Preview Pool B at Baseball European Championship 2023: Italy, Great Britain, Hungary and Sweden

Preview Pool B at Baseball European Championship 2023: Italy, Great Britain, Hungary and Sweden
16/09/2023
Pool B at the Baseball European Championship 2023 will play in Třebíč and features Italy, Great Britain, Hungary and Sweden.

Great Britain
Great Britain is riding high on the emotions after their stunning qualification for the World Baseball Classic at last year’s WBC Qualifier in Regensburg and then winning in the main tournament to capture a guaranteed seed in the next edition.

At Baseball European Championships the British squad collected silver medals in 1967 and 2007. In 2019 they finished in ninth, in 2021 in sixth place in the final standings.

The team is managed by Drew Spencer. Their roster once again is led by Seattle Mariners top prospect Harry Ford, who excelled at the WBC Qualifier and the World Baseball Classic for Great Britain and this summer was also nominated to the MLB Futures Games during the MLB All-Star Game festivities. Jacob Esch, Alex Crosby, Alex Webb and Nick Ward are also back on the team.

Hungary
It is going to be the first time that Hungary is participating in the A-Pool of the Baseball European Championship.

They are facing an uphill battle in their chase of requalifying for the next edition as one of the biggest underdogs in the competition. They young roster – 15 of the 24 players are born after 2000 – is managed by Szabolcs Piros and also features Robert Morua on the coaching staff. Their respective sons Adam and Balint Piros as well as Martin Morua are some of the young talented players on the team, which also features veterans Carlos Rubio, Csaba and Norbert Goor and Tibor Bagyinszki.

Italy
Italy, which has won the Baseball European Championship ten times and has amassed 32 medals in tournament history, has not won the Gold Medal since their back to back titles in 2010 and 2012.

In 2021 they had to settle for the bronze medal in front of their home crowd in Piedmont.

Their biggest name on the delegation is certainly MLB Hall of Famer Mike Piazza, who returns as Italy’s manager. On the roster he and his coaching staff can rely on an experienced team. Former big leaguer Alex Liddi is missing from the team. The pitching staff features Claudi Scotti, Nick Davis, Matteo Bocchi and Alex Bassani among others.

On offense Italy hopes for some European Championship magic from Alberto Mineo, Sebastiano Poma, Mattia Mercuri, Federico Celli and Erick Epifano.

Sweden
Sweden captured bronze medals in 1981 and 1993. In recent history the Scandinavians have mixed results. In 2007, 2010 and 2012 they finished in the top six. In 2014 and 2019 they had to go to the relegation round after missing out on the top ten. In the last edition in 2021 they finished in 12th place, requalifying for this year.

Rickard Reimer, who as a player won the bronze medal with Sweden in 1993, is the manager. The team still features European Championship veterans Per Sjörs and Philip Gajzler, Joel and Daniel Johnson. However they also have young prospects on the team with Victor Wahlberg, Linus Ritzen, Olle Jerfsten and Max Church.

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