It’s time to play ball again with championships on the line
Stars and Stripes May 20, 2022
RAMSTEIN, Germany – Championship-level baseball has returned to Germany, with 16 Division I, II, and III teams opening the DODEA-Europe baseball championships Thursday.
Two years of coronavirus-induced cancellations has been a sore spot for many of the teams as they were unable to give players the satisfaction of playing high school baseball.
“This has been fantastic, especially after having a full year of just practice,” Ramstein coach Alfredo Rios said. “These kids were definitely ready to go.”
The majority of teams playing in the 2022 tournament have one thing in common: teams are comprised of a majority of underclassmen.
“It’s really good getting young players who can come up in a program early on and help develop it from the ground up,” Lakenheath coach Gabe Feletar said. “Win or lose, getting these kids experience and building on that for the future is great.”
All teams were placed in a blind draw and faced off against random opponents in two placement games Thursday. The teams were then re-seeded based on their performances and were placed in a single- elimination bracket starting Friday and ending Saturday.
The top performers Thursday for Division I were Ramstein and Wiesbaden, which were both undefeated their games landing them the No. 1 and No. 2 seed respectively. For Division II/III, Sigonella and Naples landed the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, also going undefeated in their placement games.
Ramstein defeated Lakenheath 21-1 and Vilseck 10-2, while Wiesbaden edged Stuttgart 2-1 and thumped SHAPE 27-1. Sigonella routed Hohenfels 22-1 and edged Alconbury 7-6, while Naples topped Aviano 10-4 and Rota 9-4.