Team Italy places third in Euro Baseball Championship with 2-0 win over Spain

Team Italy places third in Euro Baseball Championship with 2-0 win over Spain
With bases loaded in the bottom of seventh inning in the battle for the bronze medal against Spain in the European Baseball Championship in Torino on September 19, 2021, Team Italy slugger Vito Friscia scored with bases loads on a walk to Alessandro Deotto by Spanish reliever Fernando Baez. An ensuing passed ball allowed Azzurri captain Alberto Mineo to cross the plate and give Team Italy the 2-0 lead going into the top of the eighth inning. Winning pitcher Matteo Bocchi threw two scoreless innings before handing the ball to closer Alex Bassani, who picked up the save with a 1-2-3 out ninth inning with two strikeouts.

Team Italy pitching coach Vince Horsman put his faith in Azzurri starting pitcher Tiago Da Silva to hold Spain scoreless for six innings in the battle for the bronze medal in the European Baseball Championship in Torino on Sunday, September 19, 2021. The Brazilian-Italian hurler limited the explosive Spanish offense to seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk.

Spain countered with starter Elian Leyva. who also threw six scoreless innings and struck out seven batters. He allowed just a pair of singles to Erick Epifano and Federico Celli and a double to Dario Pizzano.

Team Italy took advantage of two mistakes to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. With one out, Vito Frescia and Alberto Mineo hit back-to-back singles. Federico Celli popped up to second base for the second out. Pinch-hitter Leo Ferrini was issued a walk to load the bases. Reliever Fernando Baez entered the contest and walked Alessandro Deotto to put Team Italy on top 1-0, Then Alberto Mineo scored on a passed ball to make it a 2-0 game.

Spain got 10 hits but ended up leaving eight men on base without scoring. The Team Italy defense seemingly put a damper on every Spanish scoring threat with perfectly-timed double plays to escape danger. The Italians prevailed in the end and won the contest without the presence of Team Italy manager Mike Piazza, who returned to the United States to attend the funeral of father Vince Piazza. The bronze medal victory was dedicated to the late and great Bill Holmberg and Vince Piazza. In addition, Alberto Mineo received an award for most RBI, while Vito Frescia received accolades for the most home runs in the European Baseball Championship. Forza #Italia!


by Roberto Angotti

(Photo of Team Italy celebrating after winning the bronze medal in the European Baseball Championship by K73/NADOC)