From November 28 to December 20 the Asia Winter Baseball League takes place in Taichung and Dou-Liou, Taiwan. Team Europe was invited for the first time to compete against squads from NPB, KBO and CPBL. 16 games are on the schedule for the European team. Games will be streamed through www.cpbltv.com. Owen Ozanich of the Rouen Huskies is also part of the team and will send us first-hand impressions for Mister-Baseball.com.
Europe vs CPBL 5-7
Team Europe’s winter league schedule came to an end on Wednesday at Intercontinental Stadium with a 7-5 defeat to CPBL. Europe was leading CPBL 5-1 in the seventh inning before the wheels fell off. Late inning bullpen issues plagued the team throughout the tournament. French starter Owen Ozanich pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, while walking none and striking out 4. Leo Cespedes pitched a scoreless seventh to lower his tournament ERA to 4.50. At the bat, Cubs prospect Alberto Mineo picked up two knocks including a home run. Danny Fernandes, Sebastiano Poma and Alessandro Deotto also contributed, picking up two hits apiece. Team Europe finishes the tournament in 5th place, and will now have a few days to discover more of Taiwan before coming home.
It has been a pleasure to work with mister-baseball.com to provide fans back in Europe with more insight and recaps of the 15 games we played here. We wish we had picked up a few more wins, but the trip was a success. The coaching staff, facilities and overall experience were great, we played at a high level against pro teams who all showed us things we can learn from and improve upon. As a returning member of team Europe from the Global Baseball Series in Tokyo in March, for me, this was a much different experience. In Japan, I found myself amongst the best of the best, former MLB players, established stars who have played for their national teams for many years. As one of the youngest players, it was a pleasure to be around and learn from guys like Cordemans, Markwell, Martis, Maestri to name a few. This winter, as the veteran of the pitching staff, I hope that I led by example on the field, and that the young pitchers will only improve going forward. Team Europe will continue to field a team, and I hope to be a part of it again!