Team Italy defeats Spain 4-3 in Baseball Series finale

Team Italy won its third game of the Baseball Series with a 4-3 victory over Spain at Sant Boi ballpark in Barcelona on September 4, 2019. Team Italy manager Gilberto “Gibo” Gerali used an arsenal of seven pitchers (Angelo Palumbo, Nick Pugliese, Yomel Rivera, Justin Cicatello, Nico Garbella, Matteo Bocchi, and Alex Bassani) to get the win. The Italian hurlers combined to limit Spain to three runs on eight hits with 10 strikeouts and four walks.

The contest was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when Team Italy put up two runs on the board. A trio of singles by Alessandro Vaglio, Beau Maggi, and Federico Celli loaded the bases for Erick Epifano, who delivered a two-run single down the right field line. Spain tied the game up 2-2 in the top of the fifth inning after collecting two runs on two hits off reliever Justin Cicatello.

Team Italy answered in the bottom of the fifth inning with one run when Jose Ferrini tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Giuseppe Mazzanti. The Azzurri offense added another run in the bottom of the seventh inning after Federico Giordani doubled and crossed the plate on an RBI single from Jose Ferrini. Spain tagged relief pitcher Alex Bassani for one run on four hits in the top of the eighth inning, but ultimately the Azzurri closer secured the Team Italy 4-3 victory.

Team Italy skipper Gibo Gerali will now need to narrow down his roster before traveling with his squad to Germany for the European Baseball Championship and send the players not selected home. The road to Tokyo 2020 for Team Italy begins in Bonn/Solingen, Germany at the European Baseball Championship from September 7-15, 2019. The top five finishers of the 2019 European Baseball Championship will advance to the Europe/Africa Baseball Olympic Qualifier in Bologna and Parma from September 18-22, 2019 to battle for the one guaranteed ticket to Tokyo awarded to the winner of the competition. Forza Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen

by Roberto Angotti

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