With a 6-2 victory, Italy clinched the EuropeanBaseall Series vs the Netherlands. Once again the Italian pitching kept the Dutch lineup off balanced. The Italians only got one more hit than the Dutch but were much more effective.
In the first three innings, Italy scored a run in each inning for a 3-0 lead. A single by Nicola Garbella in the first inning, a solo home run by Mattia Reginato in the second inning and a rare throwing error by shorstop Stijn van der Meer in the third inning, drove in three runs.
But the Italians were not ready yet. In the fifth inning, with two outs, Jim Ploeger, who replaced Diegomar Markwel in the top of the fourth, couldn’t get out of the inning after recording two outs thanks to a 9-3 double play. A double by Alberto Mineo and a single by Mattia Reginato drove in a run each to lift Italy to a 5-0 lead.
The Italian pitching did another great job today. Starter Andrea Pizziconi pitched four innings in which he gave up six hits and a walk and struck out six. Only with Tommaso Cherubini on the mound, the Dutch were able to scored some runs.
In the fifth the Dutch managed to get on the board. Dwayne Kemp doubled to right field and scored on Nick Urbanus’ single to center field. After retiring the side in the sixth, Cherubini faced two batters before he was pulled. The first batter, Kalian Sams, reached second basae on a groud rule double to left field. Sams scored on Dwayne Kemp’s single up the middle.
In the ninth, Italy added one more run to its score when Nicola Garbella singled home Sebastiano Poma from third.
Nicolo Clemente earned the win as Andrea Pizziconi didn’t pitch the required five inning. Clemente pitched a perfect eighth and ninth inning in which he struck out. Diegomar Markwell took the loss. In just three innings he gave up three runs on five hits and two walks. Jim Ploeger also pitched three innings and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks but unlike Markwell, Ploeger managed to strike out four. Lars Huijer pitched the final three frames and gave up one run on one hit and a walk and struck out two.
Alberto Mineo and Mattia Reginato both went 2 for 4. Mineo drove in a run and hit a double. Reginato drove in two runs homered once and scored once himself.
The Dutch will have to pull out all the stops to avoid being swept tomorrow.
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