Asia Winter Baseball League 2016: NPB East out of Europe’s league.

The Japanese teams seem to be out of team Europe’s league.
Team Europe started with the best possible lineup (hitting wise) as the first six in the lineup all had a +.300 batting average at the start of the game. After four innings the team trailed 4-0 even though the offense collected as many hits as their opponent.

Europe’s starting pitcher Artur Strzalka did not get much help from his defense as he gave up three runs in the first two innings of which only one was earned. In the third inning Strzalka rebounded as he retired the side thanks to a double play. After the two errors, didn’t commit more.

At the start of the fourth inning, Strzalka was replaced by Diego Fabiani. Fabiani gave up an RBI single to right field that gave the NPB East team a 4-0 lead but got out of the inning without further damage. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Fabiani allowed runners on first and second before throwing a wild pitch, followed by a single to right field that drove in two more runs to give the NPB East team  a 6-0 lead.

Until the sixth inning team Europe reached second base only once but wasn’t able to score from there. But eventually in the sixth inning, Federico Celli got on base thanks to a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jesus Ustariz then singled to right field to drive in the first of wo runs that Europe would score. The second run would be scored in the top of the ninth inning on a bunt/ infield hit by Leo Rodriguez.

The NPB East delegation would score two more runs to reach the final score of 8-2.

Losing pitcher was Artur Strzalka, who gave up three runs (one earned) in three innings, walked four and struck out two.
His successor Diego Fabiani also lasted three innings but gave up five runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two.
Eduard Pirvu pitched one inning and did not allow a run, but walked one. 
Matz Schutte pitched the ninth inning and did not allow a run either. Schutte struck out one batter.

Europe collected eight hits, compared to the ten of the NPB East. Best hitters for Europe were Federico Celli, Leo Rodriguez and Jesus Ustariz. Rodriguez and Ustariz went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Rodriguez struck out once and stole two bases, Celli also went 2 for 4, scored twice but did not drive in a run.
Kyle Pollock went 1 for 4 and Eugene Helder went 1 for 3.


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