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European Cup Qualifier 2013 2013 06 22
On June 17 - 22 in Karlovac, Croatia one of the 4 subgroups of the European Cup qualifiers took place in which the Lithuanian champion Kaunas Lituanica participated. In the first European Cup qualifying game Kaunas "Lituanica" lost 0-16 in 5 innings to the home team Karlovac Olimpia. In the next game Moscow North Stars (Russia) 9-1 beat Trnava BK Angels (Slovakia).
Kaunas Lituanica played their second game against the Slovakia's champions Trnava Angels and again lost 1-9 and practically lost hope of playing in the finals. Slovakian team after the homerun in the first game went ahead 0-2. In the 5th inning Kaunas team cut the lead to 1-2, but let up 5 runs on defense 2-7. Slovaks scored 2 more in the 6th. Over the last 3 innings teams did not score. Lituanica again did not play good on offense. They only got 3 hits (2 out of them both doubles by Aivaras Jacyna). On defense they made 4 errors. Angels got 10 hits and did not make any errors.
In 2 games Lithuanian chmpions got only 5 hits. In the Lithuanian championship the team averages over 10 hits per game.
Kaunas Lituanica lost their third game in a row in the European Cup qualification tournament to the Polish champions Zory Buks Gepardy 6-7 and independently from the last game with Moscow North Stars will not move from the last place.
In the first 3 innings the teams did not score and after the 4th the score was tied 2-2. In the 5th Lituanica went ahead 3-2, but in the 6th Gepardy tied the game. Lithuanians won the 7th inning 3-0 and held the lead until their last defense (6-4).
Unfortunately in the last inning Polish team managed to score 3 runs and win the game. That was only the second time in history when Lithuanians lost to a Polish team in an official game. In 2005, in the CEB Cup qualification tournament Utena Vetra 3-4 lost to Rybnik Silesia team.
Kaunas Lituanica after disappointing losses in the European Cup qualifiers released all the stored anger against the Russian Moscow North Stars, beating them 18-3.
Even though Moscow's team had a guaranteed spot in the finals, besides the pitchers pretty much all the starters played in the game. Lithuanian champions at last played good on offense. In the second inning a 3 run homerun was hit by Aivaras Jacyna.
Despite the disgraceful loss, Moscow North Stars today in the finals beat the tournament host Karlovac "Olimpia" 3-0 and advanced to the next round.
The unfortunate performance of the Lithuanian champions, according to statistics was determined by weak offense and the unsecured pitching performances. Even though Lithuanian pitchers made most of the strikeouts, they were second to last in runs allowed.
On July 22-27 Lithuanian national baseball team, which will be mostly made of the players who played in Croatia will participate in the European Group B Championship in Vienna (Austria). The last European Cup game showed that with better offense and steadier pitching performance we can expect better results in Austria.