The three qualifiers for the 2024 Federation Cup have been determined, with Croatia’s BK Zagreb, Ireland’s Mariners Baseball Club, and the London Mets securing a spot for their respective countries at next year’s edition of Europe’s third-tier club competition.
In Budapest on Sunday, Zagreb bounced back from a 2-0 first-inning deficit to defeat Bulgaria’s Sofia Blues, 5-3 (box). Zagreb starter Fran Vidrac surrendered a two-run homer to Nikolay Karashtranov in the opening frame but then settled, ultimately allowing just two hits, while walking six, in seven innings of work. Dejan Marin closed out the game for the Croatians, with three punch outs in two scoreless innings of relief giving him a total of 5.2 scoreless innings in his three appearances on the mound in Hungary’s capital.
On offense, eight Zagreb batters each contributed a hit, with Jose Pereira, who was awarded MVP honors for his five homers and .688/.792/.1.688 slash line in tournament play, also tallying four walks.
The Mariners and Mets both celebrated their triumphs on Saturday.
The Mariners prevailed in the Swedish pool, vanquishing the hosts, the Sundbyberg Heat, 5-2 (box), while the Mets went undefeated in Poland, the final W a walk-off, 9-7 (box) victory over the hosts, Silesia Rybnik, for the gold medal. The heroics were provided by Ethan Murphy, whose three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth set off the celebrations.