2018 European Champions Cup
The 2018 European Champions Cup was held from June 6 to June 10, 2018 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands at Familiestadion. Capelle aan den IJssel, Zuid-Holland hosted some games as well. Host Curacao Neptunus won to defend its title from 2017.
Competing Teams / Manager
- UnipolSai Bologna (Italy) (Daniele Frignani)
- Curacao Neptunus (Netherlands) (Ronald Jaarsma)
- T&A San Marino (San Marino) (Mario Chiarini)
- ASD Rimini (Italy) (Paolo Ceccaroli)
- L&D Amsterdam Pirates (Netherlands) (Charlie Urbanus Jr.)
- Rouen Huskies (France) (François Colombier)
- Heidenheim Heideköpfe (Germany) (Klaus Eckle)
- Draci Brno (Czech Republic) (Arnošt Nesňal)
- Unipol Bologna 4, Draci Brno 1. Antonio Noguera and Murilo Gouvea scattered 8 hits in shutting down the Czechs for much of the day; 3B Martin Červinka was a bright spot for the Czechs with two doubles and a triple. Wes Roemer took the loss as Bologna got a balanced offense.
- ASD Rimini 12, Rouen Huskies 5. LF Alex Romero finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in five to lead Rimini's high-powered offense. Rouen starter Keino Perez was smacked for 8 runs in 2 2/3 IP. Raul Ruiz got the win. SS Maxime Lefevre homered and drove in three for France.
- L&D Amsterdam Pirates 4, Heidenheim Heideköpfe 2. Kevin Heijstek is pounded for 12 hits in 6 but gets the win (Jim Ploeger notches the save). R.J. Hively shuts down Amsterdam for four innings but SS Nick Urbanus hits a 3-run homer in the 5th to put the Dutch ahead for good. 2B Mitch Nilsson and C Simon Gühring each have 3 hits for Germany.
- Curacao Neptunus 3, T&A San Marino 0. The defending champions start strong as Orlando Yntema, Loek van Mil and Berry van Driel combine on a shutout despite allowing 7 hits and 5 walks. Carlos Quevedo takes the loss despite a solid outing (4 H, 2 BB, 2 R in 6 IP). 1B Dudley Leonora raps 3 hits for Neptunus, while RF Thomas De Wolf and LF Lorenzo Avagnina each reach three times for San Marino.
- Rouen Huskies 8, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 1. Rouen pulls off an impressive upset as Owen Ozanich goes the distance (7 K, 6 H, 3 R) while the Huskies pound Kyle Ward for 6 runs in 2 2/3 IP. RF Leonel Cespedes goes 2 for 3 with two walks, two runs and two RBI.
- Heidenheim Heideköpfe 3, ASD Rimini 1. Heidenheim also gets an upset win as CF Gary Owens hits a two-run shot off Alex Bassani and a solo dinger against Ricardo Hernandez. Luke Sommer allows six hits but only one run in 4 2/3 IP, then Pete Sikaras pitches 3 1/3 hitless innings for the win and Clayton Freimuth goes 1-2-3 for the save. CF Federico Celli drives in LF Alex Romero with Rimini's only run.
- Unipol Bologna 12, T&A San Marino 4. Bologna pounds former big leaguer César Jiménez for 7 runs, 6 hits and 5 walks in 5 1/3 IP to make a winner of Jorge Martínez. LF Alessandro Grimaudo has 3 hits and 3 RBI while CF Lorenzo Dobboletta raps four hits and drives in a pair. In a losing effort, CF Lorenzo Avagnina drives in 3.
- Curacao Neptunus 7, Draci Brno 2. 45-year-old Elton Koeiman pitches shutout ball for five innings and 3B/2B Radim Chroust drives in 3 for the hosts. Radim Chroust takes the loss despite a solid outing (3 H, 1 BB, 3 R, 2 ER in 5 IP). RF Dondrei Hubbard has two of Draci Brno's six hits and one of their two RBI.
- Rouen Huskies 6, Heidenheim Heideköpfe 2. Rouen punches their ticket for the semifinals as Yoann Vaugelade allows two runs in 8 1/3 IP and Kender Villegas closes it out. 3B Miguel Mendez has 3 hits for Rouen. For Heidenheim, Logan Grigsby takes the loss while LF Sascha Lutz has 3 hits.
- T&A San Marino 12, Draci Brno 11. With both teams out of the running for the semifinals, San Marino edges Draci Brno in a slugfest. For San Marino, RF Vincente Lupo (3 for 3, 2 BB) scores four times while DH/P Thomas De Wolf has 4 hits (3 for extra bases) and also picks up the win in relief (2 R in 3 IP) as their top hurler today. Draci Brno's stats are 1B Přemek Chroust (5 RBI) and Michal Sobotka (1 R in 5 IP), though Sobotka's relievers don't fare nearly as well with 11 runs in 4. The loss goes to Ondřej Furko.
- ASD Rimini 3, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 2. In a hard-fought battle for the last semifinal spot, the Italian entry prevails. In the top of the 4th, CF Federico Celli hit a two-out double off Rob Cordemans and 1B Jesús Ustariz hit a two-run homer. Amsterdam closed the gap in the 5th with their lone run off Logan Duran. C Max Clarijs walked, LF Victor Draijer singled and Duran erred on a pick-off attempt to put men on the corners. CF Remco Draijer (Victor's brother) hit into a run-scoring force. A wild pitch sent him to third but Duran struck out 2B Zerzinho Croes and 1B Kenny Berkenbosch to end the danger. In the 8th, Rimini got key insurance when 2B Miguel Noguera singled off Maickel Rietel, advanced on two grounders and scored on a balk by reliever Jim Ploeger. In the 9th, DH Rodney Daal went deep off Kevin Kelly to close it to 3-2 but that was the final blow for Amsterdam.
- Curacao Neptunus 5, Unipol Bologna 4. With both teams headed to the semifinals, the hosts face a tough challenge as Bologna scores 4 runs in 5 innings off Riki Saito while Andrea Pizziconi shuts them out for five. After Saito leaves, Jiorgeny Casimiri (W), Taylor Clemensia and Brendan Schoemaker (Sv) toss 4 shutout innings while Neptunus scores three in the 6th then C Quintin de Cuba delivers a two-run single off Justin Cicatello in the 7th to score 2B Dwayne Kemp with the tying run and DH Gianison Boekhoudt with the winning run. Schoemaker goes 1-2-3 in the 9th, two of them Ks.
- Heidenheim Heideköpfe 6, T&A San Marino 5. Through six innings, San Marino was cruising as expected. Former NPB hurler Alessandro Maestri was pitching no-hit ball through six, striking out nine though he had walked four, and his team lead 4-0. In the 7th, 1B Simon Gühring drew a walk from Maestri and scored on a double by C Philip Schulz but the damage seemed minimal. In the 8th, Andrés Pérez relieved Maestri and showed even more wilness. He walked LF Sascha Lutz and then issued a one-out walk to CF Gary Owens. Pérez walked 2B Mitch Nilsson on four pitches. Gühring hit into a run-scoring force and 3B Ludwig Glaser singled in Owens. Schultz again delivered, a two-run single, and Germant suddenly had a 5-4 lead. Lutz homered in the 9th for insurance that would be crucial. In the bottom of the 9th, RF Thomas De Wolf homered off Pete Sikaras for the third run of the day for the Belgian star. After Sikaras hit CF Lorenzo Avagnina, R.J. Hively was summoned to face 1B Chris Colabello, the cleanup man and former major leaguer. Hively got him on a grounder then whiffed DH Ronald Bermudez on three straight swinging strikes for the save. Julius Spann got the win.
- Draci Brno 8, L&D Amsterdam Pirates 0. In another upset, Wes Roemer goes the distance with a 4-hitter, walking none as 2B Zerzinho Croes gets half of the Pirates' hits. Robin Schel and two relievers get shelled as C Petr Čech has 3 hits and 3 RBI and DH Dondrei Hubbard homers twice.
- ASD Rimini 2, Unipol Bologna 1. The two Italian rivals face off for a spot in the finals and they both turn to a Venezuelan starter named Raul R. - Raul Ruiz for Rimin, Raul Rivero for Bologna. Rimini got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second on three straight singles, from SS Oscar Angulo, CF Federico Celli and 1B Jesús Ustariz. Bologna tied it in the 5th. 2B Alessandro Vaglio hit into an error by Angulo, was bunted over and scored on a single by DH Filippo Agretti. Rimini got the winning run in the 6th when Celli led off with a double, Ustariz singled and DH Nathanael Batista singled in Celli. Ruiz left after C Osman Marval opened the 9th with a hit. Kevin Kelly came in and struck out 1B Giuseppe Mazzanti. Ricardo Hernandez then relieved to get SS Robel Garcia and Vaglio to end it.
- Curacao Neptunus 4, Rouen Huskies 0. France had a shot for their first finalist in 11 years but they were no match for the hosts as Diegomar Markwell was efficient, needing only 100 pitches to go the distance (5 H, 0 BB, 2 K) to beat Esteban Prioul. 3B Stijn van der Meer scored twice and LF Quintin de Cuba socked a two-run shot.
- L&D Amsterdam Pirates 8, T&A San Marino 3. Either the Hoofdklasse would lose one of its spots in the 2019 European Champions Cup or San Marino would lose theirs, leaving two teams from the Italian Baseball League. The team had two of the three ex-big leaguers in the tournament wound up finishing last. Amsterdam scored five runs in the first two off Carlos Quevedo and held ex-big leaguer Chris Colabello 0-for-4 (César Jiménez, the 2nd ex-MLBer, tossed a shutout inning too late to help). 1B Kenny Berkenbosch had 2 runs and 2 RBI and LF Linoy Croes 3 hits to lead a balance offense and make a winner of Kevin Heijstek.
- Unipol Bologna 8, Rouen Huskies 0. The battle for third was one-sided as Jorge Martínez, Antonio Noguera (W), Filippo Crepaldi, Justin Cicatello and Nick Pugliese combine on 17 strikeouts in a 5-hit shutout. CF Lorenzo Dobboletta has 2 runs and 2 RBI from the 9 slot while 2B Alessandro Vaglio goes 3 for 3. Keino Perez takes the loss.
- Curacao Neptunus 5, ASD Rimini 0. Orlando Yntema struck out 11 in a 4-hit complete game, walking no one. RF Nicola Garbella had half of Rimini's hits. Meanwhile, the hosts got all the offense they needed to repeat in the 2nd off one of their former players, Kevin Kelly. With one out, CF Shaldimar Daantji homered. RF Quintin de Cuba singled. With two outs, he advanced on a wild pitch followed by an error. DH Benjamin Dille walked and they both came home on a triple by 16-year-old rookie LF Darryl Collins.
- 1. Curacao Neptunus
- 2. ASD Rimini
- 3. UnipolSai Bologna
- 4. Rouen Huskies
- 5. Draci Brno
- 6. Heidenheim Heideköpfe
- 7. L&D Amsterdam Pirates
- 8. T&A San Marino
Leaders and Awards
- MVP: Quintin de Cuba, Neptunus OF-C
(Official statistical leaders do not count the placement games of June 10)
- Average: Thomas De Wolf, San Marino .579
- ERA: Orlando Yntema, Neptunus 0.00 (14 2/3 IP)
- Hits: De Wolf, 11
- Runs: Martin Červinka, Brno; De Wolf; Gianison Boekhoudt, Neptunus 6
- RBI: Dondrei Hubbard, Brno; De Wolf; Petr Čech, Brno 6
- Doubles: Červinka, 4
- Triples: Four tied with 1
- Home Runs: Four tied with 2
- Total Bases: De Wolf, 20
- Steals: Červinka; Lorenzo Di Fabio, Rimini; Leonel Cespedes, Rouen 3
- Strikeouts: Yntema, 17
- Wins: Four tied with 2
- Saves: Nine tied with 1
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