Strong Starts

Pictured: Toulon Camaches Pauline Prade PC: Glenn Gervot

Five weeks into the 2017 season, there are five teams across European baseball and softball that have played 8 or more games and remain undefeated.

In Softball there are two teams making an outstanding run at the 2017 season. In France the Toulon Comanches are 13-0 for the best record in all of Europe.

Catcher Camille Riera leads the team in putouts with 61. She’s also one of the team’s top three batters. Hitting .538 in 39 at bats, she has 4 doubles and 7 triples along with 19 RBIs and she has yet to strikeout.

Starting all 13 games alongside Riera are IF Pauline Prade and Raina Hunter. Prade has a .692 average over 39 appearances with 27 hits including 3 dingers, 2 doubles and a triple with 14 RBIs. She’s no less of a threat once you get her on the bags where she’s 6-6 in stolen bases. With 6 doubles and a triple to her credit, Hunter is hitting .600 with no strikeouts and 8 walks as well as 16 RBIs.

RHP Sarah Benchali has a 0.00 ERA over 14.0 innings having given up just 2 hits while striking out 18. She’s won 2 games for the club. Pitching 18.2 innings Allenor Tourmit has five wins with a 1.88 ERA. RHP Charline Gartner, with 6 wins over 23.1 innings pitched has a 2.40 ERA. She’s managed to strike out 24 batters while giving up just 3 extra base hits.

In Spain the Altectico San Sebastian are on a 10-0 run to start their season. RHP Elena Ayuso, IF Rebeca Carrera and OF Irune Paredes are the top three batters for San Sebastian. With an average of .542 in 7 games, Ayuso has yet to strikeout. She’s accumulated 13 hits, including 2 doubles, and batted in 9. Carrera has 3 doubles, 12 hits and 7 RBIs in 27 appearances for a .444 average while Paredes is batting .385 in 8 games with 10 hits, including a double and a triple.

On the mound RHP Ane Barandiaran is posting a .91 ERA with 5 wins and a save. She’s pitched 30.2 innings with 36 strikeouts while giving up just three extra base hits. When she’s not busy swinging a bat, Elena Ayuso is flagging them down on the mound. She’s taken care of 11 by herself in just 10.0 innings of work without giving up a single extra base hit. She’s posting a .70 ERA with 2 wins.

Pictured: Brno Draci's Adam Hajtmar PC: Lubomír Stehlík

In the Czech Republic Brno Draci has the best record in baseball starting off the season 9-0. On the leader board for Brno are RHP pitchers Wesley Roemer (USA), Michal Sobotka and Petr Minarik.

Roemer has 2 wins and 2 saves, plus 13 Ks, in 14.0 innings for a 0.00 ERA. Also pitching in four games with 2 wins is Sobatka. His 1.00 ERA over 18.0 innings includes 2 earned runs. Minarik is posting a 2.40 ERA in 15.0 innings giving up 4 earned runs while collecting 3 wins over 5 games.

On offense OF Terrell Joyce (USA) has played in 7 games. In 28 plate appearances he’s hitting .464 with 13 hits, including a 3 doubles and a homer. Joyce also has 6 runs and 10 RBIs. Adam Hajtmar, an outfielder who throws righty but bats lefty, has appeared in all 9 of the Brno games. With a .452 BA in 31 appearances he’s racked up 8 runs and 8 RBIs. Premek Chroust (IF) has a .424 average over 9 games with 33 plate appearances. He has 5 runs, 14 hits and 9 RBIs along with 2 doubles and a triple. All three men have 6 stolen bases apiece.

The remaining two teams in Europe’s top three are tied with 8 wins each. In France, Rouen is the in the top slot. The hitting leaders from the Rouen Huskies are IF Jonathan Jaspe (VEN), C Dylan Gleeson and IF Larry Infante (VEN). All three men have started every game the team has played.

Jaspe is hitting .467 with 30 plate appearances. He has 9 runs off 14 hits with 4 doubles and 2 homers. He’s batted in 8 while striking out just twice so far this season. With 27 at bats, Gleeson is hitting .370 with 8 runs off 10 hits, including 2 triples. He has batted in 4 and struck out just 4 times at the plate. Infante has 7 runs off 9 hits including a double. He’s brought home 10 to bump his average to .346 with just 1 strikeout, while going 5-5 on the bags in stolen bases.

With the top three pitchers for Rouen all posting below a 1.00 ERA, it may seem pitching is the key to their success but, the stats reveal that some great fielding may be a stronger contributor. In the field Jaspe has 70 putouts with Gleeson hot on his heels, once more, with 60 of his own. Rounding out the top three batters in fielding as well is Infante who has put away 40 while leading the team in assists with 25.

RHP Owen Ozanich, RHP Yoann Vaugelade and LHP Esteban Prioul have combined for 40 innings. Ozanich has pitched 20.2 innings giving up 3 doubles while striking out 19 of the 76 batters he has faced. His .44 ERA and 4 wins, alongside the 16 hits against him, show he’s not afraid to throw it down the middle and see what the batters can do with it. Posting a .90 ERA over 10.0 innings Vaugelade has yet to give up anything more than a single. Winning two Prioul has struck out 10 while walking 7. His .96 ERA has more to do with the fielders getting the guys out before they’ve had a chance to round the bases.

Rounding out the top three are the Heidenheim Heideköpfe in Germany. Two of the top three hitters in the Bundesliga South come from Heidenheim. Catcher Simon Gühring has 15 hits and 7 RBIs in 29 plate appearances for a .517 average. OF Gary Michael Owens (USA) is hitting .500 over 28 appearances with 7 RBIs of his own off 14 hits. On defense shortstop Philip Schultz is leading the league in assists with 21 while in the field RHP Justin Brian Erasmus (ZAF) tops the leader board in fielding percentage with 1.000. 1B Johannes Krumm and 3B Jay Pecci (USA) are doing the same in their respective positions. LHP Clayton Freimuth (USA) has the second-best ERA in the division posting a .82 through 11.0 innings with 10 strikeouts and 4 saves. When he’s not busy putting guys out on 1st, Krumm takes the mound and is currently leading the division in wins with 3.

#Spain #CzechRepublic #Germany #France #softball #baseball