Going into the game against the Germany with a 1-1 record in the 2017 MLB Spring Euro Academies Tournament in Barcelona, Spain, the FIBS Academy U18 Juniors squad was ready for combat. Azzurri pitchers Giovanni Bortolomai (Bollate), Marco Del Gaudio and Nicolò Ioli (Torre Pedrera Falcons) combined their best efforts to limit the Germans to three runs, but the FIBS Academy U18 Juniors fell one run short in their 3-2 loss.
Having defeated the Netherlands 3-2 in their first game of the week-long international tourney, the Azzurri knew the Dutch would be seeking revenge in their rematch. FIBS Academy director Bill Holmberg along with coaches Mauro Belfiore and Stefano Cappuccini prepared the promising young Italians for the ensuing battle on the baseball diamond. Despite solid pitching performances from Michele Pomponi (Parma), Oscar Tucci (Macerata Angels) and Samuel Aldegheri (San Marino Junior), the combustible Holland offense was a bit too much to handle. On the bright side, Italy’s Bor Starc (New Black Panthers) homered for the lone Azzurri run in their 5-1 loss.
The FIBS Academy U18 Juniors came back strong after the defeat to face a tough team of Europe All-Stars. Starting pitcher Stefano Censi (Oltretorrente) had support from relievers Daniele Di Monte (Junior Alpina), Andrea Bettarini (Livorno) and Lembà Della Salandra (Macerata Angels) to hold the Europe All-Stars to a 7-7 tie. Azzurri slugger Leonardo Seminati (Collecchio) hit a home run for his second blast of the tournament. The Italians get another chance to take aim at the Netherlands in their finale of the MLB Spring Euro Academies Tourney.
by Roberto Angotti