by Alex Gorrin
On Thursday a baseball game was played in Sofia that will surely go down in the history of the beloved sport in Bulgaria.
The Akademiks and the Wolves AAS battled until the late hours of June 4, 2015 to finally end their match-up in a shortened, due to lack of light, 6 inning 17-17 draw! The game is part of the preliminary phase of the Sofia Cup, a baseball tournament played between the teams from the capital of Bulgaria that gives the local teams a chance to observe games on a more regular basis. As in previous years, most of the games on the calendar of the Sofia Cup are played in 7-innings and during weekdays (leaving the weekends available for the games of the regular National Championship). Thursday’s game was the second game from a scheduled 15-game first round phase that features a one game match-up between all clubs.
This year 6 teams participate in the Sofia Cup, with the best 2 of the first phase meeting, as the Sofia Cup tradition holds, in a regular 9-inning cup final on September 17 – the day of Sofia, nationally recognized holiday of the capital of Bulgaria. The Sofia Blues won the cup in 2014 and are the team to beat in the tournament’s 18th edition; Athletic Sofia lead the way with 9 titles, Junak Sofia and the Blues have 4 titles each.
Thursday’s game featured the oldest club in Bulgarian baseball, the Akademiks, and the newest one on the local baseball map: the Wolves from the Anglo-American School of Sofia (AAS), who are a predominantly US- born selection of teachers at the school, and other American pastime-lovers. All in attendance were given a taste of what’s to come during yesterday’s match-up very early in the game: the 2nd inning ended with the score tied at 12:12. The teams stayed locked up until the very end of the game, which was called by the umpires after 6 innings due to almost no visibility- local watches showed 9.10 PM at the time. Interestingly enough, in the Wolves’ short history (this is their 2nd year as part of the baseball competitions in Bulgaria), this is the first time they are not on the losing side of a game. Final score: 17:17!