South Africa undefeated in European Big League championship
VILSECK, Germany — Peter-John Abrams’ two-run, walk-off home run with two outs Wednesday capped a three-run last-inning rally that kept South Africa undefeated after three days of the round-robin European Big League regional youth baseball championship.
Abrams’ homer gave South Africa a 5-4 win over Ukraine (2-1) and allowed them to take a 3-0 record into Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. game against Lithuania (1-2).
The tournament, for teams composed of players ages 16-19, will match the two teams with the best round-robin records in the championship at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Big Mike Youth Sports Complex in Vilseck, Germany.
Europe’s champion earns a berth in the Big League World Series in Easley, S.C., Aug. 2-9.
“They’re a true national team,” tournament director Charlotte Hogan said of the South Africans, whom she said drew the attention of the Italy-based European scout for the Seattle Mariners on Monday and Tuesday. “They have players from all provinces all over the country.”
South Africa clinched a tie for the round-robin championship with Wednesday’s victory. After Thursday’s game against Lithuania, South Africa will receive a forfeit victory from Poland (0-3), which withdrew from the tournament when injuries left it with too few players to compete.
South Africa was coming off a 6-2 eight-inning victory Tuesday over Ramstein. The teams were tied 2-2 at the end of seven.
Ramstein (2-1) bounced back Wednesday with a 12-4 victory over Romania (1-2). The Americans will take Thursday off, accepting the forfeit from Poland, and play Ukraine (2-1) Friday in a game that most likely will determine which team will take on South Africa in the title game.