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Mexico Zone- Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico

WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (May 16) - After a heroic walk-off home run against an undefeated rival, Guasave, Sinaloa won its second-ever PONY Mexico Zone Championship recently in Juarez City, Chihuahua. As the Mexico Zone Champion, Guasave advances to the  DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) in Washington, Pennsylvania.  

 Guasave opened up the eight-day tournament with a 6-1 loss against Villahermosa, Tobasco in pool play. The loss ignited the team as it went on to record four-straight victories against Minatitlan, Veracruz 5-0; Sonora 14-1; Maya 3-1; and Tijuana, Baja California 6-5.  Heading into the knockout round in second place behind Villahermosa, Guasave continued to stay hot, besting fellow Sinaloan team, Culiacan, 15-2 and Muralla 7-3 in the semifinals.

 The championship game brought two familiar rivals back together for a rematch, Guasave and Villahermosa. Through six and a half innings, the game was a classic stalemate, as both teams remained scoreless. Guasave pitcher Vidal Sotelo Rivera was the hero, after hitting a game-winning home run to deep left centerfield, completing a 1-0 victory.

 Sotelo was named tournament’s Batting Champion after recording a .667 batting average and a 1.467 slugging percentage.

 The last time Guasave played in the DSGPLWS was in 2012, when it recorded a 6-5 victory over Washington.

 Mexico has been represented at the DSGPLWS since 1971, when Maya first qualified for the Zone. Monterrey, Nuevo León went on to win Mexico’s only DSGPLWS. Los Mochis, Sinaloa last made it to the championship game in 2013, when it lost to Okinawa, Japan 5-4. Most recently Los Mochis made it to the Division Finals last year falling to eventual champion Taipei County, Chinese Taipei. Guasave’s participation in this year’s tournament marks the sixth- straight year that a team from Sinaloa has been represented at the DSGPLWS.

Guasave will battle PONY’s representative from the Caribbean Zone in Game #1 on Friday, Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m. ET/US. All games Aug. 11-16 will be played at Lew Hays Pony Field in Washington Park. Watch Guasave throughout the tournament online at plws.org and on PONY’s social media. 

European Zone - The Netherlands


WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (May 19) -  After four rigorous days of play at the 2017 SUMA PONY European Zone Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, the Netherlands went undefeated and clinched the European Zone title, qualifying them for the 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) in Washington, Pennsylvania. It is the Netherlands’ first appearance at the DSGPLWS in the 66-year history of the tournament.

In its thrilling semifinal matchup, Holandsko A trailed Prague, Czech Republic 7-6 going into the final inning until Holland’s Sam Brouns and Tyriq Kemp hit back-to-back doubles, setting up Danny Albinus in a pivotal spot. On an 0-1 count, Albinus hit another double, which scored both runners and ended the game in an 8-7 win, which advanced Holland to the championship game.

The championship game featured the undefeated and former 2014 PONY European Zone Champion Czech Academy against undefeated Holandsko A. In a one-sided affair, the Dutch shutout the Czechs 11-0 to earn the European Zone’s automatic bid to the DSGPLWS.

Netherlands’ starting pitcher Gio de-Graauw pitched three innings of two-hit ball without allowing a single run in the championship game. His team provided him with plenty of run support early after a five-run second inning.

After his impressive performance, de-Graauw was named the Tournament’s Best Pitcher, completing the championship game with three innings pitched, a 0.00 ERA, zero hits allowed and seven strikeouts. Teammate Raydley Legito was named Tournament MVP, after he finished the tournament going 9-for-12 at the plate with a double, triple, nine runs scored, seven clutch RBI and six stolen bases.

In early round pool play action, Holland kept its tournament intact by recording two shutouts in addition to the 11-0 rout in the championship game. Throughout the tournament, Holland defeated Draci Brno, Czech Republic 8-4; Ukraine 19-0; Moskvich, Russia 25-0; Polsko A, Poland 19-2; Prague 8-7; and the Czech Academy 19-0.

It is the sixth year that a team from PONY’s European Zone has qualified for the DSGPLWS, since Paderborn, Germany first qualified in 2012. Since then, Paderborn has recorded two of the Zone’s three wins (2-1 in 2012; 12-0 in 2016) and Vienna, Austria has won one game (12-9 in 2016). All three wins have come against Washington, Pennsylvania.

Holland will travel across the Atlantic Ocean to Washington to face its first opponent in Game #4 on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 2:30 p.m. ET/US. The tournament will kick off Aug. 11 at the Lew Hays Pony Field in Washington Park. Keep up with Holland throughout the World Series online at plws.org and on PONY’s social media. 

Host Area South: Peters Township, Pennsylvania



WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 3) - Making its first appearance at the DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series in history, Peters Township, Pennsylvania is the Host Area South Champions, replacing Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the Caribbean Zone Champions.

Peters Township finished as the finalist of the Pony Monongahela Satellite Tournament two weeks ago, losing 14-13 to Vesta, Pennsylvania. Both Vesta and Peters Township advanced to the Pony Host Area Tournament in McCandless, Pennsylvania. Peters Township began the Host Area Tournament with an 11-6 rematch victory over Vesta and that win propelled them to defeat host McCandless 10-2 and then Ingomar, Pennsylvania 8-3. Peters suffered a loss to Host Area North Champion Johnstown, Pennsylvania 12-1 in the Championship Game. PONY Baseball and Softball officials made the call Tuesday that Peters Township would replace Santo Domingo after the Dominicans could not obtain visas for eight of their players and thus, field a whole team.

Monongahela in 1954 and Washington is 1955 represent the state of Pennsylvania's only two PONY League World Series titles all-time. Excluding Washington, teams from Washington County, Pennsylvania have won 11 games at the World Series in 65 years
(nine - Monongahela, one - Donora, one - Mon Yough).

Peters Township will kick off this year's tournament against Mexico Zone Champion Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Friday, Aug. 5 at 5:30 p.m. (ET/US). Make sure to follow all of Peters Township's games online at plws.org and MLB.com, as well as stayed tuned throughout the event on social media.

Host Area North: Johnstown, Pennsylvania



WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 2) - For the third-straight year and the fifth time this decade, Johnstown, Pennsylvania's "Boilers" return to the DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series as the Host Area North Champions.

Johnstown entered the Pony Host Area Tournament in McCandless, Pennsylvania as the finalist from the Pony Mt. Lebanon Satellite Tournament the weekend prior, when they lost to Ingomar, Pennsylvania 10-3. Johnstown looked dominant in its opening round 16-0 win over Vesta, Pennsylvania. After a day's rest because of torrential downpours in Western Pennsylvania that pushed the tournament back a day, Johnstown won the rematch versus Ingomar 8-5. Johnstown finished the job Monday by beating Monongahela Satellite Tournament finalist Peters Township, Pennsylvania 12-1 to advance to the World Series.

Since 2005, Johnstown has now made nine appearances at the DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series. During that span, Johnstown has won three games, with the most recent being last year in a 6-5 win versus NASA-Houston, Texas. The state of Pennsylvania owns two World Series titles, Monongahela (1954) and Washington (1955).

Just like the last two go-arounds at the World Series, Johnstown begins its tournament run on Opening Night Friday Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. (ET/US). The Boilers will take on East Zone Champion Chesterfield, Virginia. In 2007, Chesterfield County defeated Johnstown 12-7. Make sure to follow all of Bay County's games online at plws.org and MLB.com, as well as stayed tuned throughout the event on social media.

North Zone: Bay County, Michigan



WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 2) - For the fifth-consecutive year, Bay County, Michigan will represent the PONY North Zone at the 2016 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series, after going undefeated this past weekend at the North Zone Championships in Bay City, Michigan.

Bay County (White) began its tournament with a 5-1 victory over Oak Park-River Forest, Illinois, before pulling out a 10-9 win over ACBA in what was its closest game of the tournament. Bay County (White) caught fire on Saturday, defeating Central Michigan 15-0 in the quarterfinals, and momentum from that game propelled the team to beat Crest Hill convincingly 17-0. In the Championship Game, Bay County (White) met a familiar foe, Bay County (Blue). 

Bay County's Carson Kwapiszewski led the offensive charge for Bay County (White) with a lead off homerun to begin the game and the team was able to build a commanding lead after an eight-run third inning. The game was finally called a 10-run rule after five innings with a final score of 14-0. Starter Anthony Bernard threw a two-hit shutout in dominating fashion.

Bay City was first represented at the 1983 PONY League World Series in Kennewick, Washington, and during its appearances in both 1983 and in 1998 in Washington, Pennsylvania, Bay City did not win a game. But since, Bay County has been a juggernaut out of the North Zone by making seven World Series appearances. During that span, Bay County has amassed six World Series wins, four against Johnstown, Pennsylvania, one against Rockingham, North Carolina  and one against Saltillo, Mexico.

Hamtramck won the state of Michigan's only PONY League World Series title in 1961. That year, Hamtramck defeated Bridgeport, Connecticut 2-1; West Covina, California 12-0; and San Antonio, Texas 2-1 en route to the Championship.

Bay County leads off the day two action at the DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series at Noon (ET/US) Saturday, Aug. 6 against South Zone Champion Laredo, Texas. Make sure to follow all of Bay County's games online at plws.org and MLB.com, as well as stayed tuned throughout the event on social media.
 

West Zone: Maui, Hawaii



WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (Aug. 1) - Making its fifth appearance in DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) history and representing the state of Hawaii for the 17th time, Maui won the PONY West Zone Championships this weekend and advanced to the World Series. 

Maui began the West Zone Championships with a dominating 15-4 victory over Santa Clara, California Thursday afternoon and followed that win with a close 4-3 win over Quartz Hill, California on Friday. The Hawaiians once again defeated Santa Clara in a later round rematch 9-5 and finally eliminated Santa Clara, after a third win in the semifinals, 1-0. Maui won the West Zone Championship 4-1 against annual contender Long Beach, California in the title bout; thus, advancing to the DSGPLWS.

Maui made its first DSGPLWS appearance in 1968, but exited quickly after two-consecutive losses. Honolulu represented the state the following year and went on to win the World Series after an 8-5 victory over Arcadia, California in the Championship Game. 1969 marked the first year of a five-year stretch in which Honolulu made a World Series appearance, but the Hawaiians only advanced as far as the title game in 1972 and lost to Monterrey, Mexico.

Maui was back in 1974 at the PONY League World Series in Springfield, Illinois and defeated Yucatan, Mexico 2-1, but was eliminated by the hosts in their next game. In 1980, under the state banner, Hawaii won its second World Series crown, after a 3-2 victory over Greensboro, North Carolina in the Championship Game.  Four years later, Maui qualified for the World Series in Washington, Pennsylvania and won the opening game versus Mon-Yough, Pennsylvania 11-3, but eventually lost to finalist Miami, Florida 5-1 in the final four. 

Despite the historic 20 strikeout, no-hitter, losing performance by Hilo's Edgar Barclay in 2013, the Hawaiians were eliminated early by finalist Los Mochis, Mexico, but they were avenged in 2014, when Hilo went undefeated en route to the state's third DSGPLWS title, after beating Taoyuan County, Chinese Taipei 5-3 in the Championship Game.

With hopes of reaching the Championship Game on behalf of the West Zone for the third time in the last three years, Maui, Hawaii begins its tournament last: Sunday Aug. 7 at Noon (ET/US). The Hawaiians will await the winner of Game #4 between Paderborn, Germany and Washington County, Pennsylvania. Make sure to follow all of Maui's games online at plws.org and MLB.com, as well as stayed tuned throughout the event on social media.

South Zone: Laredo, Texas



WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (July 31) - Working its way through the 16-team PONY South Zone Championships in Youngsville, Louisiana this weekend, Laredo, Texas won six-straight games en route to a berth in the 2016 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS). It is Laredo's third appearance in the last six years.

Laredo began the tournament on fire, defeating Bear Creek, Florida 8-0 and Kinder, Louisiana 22-0, respectively, in its first two games. Laredo faced stiffer competition from 2015 South Zone Champion NASA, Texas in its third game, but ultimately won 4-2. Laredo punched its ticket to the Championship Game after a rematch win over NASA 12-0. In the Championship Game, Laredo defeated fellow Texas squad San Juan 9-8 to win the zone.

Laredo won the DSGPLWS when the team made its very first appearance in history in 2011, defeating Lafayette, Indiana 6-0; New Bedford, Massachusetts 6-5; Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania 10-0; Lafayette, Indiana 7-3 and Chinese Taipei 10-9 en route to a title. The 2011 Championship Game was a thriller, as Laredo a Chinese Taipei groundout with the bases loaded ended the game. Laredo made it back to the final four in 2012, but lost to eventual champion Long Beach, California 13-4.

Laredo's 2011 DSGPLWS title marked the state of the Texas's fourth all-time, tying the state of Illinois on the all-time champions list. San Antonio won the first PONY League World Series in 1952, while Lufkin won the state's second in 1957 and Houston won the state's third in 1962. 

Laredo vies to make another deep run at this year's DSGPLWS, beginning with its first game against North Zone Champion Bay County, Michigan. The North will play the South Saturday Aug. 6 at Noon (ET/US). Make sure to follow all of Chesterfield's games online at plws.org and MLB.com, as well as stayed tuned throughout the event on social media.

Teams

East Zone: Chesterfield, Virginia



WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (July 31) - Winner of the PONY East Zone Championships this weekend in Colfax, North Carolina, Chesterfield, Virginia punched its fourth ticket to the DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) in the last seven years.

Chesterfield began the tournament with a solid 8-1 win over fellow Virginia squad, Henry County, on Wednesday, and followed that win with a 12-2 victory over 2015 East Zone Champion Hagerstown, Maryland on Thursday. On Friday, Chesterfield advanced past Bronx, New York 9-3 to advance to the Championship Game, Saturday. The Virginians once again faced Bronx, but the New Yorkers couldn't avenge their early tournament loss, and Chesterfield was victorious 5-3 for an undefeated sweep through the tournament.

Chesterfield has been quite successful at the DSGPLWS, since Chesterfield County made its first appearance in 1999 and finished in the final four. The team was back two years later and lost in the Championship Game to Ponce, Puerto Rico 10-4.

The 2007 Chesterfield County campaign was the least successful, as the team only won one game (Johnstown 12-7), but in 2010, Chesterfield County won the title, defeating Medina Valley, Texas 13-1; Corona, California 6-5; Washington, Pennsylvania 18-6; Corona, California 7-2 and West Tokyo, Japan 3-1 in the Championship Game. In 2013-14, Chesterfield County finished in the final four, losing to eventual finalist Los Mochis, Mexico 14-4 and eventual champion Hilo, Hawaii 11-2, respectively. Chesterfield County's 2010 championship represents the only DSGPLWS championship in Virginia's history.

Chesterfield begins its road to its second DSGPLWS championship this decade Friday Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. (ET/US) against the Host Area Winner between Peters Township and Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Make sure to follow all of Chesterfield's games online at plws.org and MLB.com, as well as stayed tuned throughout the event on social media.

Asia-Pacific Zone: Taipei County, Chinese Taipei



WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (July 20) - For the third-consecutive year, Asia-Pacific Zone powerhouse Chinese Taipei will be represented at the 2016 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS). Taipei County PONY League breezed past its competition at the A-P Championships in the Philippines last week with three double digit victories. C-T opened the tournament with a 15-8 victory over Korea, before defeating the Philippines A and B teams 26-0 and 11-0, respectively. The team finished the tournament with a 14-2 victory against Korea, once again, in the Championship Game.

Taoyuan County, Chinese Taipei dominated play at last year's DSGPLWS, scoring 38 runs in four games, while allowing just three, en route to the nation's seventh PLWS title, tying Puerto Rico for second-most all-time. C-T defeated San Bernardino, California 12-1 to win the championship. Batter Lin, Chun En and pitcher Lee, Cheng Chen received the Wilson Sporting Goods Batting Champion and Easton Sports ERA Award, respectively, for having the highest batting average and lowest ERA during tournament play.

Chinese Taipei has been a juggernaut since Tai Tong first represented the nation in 1994 and went on to win the title after beating Chambersburg, Pennsylvania 6-1 in the Championship Game. In 14 of its 15 appearances at the DSGPLWS, C-T has at least made the Division Finals, and in 12 of those 14 appearances, C-T has gone on to participate in the championship game, including in 2014-15.

Taipei County begins its journey toward back-to-back DSGPLWS championships in Game #5 Saturday Aug. 6, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. (ET/US). The Asia-Pacific Zone Champions will await the winner of Game #1, which features Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico vs. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Make sure to follow all of Chinese Taipei's games online at plws.org and MLB.com, as well as stayed tuned throughout the event on social media.



Mexico Zone: Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico



WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (July 15) - It took six hard-fought wins for Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico to claim the Mexico Zone Championship, but after avenging an early round loss to Hermosillo with a win in the title game, Los Mochis is moving on to the 2016 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS). It is Los Mochis' third appearance at the DSGPLWS in the last four years and third overall, while the nation of Mexico will be represented for the 17th time.

Los Mochis began its journey at the Mexico Zone Championship with an 8-0 shutout of the Loco Torres, thanks to a complete game no hitter by starting pitcher Vicente Valenzuela, who also struck out 12 batters. Los Mochis' solid pitching continued in its next game against Guadalajara, as starter Rigoberto Borbolla went 6.2 IP, allowing one run on three hits, while striking out 10, as Los Mochis pulled out a 3-1 victory, and then the team won a close game 2-1 against defending Mexico Zone Champion Mazatlan thanks in part to Misael Lopez, who also went the distance, and allowed one run on two hits and walked three, but struck out nine. Bryan Guerrero went 3-for-3 at the plate in the Mazatlan contest.

Los Mochis continued its streak of close wins by beating Culiacan 6-5, as Jose Roman put together his third multi-hit game up to that point in the tournament by going 2-for-4 at the plate. The team suffered its first and only loss in its fifth game against Hermosillo in a game in which starter Enrique Gastellum was hit 11 times and surrendered five runs in 2.1 IP. Valenzuela was back to pitch in the team's "must-win" matchup with Monclova, Coahuila, and once again, he put together a quality start, going six innings, while allowing just two runs on five hits.

Los Mochis rematched Hermosillo in the semifinal and stunned their opponent with an 8-0 shutout, as Borbolla and Felix Jair put together multi-hit games and Lopez went 6.2 IP, allowed two hits and two walks, but struck out 15. In the Championship Game, Los Mochis once again routed Hermosillo 17-4 on a day in which the team collected 15 hits with Jose Roman being the player of the game by going 4-for-5, offensively.

Mexico's one and only PONY League World Series championship came in 1972, when Monterrey outdueled Honolulu, Hawaii in three-consecutive times en route to a title, after winning 3-1 in the Championship Game. Mexico's only other Championship Game appearance came in 2013, when Los Mochis began the tournament with a 3-2 loss to Chesterfield County, Virginia, but then blew through the loser's bracket with four-straight wins, including a rematch versus Chesterfield County, before losing 5-4 to champion Okinawa, Japan. In 2014, Los Mochis suffered an early exit, losing 9-0 to eventual champion Hilo, Hawaii and 10-7 against Chesterfield County, after beating Washington, Pennsylvania 7-1.

Mexico will begin its expedition toward a 2016 DSGPLWS Championship in Game #1, Aug. 5 at 5:30 p.m. (ET/US) against the Caribbean Zone Champions San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, at historic Lew Hays PONY Field in Washington, Pennsylvania. Make sure to follow all of Los Mochis' games online at plws.org and MLB.com, as well as stayed tuned throughout the event on social media.


Host: Washington County, Pennsylvania



WASHINGTON, Pa. (July 13) - Making its 33rd-consecutive appearance as the tournament's host, Washington, Pennsylvania, under the newly formed banner of Washington County, Pennsylvania, is the second team among the 10-team field at the 2016 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series. For the first time, Washington County will be comprised of players from the Founders League, which combines players from Washington Youth Baseball's PONY League and nearby Canonsburg, Pennsylvania's Canon-Mac Youth Baseball Association. 

On June 28, 27 players from Washington and Canonsburg participated in a tryout that was conducted like a college-level showcase in order to evaluate the players to make up a team of the best 15. Manager Connor Semple, a graduate and former baseball player at Penn State Behrend, where he won three ECAC Championships and one AMCC Championship, said that 10 players from Washington and five players from Canonsburg will make up the team, based on their performances at the tryout.

"We put a two and a half hour showcase for these players, but each event had something to show me if the skills were there to mold into an all-star," said Semple. "After hours of discussing and debating, we coaches came up with our roster of 15 selected kids."

Since the tryout, the team has participated in the Beast of the East Tournament, and fared well. Washington County won its first six games before losing its first game in the championship bracket and exited with a 6-1. This past weekend, Washington County held its own tournament and won each of its five games to claim the title. Semple said that the team will compete in one more tournament in Erie, Pennsylvania during the weekend prior to the DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series.

Since losing to Chesterfield County, Virginia in the semifinals in 2001, Washington has only won eight games at the PONY League World Series and has not gotten back to the semifinal round since. Washington's only championship came in 1955, yet the team has made three championship game appearances, with the most recent being in 1998, when Washington lost to Tai Tong County, Chinese Taipei. Semple is training the team for a showing that the Washington County faithful will be proud of.

"We are preparing with the best intensity as we can for the World Series," said Semple. "A lot of the skills that I’m trying to get molded into their minds are very high level, and it takes multiple reps and days to get them to stick and understand. As a team, we are learning to utilize their skills and use them to make the team better. This is a 15-guy roster that will take 15 guys for every win. A lot of our success has come from all 15 guys on the team realizing that this is a team sport and embracing that."

Washington County begins its expedition to a 2016 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series championship Saturday, Aug. 6 at 2:30 PM (ET/US) against Paderborn, Germany, the European Zone Champions. In 2012 and 2013, Washington and Paderborn squared off, and the Germans won both games 2-1 and 8-1, respectively. You can follow all of Washington County’s games, as well as every game of the 2016 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series online at plws.org and on social media


European Zone Champions: Paderborn, Germany

WASHINGTON, Pa. (May 25) – Paderborn, Germany proved that it was the best among the PONY European Zone, after outlasting 16 teams from 12 different countries over four days at the SUMA Open – PONY European Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. It will be Paderborn’s third appearance at the DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series (DSGPLWS) in the last five years.

According to head coach Georg Bull, the team was prepared for battle at the SUMA Open after part of the team trained for 16 days in the Dominican Republic playing 12 different teams. Paderborn began the tournament on fire and dismantled its first three opponents by a combined score of 45-1. The bats continued to stay hot, as Paderborn defeated the Bordeaux Academy of France 10-0 and the London Mets of Great Britain 15-1 to advance to the championship game.

Paderborn faced stiffer competition for the title, as the team was pitted against the 2014 PLWS European Zone representative Czech Academy from Brno. The game was deadlocked 2-2 before the Germans came away with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to a few Czech miscues. With one out in the inning, Carl Wenzel reached on an error and was moved to second thanks to a Henry Muller single on the proceeding at-bat. Wenzel and Muller advanced 80 feet thanks to a passed ball, and Wenzel then scored after Colin Holzwarth reached on another Czech error.

 “We weren´t able to really to hit the strong Czech Academy pitcher before, and when we did, it was straight at people,“ said Bull regarding his team’s hitting. “I wasn`t too happy with our performance until that point so, yes, the error helped to get us the result we´ve battled for.“

Nikolai Kirchhoff, the tournament’s MVP, came in to pitch in the seventh, and despite allowing a hit batsmen to advance around to third, Kirchhoff came away with the save and Paderborn was victorious 3-2. Teammate Simon Baumer was declared the tournament’s best batsman, after he went 11-for-16 with a homerun, nine RBIs and nine runs scored. Kirchhoff finished the tournament with 7.0 IP, no runs allowed and 12 Ks.

 “He always kept his cool, smiled and displayed great composure and posture day-in and day-out, while being a role model and leader for his teammates,“ said Bull about Kirchhoff.

In 2012, Paderborn was the European Zone’s first-ever PLWS entry, and that team went on to record a 2-1 win over Washington, Pa. before being ousted by Laredo, Tx. Paderborn made back-to-back appearances in 2013 and once again beat Washington, but it did not go on farther. Bull believes the experience gained from those two trips will lend itself well in 2016, and the team is excited to visit Washington.

 “We, as coaches, know what to expect and can relay that experience to the players. For them, it will be a completely new experience and they can´t wait to be air bound,” said Bull. “We are proud and happy that we were able to qualify again. For us, it‘s very important to play as many tough games as possible since baseball is a small sport in Germany. Also, the atmosphere in Washington is unique. It´s a beautiful stadium and set up, the organizers do a tremendous job of giving all participants the feeling of taking part in something really big, a real World Series. Playing in Washington, Pa. is a tremendous experience they will never forget.“

 The European Zone champions will play their first game, Game #4, against hometown Washington, Pa. at 2:30 p.m. (ET – U.S.) on Saturday, Aug. 6. You can follow all of Paderborn’s games, as well as every game of the 2016 DSGPLWS online at plws.org and on social media.

Photos from the SUMA Open / PONY European Championships

        

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