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Vindija Varazdin Wins 2024 Baseball European Federation Cup Group Croatia

 Matt Tallarini  |    Jun 10th, 2024 12:15pm EDT

The Vindija Varazdin won the 2024 Baseball European Federation Cup in Group Croatia, beating the Apollo Bratislava 7-5 in the championship game on Sunday. 

Vindija Varaždin starting pitcher Nino Kruhek threw nine innings, allowing six hits, five earned runs, five walks, and struck out 15 batters. Kruhek chucked 166 pitches with 101 strikes on Sunday. 

Apollo Bratislava starting pitcher Matej Škerlec threw five innings, allowing four hits, four earned runs, two walks, and six strikeouts. Skerlec threw 75 pitches with 45 strikes. 

The Vindija Varazdin offense pounded their first-three runs of the championship game in the top of the first inning, beginning with shortstop Juan Angel Morao Martinez smacking an RBI double to center field, scoring designated hitter Nino Kruhek for the first run of the game. 

A few batters later, Adams Seny Peguero rocked a two-run RBI single to right field, scoring catcher Rene Sebastian Bodalec and Martinez to extend the lead to 3-0. 

The Apollo Bratislava offense did not get on the board until the bottom of the fourth inning with third baseman Martin Brunegraf reaching on a throwing error from Vindija Varazdin second baseman Karlo Kos to cut the deficit to 3-1. 

In the top of the sixth inning, the Vindija Varazdin offense did not quietly back down with right fielder Isaac Antonio Cardenas Cordero smacking an RBI single to left field, scoring Martinez and extending the lead to 4-1. 

A few batters later, Kos opened up the run total with a bases-clearing triple down the left line, scoring Peguero, Cordero, and pinch runner Niko Vucetic to make it 7-1. 

During the bottom of the ninth inning, Apollo Bratislava catcher Matej Rudohradsky launched a grand slam over the center field wall to cut the deficit at 7-5. 

Kruhek shortly after got Apollo Bratislava second baseman Alexander Vaclavik to ground out to Martinez as he threw over to first base for the final out of the 2024 BEFC, Group Croatia championship game winning 7-5. 

The Apollo Bratislava will play the Angels Trnava U23 in the Extraleague Slovakia Baseball League Round Robin on June 19 at 11:30 a.m. EDT. 

The Apollo Bratislava will also play in the Croatia Open League event against the Budapest Red Wolves in Budapest, Hungary at 9 a.m. EDT on June 15. 

The Vindija Varazdin will play in the Croatia Championship Open League event in Zagreb, Croatia on June 15 against the BK Zagreb at 9 a.m. EDT. 

All of the games at the 2024 Baseball European Federation Cup in Group Croatia were played at the Baseball Club Vindija in Varaždin, Croatia.

The four participating teams that participated at the 2024 BEFC in Group Croatia are the Apollo Bratislava from the Slovenskej Baseballovej Federácie, the Sofia Blues from the Bulgarian Baseball Softball Federation, the Vindija Varaždin from the Hrvatski Baseball Savez, and the Zurich Challengers from the Swiss Baseball and Softball Federation. The Hrvatski Baseball Savez is also referred to as the Croatian Baseball Association.  

2024 BEFC in Group Croatia Game Schedule

June 6, 2024
Sofia Blues (BUL) 11, Zurich Challengers (SUI) 0  F/8
Vindija Varaždin (CRO) 8, Apollo Bratislava (SVK) 10 

June 7, 2024
(2-0) Apollo Bratislava (SVK) 11, (1-1) Sofia Blues (BUL) 6
(0-2) Zurich Challengers (SUI) 7, (1-1) Vindija Varaždin (CRO) 10

June 8, 2024
(3-0) Apollo Bratislava (SVK) 18, (0-3) Zurich Challengers (SUI) 9
(1-2) Sofia Blues (BUL) 4, (2-1) Vindija Varazdin (CRO) 14  F/7 

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Matt Tallarini
Matthew (Matt) Tallarini is the Founder and Chief Correspondent for the World Baseball Network. Matt played semi-professional baseball with the Pelham Mets in Pelham, New York for four years, including the 2018 Semi Pro World Series. During the pandemic, Matt began engaging with international baseball, as a way to keep connected to the sport. Matt created the World Baseball Network and its signature website, WorldBaseball.com as a way to promote and inform similar likeminded fans about the players, teams and leagues innovating the sport of baseball and feeding into Major League Baseball (MLB). As a result of Matt’s efforts, World Baseball Network is now the benchmark standard for international baseball coverage, including MLB, MiLB, NCAA, Korea, Japan, Caribbean, Baseball United, WBC, WBSC and more. In a short time, Matt has interviewed a who’s who of global baseball legends and coaches. These include: Former Yankee closer Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera; Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman; former Yankee Luis Sojo veteran of four Yankee World series teams; Mickey Callaway former MLB manager; Paul Mainieri LSU National Championship coach; Eric Holtz manager Team Israel of the 2020 Olympics; Ian Kinsler former MLB player and now Israel national team player; Harold Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays formerly with the Indians and Cubs; Joey Meneses of the Washington Nationals; and Mike Cameron current USA Baseball advisor former-MLB outfielder. Matt Tallarini is 2015 graduate of Mitchell College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a 2022 graduate of Iona University with a Masters in Finance. Since its inception, Matt has been the Chief Correspondent for World Baseball Network. Matt has interviewed and interacted with many international players and coaches including former Yankee closer Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, former Yankee Luis Sojo veteran of four Yankee World series teams, Mickey Callaway former MLB manager, Paul Mainieri LSU National Championship coach, Eric Holtz manager Team Israel of the 2020 Olympics, Ian Kinsler former MLB player and now Israel national team player, Harold Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays formerly with the Indians and Cubs, Joey Meneses of the Washington Nationals, Mike Cameron current USA Baseball advisor former-MLB outfielder. Matthew is 2015 graduate of Mitchell College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a 2022 graduate of Iona University with a Masters in Finance.