All season, DODDS-Europe baseball teams have arrived in Ramstein with varying degrees of confidence, momentum and good vibes. But they all depart the same way.
The defending Division I champion Royals swatted down another upstart challenger on Saturday, sweeping the visiting SHAPE Spartans by double-digit margins of 12-2 and 15-5.
The consecutive routs came a day after SHAPE, the 2012 Division II European champion and a strong contender for the 2014 crown, swept Division I Kaiserslautern to start its swing through Germany.
That swing ended with two misses on Saturday.
Three Ramstein pitchers held the Spartans to a meager two runs in the opener, with Christian Elliott pitching a perfect final inning to slam the door. Steven Yetishefsky went 3-for-3 with 3 RBIs and a run scored to pace the Royal offense.
The nightcap held more of the same. Kieffer Allen threw four inning of one-hit, shutout baseball and Matthew Sharpy scored three runs and drove in two more as the home team cruised to the sweep.
Ramstein has made a habit of dashing hopes this spring. The Royals swept Division I hopeful Vilseck in the season's opening weekend and put Lakenheath, last year's third-place European finisher, in its place last weekend. The team's toughest test remains, however, in a May 10 title-game rematch with Patch.
The losses were the first of the season for the Spartans. They continue to test the Division I waters next weekend against Lakenheath.
Baumholder 12/16, Alconbury 0/2: Saturday at Baumholder, the Bucs picked up their first wins of the season at the expense of the short-armed Dragons.
Taylor Moore tossed a complete game and struck out 10 Alconbury batters in the opener and went 2-for-3 with four RBIs in the nightcap. The late game was called in the second inning when Alconbury, a small Division II school in the midst of a four-game weekend, ran out of available pitchers.
Baumholder has just two games left on its schedule, a May 17 home set against Bitburg. The Dragons will also have two weeks of needed rest, wrapping up their season May 17 against Lakenheath.
Vilseck 8/7, Wiesbaden 1/3: Saturday at Vilseck, standout pitching efforts by Kurt Hall and Josh Piatt fueled a Falcon sweep of the Division I rival Warriors.
Vilseck, in its first games since splitting an April 19 doubleheader with established power Patch, deployed a competent overall attack in earning its first doubleheader sweep of the season. The Falcon batting order produced a number of standouts, as Kenny Bogawitch drove in two runs in the opener and Hall and Brad Patterson did the same in the nightcap.
Jack Tone and Seth Birch went for three hits apiece as Wiesbaden made a strong second-game bid for the split.