Team Italy manager Alberto D’Auria reflects on the U23 European Baseball Championship

Team Italy manager Alberto D’Auria reflects on the U23 European Baseball Championship
Team Italy manager Alberto D’Auria took time out to talk about the Azzurri’s third-place finish in the recent U23 European Baseball Championship in Verona and San Martino Buon Albergo

Azzurri skipper Alberto D’Auria wishes the outcome against Germany in the U23 European Baseball Championship semifinal game would have been different. Having won every game and outscored opponents 23-6 in Group A round-robin play prior to the contest, the semifinal was scoreless until the seventh inning when Germany took a slim 1-0 advantage. Team Italy nearly tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning but left a man stranded on third base without scoring.  Alberto D’Auria said, “It’s a shame that we lost to Germany. Other than not being able to execute in that game, the experience overall in the tournament was very positive."

Kingdom of the Netherlands ended up winning the U23 European Baseball Championship title by defeating Germany 7-3 in the final on August 28, 2021, while Team Italy settled for third-place in the battle for the bronze with an easy 8-1 victory over Great BritainClaudio ScottiMaurizio Andretta and Mattia Aldegheri, three Italian pitchers who contributed to the success of the U23 squad, have been summoned by Team Italy manager Mike Piazza to represent the Azzurri in the upcoming Seniors European Baseball Championship in Piemonte. The long-awaited international competition will take place from September 12-19, 2021 on the baseball diamonds of Torino, Avigliana and Settimo Torinese.  

In his assessment of the team’s performance in the U23 European Baseball Championship, manager Alberto D’Auria must first vent his frustration about the semifinal result. He admitted, “There was so much bitterness in our mouths because we played such a great tournament that was ruined by the1-0 loss to Germany in the semifinals after an incredible head-to-head matchup. The guys played very well by putting all their hearts and best efforts into the games. They represented Team Italy with the highest honor, and we are certainly happy with the way they held their heads up despite the disappointment against Germany. It was a game dominated by the pitchers, but we missed out on scoring opportunities. The Germans honestly had more chances to score than we did. But we we unable to take advantage of the few opportunities we had.”

Team Italy U23 manager Alberto D’Auria was surprised when he saw Germany manager Steve Janssen’s lineup card with left-hander Simon Baumer listed as the starting pitcher for the semifinal game. The Italian skipper from Nettuno admitted, "We honestly did not expect him to pitch. It was a surprise. He was also the listed as team’s cleanup hitter. He made things very difficult and kept us off-balance.”

Team Italy manager Alberto D’Auria concluded. “We lived up to our expectations. Our pitching was among other things the best of the tournament. We regret maybe having used our pitchers a little too much. After Eduardo Peluso's injury, we were forced to rethink our strategies. Not only was Maurizio Andretta his usual self as a pitching ace, but I was really impressed by the way young Mattia Sireus pitched like a veteran. In regards to our offense, something was missing and I expected more. The injury to Ricardo Paolini, one of our top hitters, was a big blow. Maybe he could have been the difference in the game against the Germany, and the result would have been different…” Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti 


Read also: Team Italy places third in U23 European Baseball Championship after 8-1 no-hitter over Great Britain

(Photo of Team Italy in the U23 European Baseball Championship by Lynx Prod.)