A blog by John Dobkowski, pitcher for the Gauting Indians, who is participating with Poland at the European Championship Qualifier in Antwerp, Belgium.
Tuesday was our off day of the week. We did our usually running and stretching in the morning then ate breakfast. I went back to bed until it was time to go scout our next opponent Latvia. I did some throwing during the game just so I am prepared to pitch any day that I’m called upon. After the game we went into Antwerp to explore the city and relax. I got to know Kris Dabrowiecki better; he lives in Boston, MA but is from Toronto, Canada. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 34th round out of high school but chose to attend Northeastern University in Boston instead. He was then sign by the Brewers after his senior year. He study finance and insurance and is using that working for a private investment bank. We then head back to the hotel and call it a night.
We wake up hoping to get on the winnings column against Latvia. We had a strong start from Lukasz Snopek who went 6 inns gave up 1 hit no runs and had 8 strikeouts. Ariel Rainko had a good day settling the table for us going 3 for 4 with a walk and 3 runs. Then we had 3 players with 2 RBI each, ŁUKASZ NOLBRZAK, PRZEMYSŁAW PALUCH and JAKUB GARBACZ on to a 15-0 win in 6 innings. At the game, two of my juniors that I coach three years ago drove from Den Hague, Sean Spaans and Mark Klappers to watch me play and hangout. It was good to see familiar faces and heard how they are doing now.
After the game we went back to the hotel to shower and change, half of us went back to the field to scout Austria the other stood at the hotel until it was time to meet up for dinner. We were kind of rooting for Austria to win since Slovakia beat us. During the game I notice some young kids throwing a sponge ball at the wall behind the dugout. They were playing a game that I played a lot when I was younger. It was simple you throw the ball against the wall and field it like a ground ball, if you missed you had to run to the wall before someone will hit you with the sponge ball. I played with them, remembering my childhood at the same time and it didn’t feel like I was in Belgium, just at a baseball field having fun. Good thing I didn’t miss the ball, some of the kids had good arms. Off we went to get dinner and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for Austria the next day.