Asia Winter League: Europe close to second win, bullpen falters

Today not a Dutch pitcher as a starter, but one from the French competition. But nevertheless a solid outing. Owen Ozanich  pitched through five innings in which he only gave up three hits and struck out four without surrendering a run.

Europe on its turn scored three runs in the first two innings. With two outs in the first inning, Kevin Weijgertse got on base on a single to right field. Alberto Mineo took Weijgertse with him across home plate as he hit a two run homerun to right field.

In the next inning Europe added one more run to their total. Urving Kemp drew a two out walk and took full advantage of a miscue by the Taiwanese shortstop when Sebastiano Poma hit the ball in his direction.

Europe even walked away to a 5-0 lead in the fifth inning but from there the run production stalled. Ozanich was replaced after fifth by Diego Fabiani. The Italian pitcher didn’t do too shabby as he gave up only one run on one hit. The next pitcher, Leonel Cespedes survived the seventh inning as he kept the CPBL in check. But in the eighth inning, things started to get ugly for Europe.
Matz Schütte started the eighth inning but was pulled after giving up three runs without recording an out. Gianny Fracchiolla took over and recorded an out but also gave up two more runs to give the CPBL a one run lead. Eventually Milvio Andreozzi recorded the last out after giving up one more run to give the CPBL a 7-5 lead.

Owen Ozanich: four strikeouts in five shutout innings

Europe tried to do something back in the ninth inning as Sebastiano Poma and Chris Howard hit back-to-back singles. But Alberto Mineo hit into a 4-6-3 double play that advanced Poma to third but reduced the European chances to tie the game.  The game ended when Daniel Fernandes grounded out to third base.

This must have been a very frustrating loss for Europe. Not many times in this tournament the team was close to a victory, but once again the bullpen appeared to be the Achilles heel.

At bat, Europe did a solid job as the team collected twelve basehits, two more than the CPBL: Urving Kemp (1 for 4), Sebastiano Poma (2 for 5), Kevin Weijgertse (1 for 3), Chris Howard (1 for 2), Alberto Mineo (2  for 5 with two runs batted in), Daniel Fernandes (2 for 5), Alessandro Deotto (2 for 4) with one RBI) and Mattia Mercuri (1 for 2).

This was the last game for team Europe in a tough but very instructive tournament.



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