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Italy is out of the World Cup after losing a thriller against Venezuela

Venezuela celebrates the win (Ezio Ratti/Fibs)At the end of a thriller, that included a rain delay between the two halfs of the tenth inning, Venezuela beat Italy (7-6) in ten innings and eliminated the azzurri from the World Cup. Venezuela will advance to the second round with 5 wins.
Italy's bull pen, a key in their bronze medal in the 2010 Intercontinental Cup, could not maintain a 4-3 lead in the ninth (blown save by Cody Cillo) and a 6-4 lead in the tenth (blown save and loss by Giovanni D'Amico).

Venezuela was off a good start against Italy's ace Tiago Da Silva, who gave up base hits to DH Oscar Angulo and shortstop Rodolfo Cardona, then helped the runners advance on a bad throw to second. The go ahead run was batted in by a sacrifice fly by right fielder Ronald Acuna.
Italy tied it on a solo homer by first baseman Giuseppe Mazzanti in the second inning. The ball was ever the wall in dead center, despite a gret effort by Venezuela center fielder Yonathan Sivira
In the third, Da Silva gave up a single to left to third baseman Saul Torres and walked second baseman Dirimo Chavez. Torres touched third on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by catcher Luis Alen. It was the last batter faced by Da Silva, who left the mound to Alessandro Maestri. The right hander got the third out striking out Yonathan Sivira.

Italy took the lead in the sixth. Team Captain Mario Chiarini reached on a lead off double and scored on a baseAvagnina greats Mazzanti after his home run (Ratti/Fibs) hit by Ramos, who was tagged for the first out trying to reach second. As starter Jorge Guzman walked Mazzanti, Venezuela manager Sojo gave the call to the bull pen to Luis Torres. The newcomer walked left fielder Lorenzo Avagnina and then left on a injury. New pitcher Jhonny Caraballo walked in another run and got out of a bases loaded jam when Juan Carlo Infante lined out to second baseman.

Williams Vasquez, who won the 2011 Italian Baseball League pennant with San Marino, got to Maestri for a solo homer that made it a one run game in the seventh and Venezuela tied it in the ninth. With one out, Cody Cillo walked Angulo, who left for pinch runner Lara. Cardona got a hit to right and sent Lara to third. Italy gave the call to the bull pen and brought lefty Luca Panerati to the mound. Vasquez grounded out to shortstop Anthony Granato and Lara scored on the play. Nick Pugliese got the third out for Italy.

In the tenth Italy sent Paolino Ambrosino to first and Infante to second according to the tie break rule. Granato bunted them to second and third and, after Chiarini struck out looking and Ramos was intentionally walked, Mazzanti singled to the middle and batted in 2 runs.
In the bottom of the inning Vebezuela sent Sivira to first and Lara to second. Cardona missed a bunt attempt and, with Lara far from the bag, italian catcher Juan Pablo Angrisano threw behind the runner, allowing him to reach third standing. Pugliese hit Cardona to load the bases and Italy gave the call to Giovanni D'Amico. With the reliever warming up, a storm forced a rain delay.

As play resumed, D'Amico got Vasquez on a pop to shortstop, reached a 1-2 count on Acuna and then walked him to make it once again a one run game. A wild pitch scored Cardona for the tying run. Pinch hitter Arturo Rivas wasted no time: he hit a sharp liner to left and won the game for Venezuela.

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