By Gabriel Fidler
BRASSCHAAT, Belgium —Wiener Neustadt and Valencia showed off their powerful offenses to improve to 2-0 in European baseball’s Federation Cup, with the two seemingly on a crash course for the final on Saturday. Each received strong pitching performances and took advantage of numerous fielding mistakes by the Sofia Blues and the Brasschaat Braves, the latter of which lost despite permitting only one earned run.
Sofia 1 – Wiener Neustadt 15
Eastern Austria’s Ducks had Bulgarian fielders diving left and right in a relentless 15-1 victory. Wiener Neustadt scored in every inning, hanging a three on the board in the first and third before breaking out for its biggest frame in the sixth, a five-run outburst.
Julian Faulhaber was the hits leader with three, also topping both sides with a trio of runs scored. Felix Astner and Moritz Scheicher both went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI, while Ryan Burnside chipped in three RBI and two base knocks. Eoghan McGarry spun five innings of three-hit ball, striking out six, and Elias Kreska wrapped up the shortened contest with two shutout frames and three punch-outs.
Brasschaat 4 – Valencia 8
The Astros’ offense took slightly longer to click than did the Diving Ducks in Game One of Day 3, but the 2021 Spanish baseball regular season champions and post-season runners-up scored in every inning from the third through the seventh. In the seventh, Brasschaat suddenly broke out for four runs, with Lucas Rizzi driving in a run for the third game in a row.
Robbe de Boey (4IP, 5H, 1ER, 2BB) and Elías Macías (3IP, 4H, 0ER, 3BB, 5K) turned in solid performances, but the Braves committed six errors, leading to seven unearned runs. Yosbany Torres shook off three unearned runs of his own and pitched seven frames, striking out six against one base on balls. Ricardo Hernández finished with two perfect frames and 3 Ks. Roibert Decena, Édgar Rondón, and Nicolò Sandrone all had a brace of hits, with Sandrone, turning in another big performance from the last spot in the lineup. Valencia’s catcher went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a double.
|Wiener Neustadt Diving Ducks||2-0||–||22||2|
Results & Schedule [Box Scores]
June 20: Valencia 14 – Sofia 2
June 20: London 7 – Brasschaat 6
June 21: Wiener Neustadt 7 – London 1
June 21: Brasschaat 4 –Sofia 1
June 22: Sofia 1 – Wiener Neustadt 15 (7)
June 22: Brasschaat 4 – Valencia 8
June 23: Sofia – London
June 23: Valencia – Wiener Neustadt
June 24: London – Valencia
June 24: Wiener Neustadt – Brasschaat
Final (June 25): TBD