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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – The DODDS-Europe Division I baseball tournament kicked off as expected on Thursday morning, with top-seeded Ramstein earning a 15-0 mercy-rule victory over Kaiserslautern.

Despite the bitter cold and a biting rain, pitcher Ryan Burk was hot, giving up only two hits while striking out six in the four-inning victory.

The Royals gave Burk all the runs he would need in the third, sending 15 batters to the plate in an 11-run outburst. Malachi Diaz had two singles and scored twice in the frame for Ramstein. The Royals, who had six hits in the inning, were helped by three walks and four Kaiserslautern errors.

Antonio Ortiz drove in three runs in the inning, one on a bases loaded walk, two more on a sharply hit single to left field.

The Royals put the game away in the bottom of the fourth, scoring two runs on five straight walks to start the inning. Later, Zachary DeCosta’s single to right made it 15-0 and ended the game.

DeCosta collected three hits for the Royals, while Diaz scored three times.

Ramstein coach Tom Yost called the game “a momentum starter.”

“We’re just trying to get in a groove for the rest of the tournament,” Yost said. “We just need to make sure we come out sharp and ready to go for the next game.”

Meanwhile, Kaiserslautern coach Chris Grogan took solace in the fact that his team held the Royals off the scoreboard for the first couple of innings. But he knows the Raiders have room for improvement.

“We made some mental errors (in the third), and our youth showed through,” he said.

Plus, the Raiders need to be better at the plate. Senior Chris Jastrab collected both of Kaiserslautern’s hits.

“If we want to win, we got to hit,” Grogan said.

Much of the remainder of the Division I schedule Thursday was postponed due to rain.

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