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Rimini tops Bologna 5-3 to even the Italian Baseball Series at 1-1

Down to their final breath and the risk of falling behind 2-0 in the best of seven series, defending champion Rimini celebrated a three run double with two outs in the ninth to shock Bologna 5-3 and even the series.  Between the momentum of the come from behind win, and the series shifting back to Rimini for games 3,4, and 5 Monday through Wednesday, it might be fair to say that Rimini is now "leading" the series 1 to 1.

Bologna took the lead with a first inning run behind a pair of walks and an RBI single by Sambucci. In the third inning Rimini scored a pair of runs to take the lead, thanks to three Bologna errors, but that would be all they would get against Bologna starter Luca Panerati, who would give up only two hits and no earned runs in seven dominant innings.  All seemed destined for a Bologna victory after they scored twice in the fifth inning as Richetti had some control trouble, walking two, hitting a batter, and oncorking a wild pitch.

Panerati followed this with a perfect sixth and seventh, and De Santis pitched a scoreless eighth to maintain the 3-2 Bologna advantage into the ninth.  But after De Santis allowed the first two runners of the ninth to reach on a single and a walk, Crepaldi came on to relieve. Two outs later the game seemed all wrapped up when Camargo hit a grounder to second, but Vaglio couldn't make the routine play, and the bases were loaded. Rimini send up pinch hitter Zappone who hit a 1-0 pitch down the left field line to clear the bases and give send the visiting team into delerium. After a Liverziani single brought the tying run to the plate in Marval, Corradini induced the ground ball double play to end it.  He would pick up the victory allowing only three hits and no runs in four and a third stellar innings of relief.

As the series heads back to Rimini, the hope is crowds vacationing at the beach town will pack the stadium for the upcoming three games between these two top teams in the league, in what now seems certain to be a deep and action filled series.