AUT v BEL Barn Burner
Belgium and Austria came out swinging in their first game of the Men’s Baseball European Championship. With a final score of 12-11, Austria eked by the Belgians in nine.
Belgium had a total of 3 hits for extra bases, a triple and two homeruns, while Austria added two with 2 doubles on top of their own triple and two dingers.
Both starters went at least 6.0 innings. Starting for Belgium Drew Janssen put in 6.2 innings of work giving up 7 earned runs off 6 hits with 6 Ks and 3 BB. Austria’s starter Tobias Kiefer put in 6.0 innings giving up no earned runs off 3 hits, striking out 7 while walking 5.
Errors played a key role in this game and caused Kiefer, no doubt, a great deal of frustration on the hill as four runs crossed unearned. The Belgian fielders had two errors as well but only one run crossed as a result of their mistakes.
The game started out quite ordinary. Through three, the score remained 0-0. In the top of the 4th however, things became dicey, very quickly. 3B Robin Roevens started off reaching on a throwing error by his apposing 3B Marcel Mariette before scoring on a technical error by right fielder Georg Stemmer. When Benjamin Goffaux was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Axel Poesmans was able to score. Kiefer then gave away a free base walking in Jamie Verheyleweghen.
Janssen started off the bottom half of the inning giving Moritz Scheicher a free pass to first. A triple by 2B Philipp Eckel brought him around and Austria was on the board. Ferdinand Obed then sacrificed his at bat to bring Eckel around and the inning closed with Belgium up by two.
In the bottom of the 6th it was Austria’s turn to capitalize on some of Belgium’s mistakes. Dominik Talir started things off with a single and reached 3rd on a fielding error by 2B Benjamin Dille before scoring on a single by Obed. Scheicher, who had reached on the error came around on a second error, this one by rightfielder Sam Boermans, in the same play. Sammy Hackl then took one deep to right to bring around Obed and Eckel, who had walked on between the two errors. That put Austria ahead 7-4 heading into the 7th.
Belgium put one up, small-ball style, in the top of the inning, leaving three on the bags, while Austria added two of their own off a Philipp Eckels’ homer in the bottom half. That kept Austria ahead by four heading into the 8th.
In the top half of the inning Belgium tacked on 6 runs. Pinch hitting, Zion De Brauwer singled to center and was driving in by a Benjamin Goffaux home run. Dille singled to right and was driving in by the 2nd homerun in the inning, this one off the bat of Robin Roevens. Sam Boermans was then hit by a pitch and driven in by Axel Poesmans’ triple to right. Poesmans was then sent home by Jamie Verheyleweghen. This gave Belgium their first lead of the game pulling ahead 11-9.
In the bottom of the 9th Belgium quickly recorded two outs off five pitches. Dominik Talir, hitting in the 9-spot, then singled to left. Moritz Scheicher followed his lead. When Philipp Eckel walked, the bases were loaded. Ferdinand Obed then doubled to center to bring around all three men and win the ball game for Austria, who pulled ahead 12-11.