After Antwerp, Athens and Brest opened the Qualifiers for the European Cups on Monday, Stockholm joined the trio one day later with four more teams fighting to advance to the European Cup A.
In Antwerp the Brasschaat Braves welcomed the Zurich Challengers with an 8-0 shutout into the tournament. Brendan Schoemaker struck out ten in a complete-game four-hitter. Andy Ruelle and Nick Van Thillo hit home runs.
In the second game the Leksand Lumberjacks edged out the Vienna Wanderers 6-5 in ten innings. Per Sjoers hit a grand slam in the extra inning. Vienna tried to respond, but managed “just” three runs in the bottom of the frame.
In Athens Olimpija Karlovac and the Olympic Sports School 42 from Moscow met in the morning game – a rematch of last year’s final at the Qualifier in Croatia. Moscow won 9-0 behind a four-run first and strong pitching of Niko Chermoshentsev and Maxim Shevchenko.
In the afternoon match Italian Baseball League veteran Panagiotis Sykaras lifted Maroussi 2004 to a 6-5 win over Atletico Alexandria, the first Greek win in a European Club competition since 2011.
In Brest people in attendance saw two close games. In the morning Kaunas Lituanica beat Centaury Warsaw 4-3. Kaunas tied the game in the bottom of the eighth and plated the game-winner one frame later on a walk-off single by Mantas Cernauskas.
In the second game Andrei Los struck out nine in nine three-hit, five-walk innings in a 3-0 shutout of Brest Zubrs over the Vienna Metrostars. Four teams now have one win each after two days of competition.
In Stockholm the host had a successful start into the Qualifier. They defeated BC Vilnius 6-1 scoring two runs apiece in the third and the sixth en route to the win. Daniel Linder pitched 6 1/3 innings, issuing just an unearned run on three hits and a walk. Oscar Holmberg had three hits and two RBI.
The North Stars from Moscow meanwhile had opened the tourney with a 12-1 rout against the Bern Cardinals, scoring eight of the first nine innings. Alexander Toropov went 4-for-5 with a double and four RBI. Denis Leonov struck out 11 in five one-hit innings for the win.
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