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Nettuno tops San Marino, and Bologna sweeps to close in on idle Rimini

Following a week off for the Champions Cup, the Italian Baseball League resumed with some important revelations. First place Rimini had the week off to think more about their extra inning lost to Amsterdam in the final played at their own stadium.

Bologna took advantage to forget their own Cup disappointment with a key sweep of Padova.  After game 1 was rained out, Bologna easily handled their opponent in all three games, knocking Padova deeper into the standings and making their path to the playoffs less likely. 

After two wins to start the series, Parma had their own playoff hopes take a big blow, dropping game three to Novara, which was only Novara's second win of the entire season. A four run third inning for Novara, and eight strong innings by starter Alex Bassani allowed Novara to celebrate for one of the few times all season.

In the big series of the week, Nettuno won two out of three from San Marino, winning two one run games, while in between San Marino took one game 8-0 with Camacho and Fracchiola combining to strike out sixteen Nettuno batters in the shutout. But that dominant win couldn't offset the bitter taste of two missed opportunities, after rallying in game one to send it to extra innings and scoring first in the tenth, giving up two runs in the bottom of the inning on a sac fly and then a game ending wild pitch. In the rubber match, Nettuno rallied to take the lead with a three run seventh inning behind a big two run double by Imperiali, and San Marino couldn't come through with a big hit in the eighth or ninth, and walked away with only one win despite outscoring Nettuno by six runs in the series.

Nettuno remains a few games behind the near three way tie atop the standings, but clearly built some confidence for an end of the year rally. All four teams seem nearly a lock for the post season with five weeks left, as Parma and Padova continue to fall just a little too far behind and seem to be missing the extra gear necessary for an end of the year push.