Team Italy wins its fourth consecutive U12 Euro Baseball Championship after extra-inning 6-0 victory over Czechs

Team Italy wins its fourth consecutive U12 Euro Baseball Championship after extra-inning 6-0 victory over Czechs
Under the leadership of manager Stefano Burato, coaches Simona Conti, Alberto Furlani, Ivano Licciardi and Alessandro Rosa Colombo, Team Italy won its fourth straight U12 European Baseball Championship title after beating previously undefeated Czech Republic 6-0 in the Euro final in Mortsel, Belgium on August 14, 2021

Team Italy U12 manager Stefano Burato had to make some quick defensive changes early in the first inning when starting pitcher Patrick Silva experienced discomfort in his throwing arm after just six pitches. Patrick Silva moved over to first base, where Federico Magalotti once stood before departing for right field. Cristian Severino switched from right field to left field, where Michele Dal Pozzo originally was slated to play but ended up on pitching 6.2 scoreless innings to earn the win for Team Italy. The impromptu start was nearly flawless when allowing just five hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk. Closer Ivan Larice struck out the only hitter he faced in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The closely-contested game was tied 0-0 at the end of six innings so the tie-breaker rule was put into effect in the seventh inning. Team Italy scored six runs, while Czech Republic scored none. As a result, the Azzurrini came up with gold and the Czechs settled for silver. In the battle for the bronze, Germany defeated the Kingdom of the Netherlands 28-14 to capture third place in the U12 European Baseball Championship.

At the end of the game, Team Italy U12 manager Stefano Burato praised pitchers Michele Dal Pozzo and Ivan Larice. He said, "Michele gave everything he had. We had told him to be ready on a moment's notice. He was so pumped up that he was throwing harder later in the game than he did earlier in the contest as to tell me that he had no intention in leaving the mound. But our closer Ivan did exactly what was expected of him to get the job done."

The Italian skipper also thanked coaches Alberto Furlani, Ivano Licciardi, Simona Conti, Alessandro Rosa Colombo, physiotherapist Cristina Minneci, athletic trainer Mosè Serino, team physican Dr. Ignazio Raspante La Scala, delegation manager and FIBS Vice President Vincenzo 'Gigi' Mignola and the entire FIBS family. Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti