by Andis Ansons, www.rigadiamonds.com
For the third straight year the same two teams were playing in the Latvian baseball series – Riga Diamonds/LU and Riga Lions. Riga Lions took the title last year with a three-game sweep in the final series, but this year they just made the playoffs with an 8-7 record. Riga Diamonds/Latvian University dominated the regular season with a 13-2 record. All previous years the champion team had swept their opponents in three games, but this year was completely different.
The Latvian Series started on 12th of September with a lopsided win by Riga Lions – 17:5 (7 innings). The next day Diamonds/LU recovered and won the second game with lopsided win of their own – 11:1 (7 innings). The series continued on September 19th and this time Diamonds/LU won the game – 12:8 and took the series lead. But the next day the series was tied again as Riga Lions held on to their lead and won 15:12. The final game took place in the stadium of Latvian University on September 26th. Riga Lions took an early lead but could not hold on, as Diamonds/LU won 11:4 and took their 2nd Latvian baseball champions title.
This year the regular season in Latvia was played in two leagues as the differences between team levels were too big. The 1st league had three teams – Riga Diamonds/Latvian University, Riga Lions and Baldone BBB. The second league also had three teams – Diamonds/LU-2, Jelgava Dukes and Valmiera Patronas. This was the biggest number of teams playing the Latvian Championships and the development is continuing as two more new teams have shown interest in taking part for the next year 2010.
More info on Latvian baseball at www.beisbols.lv, which is also available in English