A Grand Slam-Homerun by Dutch Rightfielder Kalian Sams and a Solo-Shot by John Pollonius broke open a close game in the fifth Inning and gave the Netherlans a 5-1 win over arch rival Italy to secure their 23rd European Baseball Championship at the 2019 edition played in Bonn and Cologne. More than 2.000 spectators at Rheinaue Stadium witnessed the final game of the tournament, which produced the usual suspects as finalists.
Both Starters, Hollands Donny Breek and Italys Luis Lugo held the Opposition hitless for three Innings, as one would have aspected of the two active Minor League-Pitchers. The Streak ended for Lugo, when the Netherlands took advantage of an Italian Error and a Wild Pitch to loaded the bases for Sams. The five-run-lead in the final was huge, because it ended Lugos day of work prematurely. Matteo Bocchi had to came in to stop the Dutch momentum.
But Italy had made a name for itself at these Championships being the „Comeback-Kids“.They came back to rallye after trailing against Germany in the Quarterfinals as well as Israel in the Semis. And sure enough, Alberto Mineo homered for Italy to cut the lead to 1-5 in the bottom of the fifth Inning. But Durch reliever Tom Stuifbergen ended Italys hoped of getting more runs back quickly.
Italy threatened again in the 8th, and managed to load the bases against Pitcher Mike Bolsenbroek. In came Kevin Kelly to defuse the tight situation and preserve Hollands lead. There was no denying the defending Champs now. Closer Juan Sulbaran was given the honours by Headcoach Evert t'Hoen to end the game just as he did against Spain the day before. Andre Maggis Groundball in the bottom of the Ninth forced out Erick Epifano at Second Base to close the deal for the Netherlands, who won the title for the third time in a row.
Breek was credited with the win (4.2 IP, 1 Hit, 1 R, 4 Ks), Lugo (4.0 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 6 Ks) took the loss for Italy. Both teams had six hits at the end, the Netherlands chose to make them count a lot more than their Italian Counterparts did, though.
Italys Sebastiano Poma won the Batting title with an Average of .533. Israels Pitcher Joey Wagman took the ERA-Crown (0.00). Dutch Hurler Orlando Yntema won the most games in the tournament (2-0). RBI- and Homerun-King Honours went to Ademar Rifaela from the Netherlands (13 and 6). Austrias Ferdinand Obed scored the most Runs (22) in the Tournament. „Outstanding Defensive Player“ went to Germans Shortstop Alexander Schmitt. The Most Valuable Player-Trophy was awarded to – who else – Dutch Slugger Ademar Rifaela.