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May '21 22

Lithuanian Championship Week 5: Kaunas, Utena Romp to Series Sweeps

News - Lithuanian Baseball Leagues Comments Off on Lithuanian Championship Week 5: Kaunas, Utena Romp to Series Sweeps


The logjam at the top of the standings continued as Kaunas twice defeated Utena’s second side, Taranai, and Utena returned the favor in a sweep of Gaja-Lituanica. After three weeks of the home team claiming victory in every game and a split last week, all four matches were taken by the visiting sides. Meanwhile, it would appear that Minsk has withdrawn from the league as its doubleheaders against Vilnius and the capital’s baseball academy were not contested.

Utenos Titanai at Kauno SM Gaja-Lituanica (19-0, 12-4)
Last year’s champions blasted Kaunas’ second IX, scoring in all five innings of the mercy rule-shortened game. Utena hung crooked numbers in the second (five runs), fourth (seven), and fifth (another five) thanks to an eye-popping 11 errors and 10 walks from Gaja-Lituanica. Eimantas Zickus (3-1) was more than up to the task on the mound, tossing four easy innings with four strikeouts and only three hits, supporting himself with a double, single, and sacrifice fly. Arunas Trainys was 3-for-4 and Eivinas Nagurka chipped in a pair of singles.

The nightcap began differently, with Kaunas holding on to a 1-0 lead through five, but a nine-run fourth was too much for Gaja-Lituanica to overcome. Nagurka (2-0) took his turn on the mound and punched out 11 in six frames, with three earned runs. Zickus continued his hot hitting with another two hits, Justas while Sadaunikas drew three walks and knocked a one-base hit before coming on to strike out the side in the seventh.

Kauno Lituanica at Utenos Taranai (11-6, 10-0)
The other series last weekend also saw plenty of runs, but Game One was within reach for both sides, with runs scored in all but a single half-frame between the second inning and the end of the fifth. Refreshingly, the game was dominated by neither errors nor walks, as Lituanica posted 15 hits, including three doubles, while the Taranai had 11 safeties.

Arunas Dankovskis had a pair each of hits and free passes, swiping a bag, scoring three times, and driving in two for the victors. Norvydas Zukauskas (3-0) was masterful in working around 11 hits, three walks, and two hit batters in seven innings, punching out eight. The right-hander has an ERA of 2.00 with 24 Ks in 18 innings this year and had allowed only five hits in 11 innings coming into the game.

Game Two was also Kaunas, however, with a five-run first leading to a 10-0 shutout in five. Will Gordon permitted four hits and two freebies in his five innings, striking out one in his 2021 debut, and went 3-for-3 with a double at the dish. Dalius Neliupsis (2-3) deserved better than his fate, as his defense produced seven unearned runs and Utena’s starter faced 34 batters in five innings.

Next week’s docket includes a showdown between Kaunas’ and Utena’s league-leading sides, and the absence of scheduled games for Minsk should mean a full slate of results for the first time since Week 1.

By: Gabriel Fidler

Standings

Team W L Pct. GB H A RF RA +/- Str
Kauno Lituanica 6 0 1.000 4-0 2-0 43 13 30 W6
Utenos Titanai 7 1 1.000 .5 5-1 2-0 82 28 54 W3
BK Vilnius 5 1 1.000 1 4-0 1-1 36 16 20 L1
FC Minsk 0 0 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Utenos Taranai 2 6 .000 5 2-2 0-4 38 60 -22 L4
Kauno SM Gaja-Lituanica 0 6 .000 6 0-2 0-4 14 68 -54 L6
Vilnius Baseball Academy 0 6 .000 6 0-0 0-6 14 42 -28 L6

Week 5 Results (May 15-16)
Titanai 19 – Gaja-Lituanica 0 [box]
Vilnius – Minsk (DNP)
Minsk – Vilnius (DNP)
Titanai 12 – Gaja-Lituanica 4 [box]
Minsk – VBA (DNP)
Lituanica 11 – Taranai 6 [box]
Lituanica 10 – Taranai 0 [box]
VBA – Minsk (DNP)

Week 6 (May 22-23)
Titanai – Lituanica
VBA – Taranai
Titanai – Lituanica
VBA – Taranai
Vilnius – Gaja-Lituanica
Vilnius – Gaja-Lituanica


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