Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ireland at the 2008 European Pool B Championships - Ireland v Portugal

The Irish National baseball team takes on Portugal today in the Pool B European Championships, in Abrantes, Portugal. You can find the complete tournament schedule here.

Ireland's schedule for the 2008 tournament


JULY

Event Location Opponent & Time Result
9 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
(B-POOL)

Abrantes, Portugal

Portugal 5pm

10 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
(B-POOL)

Abrantes, Portugal

Russia
11 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
(B-POOL)

Abrantes, Portugal

Greece


12 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
(B-POOL)

Abrantes, Portugal

Finals Day


Ireland has played Portugal before in the Championships, beating them 8-1 in Vienna in 1998. The winning pitcher on the day was Bill Beglane who is now the Irish teams pitching coach.
''Game two saw us up against Portugal. Coach Steen, Bill Beglane and Sean Mitchell had scouted them and we knew they were a solid, respected European Team with some good hitters. Bill drew the start and basically pitched the game of his life. Like two years before against Yugoslavia, Bill was in total control, spotting his fastball and putting batters away with his big, looping curveball. Portugal was stunned as we blew past them 8-1 in an extremely confident Irish display.''
You can read more on that great tournament here.

'Emerald Diamond' director John Fitzgerald is also following the tournament from the blog for his new TV show, 'Playing for peanuts'. Check it out for some interesting content as the tournament progresses.

There are three Dublin Hurricanes in the 2008 Irish squad. Tom Kelley has been a regular in the Irish team since the 2001 tour of Rhode Island/Boston. He is a Hurricanes legend, being one of the founding members in 1997. Steve Divito, the Hurricanes captain and heavy slugging shortstop, makes his debut on the 2008 Irish team. Steve has captained the Hurricanes to several Irish league pennants and two Irish league championships in his tenure as 'Canes skipper. His dramatic two run game winning shot off Bill Beglane in 2005 swung the Irish playoffs in the Hurricanes favour against the Spartans. Possibly the greatest single hit in Hurricanes history. Finally, Tommy Hernandez, the Hurricanes slick fielding and big hitting center fielder makes his second tournament appearance for the green. Tommy drove in the only run in Ireland's dramatic 2-1 loss to Croatia in the group games in Antwerp in 2006. Croatia would go on to beat Ireland in the final.

How about a quick update from Irish team catcher/pitcher Eoin O'Connor?
''Yeah five PM start today, three PM warm-up, not that we need it! Twenty degrees already! Lineups not announced yet. No clue how good Portugal are, and probably better that way. We will just go out and play our (backsides) off, what will be will be''

The 2008 Irish roster
Ireland Team Roster
## Name Pos B/T Date of Birth
-- ---- --- --- -------------
2 MITCHELL Sean P, IF R/R 07.09.68
4 FINN Sean P R/R 12.09.88
6 DILLON John OF R/R 06.01.71
8 HOVE Jason C, OF R/R 15.11.78
10 BEGLANE Will P R/R 01.08.64
12 O'SULLIVAN Steve P, IF R/R 08.03.80
14 ANGLIN Doug IF R/R 22.09.88
17 ROUEN Niall P, OF R/R 21.06.86
19 HERNANDEZ Tommy IF, OF R/R 09.03.83
20 O'CONNOR Darran IF R/R 17.06.78
24 DI VITO Steve IF L/R 12.12.72
28 O'CONNOR Edin P, C R/R 17.07.81
31 ANGLIN Nat P, IF R/R 21.06.85
33 WOODBURNE Daniel P, OF R/R 15.12.79
35 MINNING Nick C, OF R/R 06.11.60
38 KELLEY Tom C, OF R/R 21.11.72
Portugal and Ireland are on the same time so the game starts 5pm Irish time. Updates and final score from 'Boston Irish' as they come in. Good luck to the boys in green.


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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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