In the second of three afternoon Arizona Spring Training exhibition games at Mesa's Hohokam Stadium, Team Italy lost 3-1 to an Oakland Athletics Minor League squad on March 21, 2019. Azzurri baseball manager Gilberto “Gibo” Gerali’s lineup card looked like this: Sebastiano Poma CF, Alessandro Vaglio SS, Leo Zileri DH, Chris Colabello 1B, Nico Garbella LF, Mattia Mercuri 3B, Federico Celli RF, Marco Sabbatani C, Ricardo Paolini 2B, Alessandro Maestri P.
Team Italy patriarch and starting pitcher Alessandro Maestri threw two innings and allowed one run with two strikeouts. He was relieved by Diego Fabiani and Valerio Simone, both of whom pitched two scoreless innings. Control issues haunted reliever Claudio Scotti, who walked three batters and allowed two runs. Closer Yomel Rivera looked good on the mound striking out two hitters despite giving up a walk. Catcher Alessandro Deotto replaced Marco Sabbatani behind the dish and went 2-for-2 for the Italians. Team Italy plays its final exhibition game against the Athletics on March 23, 2019 at 1 pm. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti