Men’s European Championship takes place in Montegranaro, Italy, July 11 – 16. Ten teams are competing for the title of the European Champion: Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden.
Six games were scheduled for the first day and all of the games ended prematurely on mercy rule.
Temperature in Montegranaro feels a bit tropical, it is far above 35°C.
The first day gave everyone an idea of how strong certain teams are, especially those, that played their first game at the Men’s European Championship history – Italy, Sweden and Germany.
Denmark 7, Croatia 0
First game of the day turned out to be the one with the closest score at the end of the day. Team Denmark was stronger, but the Croatians played a good game and only allowed the opponent to add the runs slowly. In the fifth inning, the Croatian two errors resulted into two Danish runs and the game was quickly over.
Great Britain 11, Israel 1
This is the tenth European Championship for the British team, Israeli team has even participated two more times! Capitan of the British team, Ryan Martin, said that playing the Israeli team has never been easy for team GB, and he was glad, that this game went well for his team. There’s one fact though that the Israeli players should be proud of – they didn’t score their only run of the game on an error, but on three back to back hits. With a little bit of a pitching trouble, British batters showed their strength and at the end they won on a walk-off homerun by Kevin Stockford.
Homeruns GBR: Darby, Stockford
Denmark 16, Sweden 0
Team Denmark has not missed a single Men’s European Championship since its establishment in 1993. For Sweden this is the first Men’s Championship in history. This game was an uneven battle. Swedish team experienced a lot of trouble in the defense, making many errors. Magnus Martinsson added a first-ever hit to the Swedish statistics. Other than that, the Danish team stayed focused and recorded 15 hits.
Homeruns DEN: Luthmann, Brown, Lorentsen (2)
Belgium 0, Czech Republic 16
The Czech team, who has won the last two European Championships took on the Belgian team during the hottest part of the day. Strong batters from the Czech Republic probably didn’t want to spend too much time on the field, so they opened the game with a strong offense, scoring 5 runs in the first. Czech pitcher, Jiří Brabec, only allowed two hits and the Belgian line up remained scoreless until the end of the game. The game finished on mercy rule in the third inning.
Homeruns CZE: Mertl, Voborník
Germany 1, Netherlands 11
German National Team competed in European Championship only once, in 1995. 11 years later, Team Germany premiers in this competition again with a completely new roster. As one of the players said: “We didn’t expect to win, but the important thing for us is that we can be here.” The Dutch players did a good job concentrating on the game, they made an error in bottom of the fourth and allowed the Germans to score at least one run.
Homeruns NED: Dijkhoff, Kwas
Italy 0, Czech Republic 11
Also team Italy has never participated in this competition until now. This last game of the day followed the opening ceremony and all the players experienced a great atmosphere. Italian team let three pitchers take part in the game, but none of them was capable of stopping the Czech batters from hitting. The Italian rookie-team added a few errors too. The evening game ended after the fourth inning.
/photos by Sascha Schneider/