• Team EBSM

GER Defeats FRA 3-2

German SS Alex Schmidt and French OF Bastien Dagneau race to 2B Photo Credit Ezr Nadoc

The first four innings of the game between Germany and France were a true pitcher’s duel. On the hill for Germany, Maurice Wilhelm, who is an IF for the Bonn Capitals, lasted 7.1 innings giving up 2 earned runs and as many walks while striking out 5 for the win. France’s starter, LHP Esteban Prioul gave up 2 runs off 5 hits walking 3 and striking out 2.

Germany broke open the scoring in the bottom of the 5th. Elias Von Garben started things off with a single to right. He was bunted over to second by Pascal Amon and reached third on a single off the bat of Yannic Walther before coming around on a single by SS Alexander Schmidt. Walther crossed on a sacrifice off the bat of Eric Brenk to put Germany ahead 2-0.

The Germans added, what would become their insurance run, in the bottom of the 7th. 3B Brenk singled and was driven around off the bat of Lou Helmig who singled to right.

In the top of the 8th France’s offense got on the board with a helping hand from Germany’s infield-turned-pen. Martin Vissac walked aboard and Wilhelm’s arm was clearly out of gas because he hit Paolo Brossier, the very next batter he faced. Wilhelm handed off the ball to Brenk, a switch Capital fans have seen before.

Leo Jiminian singled through the left side to bring around Vissac. Brenk, another infielder, balked, advancing the runners by a bag and putting everyone in scoring position. Germany then intentionally walked Andy Paz to load them up. When Brenk threw wild, Brossier scored. He then flagged Jose Paula to close down the inning, and France’s only offensive run on the day. Germany ended the inning, and the game, ahead by that insurance run with a final score of 3-2.

Of note is Alexander Schmidt’s performance this tournament. Germany’s SS has always been a strong fielder with a weaker bat. This tournament, he has truly swung into his own. At the moment he’s hitting .412 for the tournament with a .471 SLG, .500 OBP and .971 OPS over 17 at bats. It seems the 22-year old may have used the extra time provided by the shortened seasons in 2020 and 2021 to work on his swing. Schmidt is, as usual, outstanding at short fielding perfectly over 14 chances. He was brought up, for a short while, in the American little league system and attended the MLB academy in Germany. If we were in the business of scouting, Schmidt would be on our dark-horse short-list.