Italy took their first game of the 2014 European Championship in Regensburg, Germany on Friday afternoon when they were able to walk away winners in a 12 to 7 ball game over Belgium. The game ended up being much closer then originally expected as the heavily favored Italian mound struggled to get past the bats of the Belgium squad, allowing a total of 14 hits on the game. Team Italy picked up 4 runs in the 1st, but they ended up being a little sluggish in the runs column until their 4 run 9th, which put the game out of reach of the Belgium. Picking up the win for Italy was Yovanni D’Amico with one inning of relief out of the pen, while the save went to Tiago Da Silva who came on for the last 4 outs in the game. Italy’s next matchup will be with Sweden on Saturday in Regensburg at 1:00 pm local time. Sweden currently sits at 0 and 0 in the standings after having their first game of the tournament rained out on Friday against Great Britain.
Italy’s first 4 runs of the game came in the 1st frame off of Belgium’s Jordy Van Den Heuvel. Vaglio got the scoring started with an RBI single to center on a 3-2 count, which drove in Ermini from third. Vaglio then came around to score on a double steal with two outs in the inning. The final two runs of the inning were plated on a huge 2 RBI triple to center off the bat of Morreale for the 4-0 lead.
Belgium quickly got to work themselves on the offensive side of the ball after they were able to score 3 runs in the bottom half of frame number one off of Carlos Richetti (4 ip, 6 h, 3 r, 0 bb, 5 so). In the top of the 2nd, and 3rd Italy was able to get back two of those three runs allowed when Vaglio single through the left side to drive in Infante in the 2nd, and when in the 3rd Mineo homered to left. In the 5th and 6th the Italians were able to score another two runs to counteracted the two that Belgium was able to pick up off of Crepaldi in the 5th. The Italian’s 7th run came when Morreale score on a double by Epifano, while their 8th came on a solo shot off the bat of Sambucci that flew over the left field fence in the 6th.
Belgium was able to make the game interesting once again after they scored another two runs in the 8th off of Venditte. The Belgium ended up stranding 3 runners on the sacs, of which included the tying and go-ahead runs once Italy’s stopper, Tiago Da Silva was summoned from the pen. With the game now sitting at a 8-7, the Italian’s went on to score a huge 4 runs in the top of the 9th, which put the score at its final of 12 to 7. Italy scored 12 runs off of 15 hits, 7 walks, and 2 errors, while on the loosing side Belgium put up some impressive numbers in the loss, where they scored 7 runs off of 14 hits, 3 walks and 1 error.
F r i d a y 1 2 , S e p t e m b e r
Greece 3 Spain 15
Belgium 7 Italy 12
Croatia 2 Netherlands 19
Czech Republic 5 Russia 0
France 3 Germany 2