Team Italy induces 21-0 mercy-rule win over Lithuania in U18 European Baseball Championship

Team Italy induces 21-0 mercy-rule win over Lithuania in U18 European Baseball Championship
The Team Italy offense took possession of the game against Lithuania early and did not look back in the 21-0 five-inning mercy-rule shutout in the U18 European Baseball Championship opener in Macerata on July 5, 2021.

Team Italy U18 manager Francesco Aluffi, hitting coach Stefano Cappuccini, bench coach John Cortese, pitching coach Massimiliano Masin, infield coach Davide Sartini deserve the credit for rebuilding the Italian national youth program to its current state of excellence. The Team Italy U18 baseball squad is loaded with young and talented players who have received the proper instruction and coaching necessary to reclaim the long-awaited U18 European Baseball Championship title in Macerata and Montegranaro from July 5-11, 2021.

In the Euro opener against Lithuania under the lights in Macerata on Monday, July 5, 2021, Team Italy starting pitcher Vicenzo Bruno surrendered just one hit with one strikeout and four walks in 3.1 innings of work. Reliever Edoardo Zingarelli struck out the five hitters he faced in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings.

The Italian offense went right to work in the top of the first inning when three runs crossed the plate. Wong Williams tripled and scored on Samuele Gamberini's sacrifice fly which was dropped by the outfielder. Another run scored on an RBI single from the hot-hitting Enrico Buin, who also would come home on Francisco Moronta Rodriguez's RBI single.

Team Italy tacked on six more runs in the top of the second inning. Tommaso Adorni led off with a walk, and Nicholas Bertoldi reached first base on an infield error. RBI singles from Federico Ricci and Williams Wong followed. Then Samuele Gamberini hit a sacrifice fly deep enough to left field so that Federico Ricci could score easily from third base. Enrico Buin collected his second hit of the night, and Alessio Lollo walked to load the bases for Francisco Moronta Rodriguez. The Team Italy second baseman delivered a two-RBI single to put the Italians on top 9-0.

In the top of the fourth inning, Team Italy added four runs to make it a 13-0 game. After back-to-back singles by Samuele Gamberini and Enrico Buin, Alessio Lollo was hit by a pitch. Then Francisco Moronta Rodriguez hit a two-run double. A productive sacrifice fly from Tommaso Adorni allowed Alessio Lollo to score and Francisco Moronta Rodriguez to advance to third base and later score on a wild pitch.

Team Italy nailed the coffin shut in the top of the fifth inning by scoring eight additional runs. Pinch-hitter Samuele Bruno tripled and crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Singles by Samuele Gamberini and pinch-hitter Tommaso Giacomini followed by a failed fielder's choice allowed Alessio Lollo to reach first base. Bases-load walks to Francisco Moronta Rodriguez and Tommaso Adorni amounted to two more runs. Alessio Lollo came home on a wild pitch to give Team Italy a commanding 17-0 advantage. A two-RBI single from Federico Ricci and a two-RBI triple by Samuele Bruno provided four additional runs.

With the 21-0 shutout over Lithuania in the books, Team Italy travels to nearly Montegranaro for a clash against France on Tuesday, July 6 at 4 pm. The U18 European Baseball Championship first round continues through July 9. All the U18 European Baseball Championship games are streaming live at The Euro Championship semi-finals on July 10 and the Euro final game on July 11 will also be broadcast live on .

A lot is at stake for Team Italy as the two top finishers from the U18 European Baseball Championship qualify for the U18 World Cup from September 10-19, 2021 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti





(Photo of Team Italy exchanging congratulations after first win in Macerata by Lynx.Prod)