Game: Ireland v Serbia-Montenegro
Tournament: European Championships Germany 2004
Game type: Playoff
Irish starter: Chris Gannon
The third place playoff for the European Championships in 2004. A game we didn't really want to be in at first (We thought we should be playing ze Germans in the final, which maybe explains why we didn't end up playing Germany in the final!!) but a dramatic game that had a little bit of everything and ended up producing the first ever medal for the Irish Baseball Team in Europe.
An excerpt from my book on Irish Baseball:
''..the boys gamed up and we started well, Chris Gannon pitched and had the Serbs swinging at air, Joe Kealty was at it again in the first inning, driving a two run bomb into the trees over the fence. Another huge blast from the most talented player I have ever had the pleasure of being on the same field as. Chris and Kevin Foy both scored in the second inning, have two brothers ever scored in the same inning in European baseball before? Chris got the start at first base and went on to drive in two runs on top of his run scored. The game swung back and forth, the Serbs took the lead but we bounced back and put the game away with six runs in the sixth inning. Chris Gannon brought us home throwing hard right up to the ninth, striking out the last batter making it twelve on the day, securing third place for the Irish in the tournament.
That is about the time it sank home, we had finished third. We had the bronze medal. We had come a little bit further than before. All the hard work, all the training, those Tuesday nights where you had to sneak out of work and get a ride out to Corcaigh Park and train until it was too wet to go on, they were all worth it after all.''
More on the Irish baseball team @ 'Pitching in - ten years on the Irish baseball team'
Coming soon! Game number 9!
10. Ireland v Serbia-Montenegro - Germany 2004