Dvorak to Compete with Team Ireland at European Baseball Championship
Right-handed pitcher Liam Dvorak’s 2019 season was one for the Holy Cross baseball team’s record books – with consistently dominant starts and impressive statistics, he emerged as one of the Patriot League’s top pitchers, earning multiple awards at the conference level. Soon, Dvorak will display those talents at the international level, joining the Irish National Team for the upcoming European Baseball Championship from July 1 to 6 in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria – the most recent honor in a year filled with highlights.
“It’s always a great feeling to represent Holy Cross and the baseball program outside of Patriot League play,” Dvorak said. “This gives me an opportunity to showcase the type of high-caliber program Holy Cross is. Being able to represent part of my heritage is also an amazing opportunity – it’s something I’m extremely grateful for and will never forget.”
Four members of Dvorak’s immediate family – Liam, his mother Eileen, and his older brothers Sean and Tim – obtained dual citizenship with Ireland because Dvorak’s maternal grandparents were born in Ireland. This past spring, the team’s general manager contacted Dvorak about the possibility of playing for Team Ireland, and Dvorak eagerly accepted the opportunity.
“My family is very excited and proud of this opportunity for me,” Dvorak said. “When my grandpa, born and raised in Ireland, found out, he was elated. I don’t think this was something he ever could’ve imagined happening, so he was very proud that his grandson will be representing his home country in baseball, a sport that he loves to watch. I’ve also received messages from some family members currently living in Ireland who are very excited to follow the tournament and the Irish Team.”
Dvorak will step away briefly from summer league play with the Ocean State Waves of the New England Collegiate Baseball League to Dublin for training before traveling to Bulgaria for pool play during the first week of July. When he’s not training or playing in Ireland and Bulgaria, Dvorak – who has been to Ireland twice – plans on spending time sightseeing with family and his new teammates.
During the 2019 collegiate season, Dvorak struck out 83 batters, the most strikeouts recorded by a Holy Cross pitcher since 1925 and the fifth most in single-season program history. With a 4-2 record and 2.89 ERA in conference play, he was named to the All-Patriot League first team and additionally earned All-Academic honors. He did not lose a contest between March 17 and April 22, recording 10-strikeout games on March 31 vs. Lehigh and on April 22 vs. Lafayette, and he helped shut out Navy on March 25 in an eight-inning outing, earning Patriot League Pitcher of the Week honors.
Even with so many accolades and accomplishments already under his belt, Dvorak embraces the new experience and opportunity to continue growing.
“I’m most looking forward to the type of game that’s played on an international scale,” Dvorak said. “It’s always interesting to see the differences in style of play, and I think that there will definitely be some unique styles across the different countries we will be playing.
“Anything new is always a chance to grow as a player,” he added. “Whether it’s picking up new techniques, thoughts on the game or overall style of play – there are always new things to learn.”
July 1 – Ireland vs. Serbia – 6:30 a.m. ET
July 2 – Bulgaria vs. Ireland – 10 a.m. ET
July 3 – Ireland vs. Russia – 6:30 a.m. ET
July 4 – Ireland vs. Greece – 3 a.m. ET
July 5 – Israel vs. Ireland – 3 a.m. ET
July 6 – Matchup TBD – 7 a.m. ET