This weekend the European Champions Cup Final Four will take place at the Montjuic ballpark in Barcelona, Spain. Four teams, three from the Italian Baseball League and one from the German Baseball-Bundesliga, will battle for the title, trying to become the successor of Danesi Nettuno (ITA), which won the trophy in the past two years. The semi-finals will be played on Saturday with the game for third place and the championship match following one day later. Stadeo.tv will broadcast the four games live (costs: €9.90).
Based on the results of the last couple of weeks, UGF Bologna has to be considered as the favorite in the Final Four. They lost in the Italian Baseball Series to Cariparma Parma in seven games, but captured the Coppa Italia title to secure a spot in next year’s European Cups. They are making the trip without Yulman Ribeiro and most likely will send Jesus Matos to the mound as starting pitcher in their semi-final against T&A San Marino on Saturday afternoon. Cody Cillo probably is going to start on Sunday. The offense will be led by Eddy Garabito and Italian national team players Juan Carlos Infante, Jairo Ramos Gizzi and Joe Mazzuca.
Qualified for Barcelona thanks to first place at European Cup in Brno
T&A San Marino
After playing in two Italian Baseball Series in the last two years, T&A San Marino was eliminated in the semi-final round of this season’s campaign. They also missed out on the Coppa Italia Final. Manager Doriano Bindi chooses to leave Jose Escalona and Carlos Duran at home and to go with Henry Bonilla, Ardley Jansen and Ulrich Snijders in the three foreign players spots. Bonilla and Tiago Da Silva will be the starting pitchers, although it is not yet clear who will pitch against Bologna. Anthony Granato, Simone Albanese, Giovanni Pantaleoni, Dean Rovinelli and Max De Biase will head the offense besides Jansen and Snijders.
Qualified for Barcelona thanks to second place at European Cup in Rotterdam
Telemarket Rimini Pirates
Since getting ousted in the semi-final round of the Italian Baseball League Telemarket Rimini saw some changes. Manager Mauro Mazzotti resigned and got replaced by Mike Romano. Also not making the trip to Catalonia will be Jim Brower, Jhonny Carvajal, Adam Bright, Clinton Balgera and Mauro Schiavoni. However they still will send a strong squad. Enorbel Marquez-Ramirez and Sandy Patrone will be the starting pitcher supported by Chris Di Roma waiting in the bullpen if one of the two falters. A matchup between German national team southpaw Marquez-Ramirez and the Heidenheim Heidekoepfe in the semi-final would be a highlight. Laidel Chapelli, Danny Gonzalez, Mario Chiarini and Lorenzo Avagnina are supposed to provide the necessary run support.
Qualified for Barcelona thanks to first place at the European Cup in Rotterdam
The Heidenheim Heidekoepfe are the first German team, which has reached the European Champions Cup Final Four in Barcelona. They are currently playing in the German Baseball-Bundesliga finals, but are trailing the Buchbinder Legionaere Regensburg 0-2 after the first two games of the best-of-five series. They will make the trip to Barcelona without the injured Brandon Taylor, who won the best batter award at the European Cup in Brno. He got replaced on the roster by Ryan Lilly. Additionally foreigners Dusty Bergman, Chris Beck, Sam Whitehead and Matt Pali are aboard. In difference to the three IBL clubs, team management won’t reveal its choices for the three foreign spots until the technical meeting on Friday evening. Heidenheim also brings in Martin Dewald for the tournament, who is studying at the Georgia College and State University, to join his German national teammates Simon Guehring, Robert Gruber, Markus Winkler and Martin Almstetter. Dewald, Winkler and Bergman are the probable starting pitchers with southpaw Almstetter waiting in the bullpen.
Qualified for Barcelona thanks to second place at the European Cup in Brno
Schedule European Champions Cup Final Four in Barcelona:
Saturday, September 25:
- 12:00 UGF Bologna – T&A San Marino
- 18:00 Telemarket Rimini – Heidenheim Heidekoepfe
Sunday, September 26:
- 11:00 Bronze Medal Game
- 17:00 Championship Game