Russia wins spot in Senior League championship game
FRANKFURT, Germany — Russia clinched a berth in Friday’s championship game of Little League Baseball’s European Senior League championship by routing winless Ramstein 17-5 Wednesday.
The victory clinched the pool championship for the Russians, who’ll have the day off Thursday after completing the round-robin portion of tournament for players aged 14-16 years with a 4-1 record.
Russia’s opponent in the title game won’t be known until after Thursday’s final pool-play game, a 9:30 a.m. clash at the Sandhoefer Wiesen sports complex between Ramstein (0-4) and Saudi Arabia (2-2). If Saudi Arabia, represented by the Arabian-American Little League of Dharan, beats the military community players from Ramstein and Spangdahlem Air Bases, Saudi Arabia will forge a three-way tie for second between themselves; Germany, represented by the Rheinland Little League of Frankfurt, and Poland, represented by the Kutno Little League.
Poland (3-2) earned its share of the tie by defeating Saudi Arabia 5-0 Wednesday; Germany improved to 3-2 with a 15-6 rout of Austria.
Tournament director Bill Dickman said a tie among three 3-2 teams will be broken by a runs-allowed ratio, compiled by dividing the number of runs allowed by the number of half-innings played on defense. The team with the lowest ratio will play Russia at 12:30 p.m. Friday for the European title and a berth in the Little League Senior league World Series in Bangor, Maine, Aug. 10-16.
The other two teams will play later Thursday to see which two of the four lowest-place finishers advance to Friday’s 9:30 a.m. consolation game.
In Thursday’s eliminations, the third-place team in the final pool standings will take on fifth-place Austria, represented by the American International Baseball Club of Vienna, at 12:30 p.m., while the fourth-place team faces sixth-place Ramstein at 4:30 p.m.
Even if Ramstein beats Saudi Arabia on Thursday, the Americans will still finish in sixth place by virtue of their 10-4 loss to Austria (1-4) on Monday.