Italy improved to 3 and 0 in the first round of this year’s European Championship in Regensburg, Germany. Picking up the win for team Italy was Frailyn Florian with 6.1 innings of work on the bump, where he allowed just 3 hits, 3 walks and 2 runs, all while picking up 4 K’s. The game was a shortened one that lasted 8 innings due to the 10 run mercy rule (12-2) that was implemented into the tournament. The Italians were powered by two long balls off the bats of Alberto Mineo (go-ahead Grand Slam in the bottom of the 3rd) and the Alex Liddi (3 run homer in the 4th) who was playing in his first game of the tournament after having just arrived from the States where he was playing in AA with the Dodgers organization. The win put Italy into first play all by themselves in this first round of the 2014 European Championship tournament.
Italy got out to the 1-0 lead in the second wend Sambucci scored on a dropped fly ball by the leftfielder after having reached on a walk leading off the inning. In the top of the third however it was France’s turn to take the lead off of Florian, as the southpaw allowed 2 runs off of 3 hits and no errors. That would be it for the French in the runs column for the rest of the game, with the duo of Florian and Partick Venditte (1.2 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 2 so) successfully baffling their opponent.
In the 3rd Italy crossed a huge 4 runs on just one swing of the bat, when Aleberto Mineo crushed a Grand Slam that flew over the right field fence off of Dubaut (3.0 ip 2 h, 5 r, 5 bb, 0 so) with two outs in the frame. The four run shot came just one pitch after France’s third baseman committed a costly 2 out error that could have ended inning. From that point on Italy never took their foot off the gas pedal, as they picked up 3 more runs in the 4th on anther long ball, this time off the bat of the newly arrived Alex Liddi. Italy scored once again in the 5th, two more in the 6th, and eventually ended the game when they crossed their 12th run of the contest in the 8th. Italy banged out 11 hits in the game off the French pitching, making it their third consecutive game where they’ve put up a double-digit number in the hits column. Desimoni, Liddi and Chiarini all had two hits apiece, as each went 2 for 4 on the game.
Today, Monday the 15th at 7:00 pm local time Italy will take on Germany with Michael Colla expected to get the start.