European Super Cup (ESCM) is the top men’s fastpitch competition in Europe.
ESCM 2016 was held at four venues in Italy; Azzano, Staranzano, Castions, and Cervignano, August 29 - September 3.
18 teams took part in the tournament and most of them took advantage of the possibility to add up to three pickup players, or any European players, to their rosters. There were pickup players from Argentina, Mexico, USA, Venezuela and New Zealand.
As the ESCM is the only Cup competition for men in Europe, conditions for entries allow more than just one team per country. The regulations specifically state: “Affiliated Federations may enter their two best teams from their national championship played in the year before each ESCM competition. As a concession to the leading countries of men’s fast pitch in Europe, three teams may be entered by the countries which have finished in the first three places (medal winners) of the previous EChM. The winners of the previous year SUPER CUP and CUP II (ESF Cup) automatically qualify to participate at next event. The host country for each ESCM may enter one extra team. The number one and two of the previous European Championship Junior Men are also qualified to participate. Up to two extra teams from outside Europe can be invited by EC ESF, who may also allow further participants in case of special circumstances."
According to the above-mentioned specific regulations, eight European countries were represented at the ESCM:
Belgium: Brasschaat Braves, Chicaboo’s Stabroek
Czech Republic: Spectrum Praha, Eagles Praha, Tempo Praha, Czech Republic U23
Croatia: SK Medvednica Mrki Medvedi
Denmark: Hørsholm Hurricanes, Stenløse Bulls, Gladsaxe Softball Klub
France: Pessac Pantheres, Nice Cavigal
Italy: Pro Roma, Junior Alpina
Netherlands: BSC Quick, Hsv Adegeest, Hofddoorp Pioniers
Spain: C.D. Magos de Tenerife
For the round robin games - the first three days of the event - the teams were divided into three pools. First three squads from each pool advanced to the Super Cup tournament, and the remaining teams played the ESF Cup tournament.
|Super Cup teams||ESF Cup teams|
|Braves (5 – 0)||Quick (2 – 3)|
|Pioneers (5 – 0)||Pantheres (1 – 4)|
|Pro Roma (4 – 1)||Junior Alpina (2 – 3)|
|CZE U23 (4 – 1)||Medvedi (1 – 4)|
|Hurricanes (4 – 1)||Adegeest (1 – 4)|
|Spectrum (4 – 1)||Gladsaxe (1 – 4)|
|Bulls (3 – 2)||Cavigal Nice (1 – 4)|
|Eagles (3 – 2)||Chicaboo’s (1 – 4)|
|Tempo (2 – 3)||Magos (1 – 4)|
Some of the final games of Super Cup were the most exciting and thrilling one can image. Bulls won their game against Hurricanes 14-9 when they rallied from trailing 1-8 in the third inning. The final game itself was a tight one - Pro Roma won 2-1 and celebrated second consecutive Club Champion title. The Brasschaat Braves also repeated their position from the 2015 ESCM and took silver medals. Spectrum Praha equaled their best-ever ESCM result from 2013 and placed third.
photo by Rein Markx
Junior Alpina was very close to advancing to the final game twice, but lost both chances in extra innings and placed third. Quick and Pantheres met in the final and clashed in another tight game. The Dutch team came out as the winner with the score of 3-2.
photo by Mirjam Boode
The ESF doesn’t award individuals at its competitions, but it is the organizer’s right to do so. The best athletes of both tournaments were recognized during the closing ceremony.
Super Cup individual awards:
Best pitcher: Maximilian Montero (Pro Roma)
Best batter: David Mertl (Spectrum)
MVP: Pablo Skladny (Braves)
ESF Cup individual awards:
Best pitcher: Juan Ado Potolicchio (Junior Alpina)
Best batter: Marcello Malatesta (Junior Alpina)
MVP: Shawn Koster (Quick)
Complete statistics are available here.
PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
The final two days of the tournament were live broadcast by playo.tv and are available on demand for free here.
For condensed games head over to the ESF YouTube channel.
Photogallery by Rein Merkx is accessible on Facebook only.
/photos by Rein Merkx/