Rimini still impressing on the mound with a 2.05 team ERA, and with the bat as well, were they are supporting a very impressive .316 team batting average. The two categories alone should paint a pretty pitcher of exactly where Rimini stands in comparison to the rest of the Italian Baseball League, at the top. Going into this past weekend there was no doubt that a series sweep was going to happen against a Grosetto club that has struggled mightily in their first year in the IBL, the only question was by how large of a margin Chis Catanoso’s club was going to win by. The series that featured the worst against first and the end result showed nothing but exactly where these two clubs stand. Game one 5-0 in favor or the Pirates, game two 7-1.. Pirates. It was Grosetto’s 20th and 21st consecutive loses of this 2013 campaign, an alarming number that will most likely get worst over the remaining 4 weeks of the season.
With Rimini’s sweep on Friday, all eyes turned to the series between Bologna and Parma, which took place on Friday in Bologna before moving to Parma on Saturday evening. It was an impressive all around series that didn’t disappoint, well maybe it did just a little as neither club was able to win on their home field. It was Parma who took game one of the series in extras, 11 innings to be exact, by the final of 5-2. The win was accredited to an impressive comeback in the 9th by Munoz’s club, a club that has shown more then once this year that they have plenty of fight in them to hang with even the best in the league. After Rivero had dominated for 8 his relief was not able to follow his lead. First Luque who lasted for 2 outs in the 9th, giving up a run, then D’Angelo who surrendered the lead. Finally in the 11th the game was taken with Milano on the bump, as Parma scored 3 times on the way to the victory. Game two was a different story in Parma, as it was Bologna’s turn to turn to turn a deficit into a win thanks to a 6 run 5th that pretty much buried Parma. The series split means that Unipol Bologna falls another game back of the 1st place Rimini Pirates, and that with San Marino’s easy sweep over Godo, Parma moves a game and a half back of that fourth and final playoff spot.
Onto Nettuno now and how they are currently sitting pretty in their 2013 postseason run after sweeping Novara on Saturday in a doubleheader. Game one of the series turned out to be a little bit of a scare for Nettuno, but thanks to a very persistent offense, they were able to erase a fairly significant deficit to eventually take the game in 11 innings by the final of 9-6. In game two Nettuno was able to put the pressure on early with the bat, eventually working their way to a rather easy 12-6 victory, and two and a half games up on the 5th place Parma club. Look for the league to get very interesting over the next few weeks with all of the top dogs having to face off with one anther.
Finally the weekend finished off with an interesting series up north that featured a series between the New Black Panthers and Palfinger Reggio Emilia. Both teams are new to the IBL and both teams have performed above and beyond all expectations, especially Reggio. The series ended in a split over the weekend with Ronchi taking game one by the final of 7-6, and Palfinger game 2 by the final of 8-3. The loss in game one snapped a 6 game winning streak for Reggio but having taken game two they moved to a not to shabby 7-1 over their past 8 and are still sitting at an over .500 winning percentage. The next three weeks will be a good test for Carrion’s club to see exactly what kind of progress his team has made throughout the course of the season as they will have to face off against Bologna this Thursday and Friday, Grosseto for a makeup game on August the 3rd, then the currently first place Rimini Pirates in a double dip on the 10th.