In an easy 12-2 victory over the Netherlands, Italy clinched first place in Group B. Both teams already had clinched a spot in the semi-finals on the previous day.
In the first inning, the Italians took a decisive lead thanks to an RBI groundout and a three-run home run. But the team continued to drive in runs. A double by Christian De Boni drove in a run in the third inning. An RBI force out and a fielding error allowed Italy to score two more runs in the fourth.
What could the Dutch do? Not much actually. The team scored its first run in the third inning on a sac fly by Amarensio Franka. Two innings later, Junior Ostiana scored another run on a sac fly.
In the bottom of the fifth, Joris Meinsma got in a huge pickle when he loaded the bases with no outs. He managed to retire two Italian batters but allowed a run on a passed ball before he gave up a bases-loaded triple. Eventually in the sixth, Italy scored the twelfth and game-ending run.
Daniele di Persia earned the win. In two innings in relief, he allowed one hit, walked two and struck out one. Leandro Salazar Mata took the loss. He gave up six runs (four earned) on four hits and four walks and struck out one in three innings.
Best hitter for Italy was Daniele di Persa, who went 1 for 1 and helped his own cause to drive in three runs. The best Dutch hitter was Mauricio Montenegro Espinoza, who went 2 for 2.
The five errors the Dutch made were a kind of a big deal. In one game, the team committed more errors than in the previous two. But perhaps the players were hit by the jitters because they played their arch rival. Likely the Dutch head coach saved his best arms for the semi-final as well.
Anyhow, with finishing second in group B, the Dutch will take on the winner of Group A. Who that will be remains a question. This afternoon, the leader of Group A, the Czech Republic, will face Germany. With a German win, the three teams in Group A will finish with a 1-1 record… so then the run differential will be deciding.
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