2008 European Championship Qualifiers

From BR Bullpen

The 2008 European Championship Qualifiers, held in July 2008, determined the final five teams in the 2010 European Championship. 23 teams competed for the five slots.

Trnava, Slovakia[edit]

  • Flag of Finland Finland, Flag of Hungary Hungary, Flag of Romania Romania, Flag of Slovakia Slovakia and Flag of Ukraine Ukraine competed. A big match-up was on July 9 when Romania beat Ukraine 1-0 in 10 innings when Mihai Burlea outdueled Oleksandr Trofimenko as both aces went the distance. Ukraine roughed up Burlea in the finals, though, 8-1, and won the rubber game with Romania by a 16-4 rout to deny Romania its first European Championship trip. The Ukraine was 5-1 and Romania 4-2. Slovakia (2-2), Hungary (1-3) and Finland (0-4) wrapped up the standings. The MVP was Ukrainian OF Dmytro Nelipo, who hit .368/.571/.474 with 7 runs and 6 RBI in 6 games.

Prague, Czech Republic[edit]

  • Flag of Belarus Belarus, Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic, Flag of Latvia Latvia, Flag of Poland Poland and Flag of Slovenia Slovenia competed. The host Czech team surprisingly needed 11 innings to top Slovenia 3-2 on the 9th of July. They did better in the rematch in the finals, with a one-hitter by Radek Procházka and Jan Řeháček to finish 5-0. The Czech team featured three former minor leaguers and one player from NCAA Division I. Slovenia (2-3) was second, followed by Poland (2-2), Belarus (2-2) and Latvia (0-4). The MVP was Czech SS Petr Baroch, who batted .429/.500/.643 with 4 steals and 5 runs in 4 games.

Karlovac, Croatia[edit]

  • Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria, Flag of Croatia Croatia, Flag of Israel Israel, Flag of Lithuania Lithuania and Flag of Serbia Serbia competed. The host Croatians are favored and cruised to a 5-0 record, though they won their finale by just one run over Lithuania. Lithuania (2-3) was second, followed by Israel (2-2), Bulgaria (2-2) and Serbia (0-4). The MVP was from third-place Israel, 2B Oren Gal (.529/.579/.765, 6 R, 4 RBI, 3 E in 4 G).

Abrantes, Portugal[edit]

  • Flag of Greece Greece, Flag of Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland, Flag of Portugal Portugal and Flag of Russia Russia competed. Russia had one former minor leaguer while Greece features a couple Greek-Americans who played in the majors in Mike Tonis and Erik Pappas. Greece swept with a 4-0 record, followed by 2-2 Russia, 1-2 Portugal and 0-3 Ireland. Greece beat Russia 5-0 in the last game behind a perfect game by Tom Lyons. Lyons (1-0, 0.69, 17 K in 13 IP) won the MVP award for the competition.

Antwerp, Belgium[edit]

  • Flag of Austria Austria, Flag of Belgium Belgium, Flag of Malta Malta and Flag of Switzerland Switzerland competed. Austria beat Malta 30-4 on July 10 in a game ended after 4 1/2 innings due to the mercy rule. LF Joachim Frick went 6 for 6 with 5 runs and 6 RBI in the shortened game. Belgium went 4-0 to advance, followed by 3-1 Austria. Switzerland was 2-2 and Malta 0-4. Malta allowed "only" 43 runs in their 3 losses outside of the blowout by Austria. The MVP was Belgian SS Benjamin Dille, who hit .526/.609/.579 with 11 runs in 5 games (though he made five errors).