The first round at the European Champions Cup in Rimini and San Marino ended on Thursday. The semi-finals are set with Fortitudo Bologna taking on ASD Rimini in an inner Italian Baseball League matchup and L&D Amsterdam squaring off against Curacao Neptunus Rotterdam. The semifinal in Rimini and the final on Saturday, also in Rimini, will be broadcasted live by RAI Sport 2.
Fortitudo Bologna – VOITH Heidenheim Heideköpfe 2-1 (6)
Fortitudo Bologna prevailed 2-1 over VOITH Heidenheim Heideköpfe to improve to 3-0 for the tournament. The game ended early after six innings due to a heavy thunderstorm. Bologna just had taken a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a RBI single by Paolino Ambrosino. Heidenheim had tied the game in the fourth through Simon Gühring’s solo shot. Luca Panerati went the distance to pick up the win. Marcel Giraud got charged with the loss, as Heidenheim’s second tier of pitchers kept the Bologna bats in check.
L&D Amsterdam – Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg 1-0
L&D Amsterdam also improved to 3-0 in the tournament with a 1-0 shutout over the Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg. Kenny Berkenbosch scored the lone run of the game through a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh. Otherwise pitching prevailed. Robin Schel earned the win, issuing three hits and a walk in eight scoreless frames. Jan Tomek gave up just one hit, an unearned run and four base on balls in 6 1/3 innings to take the loss.
Kotlarka Prague – ASD Rimini 0-4
ASD Rimini joined L&D Amsterdam and Fortitudo Bologna in the semifinals with a 4-0 shutout over Kotlarka Prague on Thursday evening. The Pirates improved to 2-1. Tommaso Cherubini, Yomel Rivera and Roberto Corradini combined to allow just six hits and six walks in nine scoreless innings. Single runs in the first, fifth, eighth and ninth provided the run support. Ennio Retrosi collected four hits. Roldan Ochoa got charged with the loss.
Curacao Neptunus Rotterdam – T&A San Marino 5-4
Defending champion Curacao Neptunus Rotterdam barely stayed alive, defeating T&A San Marino 5-4.The last game of the first round at the European Champions Cup had to be decided by extra innings. San Marino had taken a 3-1 lead after six innings. But Curacao Neptunus chipped away a run in the seventh and tied the contest 3-3 in the ninth. In the tenth Simone Albanese got them ahead by scoring through a wild pitch. Curacao Neptunus sealed the win with a pair of bases loaded walks.
Standings First Round
1) Fortitudo Bologna 3-0
2) Curacao Neptunus Rotterdam 2-1
3) T&A San Marino 1-2
4) VOITH Heidenheim Heideköpfe 0-3
1) L&D Amsterdam 3-0
2) ASD Rimini 2-1
3) Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg 1-2
4) Kotlarka Prague 0-3
The semi-finals will highlight the Friday game day at the European Champions Cup in Rimini and San Marino. The matchup between ASD Rimini and Fortitudo Bologna – a rematch of last year’s Italian Series – will be broadcasted live at 8.30pm by RAI Sport 2. In the second semi-final L&D Amsterdam takes on Curacao Neptunus Rotterdam. Meanwhile the VOITH Heidenheim Heideköpfe, Kotlarka Prague, the Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg and T&A San Marino will battle for places fifth to eighth in the final standings. The team which is finishing eighth is losing their federation spot in the European Champions Cup and gets relegated to the CEB Cup.
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Photo by Lauro Bassani/FIBS