by Will Gordon, www.beisbolas.lt
Utena, Lithuania– Lithuania took the top three spots in 2009 Interleague Play (Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus League), with Kaunas taking 1st Place and claiming their second Championship of the season.
In Saturday’s first semifinal match-up, home team Utena ‘Vetra’ surprisingly defeated the Vilnius Black Vikings. Utena scored 5 runs in the first inning and never looked back, holding on for a 7-5 win. Eimantas Zickus went the distance for Utena to get the win, and Evaldas Zarkaitis took the loss for Vikingas.
In the second semifinal matchup, Kaunas defeated Brest ‘Zubry’ 6-3 with strong pitching from W. Gordon. Gordon helped his own cause on the offensive end going 1-4 with 2 RBIs, and Aivaras Jacyna added a solo homerun in the 1st inning to get things going offensively.
Sunday’s 3rd-place consolation game between the Black Vikings and Zubry was a hard-fought pitcher’s battle in which each team put their ace on the mound. Each team, likewise, had saved their top pitcher thinking that they would win their first round games and move on to the final game. In the matchup between A. Trofimenko (‘Vikings’) and A. Losj (‘Zubry’), the Black Vikings won 3-1. Trofimenko, a Ukrainian pitcher and one of only two foreigners playing in the LBL, pitched a solid game allowing only one run and got the offensive support he needed to take 3rd Place for the Vikings.
In the Final game, ‘Lituanica’ was led by M. Dargis who made sure that his team would win, throwing a shutout on the way to a 10-0 7-inning victory. The Kaunas attack was led by left-fielder Marius Tatarunas. Due to personal problems that did not allow him to play most of the LBL season, Tatarunas returned to the team in time for the Lithuanian Semifinals. This just being his 3rd week back, Tatarunas showed an impressive offensive performance going 3-4 with two homeruns, the second was a game-ending walk-off blast to center field that sealed the 10-run win for Kaunas Lituanica
2009 Interleague Championship Final Standings
- Kauno „Lituanica“ (LT)
- Utenos „Vėtra“ (LT)
- Vilniaus „Black Vikings“ (LT)
- Bresto „Zubry“ (Belarus)
- BK „Vilnius – Logipolija“ (LT)
- Minsk BGUFK (Belarus)
- „Minsk“ (Belarus)
Director, Foreign Affairs/Game Development
Lithuanian Baseball Association
Asigalio g. 41-34, Kaunas, Lithuania