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U-12 Baseball European Championship 2023 Qualifier - Official Payoff

Ukraine wins U-12 Baseball European Championship Qualifier in Sofia

Ukraine wins U-12 Baseball European Championship Qualifier in Sofia
08/07/2023
Ukraine went undefeated in the qualifying tournament for the U-12 Baseball European Championship, which was held in Sofia, Bulgaria this past week. After a 5-0 preliminary round Ukraine beat Belgium 13-2 in the final on Saturday. With the win Ukraine gets a spot in next year’s U-12 Baseball European Championship, which will also serve as Qualifier for the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup in 2025.

Ukraine started off the U-12 Baseball European Championship Qualifier in Sofia on Monday with a 12-1 win over Slovakia. It was followed by a 17-0 win over Bulgaria on Tuesday, a 21-4 win over Hungary on Wednesday, a close 5-4 victory over fellow finalist Belgium on Thursday and a 5-3 win over Poland on Friday. Belgium went 4-1 during first-round play to join Ukraine in the final on Saturday.

While the group match between Ukraine and Belgium was a close affair, the final was not in the end based on the result. But it was in the beginning. Belgium took a 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning. But Ukraine took control of the contest 3-2 after the second. They added a run in the third before blowing the score wide open with seven runs in the fourth. A two-run home run by Yehor Tatarchenko capped the win in the fifth.

Artem Afonin also homered for Ukraine. The center fielder drove in three in the game. Andrii Novak pitched a complete game, allowing just one hit, while also scoring three runs. Mats Ruggenberg and Louis Cadiou scored the two runs for Belgium.

All results and statistics from the U-12 Baseball European Championship Qualifier 2023 in Sofia can be found on the WBSC Europe website.

Cover photo by Hans Santens