Ramstein's Liam Delp pitches during an 8-3 victory over Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Ramstein's Liam Delp pitches during an 8-3 victory over Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

With the return of baseball in DODEA Europe last year, came the return of business as usual.

Ramstein swung its way to another Division I title, while Naples, after one pre-COVID-19 season playing with the big boys, dropped into the small school division and took back its crown.

Considering the players coming back this spring for both squads, repeats could be in the cards on the diamonds as the baseball season starts this weekend. But last year’s runners-up in Stuttgart and Aviano have playing spoilers on their minds and so do a few other contenders.

Here’s a look at teams in Europe based on responses from coaches:


The Saints finished runners-up in Division II last season will be looking to build off that in 2023.

Aviano lost three starting pitchers to graduation and PCS, but it still boasts a solid staff. Junior Colin North leads the way after going 3-0 in 2022, and sophomore Cristiano Peterson also brings back experience on the mound after going 1-1 last spring.

Joining them will be freshman Sergio Melendez, whom coach Kathleen Gonzales described as promising. He has been a standout in base youth programs and in the summer Italian baseball league.

Helping will be the pitching staff’s battery mate in junior catcher Brandon Sanderson. Senior second baseman Paul Ablang also brings back experience for the Saints.


The Raiders will be young under sixth-year coach Justin Bates, with just six returners and eight freshman incoming.

Coming back are pitcher/first baseman Brydon Lokey, catcher/outfielder Trygg Bredlow, second baseman Dominic Bailey, outfielders Anderson Ennis and Jacob Baker and pitcher/outfielder Philip Stacey.

Along with the large freshman group, a sophomore and senior have transferred onto the team.


Coach Gabe Feletar’s squad is motivated to overcome what he called a “disappointing showing” in the championships last season where Lakenheath went 0-4.

The Lancers will have to do so with a young squad. They have only two seniors in pitcher/first baseman Austin Johnson and outfielder Tai Rutland. Also, one junior – outfielder/catcher Calvin Moncada – and two sophomores – catcher/pitcher Brendan Corwin and pitcher/second baseman Aidan Harper – return from 2022’s team.

Lakenheath will turn to a host of newcomers, including junior Saim Smith and sophomores Carson Vinton and Ethan Wright.


The defending Division II-III champion has repeat on its mind.

And for good reason. The Wildcats return four players in 2023, beginning with pitcher/infielder Ella Taitingfong. She started the championship on the mound, going 6-0 across the season and finishing with a 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The junior also batted .500 with a .706 on-base percentage.

Another pitcher, Logan Barker, also posted a 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and went 3-0 last year. A pitcher, catcher, shortstop and first baseman, Caden Averill brings back his .441 batting average and .627 on-base percentage for Naples, and infielder A.J. Lopez returns after hitting .406 and posting a .565 on-base percentage.

Coach Jim Davis pointed to newcomers Jonathan Vousboukis (catcher/pitcher) and Matthew Butler (pitcher/catcher/first baseman) as key figures for Naples this spring.


The Royals know they will have targets on their backs this season after running the table in the European tournament to claim the Division I title.

With seven players returning and another seven coach Alfredo Rios considers potential starters, he said he believes they are ready for the challenge.

Returners include catcher Chuck Wheeler; pitcher and first baseman Conor McGinty, who started on the mound and hit three doubles in the 2022 final; pitcher and shortstop Liam Delp; pitcher and third baseman Rueben Todman; outfielder Christian Roy; second baseman Donovan Kaya; pitcher, second baseman and catcher Scott Monroe; and pitcher and outfielder Travis Ritz.

Among the newcomers are seniors Brody Hall and Liam Szymanski, junior Seth McClure and seven underclassmen.

Stuttgart Panthers’ Caiden Ray hits his second double against the Wiesbaden Warriors’ pitcher in the team’s opening game of the tournament at the 2022 DODEA-Europe baseball championship.

Stuttgart Panthers’ Caiden Ray hits his second double against the Wiesbaden Warriors’ pitcher in the team’s opening game of the tournament at the 2022 DODEA-Europe baseball championship. (Kyle Alvarez/Stars and Stripes)


The Panthers fell one step short of a championship last spring in falling to Ramstein in the final.

They return 10 players from a team that went 11-1 in the regular season, with seven of those being seniors. Add four transfers, and first-year coach Mandy Ray’s squad will push to stand atop the podium at the end of the season.

Senior co-captain Caiden Ray enters his fourth year in the squad and will play catcher and shortstop. Stuttgart also has a trio of three-year players in senior co-captain Blake Rossignol (middle infielder), Jamie Arnold (pitcher/middle infielder) and Brandon Eves (center fielder/pitcher). Other seniors are Liam Bernhard, Joshua Patrick, Aidan Hanley and Christian Fisher.

Also returning are Trenton Cook and Declan Mack.

Transferring in are senior first baseman Joshua Zipperer, junior third baseman Ryan Santana, junior pitcher and middle infielder Tyler Blalock and junior outfielder Donovan Jurich.


With 20 years of experience on Stacy Kelly’s coaching staff, the Cougars are hoping their young roster can handle a steep learning curve.

Vicenza has three returners in sophomores Zach Alderson (first/third baseman) and David Johnson (shortstop/second baseman/pitcher) and junior Isaac Leon (outfielder).

The lone senior is a newcomer in Jabari Slater. Two juniors in Tre Davis and Jayden Steimle also join the squad, as do sophomore Andrew Overstreet and six freshmen – Gabe Aldarondo, Philip Cirilo, Grady Lester, Logan Sistare, Deacon Smith and Benny Irwin.


The 2022 Falcons were a young and inexperienced group, and yet they managed to finish .500 during the regular season before a quarterfinal exit in the tournament.

Coach Michael Valenzuela is hoping the 2023 squad will grow in the same manner, with a view to be competitive.

Four returners will lead Vilseck on the diamonds this spring. It starts with second baseman/catcher Robert Rasmussen, who earned all-European honors after batting .468. Pitcher/infielder Jackson Cochran hit .466 last season, and pitcher/utility men Junior de Jesus and Jonathan Bullock went .380 and .241 at the plate, respectively.

The Falcons will get boosts from transfers Andre Hardy and Isaac Greene and freshmen Isdayl Rivera-Cruz and Damien Morris Schmidt.


In his first year at the helm, coach Jon Ring led the Warriors to a 15-5 record and a third-place finish in the European championships.

The Warriors expect to be right up there again when they hit the diamonds this spring.

Wiesbaden returns 13 players from 2022, including two players who hit .500 or better. Senior Jordan Reffeor averaged .568, while sophomore Logan Hernandez posted a .500 batting average.

Junior Timothy Rice recorded a .455 average last year, while senior Andrew Meno hit .442. Sergio Egland rounds out the returners hitting higher than .300 after going .333 last spring.

Among the newcomers are senior Landon Escobar and junior Jordan Holoman.

author picture
Matt is a sports reporter for Stars and Stripes based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. A son of two career Air Force aircraft maintenance technicians, he previously worked at newspapers in northeast Ohio for 10 years and is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

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