There were more than a few surprises at the recently concluded Confederation of European Baseball tournaments held across Europe last week. Below is a final recap of all the tourneys.
European Cup at San Marino
Corendon Kinheim (NED) 3, Rouen Huskies (FR) 1
The competition was fierce and heavy but the two best pitching teams reached the championship. The bizarre pitching rotation of Draci Brno (two innings per pitcher) proved to be interesting. But T&A San Marino paid dearly for allowing their starters to throw too many pitches in early tournament blow out wins.
European Cup Qualifier at Portugal
Royal Greys (BEL) 8, Bern Cardinals (SUI) 0
The Bern Cardinals proved what I learned a decade ago that a good Swiss team can compete with all but a handful of European nations. It will be interesting to see if the Cardinals can translate their recent success into transforming into a larger club with more players and teams.
European Cup Qualifier at Bulgaria
Balashika Tornado (RUS) 13, TJSTU Trnava (SLK) 0
The Russians were just too good for the competition even though KNTU-Kirovograd of Ukraine played well. This was probably the least exciting of all the tourneys.
Cupwinners Cup at Netherlands
DOOR Neptunus (NED) 2, Sant Boi (ESP) 0
Perhaps Neptunus was bored but the championship game against their Spanish opponent was much closer than anyone anticipated. Still, if you like watching good baseball, hop on a train and go watch this team play. The coffee shops are just a bonus!
Cupwinners Cup Qualifier at Sweden
Rained Out – Champion, North Stars (RUS)
C.E.B Cup at Croatia
FC Barcelona (ESP) 13, Heidenheim (GER) 9
This was one of the most entertaining championship games with both teams having an outstanding tournament. Both FC Barcelona and Heidenheim entered the finals with perfect 4-0 records.
C.E.B Cup Qualifier at Poland
MGPU S.Y.O.S. N42 (RUS) 6, Milon Sports Club (GRE) 0
Playing in only their second CEB tourney, Milon Sports Club was easily the Cinderella team of 2007. The Greeks upset the Russians in the round robin and returned home with memories that will last a lifetime.