Belgium wins final over a strong Ukraine with a 6-5 win in extra innings on Saturday 9 July 2022 to claim victory at the U18 European Baseball Championship Qualifier in Trnava, Slovakia. With our Belgian boys also winning 2 out of 3 individual tournament awards!
Ken Spurgeon Mizunoya – wins Leading Batter Award
Natheo Collazos-Munoz – wins Most Valuable Player Award
In the finals Belgium tied the game in the seventh to force extra innings, before walking off in the ninth. With the tournament win Belgium qualified for the U18 European Baseball Championship, which will take place in the Czech Republic in August 2022. Belgium already had dominated the preliminary round with a perfect 4-0 record. Ukraine reached the final by prevailing in the tiebreaker over Croatia and Slovakia. In the final Belgium took a 3-0 lead after four innings and led 4-2 after five. But Ukraine put three runs on the board in the sixth to look to steal the win from the favorite. But Ken Spurgeon Mizunoya scored on a sac fly in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. His RBI on a fielders choice in the bottom of the ninth then also helped to win the game in walk-off style. Viktor Vandervelden pitched four scoreless one-hit innings of relief to pick up the win.
While Croatia and Slovakia finished in third and fourth in the final standings, Romania completed the standings with a 0-4 record in fifth place. Two U18 European Baseball Championship Qualifiers were played this week, one in Sundbyberg, Sweden and the other in Trnava, Slovakia.
With this win Belgium U18 National Baseball Team qualifies for the U18 European Championship 2022 in Czech Republic from 13 – 20 August 2022.
Official link qualifier standings and stats: