In the opening game of the 2021 Men’s Softball European Championship (MSBEC) The Netherlands defeated Lithuania 25-0. You read that score right, 25-0…
The mercy rule, a 10-run lead, doesn’t kick in until the 4th. However, if the lead extends to 15, then everyone is put out of their misery in 3… or in this case 2.5. It didn’t take much time today, with the #16th ranked The Netherlands getting 19 runs in the 1st.
The Netherlands, who placed 13 out of 16 in the Men’s Softball World Championship in 2019, finished that tournament 2-6 so it must feel good to come out of the gate with such a dominate W. Dominant yes, but perhaps not surprising to European fans. After all, they placed 2nd, behind the Czech Republic, in the 2018 MSBEC.
For baseball fans not only will several of the Dutch names look familiar but Lithuania’s pitcher will have a familiar name as well. Vermidas Neverauskas, father to former MLB pitcher Dovydas, and a leftie, pitched 2.0 innings. That should tell you a bit about the depth of the Lithuanian pen.
Neverauskas gave up just 7 earned runs however. Though there were 18 hits, there were as many unearned runs with the Lithuanian defense committing 8 errors.
With 42 years difference between the hurler and his youngest teammate, and the majority of roster spots belonging to players born in this millennium, it is clear to see that Lithuania is in the building stages of their program.
By comparison, The Netherlands, without a single roster spot occupied by someone born this century, are working purely off experience.