Tag Archive | "Italy"

Italy: Stage One is Nearing an End with Bologna and Rimini Leading


The Italian Baseball League is nearing the end of the first stage round robin play. This year the IBL was split into two groups that played a round robin for the stage one.  Each division has four teams. In Group A are defending champion T&A San Marino, Unipol Bologna, Godo Knights, and newbie Padua. Group B consists of Rimini, Nettuno, Nettuno 2, and Parma.

In Group A, Unipol Bologna has all but wrapped up the win with a record of 15-1. T&A San Marino sits behind them in second place at 9-6 with Padua (6-10) and Godo (5-11) pretty much out of the running.

Over in Group B, there is a tight race for the top spot heading into the second stage. Telemarket Rimini leads the group with a record of 10-5, but Parma is close behind at 10-6. Nettuno (6-10) and Nettuno 2 (2-14) are well behind the group leaders.

Each team has just four to five games left with the stage one ending the first full weekend of June.

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Kickstarter Campaign for DVD on Italian Baseball


I’m a huge fan of Kickstarter and the ability it gives independent filmmakers to finish or even start their projects.

It came to my attention today that Fabio Monticone has a new Kickstarter campaign to finish a documentary on Italian baseball. Monticone needs a hand finishing the DVD.

The film is called “Slug It Out” and is on baseball in Italy. Fabio needs the funds to produce 1,000 DVDs to distribute throughout Italy as well as paying for someone to translate the document from English to Italian.

Every little bit helps and this could be great for baseball in Italy. You can watch the video he made about the project on the “Slug It Out” Kickstarter page.

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Italy: Telemarket Rimini Takes 2-0 Lead in 2013 Italian Baseball Series


The Italian Baseball Series has begun as Telemarket Rimini is taking on T&A San Marino in a rematch from the 2012 championship series.

Last year, T&A San Marino won its second straight title after defeating Rimini 4-games-to-2 after winning the first three games of the series. This year Rimini looks to change things, and so far they have.

Telemarket Rimini dropped the first game of the 2012 Italian Baseball Series to T&A San Marino 8-5 after scoring five runs in the 9th inning to score a huge comeback. This year Rimini held on in the 9th in a 1-1 game to send it to extra innings before pulling it out in the 11th inning.

Both starters pitched very well in Game 1. Yorman Bazardo tossed 5.1 innings allowing just one run on three hits for Rimini. He didn’t factor into the decision and neither did San Marino starter Jim Magrane. Magrane went seven innings allowing one run on five hits.

With the game tied at one in the 11th inning, Adolfo Gomez (1-for-5) singled to get the inning started for Rimini. After a sacrifice bunt, Riccardo Bertagnon (2-for-4) walked to put a pair of runners on. James Buccheri (1-for-5) then broke the tie with a RBI single, but Rimini wasn’t done yet.

San Marino then made a pitching change to try and stop the bleeding. Christopher Cooper came on in relief but didn’t offer much. The first batter he faced, Leonardo Zileri (3-for-6), doubled bringing in two more runs to give Rimini a 4-1 lead. Cooper would eventually shut down the Rimini rally, but it was too little too late.

Enorbel Marquez picked up the win in relief tossing 5.2 scoreless innings. He gave up just three hits to give Rimini a 1-0 lead in the series.

Game 2 was a back-and-forth affair. Rimini took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. They would get one more to take a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth, but in the bottom half of the inning San Marino would tie it up with four runs of their own.

Rimini would come back in the seventh with three more runs to take a 7-4 lead. They would never see that lead go away the rest of the way as they scored four in the top of the 9th to put it out of reach.

Mattia Reginato homered in the loss for San Marino going 2-for-4. Francesco Imperiali had a nice day at the plate for San Marino as well going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.

Mario Chiarini (2-for-5) and Ramon Castro (2-for-4) both drove in three runs for Rimini in the win.

With the win, Rimini takes a 2-0 lead in the series as it heads back to Rimini.

Photo: FIBS/Ezio Ratti

2013 Italian Baseball Series Scores:

Friday September 13
Telmarket Rinini 4, T&A San Marino 1 (11)

Saturday September 14
Telemarket Rimini 11, T&A San Marino 7

Friday September 20
T&A San Marino at Telemarket Rimini

*Saturday September 21
T&A San Marino at Telemarket Rimini

*Sunday September 22
T&A San Marino at Telemarket Rimini

*If necessary

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Italy: T&A San Marino and Telemarket Rimini Lead Semifinals 2-0


The semifinal round in the Italian Baseball League playoffs has started with four teams battling it out for a shot at the league title. The regular season champion Unipol Bologna (28-8) is taking on T&A San Marino (25-11) while runner-up Telemarket Rimini (27-9) is taking on Nettuno (25-11).

 Unipol Bologna 0, T&A San Marino 2

In Game 1 of the series, San Marino got a great start from pitcher Jim Magrane. He went 7.1 scoreless innings allowing just four hits while striking out 11 to help San Marino take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Bologna starter Raul Rivero pitched well but didn’t get any offensive support. He pitched all eight innings allowing just two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out nine.

Offensively neither team did much. Joseph Mazzuca led San Marino with the lone RBI while going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Nicholas Nosti had most of the offense for Bologna going 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base in the loss.

Unipol Bologna 8, T&A San Marino 15

Game 2 couldn’t have been any different than Game 1, although the score wasn’t as close at it seems. San Marino was leading 15-1 heading into the ninth inning when Bologna pounced for seven runs. But it was too little too late and San Marino sits just one game away from a chance to defend its title.

Tiago da Silva pitched very well for San Marino. He tossed six scoreless innings giving up just two hits to earn the win. Bologna would get to the San Marino bullpen later in the game.

Carlos Richetti couldn’t get through the second inning for Bologna. With two outs in the second, Richetti had the third out on a strike out, but the ball got by the catcher and the runner reached first. It was all downhill from there. San Marino took advantage of the passed ball and would go on to score seven runs in the inning.

The big blow in the second came on a Jairo Ramos two-run home run. He would finish the day 2-for-4 with four RBI.

Mattia Reginato (1-for-5) added a two-run home run in the fifth for San Marino. Giovanni Pantaleoni had a big day at the plate as well going 4-for-5.

Claudio Liverziani hit a two-run home run for Bologna in the ninth.

Telemarket Rimini 6, Nettuno 3

Telemarket Rimini is looking to advance back to the IBL championship and claim what they came up short in last year. They took the right step this past weekend.

Game 1 saw a combined pitching effort from Yorman Bazardo (4.1 IP/2 R/1 ER) and Enorbel Marquez (4.2 IP/1 R) that limited Nettuno to just three runs (one earned) and struck out eleven total.

Leonardo Zileri (2-for-5) homered and scored twice to lead Rimini to a Game 1 win.

Telemarket Rimini 9, Nettuno 7 (12)

Rimini needed extra frames to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series over Nettuno. Neither starter pitched all that well as both teams got runs early. Rimini took a 4-0 lead after just two innings, but Nettuno came roaring back in the fifth with five of their own to take a 7-6 lead.

Rimini got a run in the seventh to tie it and that’s where it would stay until the 12th when Rimini would pick up two more on a Jack Santora two-run single. Santora finished the game 2-for-5 with five RBI.

Alexander Romero went 3-for-5 and his home run in the seventh tied the game.

Ben Harrison had a nice game for Nettuno in the loss. He went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI.

The two series now shift back to the home fields of Bologna and Rimini as it is setting up to be a rematch from the 2012 championship between T&A San Marino and Telemarket Rimini.

2013 Italian Baseball League Semifinal Schedule:

Friday August 30
Unipol Bologna 0, T&A San Marino 2
Telemarket Rimini 6, Nettuno 3

Saturday August 31
Unipol Bologna 8, T&A San Marino 15
Telemarket Rimini 9, Nettuno 7 (12)

Friday September 6
T&A San Marino at Unipol Bologna
Nettuno at Telemarket Rimini

Saturday September 7
*T&A San Marino at Unipol Bologna
*Nettuno at Telemarket Rimini

Sunday September 8
*T&A San Marino at Unipol Bologna
*Nettuno at Telemarket Rimini

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Italy: Three Teams Fight for Final Two Playoff Spots with One Week to Play


The playoff race got a little more exciting over the weekend in the Italian Baseball League. First play Telemarket Rimini split a weekend series with Nettuno. The split cost both teams in the standings. Rimini is now only one game ahead of Unipol Bologna after they swept T&A San Marino. While Nettuno slipped into a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot with Parma, who swept Novara Baseball, and San Marino.

It is not looking good for T&A San Marino. Going into the final weekend they are tied with both Parma and Nettuno with only two of the three teams making the playoffs. And San Marino has a tougher final weekend. They will face league leader Telemarket Rimini in their final two games of the year while the other two teams have easier roads. Nettuno has the easiest final series facing off with the last place Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto who has won only three games all year. Parma has a bit tougher test, but not as tough as Rimini. They will face off with sixth place Palfinger Reggio Emilia.

Parma Baseball 1, Novara Baseball 0
Parma Baseball 12, Novara Baseball 2 (8)

In a must win series of the weekend, Parma swept Novara Baseball to pull into a tie for the final playoff spot.

Game 1 saw Parma starter Jose Sanchez shut down the Novara bats for 7.1 innings. He gave up just five hits while striking out ten to pick up the win. Marcos Tabata came in to pick up the save pitching the final 1.1 innings.

Offensively Parma picked up the only run of the game in the top of the second inning. After two quick outs, Sebastiano Poma (1-for-3) walked to get the rally started. Davide Benetti (1-for-3) then singled advancing Poma all the way to third. Then Benetti stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch. And on that wild pitch, Poma scored the only run of the game.

Parma was actually out hit 5 to 4 with Cristian Leoni was the only hitter on either team to pick up more than one hit going 2-for-4.

Game 2 saw a little more offense, but only from Parma. However, Novara gave up seven unearned runs committing six errors in the game to allow Parma to blow it open big late.

Yomel Rivera pitched well for Parma. He went five innings giving up one run on three hits.

Alex Sambucci had a big day at the plate for Parma. He homered twice, drove in six runs, and finished the day 3-for-4 scoring three runs. The story was told through the days of Osman Marval and Stefano Desimoni at the plate. Combined the two went 1-for-6, but they scored three runs each.

To add to the six errors, Novara walked seven batters as Parma won big to pull into a tie for the final playoff spot.

In other Italian Baseball League action:

Filippo Bertolini pitched six shutout innings for Palfinger Reggio Emilia giving up four hits and striking out nine.

Lucca Ricco went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and two RBI for Emilia in Game 1 of the weekend.

Nibaldo Acosta pitched eight shutout innings in Game 2 for Emilia giving up just three hits and striking out seven.

Jesus Yepez struck out 12 in 5.1 innings for the New Black Panthers in Game 1 of the weekend. He gave up just one run on two hits.

Jokob Trobec scored four runs and stole three bases for the New Black Panthers in the first game of the series.

Roberto Corradini pitched five shutout innings for Rimini in Game 1 of the weekend. He gave up just two hits to earn the win.

Ramon Castro went 2-for-4 with a solo home run for Rimini in the first game.

Bologna’s Rosario Reyes homered in the first game going 2-for-4.

Jairo Ramos scored three times and hit a solo home run for San Marino in Game 2 of the series.

Lorenzo Avagnina went 2-for-6 with a home run for San Marino in the 10 inning loss.

Italian Baseball League Scores:

Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 0, Palfinger Reggio Emilia 14 (7)
Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 0, Palfinger Reggio Emilia 2

Godo Knights 2, New Black Panthers 12 (8)
Godo Knights 8, New Black Panthers 3

Telemarket Rimini 5, Nettuno 1
Telemarket Rimini 6, Nettuno 11

Unipol Bologna 6, T&A San Marino 2
T&A San Marino 11, Unipol Bologna 12 (10)

Parma Baseball 1, Novara Baseball 0
Parma Baseball 12, Novara Baseball 2 (8)

Italian Baseball League Standings:

1. Telemarket Rimini 27-7
2. Unipol Bologna 26-8
3. T&A San Marino 23-11
4. Nettuno 22-11
5. Parma Baseball 23-11
6. Palfinger Reggio Emilia 17-17
7. New Black Panthers 11-23
8. Godo Knights 9-25
9. Novara Baseball 8-26
10. Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 3-31

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Italy: Playoff Race Heats Up with Two Weekends Left


With just two weekends left in the Italian Baseball League, the playoff race is heating up. Telemarket Rimini is leading the league, but only by two games over Unipol Bologna. Rimini has two tough series left with the current third and fourth place teams, Nettuno and T&A San Marino.

Unipol Bologna has a tough series this weekend, but then finishes up with one of the worst teams in the league. The team at the top with the toughest road to the finish is T&A San Marino. They will face off with Unipol Bologna this weekend and Rimini the following.

The top four teams will advance to the playoffs and there are still five teams in the running with Parma looking on from the outside currently.

Nettuno 2, Unipol Bologna 5
Nettuno 5, Unipol Bologna 1 (11)

Unipol Bologna got a nice start out of Raul Rivero. He pitched five innings giving up two runs on seven hits. He struck out six to run his record to 8-1.

Nettuno took a 2-0 lead after the top of the third inning. Paolino Ambrosino (2-for-5) tripled in the first run of the game in the third. Two batters later, Andrea Sgnaolin (1-for-5) singled in the second and last run for Nettuno.

Bologna took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on a three-run blast from Rosario Reyes (1-for-4). It was his second home run of the year. They would pick up two more runs in bottom of the eighth for a few insurance runs as they won the first game of the two-game set.

Nettuno bounced back in the second game to win in extra innings 5-1. Riccardo De Santis started for Nettuno and pitched well. He went five innings allowing just one run on four hits. Valerio Simone came on in the sixth inning to relieve De Santis. He pitched 5.2 scoreless innings giving up just two hits to earn the win.

Onelio Fondin had a nice day at the plate. He went 3-for-4 and scored a pair of runs. Giuseppe Mazzanti had a nice day as well going 2-for-3 with a double, a RBI, and two walks.

Italian Baseball League Scores:

Parma Baseball 6, Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 3
Parma Baseball 2, Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 1

Nettuno 2, Unipol Bologna 5
Nettuno 5, Unipol Bologna 1 (11)

Godo Knights 3, Novara Baseball 4
Godo Knights 15, Novara Baseball 2 (7)

Palfinger Reggio Emilia 1, Telemarket Rimini 11 (8)
Palfinger Reggio Emilia 1, Telemarket Rimini 10

T&A San Marino 12, New Black Panthers 3
T&A San Marino 10, New Black Panthers 0 (7)

Italian Baseball League Standings:

1. Telemarket Rimini 26-6
2. Unipol Bologna 24-8
3. T&A San Marino 23-9
4. Nettuno 22-10
5. Parma Baseball 21-11
6. Palfinger Reggio Emilia 14-17
7. New Black Panthers 10-22
8. Novara Baseball 8-24
9. Godo Knights 8-24
10. Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 3-28

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Italy: Rimini Splits Series with Parma; Only One Game Up on Bologna


First place Rimini started the weekend on a different note as they fell to Parma in game one of their two game weekend series, but were able to bounce back in a strong victory in game two.

Rimini vs. Parma

Game 1
Score by Innings                               R  H  E
——————————————-
Rimini Baseball…..  020 000 020 –  4 11  1
Parma Baseball…… 300 200 00X –  5  5   2

In game one, Parma jumped out to a quick lead with three runs in the first. Rimini quickly responded with two of their own in the top of the second but couldn’t edge past Parma as they held the lead the entire game. Rimini also tallied to unearned runs against reliever Marcos Tabata in the bottom of the ninth but were halted, ending the game with a 5-4 loss to fifth place Parma. Jose Sanchez went 7.2 innings for Parma allowing two earned runs over eight hits notching the win. Parma’s firstbaseman Alex Sambucci highlighted the offensive push as he collected two RBI on a homerun. Rimini’s starter Yorman Barzado struggled to get past the Parma offense as he went 3.2 innings and allowed five earned runs. Enorbel Marquez was lights out in relief allowing just one hit in 4.1 innings of work to keep Rimini in the game.

Game 2
Score by Innings                              R  H  E
——————————————-
Parma Baseball…… 010 000 010 –  2  6  1
Rimini Baseball…..  106 010 10X –  9  6  1
——————————————-

Game two went a little differently as Rimini had a 7-1 lead by the third inning. Rimini’s Adolfo Gomez, Ramon Castro, and Ricardo Babini each drove in two runs on the day. Starting pitcher Robert Corradini pitched just five innings to earn the victory and scattered three hits while striking out four and not allowing an earned run.

Unipol Bologna vs. Palfinger Reggio Emilia

Unipol Bologna was able to capitalize on the Rimini series split by sweeping Palfinger Reggio Emilia to become just one game out of first place.

Game 1
——————————————-
Palfinger Reggio Emi 000 020 000 –  2  5  3
Unipol Bologna……     230 100 02X –  8 10 2

Five runs in the first two innings helped Unipol earn tan 8-2 victory without much contest in game one of the series. Alessandro Vaglio was key in the game as he scored once and drove in four runs for Unipol. He hit a double a sacrifice fly as he went 2-for-3 with a walk. Raul Rivero improved to 7-1 on the hill for Unipol, allowing one earned run in five innings of work.

Game 2
Score by Innings                                     R  H  E
———————————————
Palfinger Reggio Emi 001 001 020 0 –  4 11  2
Unipol Bologna……     000 110 200 1 –  5 13  0

Palfinger made it a tough victory for Unipol in game two as they tied the game at four in the eighth inning with a two run rally. Unipol won in the bottom of the tenth 5-4 as they were forced into extra innings. Palfinger’s Paul Macaluso led their offense as he went 2-for-4 with two RBI and hit his sixth double of the season. Rosario Reyes and Gabriele Ermini each went 2-for-4 with an RBI for Unipol, but Vaglio was once again the standout as he went 3-for-4 with his twelfth double of the season. Mattia Barbaresi collected the win for Unipol as he threw two shutout innings of relief in the ninth and tenth after starter Mateo D’Angelo and Junior Oberto each allowed 2 earned runs in their innings of work.

OTHER SCORES:
Godo Knights 10, Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 0
Godo Knights 5, Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 2

Nettuno 11, New Black Panthers 2
Nettuno 0, New Black Panthers 5

T&A San Marino 7, Novara Baseball 1
T&A San Marino 9, Novara Baseball 6

Italian Baseball League Standings:

1. Telemarket Rimini 24-6
2. Unipol Bologna 23-7
3. Nettuno 21-9
4. T&A San Marino  21-9
5. Parma Baseball 18-11
6. Palfinger Reggio Emilia 14-15
7. New Black Panthers 10-20
8. Novara Baseball 7-22
9. Godo Knights 7-23
10. Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 3-26

Photo FIBS -PhotoBass/Lauro Bassani

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2013 European Champions Cup Starts Thursday in Italy


The European Champions Cup kicks off on Thursday August 1 between two Italian powers. Unipol Bologna will be defending its title after winning the European Cup in Regensburg, Germany. They will be facing off with fellow Italian Baseball League club Telemarket Rimini.

Rimini won the European Cup in Barcelona, Spain. After finishing with a 4-1 record in the pool play, Rimini defeated Dutch power Corendon Kinheim in the final to earn a trip to the Champions Cup.

Bologna swept through the Regensburg European Cup undefeated in pool play. They defeated fellow IBL team T&A San Marino in the final to advance.

The best-of-three series will start in Bologna. Game 2 and 3, if necessary, will be played in Rimini. Each game will start at 9 pm.

2013 European Champions Cup Schedule:
Thursday, August 1, 2013:
Telemarket Rimini at Unipol Bologna

Friday, August 2, 2013:
Unipol Bologna at Telemarket Rimini

Saturday, August 3, 2013:
*Unipol Bologna at Telemarket Rimini
*if necessary

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Italy: Unipol Bologna and Parma Split Weekend Set


There are four weeks left in the regular season of the Italian Baseball League and the top four teams are separated by only four games.

Of the top four teams in the standings, only one didn’t sweep the last weekend series. Telemarket Rimini, T&A San Marino, and Nettuno all swept their series, while Unipol Bologna split with Parma over the weekend. Despite the split, Bologna is still in second place only two games back of Rimini.

Parma Baseball 5, Unipol Bologna 2 (11)
Unipol Bologna 9, Parma Baseball3

Unipol Bologna fell in extra innings in Game 1 of the weekend. It was a pitchers duel as both starters gave up just a single run, but it was a late rally from Parma that changed the game.

Jose Sanchez gave up just one run in six innings for Parma. He allowed just five hits and struck out eight. Two of those hits came in the first inning that led to the first run of the game. Rosario Reyes (1-for-5) doubled in the first to drive in the only run until the ninth inning for either team.

Raul Rivero tossed eight shutout inning before Parma would get to him for a run in the ninth. In fact he gave up only one hit through the first eight innings, but after a lead off double he was pulled for relief pitcher Roger Luque.

Luque came in and quickly gave up two runs (one charged to Rivero) failing to get through the ninth inning as Parma took a 2-1 lead heading into the ninth inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Luca Bischeri (3-for-5) doubled to start the inning. He would later score on a Nicholas Nosti sacrifice fly to tie the game and send it into extra frames.

Neither team could do anything in the tenth inning, but Parma would break through in the eleventh. Stefano Desmoni got the scoring started with a RBI single. He would come around to score later on a tw0-run double by Osman Marval giving Parma a three run lead.

Marcos Tabata would load the bases in the bottom of the ninth with a walk, but got the final two batters to end the game and pick up the win in relief for Parma.

In Game 2, Parma took an early 3-0 lead only to see it slip away when Bologna scored six runs in the fifth inning. They would add another in the eighth and two more in the ninth to win going away and split the series.

Alessandro Vaglio drove in three runs for Bologna going 2-for-3. Nicholas Nosti stole two bases, drove in two runs, and scored two more going 1-for-5.

Osman Marval had a nice game for Parma in the loss driving in two of the three runs while going 3-for-4.

In other Italian Baseball League Action:

Ben Harison homered going 2-for-5 with five runs scored for Nettuno in a Game 1 win. He homered again in Game 2 going 3-for-5.

Riccardo De Santis pitched seven strong innings for Nettuno in Game 2 of the weekend. He gave up just two runs on five hits while striking out seven.

Paolino Ambrosino drove in four runs with a pair of home runs for Nettuno in Game 2 of the weekend going 2-for-4.

Andrea Sgnaolin also homered for Nettuno in Game 2 of the weekend series going 1-for-3 with three walks.

Yoman Bazardo tossed seven innings of one-hit ball while striking out eleven picking up a win for Rimini in Game 1 of the weekend.

Jack Santora and Mario Chiarini both went 4-for-5 with three runs scored in Game 2 of the weekend for Rimini.

Wuillians Vasquez hit his seventh homer of the season for San Marino in Game 1 going 2-for-5.

Mattia Reginato also homered for San Marino in Game 1. It was his fifth of the season.

In Game 2 for San Marino, Tiago da Silva pitched seven shutout innings giving up just three hits to pick up the win.

Jairo Marquez went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI including a solo home run for Palfinger Reggio Emilia in their Game 1 loss.

Erik Epifano scored three times, drove in three runs, and went 3-for-3 in Game 2 for Palfinger Reggio Emilia.

Italian Baseball League Scores:

Nettuno 9, Novara Baseball 6 (11)
Nettuno 12, Novara Baseball 6

Telemarket Rimini 5, Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 0
Telemarket Rimini 7, Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 1

Godo Knights 0, T&A San Marino 9
T&A San Marino 3, Godo Knights 0

Palfinger Reggio Emilia 6, New Black Panthers 7
Palfinger Reggio Emilia 8, New Black Panthers 3

Parma Baseball 5, Unipol Bologna 2 (11)
Unipol Bologna 9, Parma Baseball 3

Italian Baseball League Standings:

1. Telemarket Rimini 23-5
2. Unipol Bologna 21-7
3. Nettuno 20-8
4. T&A San Marino  19-9
5. Parma Baseball 17-10
6. Palfinger Reggio Emilia 14-13
7. New Black Panthers 9-19
8. Novara Baseball 7-20
9. Godo Knights 5-23
10. Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 3-24

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Royals Sign Italian Marten Gasparini to Record European Signing Bonus


Tuesday was the first day 16-year olds could sign professional baseball contracts, and the Kansas City Royals didn’t waste time making a splash. They signed switch-hitting Italian shortstop Marten Gasparini for a European record $1.3 million bonus. The previous bonus record had been $800,000 when Max Kepler signed with the Twins just four years ago.

Gasparini is considered by many as the best prospect to ever come out of Europe. He played for his home country of Italy in both the 15U and 18U IBAF Baseball World Championships.

He has appeared on everyone’s international prospects list including ranking #4 on MLB.com’s list and #12 on the Baseball America list.

He will once again play for his home country this summer before joining the Royals organization in September for the Instructional League.

Photo: FIBS

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Italy: Telemarket Rimini and Unipol Bologna Split Weekend Series


There were two big series over the weekend in the Italian Baseball League as the top two pairs of teams faced off with one another. The first place Telemarket Rimini and second place Unipol Bologna faced off with each other with Rimini keeping a one game lead after it was said and done.

Also playing were the two teams tied for third place. A sweep would give one a leg up and third place all to themselves, but that was not to be as both Nettuno, who has fallen from first place in recent weeks, and T&A San Marino both split their series as well.

Telemarket Rimini 3, Unipol Bologna 1
Unipol Bologna 7, Telemarket Rimini 5

Rimini got a good pitching performance from a pair of hurlers to pick up a big win. Starter Yorman Bazardo (W, 4-0) tossed five innings giving up just one run on three hits to improve his record to 4-0. Enrobel Marquez (S, 3) came on to pitch the final four innings to earn the save allowing just two hits.

Roger Luque didn’t last long for Bologna going just three innings allowing three runs on five hits taking the loss. Raul Rivero  came on in relief and completely shut down Rimini for six innings. He gave up just two hits and struck out eleven.

All three runs for Rimini came in the third inning. They strung together three hits combined with a walk to push across three runs in the inning. The big hit came from James Buccheri (1-for-4) who singled in a pair of runs to push the lead to 3-0. The scoring started when Adolfo Gomez (2-for-3) singled in a run. That would be all that Rimini would get, but it was enough.

The lone run for Bologna came on a Juan Carlos Infante (1-for-3) solo home run in the fifth inning.

Unipol Bologna bounced back in Game 2 of the series to earn the split and stay just a game out of first place.

Neither starter fared well with neither lasting four innings. Carlos Richetti pitched great in relief tossing 4.2 innings of scoreless ball. He allowed just three hits and struck out nine to earn the win for Bologna. Junior Oberto gave up a run in 0.2 innings but got the save  finishing off the game.

Alessandro Vaglio had a big day at the plate for Bologna going 3-for-4 including a seventh inning solo home run that wound up being the difference in the game. Raul Reyes, who was recently signed, had a big day as well. Reyes went 3-for-5 with a double, a triple, and two RBI.

Nicholas Nosti (1-for-4) and Claudio Liverziani (2-for-2/3RBI) both homered in the win for Bologna.

Alexander Romero (3-for-5) hit his fifth home run of the year in the loss for Rimini. Leonardo Zileri (3-for-5) also had a nice day at the plate for Rimni.

In other IBL action:

Antonio Giovannini homered and went 2-for-3 for Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto in a loss to Novara.

Franklin Torres picked up a win tossing a complete game (seven innings) shutout against Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto. He allowed just one hit and struck out seven.

Alberto Varin doubled twice going 3-for-4 in Game 2 of the weekend for Novara.

Jose Sanchez pitched great for Parma in a 2-0 win over the New Black Panthers. He tossed seven shutout innings giving up just four hits while striking out ten to earn the win.

In Game 2 of the Parma/New Black Panthers series a few players had big days. Sebastiano Poma (3-for-4/3 runs), Stefano Desimoni (3-for-6), and Alex Sambucci (1-for-3/4 RBI) all had good days at the plate for Parma. Enrico Cecotti (3-for-5) led the way in the loss for the New Black Panthers.

Jim Magrane pitched well for T&A San Marino tossing six innings giving up just one run on four hits.

Wuillians Vasquez (1-for-5) hit his fifth home run of the year in Game 1 of the weekend for San Marino. In Game 2, he hit his sixth home run.

Ben Harrison (2-for-4) homered for Nettuno in a loss to San Marino.

Carlos Duran (4-for-5) had a huge day at the plate in Game 1 for San Marino picking up four hits and stealing his eighth base.

In addition to Vasquez’s sixth home run in Game 2 of the Nettuno/San Marino series a couple others went deep. Andrea Sgnaolin (2-for-4) hit his second of the year for Nettuno. Also for Nettuno Alessandro Paoletti (1-for-4) hit his first of the year, a three-run shot in the win.

Alberto Bastardo tossed a nice game for Palfinger Reggio Emilia. He picked up a win going 6.2 innings allowing just one run while striking out eight.

Filippo Crepaldi pitched well for Palfinger Reggio Emilia in Game 2 but didn’t factor into the decision. He tossed seven innings allowing just one run on seven hits.

Italian Baseball League Scores:

Telemarket Rimini 3, Unipol Bologna 1
Unipol Bologna 7, Telemarket Rimini 5

Godo Knights 1, Palfinger Reggio Emilia 7
Godo Knights 5, Palfinger Reggio Emilia 6

Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 4, Novara Baseball 5
Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 0, Novara Baseball 10 (7)

Parma Baseball 2, New Black Panthers 0
Parma Baseball 11, New Black Panthers 7

Nettuno 3, T&A San Marino 10
Nettuno 7, T&A San Marino 3

Italian Baseball League Standings:

1. Telemarket Rimini 19-5
2. Unipol Bologna 18-6
3. T&A San Marino 16-8
4. Nettuno 16-8
5. Parma Baseball 15-8
6. Palfinger Reggio Emilia 11-12
7. New Black Panthers 8-16
8. Novara Baseball 7-16
9. Godo Knights 5-19
10. Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 3-20

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Italy: Unipol Bologna Releases Chris Aguila and Signs Raul Reyes


In a surprising move, the Italian club Unipol Bologna has dropped one of its best hitters so far this season, Chris Aguila.

Aguila was hitting .348 starting all 18 games for Bologna. He was tied for the team lead in home runs with three and led the team in doubles with six.

Replacing Aguila will be Dominican Raul Reyes. The left handed hitting outfielder spent seven years in the New York Mets organization making it as high as Triple-A.

Unipol Bologna is tied for first in the IBL with a record of 15-3 and just won the European Cup in Regensburg, Germany giving them the chance to play for the Euorpean Cup Championship in August.

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Italy: Make Up Games Played in Off Week for Most Clubs


With three of the Italian Baseball League teams playing in the European Cup Tournaments over the weekend, most of the rest had the weekend off. But it provided time for the Palfinger Reggio Emilia and the Godo Knights made up a previous series that got rained out earlier in the year as did Parma and the New Black Panthers.

Palfinger Reggio Emilia 12, Godo Knights 2
Palfinger Reggio Emilia 2, Godo Knights 3 (10)

Game 1 of the weekend series saw Palfinger Reggio Emilia pound on the Knights pitching staff for 12 runs and 19 hits.

Alessandro Bertoli had a nice day at the plate going 3-for-3 scoring a pair of runs and driving in another. Every one of the starters picked up at least one hit. Luca Tagliavini (2-for-5), Claudio Biagini (2-for-4), Luca Gregorini (2-for-6), Davide Murari (2-for-5), and Jose Ferrini (3-for-4) all collected more than one hit in the game.

Filippo Crepadi picked up the win for Palfinger going 5.1 shutout innings allowing just five hits. Filippo Bertolini picked up the save by pitching the remaining 3.2 innings.

Alessandro Casalini didn’t fare well on the mound for the Knights giving up seven runs on eleven hits in just five innings to take the loss.

Danilo Sanchez homered and went 2-for-4 in the loss for the Knights.

Game 2 saw a bit better pitching performance from the Knights staff. Matteo Galeotti pitched six scoreless innings allowing just four hits while striking out seven. He didn’t factor into the decision as the Knights needed a run in the bottom of the tenth inning to earn the win.

Godo got the winning run when Giacomo Meriggi scored the winning run on an error by Emilia catcher Simone Cammi. Meriggi had come in to run for Danilo Sanchez (2-for-3) who had singled to lead off the inning. Emilia would commit three errors in the game with the last one the most costly.

Gleb Volodin picked up the win in relief for Godo tossing two innings of one-hit ball. Nibaldo Acosta took the loss after giving up just two hits in 4.1 innings of relief work while striking out six.

In other IBL action:

Jose Sanchez pitched great for Parma in Game 1 of the weekend series. He tossed seven innings giving up just one hit while striking out eight to earn the win.

Stefano Desimoni stole a pair of bases and scored two runs going 1-for-3 for Parma in Game 1. In Game 2 he went 3-for-4 with a double and another stolen base.

Luca Scalera went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, two doubles, and three RBI in Game 2 for Parma.

Jordano Collado went 4-for-5 in the Game 2 loss for the New Black Panthers.

Italian Baseball League Scores:

New Black Panthers 2, Parma Baseball 3
New Black Panthers 2, Parma Baseball 11

Palfinger Reggio Emilia 12, Godo Knights 2
Palfinger Reggio Emilia 2, Godo Knights 3 (10)

Italian Baseball League Standings:

1. Nettuno 15-3
2. Unipol Bologna 15-3
3. Telemarket Rimini 14-4
4. T&A San Marino 11-7
5. Parma Baseball 9-8
6. Palfinger Reggio Emilia 7-10
7. New Black Panthers 5-13
8. Godo Knights 5-13
9. Novara Baseball 4-13
10. Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 3-14

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Italy: Rimini Sweeps T&A San Marino to Stay One Game Out of First


Telemarket Rimini trounced T&A San Marino in Game 1 of their weekend series. Game 2 was a bit closer but Rimini came out on top again to stay just a game back of the league leaders.

After starting the year 6-2, T&A San Marino has gone 5-5 over the past few weeks. They take that streak of mediocrity into this weeks European Cup in Regensburg, Germany.

While San Marino battles it out in Germany, Rimini will be playing in the European Cup in Barcelona this week.

Telemarket Rimini 21, T&A San Marino 8 (8)
T&A San Marino 3, Telemarket Rimini 5

Game 1 was closer than the score indicates, for most of the game anyway. Through five innings, San Marino actually led 3-2. Then San Marino starter Tiago Da Silva ran into some trouble giving up four runs in the top of the sixth inning.

Da Silva would wind up taking the loss tossing 5.2 innings giving up six runs on eight hits. Leonardo D’Amico came in to relieve Da Silva but didn’t fare any better giving up three runs in just a third of an inning.

Rimini scored 19 of their 21 runs in the last three innings including seven in the seventh and eight in the eighth.

Mario Chiarini had a huge game for Rimini. He went 4-for-6 in the game scoring four times and driving in five including three on a home run in the eighth inning. Jack Santora (4-for-6), Ramon Castro (4-for-5) both contributed to the 22-hit attack with four hits apiece.

Every starter for Rimini had at least one hit.

San Marino only scored eight runs, but they hit three home runs in the game. Wuillians Vaszuez (2-for-3), Mattia Reginato (1-for-4), and Simone Albanese (1-for-4) all homered in the loss.

Game 2 was a bit closer as Rimini won getting a strong relief appearance from Sandy Patrone who tossed four hitless innings. He did walk one but struck out six to pick up the save.

T&A San Marino starter Jim Magrane only lasted 3.2 innings giving up three runs on six hits. He needed 77 pitches and didn’t get through the fourth. Christopher Cooper took the loss in relieve giving up two runs in 3.1 innings.

Alexander Romero (1-for-4) added an insurance run in the seventh inning with a solo home run for Rimini.

In other league action:

Andrea Pizziconi pitched well for Nettuno picking up a win going five scoreless innings allowing just three hits. His teammate out did him in Game 2 as Riccardo De Santis tossed seven innings allowing just one unearned run on three hits striking out nine.

There were a lot of home runs hit in the weekend series between the Godo Knights and the Unipol Bologna.

Chris Aguila hit a home run in both games of the weekend series. He went a combined 4-for-8 with five runs scored and six RBI. In Game 2 of the series, he hit a grand slam in the first inning for Bologna.

Alessandro Vaglio hit a pair of home runs in the first game of the weekend driving in four runs helping Bologna to the win.

Daniele Malengo (2-for-4) hit a solo home run in Game 1 for Bologna.

The Godo Knights finally got into the home run derby in Game 2 hitting a pair. Danilo Sanchez (3-for-4) and Mattia Bucchi (1-for-3) both homered for the Knights.

Filippo Crepaldi pitched a good game for the Palfinger Reggio Emilia leading them to a Game 1 victory. He tossed seven innings giving up just one run on four hits while striking out seven.

Erik Epifano had a huge three-run triple in the second inning for Emilia in the win.

Parma came back in Game 2 of the series with Reggio Emilia with a good start from Jose Sanchez. He tossed seven innings allowing just a run on six hits while striking out eight. However, Sanchez didn’t get the win. Marcos Tabata picked up the win in relief.

Stefano Desimoni had a nice game for Parma in Game 2 with a perfect 3-for-3 game.

Both starters in Game 1 of the New Black Panthers and Novara Baseball series pitched well. Angel Calero tossed seven shutout innings allowing just three hits to earn the win for Novara. He struck out 15 in the win. Matt Litzinger pitched well for the New Black Panthers with seven innings of one-run ball to take the loss.

Jordano Collado homered for the New Black Panthers in Game 2 going 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead the team to a win.

Alessandro Petralia pitched well to pick up the win for the Panthers in Game 2. He tossed six innings giving up just one run on four hits.

Italian Baseball League Scores:

Telemarket Rimini 21, T&A San Marino 8 (8)
T&A San Marino 3, Telemarket Rimini 5

Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 0, Nettuno 4
Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 1, Nettuno 7

Unipol Bologna 14, Godo Knights 4
Unipol Bologna 10, Godo Knights 4

Parma Baseball 1, Palfinger Reggio Emilia 7
Palfinger Reggio Emilia 3, Parma Baseball 4 (10)

New Black Panthers 0, Novara Baseball 4
New Black Panthers 8, Novara Baseball 4

Italian Baseball League Standings:

1. Nettuno 15-3
2. Unipol Bologna 15-3
3. Telemarket Rimini 14-4
4. T&A San Marino 11-7
5. Parma Baseball 7-8
6. Palfinger Reggio Emilia 6-9
7. New Black Panthers 5-11
8. Godo Knights 4-12
9. Novara Baseball 4-13
10. Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 3-14

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Italy: IBL Results from Week 4, Unipol Bologna Still Undefeated


The Italian Baseball League finished up week four of the season with every match up of the weekend ending in a sweep. T&A San Marino, Unipol Bologna, Telemarket Rimini, Nettuno, and Palfinger Reggio Emilia all won this past weekend.

The two wins by San Marino kept them two games behind league leader Unipol Bologna who, after a sweep of Grosseto, remains undefeated.

Parma Baseball 3, T&A San Marino 11

T&A San Marino 6, Parma Baseball 1

Game 1 saw a couple starting pitchers pitch well but not factor into the decision. The game was close until San Marino broke it open in the eighth inning with seven runs.

It all started with Francesco Imperiali (2-for-4) reacing on a throwing error. He was followed up by Mattia Reginato (2-for-5) who drove him in by driving a ball over the left field wall for a two-run home run. It all went downhill from there for Parma. Marcos Tabata (1.1 IP/7 runs/4 earned) would give up six more hits in the inning, including a pair of doubles, that led to five more runs for San Marino.

Jim Magrane of T&A San Marino tossed five innings giving up just two runs on two hits, but didn’t get the win as he left with the game tied 2-2. Christopher Cooper picked up the win with 2.1 innings of relief.

Jose Sanchez pitched well for Parma. He went six innings giving up just two runs on four hits while striking out six. He too left with the score tied 2-2 and didn’t factor into the decision. Mihai Burlea took the loss pitching just a third of an inning giving up two unearned runs on one hit.

Carlos Duran had a big day for San Marino going 3-for-5, scoring two runs, and driving in four. He led off the second inning with a solo home run.

Game 2 saw T&A San Marino get a dominate performance out of starter Tiago Da Silva who tossed six shutout innings allowing just one hit. He improved his ERA on the year to 0.69 while picking up the win.

He was given run support one again by Carlos Duran and Mattia Reginato who both went 3-for-4 in the game scoring two runs each. All of Duran’s hits were doubles.

Nicolas Giovanelli took the loss for Parma pitching 5.1 innings allowing four runs on eight hits. Stefano Desimoni tripled going 2-for-4 for Parma.

In other action:

Jack Santora had a big weekend going a combined 7-for-10 in two games for Rimini. He drove in five runs and stole two bases.

Santora’s teammate Roberto Corradini tossed seven shutout innings allowing just two hits winning Game 2 of the weekend set. He struck out nine.

Riccardo De Santis tossed six shutout innings for Nettuno in a win over the Godo Knights. He gave up just four hits and struck out seven.

Alessandro Grimaudo homered for Nettuno in a 9-1 win.

Raul Rivero pitched five shutout innings allowing just one hit and striking out 11 in a win for Bologna over Grossetto.

Erik Epifano went a combined 5-for-12 in the double header homering and scoring four times for Palfinger Reggio Emilia.

Epifano’s teammates Luca Gregorini (5-for-6/4 RBI) and Paul Macaluso (1-for-4/4RBI) both hit three-run home runs in an 18-8 win.

Italian Baseball League Results:

Parma Baseball 3, T&A San Marino 11
T&A San Marino 6, Parma Baseball 1

Telemarket Rimini 8, New Black Panthers 5
Telemarket Rimini 8, New Black Panthers 0

Nettuno 9, Godo Knights 1
Nettuno 3, Godo Knights 1

Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 1, Unipol Bologna 12 (7)
Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 1, Unipol Bologna 3

Palfinger Reggio Emilia 18, Baseball Novara 8
Palfinger Reggio Emilia 7, Baseball Novara 4 (11)

Italian Baseball League Standings:

1. Unipol Bologna 8-0
2. Telemarket Rimini 6-2
2. T&A San Marino 6-2
4. Nettuno 5-3
5. 2. Parma Baseball 3-3
5. Palfinger Reggio Emilia 3-3
7. Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 3-5
8. Godo Knights 1-5
9. New Black Panthers 1-5
10. Novara Baseball 0-8

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Italy: Unipol Bologna Stays Undefeated with Sweep of Rimini


The Italian Baseball League finished up Week 3 this past weekend as Unipol Bologna took a two game set from Telemarket Rimini. Two of the match ups were canceled due to bad weather, but the rest of the action was heated. Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto swept Novara while Nettuno and San Marino split their series.

Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 4, Novara Baseball 3
Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 11, Novara Baseball 1 (8)

Alessandro Ularetti pitched eight strong innings giving up just three runs (two earned) for Grosseto but didn’t factor into the decision. Grosseto needed a run in the bottom of the ninth to pull out the win in Game 1. Moreno Funzione picked up the win pitching the ninth inning.

Antonio Giovannini came up with a big hit in the bottom of the ninth inning driving in the winning run with a single.

Angel Calero pitched five shutout innings for Novara giving way to relief in the sixth. Franklin Torres pitched the final 3.2 innings giving up four runs (one earned) taking the loss.

The defense let Novara down in Game 1 giving up four errors, but it was the wild pitching that let them down in Game 2.

The Novara pitching staff gave up nine walks, hit five batters, and uncorked two wild pitches leading to eleven runs in a lopsided loss to Grosseto. Starter Mario Di Taddeo took the loss lasting only 1.1 innings giving up four runs (three earned) without giving up a hit. He did walk four and hit two.

On the other side of the field, Grosseto starter Angel Marquez picked up the win tossing six innings allowing just one run on three hits while striking out eight.

Nettuno 4, T&A San Marino 1

Nettuno 1, T&A San Marino 7

Andrea Pizziconi picked up the win in Game 1 for Neptunno tossing five innings giving up just one run on five hits. Antonio Romero pitched two innings to earn the save. He struck out five and didn’t allow a hit.

Jim Magrane pitched well for San Marino going six innings allowing just two runs (one earned) on seven hits but took the loss.

Vinicio Sparagna had a good game at the plate going 3-for-3 with a RBI for Nettuno.

T&A San Marino used a five-run seventh inning to take Game 2 behind three home runs.

Jairo Ramos had a great day at the plate going 2-for-5 including a grand slam home run in the fifth inning. Wuillians Vasquez (1-for-4) and Joseph Mazzuca (2-for-5) both homered as well for San Marino.

Tiago Da Silva pitched eight great innings to earn the win. Da Silva gave up one run on three hits while striking out nine. Leonardo D’Amico picked up the save pitching the ninth inning.

Riccardo De Santis took the loss tossing just 6.1 innings allowing three runs on six hits.

Telemarket Rimini 3, Unipol Bologna 11

Telemarket Rimini 1, Unipol Bologna 5

Unipol Bologna pounded Rimini pitching for 12 hits in Game 1. Juan Carlos Infante went 3-for-5 scoring three runs, stole a base, and hit a two-run home run. Luca Bischeri added another three RBI going 2-for-3 on the day.

Victor Moreno picked up the win for Bologna pitching 5.2 innings giving up three runs on four hits striking out seven along the way. Raul Rivero pitched the final 3.1 innings to earn the save.

Andrew Baldwin took the loss for Rimini giving up three runs (two earned) in 4.1 innings. The Rimini pitching staff struggled with control throughout the game walking nine and hitting one batter.

Alexander Romero (2-for-3) homered in the loss for Rimini.

Unipol Bologna came back with another victory in Game 2 behind a solid start from Matteo D’Angelo who went 4.2 innings allowing just one unearned run. Junior Oberto picked up the win in relief tossing 1.1 innings striking out two and not allowing a hit. Carlos Richetti picked up the save with two hitless innings of relief.

Roberto Corradini took the loss for Rimini tossing 5.2 innings giving up two runs on seven hits.

Alessandro Vaglio (2-for-4) driving in three runs while Infante added another pair of hits in the game.

Italian Baseball League Standings:

1. Unipol Bologna 6-0
2. Parma Baseball 3-1
3. Telemarket Rimini 4-2
4. T&A San Marino 4-2
5. Nettuno 3-3
6. Toshiba Mastiff Grosseto 3-3
7. Palfinger Reggio Emilia 1-3
8. Godo Knights 1-3
9. New Black Panthers 1-3
10. Novara Baseball 0-6

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WBC: Puerto Rico Rallies Eliminating Italy


Puerto Rico Eliminates Italy, One Win from Semis

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

It was a different night but the same story for Italy in the World Baseball Classic. After taking the lead on a big hit, this time by Anthony Rizzo, Italy wasted the efforts of an intrepid starting pitcher and allowed its opponent to come back late against their bullpen. Once more, their experienced closer, Jason Grilli, sat idly in the bullpen as a more experienced opponent chipped away at the lead before taking it for good.

This time it was Puerto Rico who was the beneficiary, as it took advantage of sloppy play by the Italians in the late innings to claim a 4-3 win. In the process, Puerto Rico narrowly escaped elimination and is now one win away from qualifying for the semifinals of the WBC. Italy finished 2-3 in the 2013 Classic.

Both starters were effective in the early innings. Italy sent Alex Maestri, the country’s top Italian-born hurler, to the mound. After a leadoff double to Ángel Pagán, Maestri set down the next nine hitters, five by ground ball, working low in the zone with a tight high-70s/mid-120s curveball and slider combination, mixing in a fastball that hit 90/145 consistently.

Giancarlo Alvarado was nearly as effective for Puerto Rico. Relying heavily on a high-80s/low-140s cut fastball that he located well, the right-hander gave up a hit in the first three innings, but got out of each inning unscathed.

Puerto Rico’s best threat early in the game was the fourth. Irving Falú worked a seven-pitch walk and went to third on a one-out single by Yadier Molina. Maestri threw a wild pitch to move Molina into scoring position, but the righty got Mike Aviles and Álex Ríos on outs to the left side of the infield.

Alvarado started to wear down in the fifth. Anthony Granato stroked a single to right with one out and went to second on catcher interference by Molina. Nick Punto reached on the play. Chris Denorfia had a one-base hit to load the bases, and Alvarado exited the game.

Xavier Cedeño came in with the sole purpose of getting out Anthony Rizzo, the Azzurri’s top hitter, but grooved a fastball that the first baseman ripped to the gap in right centre. All three runners crossed home, and Italy had a 3-0 lead.

José de la Torre, who struck out the side with a runner in scoring position only one night before, came in to face the dangerous combination of Alex Liddi and Chris Colabello, and a ground ball and a strikeout to escape the threat.

Maestri left the hill after getting into a jam in the fifth. Chris Cooper relieved with runners on first and second and one out, and got Pagán and Falú out to preserve Italy’s three-run advantage for another frame.

Hiram Burgos was the new pitcher for Puerto Rico and got three quick outs. Cooper gave up a hit with one out to Yadier Molina in the bottom of the sixth. He advanced to second on an error by Granato at shortstop and, with two down, another miscue by Granato gave Puerto Rico its first run. Cooper finally acquired the third out to keep the score at 3-1.

Neither side threatened in the seventh as Burgos and Cooper turned in strong innings, though Italy nearly struck against Burgos in the eighth. The Milwaukee Brewers’ minor leaguer gave up two hits with two outs, but stopped the rally with a ground ball out.

Cooper would not be so fortunate in the bottom of the inning. He was pulled after walking a slumping Carlos Beltrán, who went to third on a hit by Molina. With Grilli still not warming, Marco Mazzieri, Italy’s manager, elected to bring in veteran change-up specialist Brian Sweeney to face Aviles and Ríos. He got Aviles to erase Molina on a force out, but then allowed a RBI-single to Ríos to make it a one-run game.

Pat Venditte relieved and got the second out at a price, inducing a fly out to centre that score Aviles with the tying run. Italy’s centerfielder, Chris Denorfia, threw the ball home from deep centre, and Ríos went to second on the throw.

Andy González bounced a ball deep into the hole at shortstop and it eluded a diving Liddi, the third baseman. Jack Santora, who had entered as a defensive replacement for Granato, made a nice play to snag the ball, but the long throw to first pulled Rizzo off the bag, and Ríos sprinted from second and score untouched.

Italy’s mental mistakes continued after a hit to Eddie Rosario, as Santora threw to third on a grounder by Pagán. The toss was high and González slid in safely to load the bases on the Azzurri’s third error. Venditte bore down and got Falú for the third out, but all the air had been visibly sucked out Italy’s collective lungs.

Burgos stayed in for the first two outs, both retired by strikeout, though the first was on a 3-2 count to Punto, who thought it was ball four and ran all the way to first before someone told him he had been ruled out. Southpaw J.C. Romero came in to get the left-handed Rizzo. Rizzo walked, but Fernando Cabrera got Liddi to go down swinging for the first out.

Italy out-hit Puerto 9-8, but its three errors were the death blow to its chances of advancing in the bracket. Denorfia had three hits and Rizzo reached base three times, but the team and was 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men stranded. Liddi and Colabello, both of whom had key hits earlier in the Classic, were 0-for-8 with four strikeouts, leaving seven men stranded. Italy struck out 11 times.

Molina had a three-hit day for Puerto Rico, who also left 10 men on base, hitting .067 with runners on second or third. It received strong pitching from Alvarado and Burgos in particular. Puerto Rico’s starter went 4 1/3 innings, scattering five hits and a walk while allowing two earned runs. Alvarado whiffed four.

Burgos, who earned the victory, threw 3 2/3 scoreless frames, striking out four. He allowed three hits and issued two free passes.

Maestri toed the rubber for 4 1/3 shutout innings, striking out three. He surrendered three hits and two walks. Cooper was solid, allowing only a hit and a walk in 2 1/3, notching one K. Sweeney took the loss, giving up Puerto Rico’s final run and getting only one out.

Italy will return for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, while Puerto Rico will take on the loser of the matchup between the Dominican Republic and the United States. That game will take place on Mar. 15 at 7 p.m. EST.

Stay tuned for all the news and reviews of the final six games of the World Baseball Classic.

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WBC: Dominican Republic Rallies; Sends Italy to Loser’s Bracket


Dominican Republic Squeaks By Upstart Italy

By Gabriel Fidler (@gabrielfidler)

Chris Colabello and Italy gave the Dominican Republic a scare, leading the heavily favoured Dominicans until the seventh inning. Jose Reyes and Robinson Cano joined Colabello in hitting home runs in a 5-4 Dominican victory.

Colabello hit a huge longball against Canada and got Italy off to a good start in the first inning with another. With the score 1-0 and runners on the corners, Italy’s designated hitter stroked a three-run tater to right field off EdinsónVolquez. Vólquez allowed only Colabello’s hit in the inning, but got into trouble by walking the first three batters of the game.

Italy’s Tiago da Silva, a top starter in the Italian Baseball League, held the Dominican lineup scoreless in the bottom of the frame, though he gave up a double to Canó. Neither club scored in the second.

Vólquez settled down quickly after the homer and pitched a second-straight 1-2-3 frame in the third. Reyes got the Dominican Republic one run closer with a home run to lead off the third. The blast hit the top of the foul pole in right field and bounced fair. Reyes had only missed a home run to same spot by a few feet in the first.

Da Silva kept dealing into the fifth inning, mixing a change and curveball in the mid-70s/high-110s with a fastball that regularly touched 90/145.Vólquez ran out of fuel in the fifth, giving up two hits with one out, but Juan Cedeño and Lorenzo Barcelo bailed him out of the jam.

Da Silva got two Ks in the fifth and Italy still held a 4-1 advantage going into the sixth, despite having only mustered three safeties.

Italy’s starter finally tired in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Canó blasted a solo home run and Marco Mazzieri, Italy’s skipper, pulled da Silva. Nick Pugliese came in to face the 4-5-6 hitters for the Dominican Republic, and they unloaded two hits, while a walk with two outs jammed the bases. Pat Venditte entered and got a fly out to keep the score at 4-2.

Pedro Strop followed Barcelo with more dominant relief work in the seventh, and the Dominicans unloaded against Venditte. With one down, Reyes hit a single up-the-middle and was followed by a safety from Erick Aybar. Canó blooped a ball into shallow left field that fell between the shortstop and left fielder, though the official scoring was an error on the shortstop.

With the bases loaded, a walk to Edwin Encarnacion plated Reyes, and Aybar came round on a sacrifice fly from Hanley Ramirez. Nelson Cruz then drove in Canó with a RBI-single, and the Dominicans had their first lead of the game at 5-4.

Italy had two final chances to score, but Santiago Casilla hurled a scoreless eighth and Fernando Rodney came on for the save. Rodney gave up a walk, but had a three-up, three-down inning thanks to a strikeout and a double play.

The victory moved the Dominican Republic one win away from a guaranteed spot in the semifinals, though they will have to face the winner of U.S.A.-Puerto Rico to qualify. Italy drops into the loser’s bracket in the double-elimination second round. They will play the loser of the same game, with only the winning team staying alive.

Canó had his fourth consecutive three-hit game to lead the Dominican. He scored twice, as did Reyes, who joined Cruz with a brace of hits. The Dominican Republic was only 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight on, but was aided by a strong defence that did not commit an error.

Punto had two of Italy’s four hits, raising his Classic average to .467, though the team walked six times against only five strikeouts. They had very few chances against a dominant Dominican bullpen that threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit. Strop earned the win, Casilla the hold, and Rodney his third save of the WBC.Venditte took the loss.

Italy will have to play on back-to-back days with their game against the other losing team from the pool. The game will be held at Marlins Park on Mar. 13 at 7 p.m. EST (midnight GMT on Mar. 14). The Dominicans will get the day off before hitting the field on Mar. 14 at 7 p.m. EST.

Both games will be covered here, along with all the rest of the World Baseball Classic, so check back for more coverage, analysis, and other information.

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WBC: USA vs Italy Pitching Match Up


The USA is coming off a disappointing opening game loss to Mexico. With the 2012 N.L. Cy Young Award winner pitching, the USA figured to be a little more competitive, but credit Mexico for shutting down the big USA bats.

Italy, on the other hand, is on a roll. The upset Mexico to open the WBC. Then they demolished Canada run-ruling them in the eighth innings.

With a loss, the USA would all be out and Italy would win the pool. So let’s take a look at the starting pitchers.

USA

The San Francisco Giants Ryan Vogelsong will get the start for Team USA. In 2012, he went 14-9 in 31 starts with a 3.37 ERA. He was at his best in the postseason. In four starts, he went 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA helping the Giants win the World Series.

Originally drafted by the Giants in the 1998 Draft, Vogelsong failed to catch on with a team as a starter. So, he headed for Japan in 2007 where he pitched for three seasons. Finally getting his chance in 2011, he made the most of it.

Italy

Getting the start for Italy will be Luca Panerati who spent the 2012 season pitching for Fortitudo Bologna of the Italian Baseball League. In 2012, he went 8-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 82.1 innings.

Panerati pitched in the US minor leagues from 2008-2011 pitching as high as Single-A.

He has international experience. In 2007, at the age of 17, he pitched in a win against the USA at the World Cup. It was the only loss for the USA in the tournament and the first time in 21 years that Italy had beaten the USA. He pitched in the 2009 WBC but only for a third of an inning.

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WBC: Italy Rallies Late; Stuns Mexico 6-5


SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – Pool D kicked off at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, with a game between Italy and Mexico on Thursday afternoon. The game proved to be perhaps the most exciting so far in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Heading into Pool D, most thought that three teams would compete for the two spots into the next round. The one team that most figured wouldn’t be a part of that race was Italy. They proved everyone wrong on Thursday thrusting themselves in the mix with a 6-5 win over Mexico in front of almost 4,500 spectators.

The game was a seesaw affair with Italy striking first in the first.

In the first inning, Chris Denorfia (2-for-5) doubled to get the offense going after lead off hitter Nick Punto struck out. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-5) followed Denorfia with a soft single to center putting runners at the corners. Right-handed slugging third baseman Alex Liddi (2-for-3) got Italy on the board with a line drive single up the middle. Italy would pick up one more run on a Mike Costanzo (1-for-4) single.

Italy led 2-0 after a half inning, but it didn’t last.

Italy starter John Mariotti couldn’t hold the lead. He immediately walked the lead off hitter, then gave up a double to Ramiro Pena (2-for-4) to put runners on second and third with no outs. Mariotti then got an out and loaded the bases walking slugger Adrian Gonzalez for former MLBer Jorge Cantu.

Cantu cleared the bases with a three-run double giving Mexico the lead 3-2.

Mexico would add another run in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Eduardo Arredondo singled and advanced to second on an error by center fielder Denorfia. Ramiro Pena made them pay with a RBI double off newly inserted pitcher Tiago De Silva.

Mexico led 4-2, and that is where we would stay until the fourth.

After a Mario Chiarini single, Minnesota Twins catcher Drew Butera blasted a two-run home run onto the grass berm beyond the left field wall tying the game at four.

It didn’t stay tied for long.

Mexico center fielder Arredondo (2-for-3 / 3 runs) was at it again. He singled to center and was sacrificed to second by Pena. Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Luis Cruz then doubled home Arrendondo to give Mexico the lead once again at 5-4.

The bullpen for both teams settled in at this point and the game remained at 5-4 until the ninth inning.

That’s when things go very interesting.

The San Francisco Giants Sergio Romo came on to close out the game for Mexico. After getting one quick out, Nick Punto doubled to left field on what looked like a ball misplayed by Edgar Gonzalez. Next up was Chris Denorfia.

Denorfia had what had to be the best at bat of the game. After falling down 0-2 in the count, Denorfia laid off three close sliders by Romo to run the count full. He then fouled off four straight pitches spoiling some good sliders from Romo until he got one he could handle singling to left field.

Pinch runner Stefano Desimoni didn’t score on the play, but runners were at the corners with one out for Italy.

Next up was the Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo who doubled on a fly ball to left field that could have and maybe should have been caught once again by Edgar Gonzalez. Desimoni scored easily from third tying the game, and heads up running by Denorfia allowed him to score the go ahead run all the way from first.

Midway through the ninth, Italy led 6-5, but the excitement still wasn’t over.

Italy brought in the Pittsburgh Pirates Jason Grilli to close out the game. Grilli would face pinch-hitter Efren Navarro to start the inning. Navarro would single. After a sacrifice bunt moved pinch-runner Walter Ibarra to second base, Pena popped out. So with two outs and the tying run at second, the game got even more exciting.

Grilli proceeded to walk the next hitter, Cruz. That brought up the dangerous Adrian Gonzalez, whom Grilli hit with a pitch loading the bases.

So now the bases were loaded with two outs and up to bat is Jorge Cantu who already hit a bases clearing double in the first inning.  Grilli decided to make it even more interesting running the count full before getting Cantu to ground out to second base to end the inning.

Nick Pugliese picked up the win pitching 1.1 innings of hitless relief. Grilli got the save.

Sergio Romo took the loss giving up two runs on three hits in a single inning.

Italy will turn around and play Canada Friday at 2:30 pm EST, while Mexico will face USA at 9:00 pm EST Friday night.

 

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Italy: T&A San Marino Wins Back to Back Italian Series Titles


T&A San Marino defended its Italian Series title with a win on Friday night over Telemarket Rimini. San Marino won in style with a walk-off RBI double with one out in the bottom of the 9th by Francesco Imperiali. 

T&A San Marino jumped out on top 3-0 scoring all 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd on a 3-run home run by Imperiali. They added another run in the 6th on an RBI single by Carlos Duran.

However, Rimini came back strong trailing 4-0 and tied the game with 4 runs of its own in the top of the 7th. Joseph Persichina (2-for-5) singled driving in 2 runs tying the game.

That’s where the game stayed until the bottom of the 9th. After Laidel Chapelli singled with one out, Imperiali drove him home to win the game with a double to right field.

Tiago Da Silva went the distance for San Marino allowing 4 runs (3 ER) on 12 hits to pick up the win. Carlos Pezzullo took the loss in relief.

T&A San Marino took the series 4-games-to-2 after winning the first 3 games.

Photo Courtesy FIBS and CB / Oldmanagency

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Italy: Telemarket Rimini Wins Two but Still Trails T&A San Marino


T&A San Marino is still just one win away from back-to-back Italian Series titles. San Marino won the first 3 games of the series but have dropped two straight games as the series moves back to San Marino.

T&A San Marino 7, Telemarket Rimini 3

After winning the first two games at home, T&A San Marino took Game 3 to take a 3-0 lead in the series. Rimini jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning but San Marino came back scoring 4 unanswered runs.

Tiago Da Silva pitched a complete game allowing 3 runs on 6 hits to pick up the win for T&A San Marino. Roberto Corradini took the loss going 4.1 innings giving up 4 runs (2 ER) on 9 hits.

Lorenzo Avagnina scored 2 runs going 3-for-4 for San Marino. Carlos Duran drove in 4 runs hitting a 3 run home run in the 8th inning.

Nobody for Rimini had over 1 hit. Joseph Persichina drove in the only run for Rimini.

T&A San Marino 2, Telemarket Rimini 3 (11)

Rimini finally got in the win column with a 3-2 extra inning win in Game 4.

Marcos Alexan Tabata pitched well starting for Rimini going 5 innings allowing only 2 runs but didn’t factor into the decision. Enorbel Marquez  picked up the win going 2 innings of scoreless relief.

Jairo Ramos had a big day at the plate for San Marino going 3-for-4 driving in 2 runs and hitting a solo home run in the 6th inning.

Juan Pablo Angrisano went 3-for-5 for Rimini, and Riccardo Suardi drove in 2 runs going 2-for-5. The big hit came from Jack Santora who singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning.

T&A San Marino 2, Telemarket Rimini 8

Rimini continued its comeback with a 2nd win in a row to push the series back to San Marino. Mark Di Felice picked up the win with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Maximiliano De Biase hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 1st inning to give Rimini the lead after falling behind 2-0 after half an inning. Joseph Persichina went 2-for-5 driving in a pair of runs to help Rimini with the win.

Lorenzo Avagnina was the only San Marino hitter with more than 1 hit going 2-for-4 with a RBI.

The series now moves back to San Marino.

2012 Italian Series Schedule:
Game 6 Friday August 24th
Telemarket Rimini vs T&A San Marino

*Game 7 Saturday August 25th
Telemarket Rimini vs T&A San Marino
*If necessary

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Italy: T&A San Marino Leads Italian Series 2-0


T&A San Marino has jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the Italian Series over Telemarket Rimini winning the first two games by scores of 8-5 and 2-0. Game 3 of the series will be Thursday August 16th.

Telemarket Rimini 5, T&A San Marino 8

Defending champion San Marino made a huge comeback in the bottom of the 9th inning to take Game 1. San Marino jumped out on top by scoring 3 runs in the 4th inning. However, Rimini came back by scoring a run in the 7th and 4 more in the 8th to take a 5-3 lead heading into the 9th inning.

San Marino started the 9th with a single and quickly loaded the bases with 1 out. Giovanni Pantaleoni singled up the middle to drive in 2 runs to tie the game at 5. The next hitter Simone Albanese was pinch hit for by MarcoYepez who quickly hit a walk-off home run to right field giving San Marino a 1-0 lead in the series.

Rodney Rodriguez pitched well for San Marino going 6 innings giving up 1 unearned run on 5 hits but didn’t factor into the decision. Yulman Ribeiro picked up the win with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Telemarket Rimini 0, T&A San Marino 2

Game 2 was a pitching duel between Rimini starter Enorbel Marquez and San Marino starter Christopher Cooper. Cooper tossed 5.1 innings of shutout ball striking out 4 to pick up the win. Marquez pitched well but got no offensive support going 7 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits.

Jairo Ramos had another big day at the plate hitting a 2-run home run in the bottom of the 1st inning. That would be all the scoring for the game. Francesco Imperiali and Lorenzo Avagnina both added two hits for San Marino.

Italian Series Schedule:
Thursday August 16th
T&A San Marino at Telemarket Rimini

Friday August 17th
T&A San Marino at Telemarket Rimini

*Saturday August 18h
T&A San Marino at Telemarket Rimini

*Friday August 24th
Telemarket Rimini at T&A San Marino

*Saturday August 25th
Telemarket Rimini at T&A San Marino

*if necessary

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Italy: T&A San Marino and Telemarket Rimini Advance to Italian Series


Heading into the last weekend of the semi-final round of the 2012 Italian Baseball League Playoffs, Danesi Nettuno sat atop the standings. With wins in two of its final three games against Telemarket Rimini, Nettuno would advance to the championship. However, that wasn’t meant to be as Rimini took 2-of-3 to tie in the standings with Nettuno. Rimini would advance based on the head to head record. They will face defending champion T&A San Marino who is back again finishing atop the standings in the sem-final round robin as they swept Unipol Bologna in their last weekend series.

Roberto Corradini came up huge in the deciding 2nd game of the series between Rimini and Nettuno. He pitched 8.1 scoreless innings allowing just 5 hits to pick up the win sending Rimini to the championship. Jack Santora drove in the only run of the game as Rimini won 1-0 to take the first 2 games of the series.

Final Standings:
1. T&A San Marino 6-3
2. Telemarket Rimini 5-4
3. Danesi Nettuno 5-4
4. Unipol Bologna 2-7

T&A San Marino 8, Unipol Bologna 0
Unipol Bologna 5, T&A San Marino 6
Unipol Bologna 2, T&A San Marino 5

 

Danesi Nettuno 2, Telemarket Rimini 4
Telemarket Rimini 1, Danesi Nettuno 0
Telemarket Rimini 1, Danesi Nettuno 4

The best-of-7 Finals will start Friday August 10th in San Marino.

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