets were victorious for the sixth-straight game in European play, stunning host club Brasschaat.
Valencia 14 – Sofia 2
Spanish baseball powerhouse Valencia broke open a 1-1 game with a seven-run fourth that included two doubles, a triple, four stolen bases, four errors, a hit batter, a free pass, and a wild pitch. From that point on, Valencia coasted, tacking on five runs in the eighth to end the game one inning early via mercy rule.
Veteran Lowuin Sacramento sent down eight on strikes in five frames, surrendering one earned run four hits and a walk. Justin Luna struck out the first seven batters he faced, finishing with eight Ks in three perfect frames for the save. Roibert Decena, Emmanuel Febles, and Nicolò Sandrone each had three hits, with Decena finishing a four-bagger short of the cycle, swiping two bags, scoring three times, and knocking in three. Sandrone, the Astros’ backstop, was 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs, a walk, and a ribbie from the nine-hole.
London 7 – Brasschaat 6
Artuur Driessens had the home team Braves sailing along through seven innings, with Brasschaat enjoying a 6-1 lead thanks, in part, to a Lucas Rizzi three-run triple in the fourth. However, Rich Minford, Zach Stroman, and Michael Flaherty all ripped doubles in the eighth to draw the London Mets within two. Driessens remained in the game for the ninth, however, and promptly walked Callum Vinall and gave up a single to Andy Cosgrove, who claimed second base with some nifty baserunning. Minford then singled both runners home. After a pitching change, Stroman and Flaherty followed with base knocks, with Minford scoring on a throwing error on Flaherty’s single.
Minford, London’s third pitcher, then returned to the mound for his second inning of work and went 1-2-3 through the Braves’ lineup. Cosgrove and Stroman were both 4-for-5 in the thriller, with three runs scored for the former and a pair of two-baggers for Stroman. Flaherty was 3-for-5 and drove in a trifecta.
The Dutch Baseball Hangout published photos of the game [link].
|Wiener Neustadt Diving Ducks||0-0||.5||0||0|
Results & Schedule [Box Scores]
June 20: Valencia 14 – Sofia 2
June 20: London 7 – Brasschaat 6
June 21: Wiener Neustadt – London
June 21: Brasschaat – Sofia
June 22: Sofia – Wiener Neustadt
June 22: Brasschaat – Valencia
June 23: Sofia – London
June 23: Valencia – Wiener Neustadt
June 24: London – Valencia
June 24: Wiener Neustadt – Brasschaat
Final (June 25): TBD