The 2016 Italian Baseball League chamion will once again be the winner of the Bologna-Rimini matchup. The top two teams meet for a third consecutive year in the Italian Baseball Series after disposing of Nettuno and San Marino respectively on their way.
After taking a 2-0 series lead at home, Bologna dropped game 3 2-1 in Nettuno and breathed some momentary life into the matchup. But it was a brief illusion, as Bologna won games 4 and 5 by wide margins 7-1 and 6-2, and celebrated a return to the finals on their historic rival's home field.
Rimin played three straight one run games in the middle of the series, two of them in extra innings, so it is easy to see how the series could have turned on a handful pitches. But the end result of a dominant opening win, a 3-0 series lead, and a 12-5 victory in the clinching game 5, including an 8-0 lead after five innings, was too much, and they stamped their ticket to the finals with authority behind a dominant Richetti. For Orlando Munoz's defending champion Rimini, it is the fifth final in a row.
The seven game championship series opens on Thursday and Friday in Bologna, before continuing the following Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday in Rimini, and returning to Bologna Saturday and Sunday if necessary.
Finishing the series in five games gives each team an entire week to rest, set their pitching rotation, and heal some minor injuries, leading to what should be an exciting and balanced championship.