Austria’s Dornbirn Indians won the 2023 Federation Cup on Saturday in Bratislava, defeating Belgium’s Deurne Spartans, 11-1 (box), in a contest that was never in doubt after the Indians jumped out to a three-run lead in the first inning. Victory at the six-team tournament, Europe’s third-tier club competition, ensures Austrian participation at next year´s Confederation Cup, Europe’s second-tier international club event.
Dornbirn added three runs in the third frame and another in the fourth to take a lead that was never in doubt as three Dornbirn hurlers combined to strike out 11 while allowing just four hits. Starter Lochlan Southee allowed no hits in 2.2 innings before giving way to Ryan Rupp, who was awarded the W after striking out seven in 4.1 innings. Kruno Gojkovic mopped up the eighth and final inning.
On offense the Indians collected 11 hits, three of them off the bat of player-manager Graeham Luttor, who drove in four runs while going 3-for-5 with a double and a two-run homer that ended the game by mercy rule after eight innings.
The homer was Luttor’s second of the tournament. All told, he had nine RBI in Bratislava and a 1.306 OPS to boot, but the tournament MVP honors went to his teammate Chris Squires, who went 10-for-21 with a .931 OPS at the plate and also tossed 3.1 shoutout innings while striking out seven.
The six-team Federation Cup consisted of a round-robin group stage, with the top two clubs qualifying for Saturday‘s championship game. Both Dornbirn and Deurne qualified with 4-1 records, ahead of Ukraine’s CNTU-OSDYSSOR-Gorn (3-2), the Zurich Challengers (2-3), Sweden’s Rättvik Butchers (1-4), and the hosts Apollo Bratislava (1-4).
For complete results and statistics, visit the WBSC Europe’s Federation Cup tournament page.