The Azzurri start Italian Baseball Challenge with 10-2 win over Switzerland
16/09/2023 2 Minute Read

The Azzurri start Italian Baseball Challenge with 10-2 win over Switzerland

Team Italy kicked off the Italian Baseball Challenge on the recently renovated Junior Alpina Trieste Prosecco diamond with a 10-2 victory over Switzerland on Saturday, September 16, 2023. The Italians return tomorrow for another game against Croatia in preparation for the European Baseball Championship in Czech Republic beginning September 24, 2023

Team Italy demonstrated its power early in the Italian Baseball Challenge game against Switzerland in Trieste on Saturday, September 16, 2023. Back-to-back solo home runs from slugger Robel Garcia and Azzurri captain Alberto Mineo in the top of the first inning followed by another home run by Mattia Mercuri in the top of the second inning off Swiss starting pitcher Jim Sanders put the Italians in front 3-0.

Team Italy starter Matteo Bocchi and winning pitcher Francesco Pomponi combined to throw six scoreless innings and allow just six hits. The Italians added one run in the top of the seventh inning when Nathanael Batista singled, advanced to third base on a failed pick-off attempt by reliever Simon Steffen and scored on an RBI groundout by Ricardo Paolini,

The relentless Team Italy offense went right back to work in the top of the eighth inning and scored an additional three runs. Andrea Sellaroli walked, stole second base and crossed the plate on an RBI single down the left-field line by catcher Andres Annunziata. Then Mattia Mercuri was issued a walk. An RBI single by Ricardo Paolini followed by a wild pitch allowed Mattia Mercuri to score from third base.

After throwing a scoreless seventh inning with one strikeout, Team Italy newcomer and recent Northeastern University (Boston, MA) graduate Nick Davis surrendered a leadoff single to Noah Williamson. A pair of defensive errors added insult to injury, and Switzerland managed to score twice before an inning-ending strikeout.

Swiss reliever David Kasti entered the contest in the top of the ninth inning and walked Fedrico Celli and Cesare Astorri. An RBI single by Andrea Sellaroli gave Team Italy the 8-2 lead. A sacrifice fly by Andres Annunziata yielded another run. Then Mattia Mercuri was hit by a pitch and Nathanael Batista reached on an infield error to load the bases for Ricardo Paolini, who was issued a walk to make it a 10-2 game. Marco Artitzu pitched a scoreless ninth inning with one strikeout to close out the contest.


The Italian Baseball Challenge concludes in Ronchi dei Legionari on Sunday, September 17, 2023 with Croatia and Switzerland clashing at 1:30 pm (local time). Team Italy battles Croatia later on at 6:00 pm (local time).

Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti

(Photo of Mattia Mercuri celebrating after hitting a home run by PhotoBass)