This is a big weekend in European baseball as the European Champions Cup Final Four takes place over the next two days in Barcelona. It is a club based competition that this year pits two of the best teams from Italy against two from the Netherlands. What’s more, the event is being broadcast online and also on TV, courtesy of Eurosport2.
The European Champions Cup was launched last year after the Confederation of European Baseball tournaments were reorganized. The Nettuno baseball club from Italy won the inaugural event and they are looking to defend their title in 2009.
The competition begins today with the two semi-finals. L&D Amsterdam Pirates will take on Fortitudo Bologna in the first game at 11.00 BST, while at 18.00 it’s Danesi Caffe’ Nettuno against Corendon Kinheim. These games are available to watch for free live online via the 2009BaseballWorldCup website and they represent an excellent opportunity for baseball fans to enjoy some European club baseball.
The third-place play-off (10.00 BST) and the final (17.00 BST) will take place tomorrow. It’s not completely clear whether these games will be shown online. Mister-Baseball.com, the leading European Baseball and Softball website, state in their very useful tournament preview that the semi-finals are available but there is no mention of the Sunday games. However, the 2009BaseballWorldCup website does promise us that we can “catch all the action live and uninterrupted online”, which strongly suggests that all four games (including the two tomorrow) will be shown.
Hopefully the final will be broadcast online, allowing as many people as possible the chance to see the game. If not, or you unable to watch the live feed, subscribers to Eurosport2 have three chances to catch a repeat. The first comes on Monday evening at 19:15, followed by showings at 14.00 on Friday 26 June and 12.45 on Sunday 27 June.
It’s fantastic news that Eurosport have decided to support European club baseball in this way. The game should make for an excellent warm-up before the Baseball World Cup in September, which reportedly is also scheduled to be shown on the channel.
Good luck to the four teams involved.