Team Italy beats Germany 7-6 to stay alive in U18 European Baseball Championship

Team Italy beats Germany 7-6 to stay alive in U18 European Baseball Championship
16/08/2022
In a must-win game against previously undefeated Germany, Team Italy kept its chances of reaching the U18 European Baseball Championship semifinals alive with a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over the Germans at Arrows Park in Ostrava on Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Team Italy manager Francesco Aluffi gave the ball to Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Alessandro Ercolani against Germany on day four of the U18 Euro Baseball Championship at Arrows Park in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. The young and promising right-hander from San Marino looked dominant early and struck out the side in the top of the first inning. Working with a 70-pitch limit, he threw 3.1 innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Relievers Edoardo Zingarelli (2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 4 K, 2 BB), Pietro Verzin (0.2 IP, 3 H, R, K) and Giacomo Taschin (1 IP, K) got the job done to secure the 7-6 win over Germany.

Team Italy was first to get on the board when scoring two runs in the bottom of third inning. DH Alessandro Volpe led off with a walk, advanced to second base on a groundout by Niccolò Funzione and scored on an RBI double from Alessandro Laise. Back-to-back walks to Williams Wong and Manuel Zazza loaded the bases for Filippo Venditti, who singled in his first at bat in the previous inning but struck out this time around. However, Germany starting pitcher Noah Lindt issued his fourth walk of the inning to Andres Annunziata to allow Alessandro Laise to cross the plate.   

Germany was quick to register three runs in the top of the fourth inning. The Italians tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning when scoring one run off German reliever Paul Schmitz. After Williams Wong singled and Manuel Zazza walked, the hot-hitting Filippo Venditti connected with an RBI single down the left field line.

Germany took a 5-3 advantage when scoring two runs in the top of the sixth inning. The Italians answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning. The first run resulted after Sebastiano Catellani reached first base on an infield fielding error, Niccolò Funzione was hit by a pitch, and consecutive walks were issued to Alessandro Laise and Williams Wong. Then Filippo Venditti came through in the clutch with a three-run double to give Team Italy the 7-5 lead.

Germany came up one run short in the top of the seventh inning when only one run crossed the plate, and Team Italy won the game by a score of 7-6. Azzurri Juniors bench coach John Cortese said, "It was a great victory for all of us who felt strongly about the desired result, even if we used four pitchers to win.”

GERMANY-ITALY BOX SCORE

GERMANY-ITALY LIVESTREAM REPLAY

Team Italy (3-1) travels to Sportovní areál Hroch in Brno for a game against Belgium (1-3) on Thursday, August 18, 2022 at 4 pm (local time) or 10 am (ET). With another win, the Italians are destined for the U18 European Baseball Championship semifinals on August 19, 2022. The Gold Medal and Bronze Medal Games are on August 20, 2022. Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti

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