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Baseball European Championship 2023 - Official Payoff
Preview Pool A at Baseball European Championship 2023: Czechia, Spain, Austria and Greece
15/09/2023 2 Minute Read

Preview Pool A at Baseball European Championship 2023: Czechia, Spain, Austria and Greece

Pool A at the Baseball European Championship 2023 will play in Ostrava and features host Czechia, Spain, Austria and Greece.

Austria is the big underdog in Group A of the Baseball European Championship 2023. They will be playing their third Baseball European Championship after finishing in 10th place in 2019 and 11th in 2021, both times maintaining their position in the A Pool without big troubles.

Nonetheless against their experienced opponents they are facing an uphill battle to reach the top eight phase. The team of manager Hiro Sakanashi is featuring a mix of experience players like Christian Tomsich, Ryan Rupp or Benjamin Salzmann and some young guns as Lennard Halper or Eoghan McGarry. The team also has two pairs of brothers with Justin and Brian Fürböck and Moritz and Samuel Hackl.

While one of the biggest collectors of medals in the youth baseball categories, Czechia is still waiting for their first medal at the Senior Baseball European Championship.

However after claiming one of the elusive spots in the main tournament of the World Baseball Classic and playing in front of their home crowd Czechia is eager to accomplish that feat and improve on their so far best finish of fourth place in the final standings, which they captured at the 2014 Baseball European Championship, the last time the event was held in Czechia.

Manager Pavel Chadim can rely mostly on his WBC roster including former Major Leaguer Eric Sogard, infielder William Escala, powerful catcher Martin Cervenka and their number one choice for crucial situations Martin Schneider. Michal Kovala, who excelled at the WBC Qualifier, is currently missing from the roster.

Greece, which didn’t play in the 2019 edition, and only finished 14th place in the 2021 Baseball European Championship, won a silver medal in 2003, when they prepared for the 2004 Olympics in Athens and also claimed top ten finishes in 2010 (4th) and 2012 (7th).

Manager James Demetral and his team is hoping to rebound from their 14th place in 2021. Long time veteran Erik Pappas is back on the team and on the coaching staff. Also on the team is Sykaras Panagiotis, Dimitrios Kourtis, Yanni Orfanidis and Daniel Gosselin.

However with Czechia and Spain in the group they also share an underdog role with Austria to claim a quarterfinal spot.

Behind the Netherlands and Italy, Spain historically is the third successful country in Baseball European Championship. In the last ten editions Spain captured one silver and six bronze medals. In 2021 they finished in fourth place.

One of the European baseball power houses is led by manager Nelson Prada.

The experienced roster includes former Major Leaguer Engel Beltre and slugger Jesus Ustariz as well as veteran hurlers Jorge Balboa, Fernando Baez and Rhiner Cruz. They are missing 2021 standout pitcher Elian Leyva and Oscar Angulo.

Spain hopes to rebound from the disappointing WBC Qualifier in Regensburg, where they won the first two games for a direct path to the final, but lost two nailbiters against Great Britain and Czechia to miss out on requalifying for the World Baseball Classic.

All games of the Baseball European Championship 2023 can be followed through live play by play on www.wbsceurope.org. All games will by streamed by Staylive through www.baseballeurope.tv.

All the teams rosters (with a maximum of 3 players are allowed to be replaced on the Final Team Roster at the technical meeting before the tournament) are available here.

Cover photo by Czech Baseball