SÉNART, France — On the second full day of competition in the CEB Cup, the magic number was two for Draci Brno. Two homers by Pabel Manzanero and a pair of triples by Martin Kalábek helped the Czech club smash fellow contenders Astros Valencia 15-6. Two longballs from Eugene Helder – one against the Astros and the next against the Therwil Flyers – ensured a clean sweep for the day, with Kalábek chipping in – you guessed it – two two-baggers in the 16-10 victory. Brno finished the day in first place, while the host club, Sénart Templiers, also remained undefeated with a 14-11 slugfest victory over the Dornbirn Indians thanks to a two-homer day by Alexander Perdomo and an astonishing performance by Andy Paz.
Brno 15 – Valencia 6
The Spanish Baseball League’s pennant leaders took an early lead against the Draci of Brno, but the latter rallied in the third and maintained their torrid pace of scoring until the end. Down 2-1 after one, Helder left the park for the second-straight day with one down in the third. The team collectively posted a cycle, with Martin Červinka supplying the double, which scored two, and Kalábek lacing a triple for the fourth run of the inning.
Manzanero picked up where he left off in Brno’s first game, drilling a two-run shot in the following frame. The Astros would also plate two in the fourth, but the 7-4 deficit is as close as Spain’s top club would draw. The Draci added two more in the fifth and Kalábek stroked a second three-bagger in the sixth, this time with the bases full.
Each team would fire a final shot. Spanish Baseball League MVP candidate – and co-leader in home runs – Edison Valerio hit a solo slot in the eighth, while Brno’s slugging backstop Manzanero mashed a two-run tater in the ninth. Manzanero was 4-for-6 with 11 total bases and four RBI.
Brno 16 – Therwil 10 (later changed to a 9-0 forfeit victory for Brno)
After a 1:52 break, Brno carried on its offensive onslaught, but Therwil showed it could hit as well, tying up the ballgame in the sixth. The final frames were back-and-forth before the Dragons mounted a huge inning in the tenth.
A four-run first against Switzerland’s Flyers gave Radim Chroust a comfortable margin from which to pitch, and the right-hander delivered four strikeouts in two innings. Through three, Brno was up 5-0 and Helder had homered for the third game. Therwil struck back against the Draci bullpen, scoring four in the fourth. A single run in the sixth for the slap-hitting Swiss club made the score 5-5, each club then scoring two in the seventh and eighth. With the improbable comeback afoot, Draci bashed out seven runs in the tenth, however, holding the Flyers to a single run for the win.
Christopher Horne had three singles for Therwil, which received two-hit games from three other players. The Flyers had 12 as a team, adding five walks, but struck out 13 times against three Czech pitchers. Helder had a double and the dinger, while Přemek Chroust had three base knocks and Kalábek settled for a pair of doubles.
On the final day, the game was changed to a 9-0 forfeit victory for Brno after Therwil used an ineligible player as a pinch hitter.
Therwil 15 – Minsk 7 (later changed to a 9-0 forfeit victory for Minsk)
The next game for the Flyers started much like the previous one ended, as Therwil hammered out five runs in the first, only to surrender four markers to Minsk. Therwil went up 6-4 with a run in the second, but the Belarussian batters tied the game in the fourth. In the later innings of this game, however, the Swiss team’s hitters ensured the game would not last longer than nine frames, fusing extra base hits, errors, and free passes for six runs in the seventh and another three in the following frame.
The Flyers collected 13 hits, including four doubles, along with 14 free passes and a hit batter. Sven Leeman, the rare leadoff-hitting first baseman, had a pair of four-baggers and a single, while Ferlon Gijsbertha had three hits. Incredibly, Horne walked five times, scoring four runs and stealing a bag despite officially going 0-for-2. Ilya Sladzinski did all he could for Minsk, lining three doubles, drawing a walk, and swiping a base. Anton Pryputnevich had two doubles and a single.
Kiryl Kazlouski gave an excellent effort in relief, throwing 127 pitches in 6.2 innings and whiffing 11. Three Minsk errors made for long innings, with the right-hander surrendering four earned runs on nine hits and eight walks. Hideori Oshima, a veteran of the Swiss circuit, worked out of a number of jams, throwing seven frames and permitting five earned runs on 11 hits and four walks.
On the final day, the game was changed to a 9-0 forfeit victory for Brno after Therwil started an ineligible player.
Dornbirn 11 – Sénart 14
The final game of the day, which started at almost 9 p.m., followed the same path as the other games on Day Three. Perdomo and Paz both had days to remember for the Templiers, who held off a spirited Dornbirn club for their second win.
Each squad scored a run in the first, the Indians coming on a Michael Salzmann triple. The Templiers’ Perdomo gave the ball a slightly longer ride for a solo homer.
It was extra bases galore for Sénart in the second. Mohamed Baoui clipped a ball to the wall in left and raced all the way around to score a Little League home run after an error on the relay throw to third. Perdomo lined a double to score a free pass-taking Jimmy Mapakou from first, coming round on a base knock by Paz. The Templiers’ backstop would then score on another single.
Marcel Theiner contributed a run to Dornbirn’s cause with a solo round-tripper in the fourth, Salzmann then driving in two in the fifth. With its advantage down to one, the home team mustered a sixth run in the sixth, but doubles from Dominick Golubiewski and Theiner sparked a three-run seventh for Dornbirn. The Indians, however, left the bases loaded.
The visitors’ 7-6 lead disappeared with two outs in the lower half of the frame when Perdomo came through once more. With runners at second and third, the third baseman crushed a ball to his favorite spot over the wall in right field, and Sénart held a 9-7 advantage.
The Templiers would seemingly put the game out-of-reach in the penultimate inning, with two errors and a free pass leading to five runs, though only two were earned.
The 2020 Austrian champions showed some pluck in the ninth, however. With two outs and Theiner on first after a base on balls, Ryan Rupp singled and moved up on another free pass. A wild pitch plated Theiner and was followed by three more balls, once more loading the bases. Golubiewski, a Polish national-teamer, then crushed a three-run double to deep center, putting the tying run on-deck. José Paula would buckle down to end the comeback.
Paz, a veteran of seven minor league seasons for the Athletics, turned in what might be his biggest game in the batter’s box. Although he has certainly accrued more than seven total bases in a game, Paz became one of very few players in top-tier competition to go 6-for-6. France’s go-to catcher had a double and five singles. No Cup record books are kept, and statistics before 2007 are hard to find, leaving it impossible for us to verify if Paz set a record for hits in a game. Perdomo may not have set any all-time marks, but he was a juggernaut for Sénart, notched two homers, a double, four runs, and five RBI in the slugfest.
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