by PONY League
This Thursday through Sunday, 48 teams from 15 countries will battle it out on the baseball and softball diamonds to determine who deserves the right to call themselves Pony, Colt and Colt girls softball Champions at the 2017 SUMA Open PONY European Zone Championships. Hosted by the Prague Eagles in Prague, Czech Republic, three teams will punch their tickets for the upcoming summer’s Pony, Colt and East Zone Girls Softball World Series as the representatives from PONY’s European Zone. Follow the action all weekend long on PONY.org and PONY’s social media accounts.
Pony baseball preview:
All eyes will be on first-year PONY affiliate Holland’s three representative teams, as the nation makes its first appearance at the SUMA Open PONY European Zone Championships. Holland is considered to be one of the favorites at the tournament, considering its prestige among the European baseball community, despite never facing many of the competing teams, according to Amsterdam Diamonds Baseball Academy Chairman Peter Kwakernaak. The 2016 SUMA Open PONY European Zone finalists from the Czech Academy also will be contenders out of Pool A, as they were just one bad sixth inning in the Championship Game a year ago from beating Paderborn, Germany and advancing to the Pony World Series. In Pool B, it has been two years since the Austrian Academy from Vienna’s memorable run at the SUMA Open PONY European Zone Championships, when the team beat the Paderborn, Germany 6-3 in the semifinals before dismantling the defending champion Czech Academy 10-0 in the Championship Game. Out of Pool C, though never winning the tournament, the London Mets from Great Britain have built a solid track record in recent years, finishing second in 2014 and fourth a year ago.
2012: German Baseball Academy, Paderborn, Germany
2013: German Baseball Academy, Paderborn, Germany
2014: Czech Baseball Academy, Brno, Czech Republic
2015: Austrian Baseball Academy, Vienna, Austria
2016: German Baseball Academy, Paderborn, Germany
Colt baseball preview:
Czech Academy hopes to win its third SUMA Open PONY European Zone Championships title this week, after shutting out Crocetta Baseball, Italy 8-0 in the Championship Game a year ago. Since 2010, the Czech Academy has made the title game six times. Holland’s three representative teams and Switzerland’s National Team are making their first appearances ever at this year’s SUMA Open PONY European Zone Championships. Bordeaux Academy, France and El Llano, Spain are fresh off second and third-place showings at this past September’s Colt European Zone Qualifying Tournament in Gijon, Spain. Also, keep an eye on the Austrian Academy, as the team looks to pull off some heroics like it did at the 2015 SUMA Open European Zone Championships in the Pony division.
2005: KRC Altron, Czech Republic
2006: Slovensko, Slovakia
2008: Junioři, Czech Republic
2010: Czech Baseball Academy, Brno, Czech Republic
2011: Czech Republic
2013: German Academy, Paderborn, Germany
2014: Czech Academy, Brno, Czech Republic
2015: German Academy, Paderborn, Germany
2016: Czech Academy, Brno, Czech Republic
Colt girls softball preview:
It is the fifth-year anniversary of the SUMA Open PONY European Zone Championships opening up its Colt girls softball division. After finishing in third place in 2016, the Czech Red Cats kick off the tournament against Sabat Praha. The Prague Eagles, who lost to the Red Cats last year in the Consolation Game, have two entries this year (Green and White). PONY Ukraine is back and is hoping to improve upon its Phoenix team’s fifth-place showing in 2016. Last year, Phoenix narrowly lost to defending champion European Jr. Pride of Germany.
2013: Dvůr Králové nad Labem, Czech Republic
2014: Friul 81, Italy
2015: Future Praha, Czech Republic
2016: European Jr. Pride, Germany