Asia Winter League: Europe falls to KBO in close game

Despite getting a 5-1 lead and playing some solid defense, Europe couldn’t hang on to it as they fell 8-6 to the KBO.

Europe led off with a double by left fielder Urving Kemp to left field, followed by a single hit by Sebastiano Poma. A wild pitch by pitcher Jaeyong Cha allowed Kemp to score the opening run.
Alberto Mineo eventually drove in the second run with a fly ball to right field field, that allowed Sebastiano Poma to score.

In the bottom of the first inning, Gianny Fracchiolla gave up a run. With one out and a runner on first, Fracchiolla got out of the inning thanks to an around-the-horn double play initiated by Rashid Gerard.

In the second ininng, Europe extended their lead to 5-1. With two outs they started a rally. Luca Martone reached base on a walk and went home on Sebastiano Poma’s double. Federico Giordani drove in Poma on a single to left field. Alberto Mineo eventually drove in his second run of the game (Europe’s fifth) on a double to left field.

But in the third inning, the Koreans came back in the game as they scored three. Gianny Fracchiolla didn’t record an out and gave up a bases loaded walk. Manager Gilberto Gerali pulled the Italian pitcher of the Regensburg Legionäre and replaced him with Javier Sanchez, who didn’t fare much better as he started with another bases loaded walk. A fly out to right field drove in the fourth run for the KBO delegation.
One inning later Sanchez gave up two more runs to give the KBO a 6-5 lead.

The other European pitchers didn’t do too shabby. Lucas Dickmann, who replaced Sanchez went two innings in which he gave up only two hits and a walk, but he also gave up the go-ahead run to the Koreans and eventually took the loss. Diego Fabiani lasted 0.2 innings in which he did not allow a hit and fanned one. Maickel Rietel entered the game in the seventh inning and gave up a (home)run on two hits. Robin Schel concluded the game in the eighth in which he struck out one, gave up a walk and a hit.

Maick Ehmcke: one basehit, a run scored and three walks

But Europe bounced back in the top of the fifth. Maik Ehmcke drew a lead off walk, followed by singles by Mattia Mercuri and Rashid Gerard that allowed Ehmcke to score the game tying run. But with still no outs, Europe failed to score more runs as Kevin Weijgertse struck out, Rashid Gerard was caught stealing and Luca Martone grounded out 4-3.

In the sixth and seventh inning, the KBO scored a run in each inning; the one in the seventh was a solo shot by  designated hitter Zhihong An.

Defense wasn’t the problem this time as they played flawless baseball. Europe showed some flexibility even though they fell short in the end of the game. In the seventh inning Europe had a runner in scoring position, but couldn’t cash in. In the eighth and the ninth inning the European side was retired.

Europe’s best hitter today was Maick Ehmcke, who went 1 for 2 with a run scored and drew three walks.  Mattia Mercuri, also went 1 for 2. Sebastiano Poma went 2 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Alberto Mineo also went 2 for 5 with an RBI, but he didn’t score himself. Right fielder Federico Giordani went 1 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored and Rashid Gerard got one basehit out of three at bats and he drove in an RBI. In four at bats, Urving Kemp collected one hit with a run and a walk.


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