2012 European Cup

From BR Bullpen

The 2012 European Cup was the 49th edition of the tournament. Teams from eight countries participated. While at least six former major leaguers had played in each European Cup from 2008-2011, only two were in this one: San Marino closer Darwin Cubillan (0-1, Sv, 3.18) and Nettuno shortstop William Bergolla. Perhaps this was a sign of Europe's continued financial troubles, or perhaps it was an aberration. Another former major leaguer, Ray Sadler, had deserted Nettuno shortly before the tournament began. Players from all over the globe were present, with all six continents having representatives on the field.

Fortitudo Bologna won the Cup for the fourth time as they defeated Italian rivals Caffe Danesi Nettuno in the final.

The first phase was held from May 30 to June 3 in Rotterdam, Netherlands and Serravalle, San Marino. The second phase was held August 29 and August 30 in Nettuno, Italy.

Competing Teams[edit]



Final Four[edit]


May 30[edit]


The Pirates padded their lead in the 8th. With two away, 1B Percy Isenia doubled and RF Bas de Jong singled him in for a 3-1 score. Bologna quickly tied it in the bottom of the 8th as Cordemans faded. 3B Andrea D'Amico, the #9 hitter, opened with a single. SS Juan Carlos Infante flew out but LF Gabriele Ermini singled. Jurrian Koks relieved Cordemans, which proved to be a bad move as RF Claudio Liverziani singled in D'Amico. Sato grounded to 3B Rashid Gerard, who made an error to load the bases. Castellitto hit his second sac fly of the day to even it.

Amsterdam LF Kenny Berkenbosch opened the 9th with a single but was stranded as reliever Nick Pugliese struck out the last two batters. In the top of the 10th, the Pirates had men on the corners with one out but Sidney de Jong struck out while Hato was caught stealing. In the bottom of the 10th, an error by Koks let 1B Daniele Malengo score the winner.

The Czech entry attempted to stage a comeback in the 4th. With two away, DH Přemek Chroust singled and RF Martin Veselý doubled. A balk by the Untouchables cut the lead to 3-2. Draci Brno got men on the corners in the 5th but 2B Jakub Hajtmar grounded out. They blew another chance in the 7th when C Alex Derhak struck out with two runners aboard.

Paderborn took the game in the 7th. Minařík plunked veteran 3B Octavio Medina. Radim Chroust entered in relief. After a sacrifice hit, he intentionally walked Speer. Hinz hit into a run-scoring error by 3B Tomáš Polanský. DH Björn Schonlau then crushed a 3-run homer to give the Untouchables an untouchable 7-3 edge.


  • Buchbinder Legionäre 9, Technika Brno 2. Both teams turned to starting pitchers with minor league experience, as the Buchbinder Legionäre had former Phillies farmhand Mike Bolsenbroek and Technika Brno went with Jakub Toufar, formerly of the Twins system. Bolsenbroek would go on for a far better outing, giving up two hits and one unearned run while fanning seven in six innings while Toufar gave up nine hits and eight runs (four earned) in four innings for the Czechs. 1B Christoph Zirzlmeier went 3 for 5 for the winners, while C Christopher Howard had both a double and homer.
  • Rouen Huskies 6, DOOR Neptunus 3. In another upset, the French champions upset the host Dutch powerhouse. The Netherlands scored in the bottom of the second when SS Dwayne Kemp and 3B Rien Vernooij hit back-to-back doubles off American import Chris Mezger. In the third, though, Rouen took the lead for good against Kevin van Veen. RF Oscar Combes singled then LF Bastien Dagneau, the #9 hitter, reached on a fielder's choice. SS Maxime Lefevre coaxed a walk to load the bases. Neptunus manager Jan Collins replaced van Veen with Australian giant Dushan Ruzic. The former Marlins farmhand failed to quench the fire, though. He got CF Joris Bert to hit into a force at home and retired 3B Ethan Paquette, but DH David Gauthier ripped a 3-run double to center, 2B Luc Piquet singled and C Boris Marche followed with a run-scoring single for a 4-1 cushion. Rouen got two more runs off Ruzic in the 4th, one on a Kemp error and one on a Paquette double. Mezger and player-manager Keino Perez allowed two more Neptunus runs, but Rouen's lead was solid enough to stand.

May 31[edit]


Amsterdam took the lead for good in the second. DH Kenny Berkenbosch drew a Heilmann walk, advanced on a grounder and scored on a single by 2B Björn Hato. In the 5th, CF Wesley Connor doubled (one of 3 hits) and Sidney de Jong singled him in. In the 7th, Connor, Sidney de Jong, Isenia (3rd hit) and RF Bas de Jong all singled for two more Amsterdam tallies as the clubs both evened their records at 1-1.

  • Draci Brno 10, Hoboken Pioneers 0. Martin Schneider tossed a four-hit shutout with no walks and seven whiffs in a mercy rule-shortened contest that ended after 7 innings. Catcher Alex Derhak reached base three times and had two runs to lead a balanced charge by the Extraliga club. Hoboken had more errors (5) than hits (4).


June 1[edit]



June 2[edit]


  • Draci Brno 7, Fortitudo Bologna 6. Draci Brno wasn't going to advance, but they pulled off an upset, handing Bologna their only first-round loss.

Bologna jumped to a solid lead in the second against Jan Tomek. With one out, 1B Daniele Malengo singled and C Alberto Varin doubled him home. 3B Andrea D'Amico followed with a triple from the 9th slot of the order to make it 2-0. After a walk to SS Juan Carlos Infante, Tomek retired LF Gabriele Ermini. Infante stole second, then RF Claudio Liverziani delivered a 2-run single, the first of four hits for Liverziani today.

Cody Cillo was cruising through five innings but Draci Brno got to him in the 6th. LF Michal Ondráček laid down a bunt single. SS Martin Schneider hit into a force, then 1B Tom Brice singled. C Alex Derhak singled in Schneider to cut it to 4-1. DH Martin Veselý drew a walk to load the bases then Cillo walked 3B Tomáš Polanský on four pitches to force in a run. Bologna skipper Marco Nanni replaced the flagging Cillo with Matteo D'Angelo. RF Arnošt Dubový grounded in Derhak, then 2B Jan Felkl singled to center, scoring two more for a 5-4 Draci Brno lead.

Bologna tied it back up in the 6th against reliever Michal Sobotka (who had replaced Tomek after a rough 3rd). 2B Alessandro Vaglio got plunked and advanced on a one-out balk. Varin grounded to Schneider, who made a throwing error to score Vaglio. The Italians then went ahead in the bottom of the 7th. Ermini had a one-out single off Sobotka, then Liverziani singled to right. CF G.G. Sato singled in Ermini to put Bologna ahead.

Their lead was short-lived. In the top of the 8th, Felix Romero relieved D'Angelo. With one out, Polanský doubled and Dubový singled. Přemek Chroust pinch-hit for Felkl and grounded home Polanský to tie the score again. In the bottom of the 8th, Radim Chroust relieved Sobotka and allowed one baserunner, Malengo, who was promptly caught stealing. In the top of the 9th, leadoff man Ondráček drew a full-count walk from Romero. Schneider singled him over. Brice flew out, but Derhak came through with the crucial hit, a RBI double. Schneider was out at home, trying to make it a 2-run play. In the bottom of the 9th, Radim Chroust quickly retired D'Amico and Infante. He hit Ermini to put the potential tying run aboard, but Liverziani singled for his 4th hit. Sato grounded to backup 2B Jakub Hajtmar, who got the final out with a force at second to preserve the upset.

Hoboken loaded the bases in the 5th but 3B Dennis De Quint grounded into an inning-ending double play. In the 6th, they tie it. Van Thillo was plunked, advanced on an error, was bunted to third by Janssens and scored on a wild pitch. In the top of the 8th, Van Thillo and Janssens hit back-to-back one-out singles to put men on the corners but reliever Eugen Heilmann escaped the jam. Paderborn finally took the lead for good in the bottom of the 8th. 1B Daniel Hinz hit a one-out triple off Vandenbranden and DH Björn Schonlau hit a sacrifice fly to center. Botha followed with a homer for insurance and Heilmann went 1-2-3 in the 9th to finish it.

  • L&D Amsterdam Pirates 5, T&A San Marino 4. In a crucial match that would determine a spot in the final four, the hosts suffered a one-run loss in a close game marked by five solo home runs.

Amsterdam went ahead in the second when 1B Percy Isenia homered off Brazilian hurler Tiago Da Silva. In the third, San Marino tied it when 2B Francesco Imperiali singled off Ben Grover to score SS Daniel Bittar. The Pirates loaded the bases in the 4th but failed to score. In the 5th, Amsterdam got the only multi-run inning of the game. CF Wesley Connor singled and stole second, then was bunted to third by 2B Roelie Henrique. DH Sidney de Jong singled in Connor for a 2-1 lead. Isenia singled, as did RF Bas de Jong to make it 3-1. Darwin Cubillan relieved Da Silva, who had given up 7 hits in 4 1/3 innings.

In the 6th, both teams hit a solo homer, DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi taking Grover deep, then Connor repaying the favor in the bottom of the inning off Cubillan. In the 7th, C Simone Albanese drew a walk from Grover. Nick Stuifbergen relieved but threw a wild pitch, sending Albanese to third. A sacrifice fly by Bittar closed it to 4-3. In the 8th, the clubs again traded solo dingers. Ramos Gizzi again hit one out to tie it, and Amsterdam C Bas Nooij countered off Cubillan for the final 5-4 margin. In the 9th, Jurrian Koks relieved Stuifbergen to close it out. He walked 1B Pablo Leone then Albanese hit into a force at second. A wild pitch put Albanese in scoring position as the potential tying run, but Koks recovered to fan both Bittar and LF Lorenzo Avagnina to close the back-and-forth battle.


  • CB Barcelona 5, Technika Brno 4. As in Serravalle today, the games were close in Rotterdam. Technika Brno came close to their first win before falling in a close game. They went ahead first in the third on a single by 1B Michal Kočí, a sacrifice and a single by 2B Tomáš Svoboda. In the 4th, SS Matthew Lawman doubled and scored an out later on a double by RF Richard Sazavsky for a 2-0 Brno lead. CB Barcelona got a run back in the 5th off Martin Střítecký. In the 6th, the Spanish club went ahead. SS Oscar Angulo singled and stole second, then scored on a double by 1B José Luis Riera. Riera stole third then scored on another single to make it 3-2.

In the bottom of the 6th, the Czechs pulled back ahead. LF Jiří Marek hit a one-out single and Sazavsky laid down a bunt hit. A fly by Kočí advanced the runners and a passed ball by C Jesus Golindano tied it. After two walks, CF Daniel Mráz singled in Sazavsky for a 4-3 edge. Barcelona retook the lead for good in the 7th against reliever Wayne Ough. Golindano singled, stole second, advanced on an error and scored on a wild pitch to tie it. With one out, Riera singled. A double and an error by Marek ended the scoring.

  • Rouen Huskies 4, Buchbinder Legionäre 2. Rouen got a crucial win in the French-German match. The Regensburg-based club had the better of them in the early going. In the first, 3B Ludwig Glaser hit a two-run homer off Rouen starter Keino Perez. In the second, LF Maik Ehmke singled and stole second for the Legionäre, then scored on an error by Perez. After that, Perez settled down, allowing no more runs before exiting in the 7th. Chris Mezger relieved and worked the final 2 2/3 innings for the save.

In the 5th, Rouen came back. 2B Luc Piquet singled off Mike Bolsenbroek. After an error by Regensburg SS Matt Vance, SS Maxime Lefevre singled in Piquet. CF Joris Bert followed with a RBI single to tie it. The Huskies broke the tie in the 7th. With one away, Lefevre singled and Bert drew a walk. Perez bunted both runners over and DH David Gauthier delivered the winning 2-run single.

Rouen's starting third baseman Ethan Paquette was ejected in a 4th-inning bench-clearing brawl for starting the fight and swearing at the umpires.

Nettuno challenged first, against Kevin Heijstek in the second. 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti drew a walk and his cousin, RF Leonardo Mazzanti, singled. DH Enzo Sanna bunted to Heijstek, who threw to 3B Rien Vernooij to get the force there. 1B Francesco Imperiali flew to right fielder Lennart Koster, who threw to second to double off Mazzanti.

In the bottom of the second, Neptunus 1B Jeffrey Arends singled off Juan Figueroa. DH Dwayne Kemp bunted Arends over and Vernooij connected for a RBI single. Figueroa would allow only two more hits in the next six innings. In the third, Nettuno tied it. Catcher Vinicio Sparagna and 2B Mirco Caradonna, the 8th and 9th hitters, both singled. A bunt hit by LF Paolino Ambrosino loaded the bases. CF Ennio Retrosi hit into a run-scoring double play then SS William Bergolla flew out to leave it at 1-1.

Nettuno took the lead in the 5th. Imperiali led off with a single and Sparagna walked. Caradonna hit into a double play, sending Imperiali to third. Ambrosino came through with a RBI single to plate Imperiali and make it 2-1. After a walk to Retrosi, Heijstek was yanked in favor of Dushan Ruzic. Bergolla hit into an error by Vernooij to load the bases, but Giuseppe Mazzanti, one of Italy's top stars, hit into an inning-ending force.

In the 6th, Neptunus CF Shaldimar Daantji had a one-out bunt single and stole second, but LF Rafaël Jozefa flew out to Leonardo Mazzanti, who threw to second to nab Daantji for a double play. In the 7th, Kemp had a two-out single but Figueroa fanned the side. In the 8th, C Mourik Huijser drew a two-out walk from Figueroa but was stranded. In the 9th, Figueroa was yanked after a 12-K day in favor of veteran Carlos Richetti. Jozefa greeted him with a single, but SS Raily Legito ground into a 6-4-3 double play and cleanup man Arends flew out to end a crucial loss for Neptunus.

June 3[edit]



  • Rouen Huskies 12, Technika Brno 0. Rouen cruised into the second round (the first French team to do so since the Cup changed formats in 2008) behind shutout pitching from Owen Ozanich (3 H in 5 IP) and Joris Bert (2 H in 2 IP). Bert, who started the day in center field, went 3 for 5 with 3 RBI, while 2B Luc Piquet was 3 for 4 with 3 runs. Czech starter Michal Kočí was hammered for 16 hits, 5 walks and 12 runs (7 earned) in 6 innings in a mercy rule-shortened game.
  • DOOR Neptunus 5, CB Barcelona 1. Tim Roodenburg tossed seven shutout innings as the hosts at least got a win in their finale to put them in third place (just like San Marino, hosting the other pool). They got all the runs they needed in the first against Jorge Balboa. CF Shaldimar Daantji led off with a double. With two out, 1B Jeffrey Arends drew a walk. DH Dwayne Kemp doubled in Daantji. 3B Rien Vernooij and 2B Benjamin Dille drew back-to-back walks to force in a run and make it 2-0. In the 5th, against reliever, Andrés Gimeno, they scored another run, on a single by Daantji, an error by Gimeno and a balk. In the 6th, Kemp singled and Vernooij hit into an error by SS Oscar Angulo. A double play grounder put Kemp on third and he scored on a hit by C Lennart Koster. Barcelona finally scored in the 8th when Angulo singled in a run against reliever Jorian van Acker. In the 9th, Neptunus ended the scoring when SS Raily Legito hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Koster.

August 29[edit]

August 30[edit]

Amsterdam scored five runs off Ozanich in the first. CF Wesley Connor led off with a single and LF Roelie Henrique followed with a homer. RF Bas de Jong and 1B Percy Isenia (fresh off a managerial stint for the Netherlands in the 2012 Women's Baseball World Cup) both singled, then DH Kenny Berkenbosch hit a RBI double. Ozanich got an out when 3B Rashid Gerard grounded home Isenia. SS Jesse Aussems hit a sacrifice fly for a 5-0 lead. After 5 1/2 innings, Amsterdam was ahead by a 8-2 margin. Grover allowed two runs in the bottom of the 6th but reliever Jos de Jong then hurled two shutout frames.

In the 9th, though, Rouen rallied off Jurrian Koks. The leadoff batter reached on an error by Connor, then both C Boris Marche and 2B Luc Piquet singled to make it 8-5. 1B Bastien Dagneau hit into a force and Koks got a whiff, but SS Maxime Lefevre doubled in both runners to make it 8-7 and put the potential tying run in scoring position. That brought up one of France's top players, CF Joris Bert, the first Frenchman to be drafted by a MLB club. He failed to deliver this time, fanning on three pitches from Koks to end it.

Lefevre finished with 4 hits and 3 RBI in a losing cause, while Henrique and Isenia both got three hits for the victors.

The Gold Medal Game also went down to the bottom of the 9th, with Bologna beating the hosts to take their second Cup in three years.

Bologna scored in the first off Ricardo Hernandez. With two away, LF Gabriele Ermini walked, RF Claudio Liverziani singled and DH Mark Castellitto walked on four pitches to load the bases. A wild pitch by Hernandez scored Ermini. Nettuno tied it against Jesus Matos in the second. 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti and 1B Renato Imperiali led off with back-to-back singles. DH Leonardo Mazzanti hit into an error by Bologna SS Juan Carlos Infante. C Enzo Sanna followed with a sacrifice fly.

Bologna retook the lead in the second. With two away, Hernandez plunked Infante. On a pick-off attempt, 1B Daniele Malengo made an error (one of four Nettuno errors in front of the home crowd of 4,500), sending Infante to second. 2B Alessandro Vaglio then hit into an error by 2B Luca Martone to score Infante. In the fourth, though, Nettuno evened it once more. Giuseppe Mazzanti was hit by Matos, then stole second. Leonardo Mazzanti hit a one-out single, then Sanna delivered his second sacrifice fly of the day.

In the 5th, Bologna again went up by a run. Liverziani drew a full-count walk from Hernandez, who issued his 4th free pass of the day. Castellitto grounded Liverziani over, then Malengo singled him in. Yovany D'Amico relieved Hernandez and would toss two shutout innings, fanning four. The game remained 3-2 until the 8th, when Nettuno tied it and almost took the lead. CF Ennio Retrosi began the inning with a single off Matos, then LF Paolino Ambrosino singled as well. Cody Cillo relieved Matos and retired RF Mirco Caradonna on a sacrifice bunt. SS William Bergolla singled to even matters at three. Cillo fell to a full count on Martone but recovered to strike him out, then walked Giuseppe Mazzanti on another full count to load the bags. Bologna turned to Nick Pugliese, who ended the damage by retiring Imperiali on a crucial force-out.

After each team got one runner on but failed to advance, Bologna came up in the bottom of the 9th against Carlos Richetti. Liverziani was hit by a pitch for his third time on base. Castellitto popped on a bunt attempt, then Malengo singled. Sabbatani flew out to right. That brought up CF Leonardo De Donno, a sub-.200 hitter in the regular season. He did the job today, though, singling to right-center to bring in Liverziani with the winner.


Serravalle Group

  1. Unipol Bologna, 4-1
  2. L&D Amsterdam Pirates, 4-1
  3. T&A San Marino, 3-2
  4. Draci Brno, 2-3
  5. Paderborn Untouchables, 2-3
  6. Hoboken Pioneers, 0-5

Rotterdam Group

  1. Caffe Danesi Nettuno, 4-1
  2. Rouen Huskies, 4-1
  3. DOOR Neptunus, 3-2
  4. Regensburg Legionäre, 2-3
  5. CB Barcelona, 2-3
  6. Technika Brno, 0-5

Final Four[edit]

(at Nettuno, Italy)

Semi Finals

Winner Score Loser
Unipol Bologna 4-0 Rouen Huskies
Caffe Danesi Nettuno 1-0 L&D Amsterdam Pirates


Winner Score Loser
Unipol Bologna 4-3 Caffe Danesi Nettuno

Awards and Leaders[edit]




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