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International Tournament Vilnius Cup 2013 01 03
On December 27-29, the international baseball tournament for juveniles and cadets took place in Vilnius Sportima arena. In total, 10 juveniles teams (born 2001-05-01 and later) and 12 cadets teams (born 1999-01-01 and later) participated. The tournament had a couple rules that are not included in real baseball to make the games go by faster. A couple main rules: the hitter starts the at bat with the count 1-1, the team on offense cannot score more than 5 runs per inning, a draw is possible, also a draw to decide the winner is possible.
In the juveniles tournament, even 6 teams out of 10 had chances to win it all. Games between these teams usually ended by one or couple runs. In the final, Brest Zubry played against Moscow Moskvich. After an unremitting battle, the Belarus team won 9:8. In the game for the third place, Estonia Kiili Panthers beat the tired hosts BK Vilnius, even tho before in a group game the Vilnius team had an easy win.
In the cadets tournament, Moscow Balashicha did not lose a single game (2 draws, 4 wins), but they did not win the tournament because the draw after the final game and the extra innings with Kaunas Lituanica was unfavorable for them. Lituanica lost a group game to them 3:9, also they were behind in the final game 0:5, but they found will and tied the game in the last inning. Extra innings did not change the score. Since we could not keep playing, because of a soccer tournament, for the first time in the tournament history the winner was decided by a draw. Kaunas Lituanica were the lucky ones. They are the tournament champions. In the game for the third place Brest Zubry played against BK Vilnius. Just as it looked like the game was going to end tied, Vilnius made an error after the last pitch and gave the win away to the visitors without a draw.
Also two friendly softball games were played between BK Vilnius and Radviliškis Bėgiai who split the series 3:0 and 4:6.
BK Vilnius 16 year olds, who have a responsible 2014 season coming up, played two games against Minsk" Vilnius won both games 9:2 and 7:4.
The tournament gives Lithuanian baseball teams a chance to play at a high level against other good European teams during the cold period. It motivated players to practice harder while getting ready for the tournament and mobilized club representatives to join in organizing the tournament. This will encourage many young athletes to stay in this sport because you have to work hard the whole winter so you could play baseball in the summer.
I thank all the people that joined in organizing the tournament, especially Arnoldas Ramanauskas, Žilvinas Vodzinskas, Kęstas Vilimas, Sandra Lazauskiene, Ilona Čepelionienė.
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