2021 European Champions Cup
The 2021 European Champions Cup was held in Ostrava, Czechia from July 13-17, 2021. France's league did not operate in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic so the 2019 champion was used instead. Since the last Cup in 2019, a second German team replaced the Belgian entry (though both Neptunus and Heidenheim had Belgian players). Four former major leaguers appeared - Roger Bernadina for Neptunus, Henry Rodriguez for Bologna, Shairon Martis for Amsterdam and Vicente Campos for Parma. Parma won its first title in 22 years, while a German team finished second for only the third time (Germany having not won any titles).
Competing Teams / Manager
- Fortitudo Bologna (Italy) (Daniele Frignani)
- Curacao Neptunus (Netherlands) (Ronald Jaarsma)
- Parmaclima (Italy) (Gianguido Poma)
- L&D Amsterdam Pirates (Netherlands) (Michael Duursma)
- Rouen Huskies (France) (Keino Perez)
- Bonn Capitals (Germany) (Max Schmitz)
- Arrows Ostrava (Czech Republic) (Boris Bokaj)
- Heidenheim Heideköpfe (Germany) (Klaus Eckle)
- Neptunus 14, Rouen 4. The 2017-2018 champs start strong, with 2B Dwayne Kemp homering three times and driving in five while backup RF Greg Muller scores three times. Kevin Bakker gets the win, Arthur Magnien the loss. SS Jacob Biller is 2 for 3 with a walk to lead Rouen.
- Bonn 5, Parma 4. C Vincent Ahrens and 1B Daniel Lamb-Hunt each drive in a pair for the German team, which survives a 9th-inning rally to prevail. Nick Miceli saves the win for Sascha Koch. RF Noel González scores two in a losing effort, while Julio Vivas takes the decision for Parma.
- Bologna 4, Heidenheim 3. RF Ericson Leonora singles off 46-year-old Enorbel Márquez to bring in 2B Raywendley van Gurp with the winner in the top of the 8th. Henry Rodriguez fans two of three batters to save it for Raúl Rivero, while Mike Bolsenbroek fans ten for Heidenheim and SS Drew Janssen goes 3 for 3 with a homer.
- Amsterdam 8, Ostrava 6. C Sicnarf Loopstok drives in four and LF Gilmer Lampe three while SS Sharlon Schoop goes 3-for-3 for Amsterdam; Shairon Martis fans 8 in 3 innings, allowing one unearned run, for the win in relief. Ostrava loses despite four home runs; Matěj Satoria is the losing hurler.
- Bonn 14, Amsterdam 13. Bonn again pulls off an upset in this slugfest win. P/LF Wilson Lee doubles, triples, homers twice and drives in seven, while CF/P Terrell Joyce drives in four, including the winner, and gets the save; Nick Miceli registers the win. For the Pirates, DH Kalian Sams drives in four and LF Gilmer Lampe has 3 runs, 3 RBI and 3 walks. Mike Groen takes the loss.
- Bologna 17, Rouen 1. The defending champions roll to a five-inning mercy rule rout. When you score 17 runs in 5 innings, lots of players have a hand - this effort included CF Lorenzo Dobboletta (3 for 4, 3 R), 3B Renzo Martini (3 R), 1B/C Osman Marval (3 R), RF Ericson Leonora (3 RBI), C Ernesto Liberatore (4 RBI) and LF/1B Alessandro Grimaudo (4 BB). Angelo Palumbo goes the distance for the win over Quentin Moulin. France's only run comes when LF Auguste Guern steals home on a double steal in the bottom of the first.
- Neptunus vs. Heidenheim suspended due to rain
- Parma vs. Ostrava suspended due to rain
- Parma 13, Ostrava 8. Concluded the game suspended by rain, 3B Leomartires Rodríguez drives in six for Parma and Giovanni Bortolamai saves Mattia Aldegheri's win. Alexander Šín takes the loss, while C Jakub Voják scores 3.
- Neptunus 11, Heidenheim 5. The other suspended game goes to Neptunus, with another 3-run game by a catcher (in this case, Dashenko Ricardo) while 3B Stijn van der Meer has two hits and two walks as a leadoff sparkplug. Aaron de Groot is the winning pitcher (saved by Lex Meinderts) while Ross Vance takes the loss. RF Shawn Larry scores two and drives in two for Heidenheim.
- Parma 11, Amsterdam 6. Vicente Campos registers a three-inning save for Danny Rondón, fresh from the Venezuelan national team's Olympic qualifiers. RF Noel González doubles twice and homers while 2B Ricardo Paolini also has three hits. Amsterdam gets a big day from C Sicnarf Loopstok (5 for 5, 2 HR, 4 RBI) and 3B Rashid Gerard adds three hits, but they don't get enough other support to compensate for a rough start from Juan Carlos Sulbaran.
- Heidenheim 19, Rouen 6. SS Drew Janssen (3 H, 3 R, 3 RBI) and 1B Ludwig Glaser (3 for 3, 2 BB, 2 R, 3 RBI) lead a high-powered offense for winning pitcher Julius Spann. For Rouen, RF Joris Bert drives in two and LF Auguste Guern scores twice, while Thibault Mercadier takes the loss.
- Bologna 18, Neptunus 14. In a game that only goes 6 1/2 innings, the teams combine for 32 runs! DH Raywendley van Gurp (5 RBI), 2B Filippo Agretti (4 RBI), 1B/C Osman Marval (4 for 4) and RF Niccolo Loardi (5 for 5, a triple shy of the cycle) lead Bologna's fireworks, while Neptunus hits six homers, and gets four RBI apiece from CF Stijn van der Meer and 3B Dwayne Kemp (2 HR). Matthias Zotti gets the win, Joost Terpstra the loss.
- Ostrava 18, Bonn 7. Ostrava uses a 11-run third to pull off the romp. It is a brother show as C Michael Vykoukal (3 for 4, 2 R, 3 RBI) leads a balanced offense and Marko Vykoukal gets a complete game win.
- Amsterdam 15, Rouen 1. The Pirates avoid relegation for a Dutch team as LF Gilmer Lampe has four hits (including a double and a homer) and 1B Sicnarf Loopstok homers twice and drives in four; Naut Kragt allows two hits in five shutout innings for the win. France's lone run comes when 2B Jacob Biller goes deep off Nick Veltkamp in the 6th. Jeremy Dubois is the losing pitcher.
- Parma 5, Bologna 4. Parma moves to the finals, defeating the defending champs. DH Alex Sambucci hits a three-run shot in the 2nd off Murilo Gouvêa and 1B Cesare Astorri adds a two-run dinger later. Yomel Rivera gets the win, Vicente Campos the save. 2B Raywendley van Gurp and RF Ericson Leonora both homer for Bologna.
- Bonn 8, Neptunus 7. The Capitals become the first German team to reach the finals since 2010 (no German team having yet won). It doesn't look good early when Paul Schmitz allows four runs and retires no one, but Maurice Wilhelm pitches 8 solid innings of relief (3 R) and SS Eric Brenk (4 H) and CF Terrell Joyce (3 H, 4 RBI) pace the offense in a comeback win. Nick Miceli closes it out; with two on and two out in the 9th, he retires C Dashenko Ricardo to end it. Berry van Driel allows four runs in the 7th to take the loss. 3B Stijn van der Meer, 2B Dwayne Kemp and DH Gianison Boekhoudt each have three hits in a losing cause, Boekhoudt falling a triple shy of a cycle.
- Ostrava 11, Heidenheim 3. While one German team was headed to the finals, the other was headed to the 7th/8th place game as player-manager Boris Bokaj gets the win and Ondřej Satoria a four-inning save, with 3 runs from SS Tyler Smith and 3 RBI from 1B Brett Holtz. DH Lou Helmig goes 2 for 3 with a homer from the 8th slot, while former AAA hurler and two-time German MVP Luke Sommer is hit hard in the loss.
- 7th/8th place game: Heidenheim 12, Rouen 1. France lost its spot in the 2022 European Champions Cup (though almost won it back in the 2021 CEB Cup held at the same time; had Senart won their final game by a larger margin, they would have won). CF Gary Owens and RF Shawn Larry each drive in four runs, while Luca Hörger gets the win with three hitless innings in relief of Mike Bolsenbroek. Esteban Prioul takes the loss, while C Dylan Gleeson drives in 2B Auguste Guern with Rouen's only run.
- Bronze Medal Game: Bologna 11, Neptunus 9. Bologna leads 8-0 after 6 1/2 but Neptunus almost rallies to win. CF Lorenzo Dobboletta and LF Riccardo Bertossi drive in four apiece, DH Ericson Leonora has four hits and Henry Rodriguez saves it for Michael Johnson. 2B Dwayne Kemp and DH Roger Bernadina each drove in three for Neptunus, while 1B/3B Dudley Leonora and RF Greg Muller each have three hits. Misja Harcksen is handed the defeat.
- Gold Medal Game: Parma 6, Bonn 4. In their bid to become the first German champion, Bonn starts strong with three in the first off Mattia Aldegheri. The bullpen of Danny Rondón, Julio Vivas and Vicente Campos allows only one run on three hits over the final 7 1/3 innings, though, Rondón getting the win and Campos the save. Parma scores twice off Sascha Koch, who retires no one, and comes back against Christian Tomsich to win. DH Alex Sambucci (2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) and 3B Leomartires Rodríguez (3 RBI) lead the offense for Parma.
- 1. Parma (Italy)
- 2. Bonn Capitals (Germany)
- 3. Fortitudo Bologna (Italy)
- 4. Curaçao Neptunus (Netherlands)
- 5. Amsterdam Pirates (Netherlands)
- 6. Arrows Ostrava (Czechia)
- 7. Heidenheim Heideköpfe (Germany)
- 8. Rouen Huskies (France)
Leaders and Awards
- MVP: Alex Sambucci, Parma DH
- Average: Ericson Leonora, Bologna .600
- ERA: Shairon Martis, Amsterdam 0.00 (6 2/3 IP)
- Hits: Drew Janssen, Heidenheim; Dwayne Kemp, Neptunus; Ricardo Paolini, Parma 10
- Runs: Kemp, 9
- RBI: Kemp, 15
- Doubles: Janssen; John Polonius, Amsterdam; Raywendley van Gurp, Bologna 3
- Triples: Tyler Smith, Ostrava; Wilson Lee, Bonn 1
- Home Runs: Kemp, 6
- Total Bases: Kemp, 28
- Steals: Smith, 5
- Strikeouts: Julio Vivas, Parma 15
- Wins: Danny Rondón, Parma 2
- Saves: Vicente Campos, Parma 3
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