Tag Archive | "Italy"

Italy: First Week News and Notes From Italian Baseball League

The Italian Baseball League (IBL) kicked off the 2015 season this past weekend. Seven teams are looking to dethrone Unipol Bologna after they claimed the 2014 title. Bologna got off to a slow start losing game one of the season to Tommasin Padova.

Both T&A San Marino and Rimini swept their series to start off the season. But perhaps the best series was between Parma and the Godo Knights who split. Game 1 went an extra frame with both teams scoring, but in the end it was a walk-off win for Parma on a Claudio Biagini RBI single.

Game 2 of the series was just as close, but this time the Knights would prevail winning 2-1. The Knights were backed by a solid start from Matteo Galeotti who tossed seven innings giving up just one unearned run on three hits. Nicolo Loardi pitched the final two outs of the game to pick up the save. All of the Knights offense came in the seventh inning on a two-run double by Adolfo Gomez.

In other league action:

Guillermo Rodriguez had a strong second game for Bologna hitting a two-run home run going 2-for-4 with three RBI.

Alessandro Vaglio also had a big day at the plate for Bologna going 2-for-5 with three RBI and scored four times.

Massimiliano Satori had a big game leading Tommasin Padova to a win over defending champ Bologna in Game 1 of hte year. He hit a grand slam, drove in five runs, and went 2-for-3 in the win.

Italian Baseball League Scores:

Parma 4, Godo Knights 3 (10 innings) Box
Parma 1, Godo Knights 2 Box

Angel Service Nettuno 2 1, T&A San Marino 4 Box
Angel Service Nettuno 3, T&A San Marino 7 Box

Rimini 5, Nettuno 2 Box
Rimini 3, Nettuno 2 Box

Unipol Bologna 4, Tommasin Padova 6 Box
Tommasin Padova 4, Unipol Bologna 16 Box

Italian Baseball League Standings:

1. Rimini 2-0
2. T&A San Marino 2-0
3. Godo Knights 1-1
4. Lino’s Coffee Parma 1-1
5. Tommasin Padova 1-1
6. Unipol Bologna 1-1
7. Angel Service Netunno 2 0-2
8. Nettuno 0-2

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Europe gets historic victory, defeats No. 1 Japan 6-2 in global baseball showing in Tokyo

Press Release WBSC

TOKYO – Debuting in a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome against the top-ranked nation in the world, Europe recorded its historic first victory for the continent, defeating Japan 6-2 to split the two-game series.

Like in Game 1, Europe managed to get out of the gates early, tagging Samurai starter Takahiro Matsuba for back-to-back doubles in the second inning, authored by Italy’s Mario Chiarini and Spain’s Blake Ochoa, which put Europe up 2-0.

A towering three-run home run by the Netherlands’ Yurendell Decaster in the bottom of the third gave Europe a 5-0 lead. (VIDEO: Decaster HR)

With the cushion, Europe starter Diegomar Marwell (Netherlands) kept Japan’s bats quiet through three innings, only allowing three hits.

In the 5th, Tetsuto Yamada launched a solo home run and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s RBI single cut Europe’s lead to 5-2.

Europe manager Steve Janssen handed the ball to Germany’s Luke Sommer, who pitched a clean 6th to 8th innings.

Dutch flamethrower Tom Stuifbergen pitched the final inning, using a 95 mph/153 kmh fastball close out the game and register the save for Europe.

Sommer was credited with the win. Japan starter Matsuba took the loss.

The historic win for Europe follows the announcement by baseball’s world governing body, WBSC, to establish Team Europe. Europe was immediately pitted against the world No. 1 Japanese National Team, “Samurai Japan”, made up of top stars from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). The majority of players on Japan’s current roster were part of the Samurai selection that faced Team MLB in a best-of-five series, won by hosts Japan, last November.

Both WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari and NPB Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki went down on the field Wednesday night to congratulate the European team, following their 6-2 win and two exciting contests in as many nights.

“These two highly competitive games send another message to the world that Europe can compete with anyone and that our sport is more global than ever,” President Fraccari said.

Two European countries, No. 5 Netherlands and No. 11 Italy, are among the elite field heading to the inaugural Premier 12™ that will unite baseball’s top twelve countries.

Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo said, “We have to give them credit. They’ve come a long way and played the game at a high level.”

“The victory was a historic one, as it was the debut of the multinational Team Europe,” The Japan Times reported.

Head coach Janssen (Netherlands National Team manager) and bench coach Marco Mazzieri (Italy National Team manager) compiled a roster of 28 European players from six countries: (by world rank) Netherlands, Italy, No. 17 Spain, No. 18 Germany, No. 20 Czech Republic and No. 27 France.

No. 36 Belgium and No. 39 Austria were also represented as part of Europe’s coaching staff.

Yokohama BayStars rising star Tsutsugo, 23, was one of the bright spots for the Samurai in the series, collecting a pair of hits and RBIs. “I would like come up with positive results during the [NPB] season [that are] worthy of a Samurai Japan member,” he said.

Over 44,000 people attended the historic matches, with an increase in attendance of approximately 2,000 more fans for Game 2, following Samurai Japan’s thrilling 4-3 come-from-behind victory in Game 1 Tuesday night.

The two-game series was broadcast free-to-air nationally across Japan by the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), while Eurosport 2 transmitted the games live to potentially 73 million households across more than 50 European nations.

Prior to the start of Game 2 there was a moment of silence to honor the victims and raise awareness of ongoing recovery efforts four years after the 11 March 2011 Tsunami devastated the Fukushima region.

NPB — the second highest-attended major sports league in the world in 2014 (approx. 23 million) and WBSC Associate Member — hosted the Europe versus Japan two-game series.

Umpires from the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL; WBSC Associate Member) officiated the two games.

Leading sports performance brand Asics backed Europe as the official kit sponsor.

The game ball that marked Europe’s first-ever pitch in Game 1 Tuesday night will be going to Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, along with Team Europe’s official game jersey.

In the two-game series, Japan outhit Europe 16 to 13. Japan played spotless defense with the glove, committing no errors on defense. Europe also flashed the leather, executing a pickoff and making only one error on defense.

Copyright © 2015 WBSC. All rights reserved.

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Global Baseball Match: Europe Reveals Starting Lineup #EURvsJPN

TOKYO, Japan – The All-Euro team announced its starting lineup for the first game of the Global Baseball Match against Japan. The game will take place later today in the Tokyo Dome.

The starting ten (with DH) will feature players from only three countries: Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Europe manager Steve Janssen revealed the lineup via Twitter:


1. Juan Carlos Infante 3B (Italy)
2. Alessandro Vaglio 2B (Italy)
3. Curt Smith 1B (Netherlands)
4. Fernando Martinez RF (Spain)
5. Kaliam Sams LF (Netherlands)
6. Yurendell De Caster DH (Netherlands)
7. Oscar Angelo SS (Spain)
8. Ricardo Daschenko C (Netherlands)
9. Stefano Desimoni CF (Italy)
Rob Cordemans P (Netherlands)

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Global Baseball Match: Japan Announces Starting Pitchers; Europe Announces Schedule

The Global Baseball Match between the Samurai Japan and the All-Euro team is approaching quickly. The two teams will meet next Tuesday and Wednesday in the Tokyo Dome for a pair of games.

Team Europe arrived in Japan yesterday and has announced its schedule. And there is news coming out now from the Japan squad as well as they have announced their starting pitchers for the two games.

Starting in Game 1 will be Daichi Osera of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Osera, a 23-year old right hander, won the 2014 Rookie of the Year Award this past season posting a 10-8 record with a 4.05 ERA.

Pitching Game 2 will be the Orix Buffaloes Takahiro Matsuba. He went 8-1 in 2014 in 21 starts. He posted an ERA of just 2.77 in his second year in the league.

Schedule courtesy IBAF.org

Friday, 6 March: Visit To Fukushima – Four Years Later

Following the team workout session Friday, members of Team Europe will visit the Fukushima region that was devastated on 11 March 2011. The area is still in the process of recovery from the disaster, and the visit is intended to pay tribute and raise awareness of the region’s ongoing recovery efforts.

Saturday, 7 March: Baseball Clinic with School Children

School children will join the team and have the opportunity to play ball and engage with the European players in a one-hour session after Europe’s official team practice.

Sunday, 8 March: Test match vs. Yomiuri Giants minor league team

On Sunday, Team Europe will play a friendly match versus the minor league affiliate of the Yomiuri Giants. Europe’s coaching staff will get its first opportunity to evaluate the team and get in some ‘live’ game experience.

Monday, 9 March: Practice Session And Press Conference

Team Europe’s final workout will take place at QVC Stadium.

Representatives from both Samurai Japan and Team Europe will attend a press conference at QVC Stadium. The time of the press conference is scheduled for 13:00 – 13:30local time. 

Tuesday, 10 March: Europe vs Japan Game 1 – 18:00

Europe will make its debut on the international stage as the visiting team, wearing their road grey jersey.

Photo shoots for both Europe and Japan will also be organized at the Tokyo Dome prior to pre-game batting practice.

Wednesday, 11 March: Europe vs Japan Game 2 – 18:00

Europe will play its first-ever game as the home team, sporting the white jersey. A special Opening Ceremony will be held prior to Game 2 at 17:25.

Broadcast Coverage

Both games of the historic Europe vs Japan Series will be broadcast ‘live’ in Europe via Eurosport 2, in addition to national coverage in Japan.

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Europe Logo and Jersey Revealed for Global Baseball Match Against Japan

The All-Euro team for the upcoming Global Baseball Match versus Japan has revealed both its logo and jersey.

A team of Europeans will take on some of the best from Japan in a two game series in March at the Tokyo Dome. The games will be held March 10 and 11.

The jersey, pictured below, will feature the home flag of each player’s home country on the right shoulder. Seven flags will be featured between the players and coaches representing Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Asics is the official apparel sponsor for Team Europe.


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Eurosport 2 to Broadcast Global Baseball Match between Japan and All-Euro Team

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced earlier today that the upcoming Global Baseball Match between the No. 1 world ranked Japan versus an All-Euro team to take place in Tokyo on March 10 and 11 will be televised in Europe by Eurosport 2.

Eurosport 2 broadcasts to over 73 million homes across 51 counties and in 18 different languages. It has obtained the broadcasting rights for the inaugural event including online and mobile devices in all languages.

This is a big step for European baseball in opening up the door for many to view via television and online to some of the best baseball players on the continent and in Japan.

This could help spur more interest in the upcoming Premier 12 tournament that will take place in November featuring the world’s top 12 ranked teams. In the world top 12 there are two European nations that will compete in No. 5 Netherlands and No. 11 Italy. Both countries will have a strong presence on the All-Euro team.

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All-Euro Team Announces Roster for Global Baseball Match Versus Japan

Recently Japan released its roster for the 2015 Global Baseball Match versus the All-Euro team. And now the All-Euro team roster has been announced.

It is comprised of players from five different European countries and led by a manager from a sixth. The Netherlands, 2011 World Champions, have the most players represented with fifteen. Included is 10-time Major League Baseball Gold Glove winner Andruw Jones.

Jones joins fellow NPB player Alessandro Maestri on the roster. Maestri was the first European raised player to make it to the NPB. He currently pitches for the Oriz Buffaloes where he had a solid season last year.

All-Euro Roster:

Luke Sommer – Germany
Diegomar Markwell – Netherlands
Jose Escalona – Italy
Rob Cordemans – Netherlands
Owen Ozanich – France
Alessandro Maestri – Italy
Tom Stuiffbergen – Netherlands
Shairon Martis – Netherlands
Loek van Mil – Netherlands
Rick van den Hurk – Netherlands
Leslie Nacar – Spain
Jan-Niclas Stoecklin – Germany
Orlando Yntema – Netherlands
Kevin Heijstek – Netherlands

Blake Ochoa – Spain
Richard Daschenko – Netherlands
Gianison Boekhoudt – Netherlands

Curt Smith – Netherlands
Alessandro Vaglio – Italy
Oscar Angulo – Spain
Juan Carlos Infante – Italy
Michael Duursma – Netherlands

Stefano Desimoni – Italy
Fernando Martinez – Spain
Kaliam Sams – Netherlands
Mario Chiarini – Italy
Yurendell De Caster (Utility) – Netherlands
Andruw Jones (DH) – Netherlands

Coaching Staff:
Steve Janssen Manager – Belgium
Marco Mazzieri Assistant Manager – Italy
Wim Martinus Assistant Coach – Netherlands
Sidney De Jongh Hitting Coach – Netherlands
Martin Brunner Pitching Coach – Austria
Ben Thijssen 3rd Base Coach – Netherlands
Augusto Medina 1st Base Coach – Italy

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Italian Baseball Federation Releases Banner for Upcoming Euro vs. Japan Series

A global baseball match between the Samurai Japan team and an all Euro team will take place this coming March in Tokyo. The two teams will meet for a pair of games, and the Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (FIBS) just released the banner for the event via Twitter.

The game will take place on March 10 and 11 hosted by Japan at the Tokyo Dome. The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) will be certifying the event.

via @FIBSpress on Twitter:


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Italy: Great Article on the Career of New Nettuno Manager Lenny Randle

It was announced late last year that former MLB player Lenny Randle will take over at the helm of Nettuno this coming season. Randle is no stranger to Italy having played for Nettuno back in the early 1980s after being released by the Seattle Mariners.

Randle’s story is one that has definitely been interesting. But I feel it is better to let me let Bruce Markusen tell it. Here is an article that Bruce wrote for the HardballTimes.com that is a fascinating read on how the world of Lenny Randle was turned upside down. But in the end he came out okay and continues to do good in the baseball world.

Card Corner Plus: The Redemption of Lenny Randle

Also here is a bonus video. One that I found was a great look at Italian baseball in the early 1980s. It’s brief but good and includes Lenny Randle as well. So take a look and enjoy and don’t forget to read Markusen’s article because it is a good one.

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Italy: Baseball and Softball Federation Unveils New Logo

The Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (FIBS) has unveiled a new logo via Twitter for 2015.

What do you think?

Here is a look at the old one and new one.

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Italy: A Look Back at the 2014 Italian Baseball League

For our first look back on the leagues of 2014, we take a look at the Italian Baseball League.

In the first stage of the league, Unipol Bologna won Group A by four games over T&A San Marino. There was a tie atop Group B after the first stage between Rimini and ASD Parma.

Those four teams headed into phase 2 of the league with Unipol Bologna winding up on top of the group. Bologna won the phase by three games over Rimini who finished just one game ahead of T&A San Marino. Parma struggled finishing nine games out of first and five games out of third.

Finishing in first and second in the semi-final round, Bologna and Rimini would face off in the Italian Baseball Series. Heading into the series, Rimini took two-of-three from Bologna in the final weekend series to hold onto their one game lead over three-time defending champion T&A San Marino who just missed out on a return trip the championship.

The Italian Baseball Series did not disappoint going a full seven games. Rimini took a 2-1 lead in the series early on and then again was one game away from a championship going up 3-2 after five games. However, it wasn’t meant to be for Rimini as Bologna came back to win the final two games of the series to win their first championship since 2009.

Bologna has had a winning tradition over the years winning the European Cup three times since 2009 but not one title in Italy since. In Game 7, Raul Rivero pitched a complete game shutout striking out twelve en route to the series clinching win. Guillermo Rodriguez hit a home run and drove in two runs in the final game winning the Finals MVP.

Bologna 2014 IBL Champions

Bologna 2014 IBL Champions

While Rimini lost out to Bologna in the IBL and to San Marino at the European Champions Cup, they did win the Coppa Italia, or the consolation. They defeated Parma 7-2 in the championship booking themselves a return to the European Cup in 2015.

Awards were also announced for the 2014 season in the Italian Baseball League.

Gold Glove Winners:
First Base: Alex Sambucci
Second Base: Alessandro Vaglio
Third Base: Francesco Fuzzi
Shortstop: Juan Carlos Infante
Outfield: Alex Romero, Stefano Desimoni, Claudio Liverziani
Catcher: Riccardo Bertagnon
Pitcher: Yomel Rivera

Silver Slugger Winners:
First Base: Alex Sambucci
Second Base: Alessandro Vaglio
Third Base: Giuseppe Mazzanti
Shortstop: Willians Vasquez
Outfield: Carlos Duran, Alex Romero e Stefano Desimoni
Catcher: Osman Marval
Designated Hitter: Jairo Ramos

In other IBL news, the 2015 season will return to a single division of eight teams. The new season will kick off March 27/28, 2015 with the first phase ending on May 8/9 and the second phase ending on July 11/12.

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Looking Forward to 2015 at Baseball de World

With 2014 coming to a close, we thought this would be a good time to look back at the world of baseball and discuss some of the major events and championships that took place. Over the next week or two we will be recapping all of the major leagues from around the world. So in case you missed it, and we did as well for some because of how busy 2014 was, stay tuned and check out what happened around the world.

In 2015 we hope to bring a few more things to the site including more writing on independent baseball leagues throughout the USA. These leagues have garnered my attention more and more over the past few years. They not only interest me in the ways they handle themselves on the field (see article on Pecos League commissioner charging field with chair) but off the field and how the leagues actually survive is very interesting to say the least.

In addition to covering some of the independent leagues, we hope to bring you some new and interesting ideas like the top independent managing prospects. With managers being picked up from independent leagues into affiliated ball, we thought we would look at a few of the manager prospects in the game right now. So stay tuned for that and other new ideas on independent ball.

In addition we plan to bring you more reviews on books, documentaries, movies, and other sites as well. We are apart of a huge baseball blogosphere and we want to help spread some of the great writing that is going on. For one, Dan Glickman over at the Hall of Very Good wrote about the best baseball links of 2014. There is a lot of great writing here from some of the top writers in the sport. I have read many of the articles throughout the year but some of the I missed so I will be going back through them in the next week and I recommend you do the same.

I dropped the ball in 2014 due to my schedule becoming so crazy but most of that is behind me now and I hope to continue bringing you updates from around the world in 2015.

I would also like to have your opinions and ideas on what you would like to see. I have tossed around the idea of a podcast with others joining me to discuss baseball from around the world. I’ve also tossed around the idea of starting a vlog and doing some video. Those are on hold right now until I can get back into the swing of regular updates. I am putting together a schedule of when I will update what leagues in order to bring some regularity to the site and hopefully more interaction with you the readers.

With all of that being said, Happy New Year! Here is hoping your favorite teams continue, or start, a winning tradition in 2015!

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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.

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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