STUTTGART, Germany – Maybe it was the cold weather. But the Patch baseball team appeared to have visiting Ansbach seeing double Saturday.
The defending European Division I champions defeated the Cougars by identical 10-0 scores, with both games ending in the fifth ending.
Patch senior pitcher Ruben Rodriguez compiled nine strikeouts in the first game and teammate Andrew Buxkemper struck out nine in the second game. Snow had started to accumulate before the players left the field.
"It was kind of hard to grip the ball but we did the best we could," Rodriguez said about how the weather affected his pitching. "It was a great game. We stayed into it. We just stayed warm as best we could and played baseball."
Rodriguez had two hits as well, including a double. Garrett Becker, Parker Boyle and Dylan Wagner also had a pair of hits for the Panthers.
In the second game, Jack Smith, Wagner, Boyle and Becker all had two hits to support Buxkemper’s pitching. Jose Fuentes had two hits for Ansbach.
Patch coach Drake Marbury said he's been impressed by the leadership his players have displayed this year.
"So far so good," Marbury said. "We had a couple of All-European pitchers last year. Ruben Rodriguez and Andrew Buxkemper are back. So they stepped up and filled the shoes of the people that we lost last year."
Despite the shutout, Marbury said his team still has some work to do.
"I think we got a good solid defense," Marbury said. "Gotta work on our hitting some. Pitching. Can't have enough pitching come the tournament."
Ramstein 29/19, Bitburg 1/0:At Ramstein, the Royals rode overwhelming pitching and hitting to a pair of blowout wins over the overmatched Barons.
Sixteen different Royals crossed home in the opener, led by Justin Pendergrass with a three-hit, five-RBI, five-run effort.
Ramstein pitcher Zachary De Costa took center stage in the late game, tossing three perfect innings and adding two hits, an RBI and a run at the plate.
The routs completed a perfect 4-0 weekend for the Royals, the DODDS-Europe Division I runner-up three years running. Ramstein beat Lakenheath twice on Friday.