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Published: August 19th 2009
DOVYDAS NEVERAUSKAS SIGNS WITH THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES; FIRST LITHUANIAN IN HISTORY TO SIGN A CONTRACT WITH MLB TEAM
For the first time in the history of Lithuanian Baseball, one of its own has signed a professional contract with an MLB squad. On July 9th Dovydas Neverauskas, a 16 year old pitcher from Vilnius, Lithuania, agreed to terms of a professional contract offered by the Pittsburgh Pirates, making him the first player in Lithuania's history to do so.
Neverauskas agreed to sign with the Pirates only after considering proposals from several MLB Clubs. The 6-3, 170-pound flamethrower will pitch in the Florida Instructional League Program this fall and join the Pirates in Spring Training next year.
Also receiving attention from several MLB Clubs was Edvardas Matusevicius, a hard-throwing RHP and outfielder who has also been invited to this year's MLB European Academy in Italy. Matusevicius has opted to pursue baseball and studies in the U.S., and will be attending high school at Islip High School in Long Island, New York this fall.
WHO IS DOVYDAS NEVERAUSKAS?
Getting to know the newest member of Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball
In light of his recent signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates, we thought appropriate to give some info and background on Dovydas Neverauskas who, until now, has gone under the radar on the international baseball scene.
Dovydas Neverauskas (6-3, 170 pounds, RHP) is from Vilnius, Lithuania, where he currently plays for Sporto Vilkai BC (Sports Wolves) and Vilnius Baseball Club. Dovydas comes from a family of athletes; his mother was a professional basketball player in Lithuania and his father, Virmidas, was one of the pioneers of baseball in the sports' early days in Lithuania. Dovydas' father is also the head coach of Vilnius Baseball Club as well as Head Coach for the Lithuanian U18, U16, and U14 National Teams.
Back in the late 1980's when the sport was just beginning in Lithuania, Mr. Neverauskas was part of the first Baseball Club in Lithuania formed in the city of Kaunas by a group of students who were attending the Lithuania Physical Education and Sports Academy. At the time baseball equipment was very difficult to come by, and all of the bats and balls they acquired from the USSR and Ukraine. Virmidas himself began making his own gloves from raw materials for the local baseball community to use. Almost twenty years later, baseball is still a small yet growing sport in Lithuania with four clubs competing on the elite level.
Dovydas Neverauskas is tall with a lanky build. He throws an 85-86 mph fastball, with a complementary curveball and changeup. He is a strong athlete, and when he's not on the mound he is his team's #1 Catcher and 3rd Baseman.
Having attended the 2008 MLB European Academy last year, Dovydas impressed scouts as the hardest thrower at this year's MLB European Academy Tryouts in May.
Tom Randolph, International Scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates who brokered the deal between the Pirates and Neverauskas, is extremely excited about what the future holds for the young right-hander. Says Randolph:
"He's a 16 year old with a classic pro pitcher's body, long and loose, and has made huge progress since the summer of 2008. The sky is the limit with Dovydas, and I honestly believe he was the best pitching prospect to come out of Europe this year. I truly believe he has the arm to be a major league pitcher."
Neverauskas is currently competing with the Lithuanian U16 National Team at the Senior League European Finals in Ramstein, Germany. Lithuania is currently 4-0 with ; Neverauskas had a home run in game 2. You can follow he and his team's progress at this link: http://www.littleleague.org/series/2009divisions/slbb/qualify/emea.htm. Statistics for the Lithuanian Championships can be found on our site by clicking on 'championship' and then 'statistics'.
This is a great event not only for Dovydas and his family, but also for Lithuanian Baseball marking the first Lithuanian to sign a professional baseball contract. All of us in Lithuanian baseball would like to congratulate Dovydas on this accomplishment, and wish him the best of luck for the challenges that he will face in his new career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sėkmės!!
TEAM LITHUANIA INVITED TO THE 2010 STUDENT BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN TOKYO, JAPAN
July 30 - August 7th, 2010, is the set date for the 2010 5th Annual World Student Baseball Championships. The tournament will be organized by the Federation Internationale de Sport Universitaire (FISU), which is the international governing body for university sports. Lithuania was chosen among 12 Nations throughout the world to be invited to this elite competition. In 2008 Lithuania finished 7th in the 4th World Student Championships, which were held in Prague, Czech Republic. This is a great opportunity for Lithuanian Baseball to yet again show its strengths on the international stage.
THREE LITHUANIAN TEAMS SECURE SPOTS IN INTERLEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS
2009 08 11
July 31nd - August 2nd: in Kaunas and Riga the Interleague Championships continued; teams able to secure two victories in three games in Level II of Interleague Championships would earn an automatic bid to the semifinals. Kaunas “Lituanica” and Vilnius “Black Vikings”, with Kaunas defeating the Black Vikings 6-4 in their head-to-head matchup on Friday.
Finishing 3rd and 4th place respectively, Utena “Vetra” and Brest “Zubry” (Belarus) would have to play in final ‘Level Two’ games this past weekend (August 8-9). Entering the weekend to decide 5th-8th place of the Interleague Championships, four teams were to play but unfortunately the two Belarussian teams of Minsk and BGUFK were denied Latvian visas. As a result, BK “Vilnius Logipolija” and Latvia “BC” advanced to the quarterfinals without contest. In the match for 5th place, Vilnius was victorious 10-3.
Utena eventually went on to defeat Latvia BC 12-10 and 20-2 to advance to the quarterfinals, while the other quarterfinal qualification matchup between Vilnius Logipolija and ‘Zubry’ of Belarus were postponed.
This weekend (August 15/16) the second half of the Lithuanian Championship picks up featuring Utena Vetra vs. Kaunas Lituanica, and Vilnius Logipolija vs. Vilnius Black Vikings.
Interleague play will resume on September 3rd.
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