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Italy drops the Finals, Holland new EU Champs

The Italians weren’t able to get by the Netherlands at the finals of 2014 European Championship in Brno, Czech Republic. The game was a closely fought battle, but in the end it was the long ball that allowed Holland to hoist their first EU Championship trophy over their heads since 2007. The Netherlands crushed a total of 5 homers (all solo shots) in what was a 6 to 3 win over Italy, with Italy’s starter Colla giving up 4 for them in just 3.1 innings of work.

The Netherlands scored in the bottom of the 1st on a leadoff homer to left off the bat of Oduber, it was a ball that flew over the left field fence for the 1-0 lead. In the second Colla was greeted with yet another leadoff 4-bagger, this time off the bat of Sams, which made it a 2-0 Holland lead.

After throwing up a scoreless 3rd frame, Colla was back on the bump in the 4th where he was once again cursed by another leadoff home run (Smith). The inning wouldn’t just end 3-0 Netherlands, but it would finish at a 4-0 mark after Sams banged out his second homer of the game, the final swing of the bat that ended Colla’s day.

In the 6th with Da Silva on for Italy, Holland was able to cross an unearned run for the 5-0 advantage. The run scored on an error by the first baseman, Sambucci, which allowed Statia to score with two outs in the innings.

Italy showed some good life on the offensive side of the ball in the top of the 7th with three runs of their own to pull to within just 2 runs of the Netherlands. It was Chiarini that got things started with a one out double to right. Epifano then followed with a walk, who later was pushed to third on an RBI double off the bat of Avagnina. After a mound visit both Infante and Desimoni were able to draw walks, with Desimoni picking up an RBI after Epifano was forced home from third. Next up was Vaglio, who was hit by a pitch allowing him to make his way to first and for Avagnina to come around to score Italy’s third run of the inning. That would be it for Italy’s offense as both Ermini and Liddi ended up stranding the basses juiced, with the tying and go ahead runs on.

In the 8th Holland put the score at its final of 6 to 3 after the MVP, Smith banged out his second homer of the game. It was a solo shot that flew over the right field fence off of Italy’s Venditte.

Although Italy finished with the silver medal at this year’s European Championship, they still proved to be amongst the best on the continent. Italy breezed through the 1st round of the tournament in Regensburg, and before running into Holland in the last game of the 2nd round they had been supporting a perfect record going through, Belgium, Sweden, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the Czech Republic. In the end it was Holland’s heavy hitting that was just too much for Italy’s mound, allowing a total of 7 home runs in two… 5 coming in the championship game.

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