The Irish National Baseball Team won the bronze medal at the 2016 European C-Pool Championships. The tournament was held in Slovenia from July 23-31.
Game 1: Ireland Defeats Finland, 2-1
Ireland got out to a fast start, defeating Finland 2-1 behind a strong debut from Pat O’Shea. O’Shea – who hails from Rye, NY and is currently the closer for Haverford College – pitched a complete game and had what turned out to be the game-winning RBI. From Mister-Baseball.com:
A RBI single by Brendan Power in the first and a RBI groundout by Patrick O’Shea in the sixth gave the Irish team a 2-0 lead. Ville-Herman Saarman hit a solo home run in the ninth to account for Finland’s lone run.
Game 2: Slovenia Defeats Ireland, 11-3
In the early evening game Slovenia downed Ireland 11-3 to improve to 1-1 in the event. Slovenia took the lead with a three-run third. Five runs in the seventh blew the score open and sealed the victory. Tadeh Brelih and Ziga Strukelj combined to drive in four. Grega Valancic surrendered three hits, three runs (2 ER) and seven base on balls in nine innings to pick up the win. Daniel Woodburne issued seven hits, five runs and a walk in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss.
Game 3: Serbia Holds Off Ireland, 9-6
It was a close game, but Serbia was able to hold off Ireland by a score of 9-6, despite offensive bursts from Pat O’Shea, Nat Anglin, and Matt Steerman. New York native Jesse Williams also pitched well in relief for Ireland, allowing one unearned run in 2.2 innings in his Irish debut:
Serbia celebrated a 9-6 win over Ireland in the morning game in Ljubljana on Thursday. Both teams scored five times in the first three innings. Ireland then took a 6-5 lead with a RBI single by Patrick O’Shea in the fifth. However Serbia scored four runs – three through a three-run home run by Nikola Ignjatovic – in the sixth to turn the game around. Nat Anglin and Matt Steerman hit home runs for Ireland. Danjil Kozjak struck out eight in nine innings, allowing ten hits, six runs and four base on balls to pick up the win. Brendan Scott got charged with the loss, surrendering 11 hits, eight runs (6 ER) and three walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Ireland Defeats, Norway 15-4 to Win the Bronze Medal
Although they could not get into the gold medal game due to losing a tie-breaker, Ireland played out the tournament with maximum effort, defeating Norway 15-4. Pat O’Shea came on in relief and earned his second win of the tournament, which was enough to earn him the Best Pitcher award. From Mister-Baseball.com:
Ireland defeated Norway 15-4 on Friday afternoon, but didn’t have a shot for the finals due to losing tiebreakers. Five runs in the first and three each in the third, fifth and sixth blew the score open pretty quickly. Michael Ferrato and Stephen Carter combined to drive in six runs. Ferrato also hit a home run for Ireland. Nat Anglin scored three times. Steffen Torgersen went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored for Norway. Patrick O’Shea pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his second win of the week. Reynaldo Reyes got charged with the loss, surrendering one hit, five runs (3 ER) and three walks, while managing just one out in the first.
Congratulations to all the players and coaches of the Irish National Baseball Team on a much deserved bronze medal! Ireland will return to the European Championships in 2018. Until then, you can support Irish baseball by purchasing an Irish National Baseball Team cap or T-shirt in our online store and by joining our Facebook group – Support Irish Baseball!