After their 3-2 victory the prior night in Verona, Team Italy ventured two hours south to Godo’s Casadio Stadium in Emilia Romagna on Saturday, October 21, 2017 and defeated the Netherlands by a score of 6-2 in game two of the three game European Baseball Series. With his second consecutive career win under his belt, new Team Italy manager Gilberto Gerali could not be happier with his Azzurri squad. Former Arizona Diamondbacks and Kansas City Royals pitching prospect Andrea Pizziconi threw four scoreless innings and struck out six Dutch batters before being relieved by Tomasso Cherubini and Valerio Simone. Former Boston Red Sox pitching prospect and current Team Italy closer Nicolo Clemente picked up the win after shutting down the Netherlands in the final two innings of play. The right-handed hurler did not allow a hit and struck out two batters in relief.
The Azzurri offense did not waste any time in getting on the board in the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead and control of the ballgame when leadoff hitter Sebastiano Poma singled and later scored on an RBI single by Nico Garbella. Team Italy came back for more in the second inning after designated hitter Mattia Reginato homered to left field and gave the Italians a commanding 2-0 advantage. The Azzurri added another run to make it a 3-0 ballgame in the third inning after Sebastiano Poma crossed the plate on an RBI fielder’s choice from former Cleveland Indians prospect and current Team Italy cleanup hitter Robel Garcia Rodriguez. A two-out rally in the fifth inning began when Robel Garcia Rodriguez walked and first baseman Alex Sambucci singled. With two baserunners on the corners, Chicago Cubs prospect and Team Italy catcher Alberto Mineo doubled to bring home another run to give the Italians a 4-0 lead. An RBI single from the hot-hitting Mattia Reginato gave Team Italy a 5-0 cushion into the bottom of the fifth inning. The relentless Azzurri offense added an insurance run in the ninth inning after Sebastiano Poma walked and later scored on yet another RBI single by Nico Garbella. With the 6-2 victory over the Netherlands, Team Italy goes for the sweep in the final game of the 2017 European Baseball Series on Sunday afternoon, October 22 at Codogno’s Comunale Stadium in Lombardy. Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti