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Italy earns first victory beating Australia, rain

Italy earns first victory beating Australia, rain
28/07/2019

The first win of the U-12 Baseball World Cup was a tough one to obtain. Italy was leading 6-4 against Australia when a thunderstorm forced the teams in the dugouts. The game resumed after a long stop and it took four pitches to finish it off

Italy defeated Australia, 6-4, in a game that was delayed by rain when the Azzurri needed just one more out. As the game resumed after a long break, relief pitcher Riccardo Mazzanti took the mound again and completed the task.

Australia got on the scoreboard in the top of the first against Italian starter Daniele Di Persia. With two outs, left fielder Riley Cooper singled and then stole second. A base hit by catcher Sam Levick scored him from second.

Italy tied it in the bottom half of the frame. Di Persia and shortstop Mattia Ruggeri got to starter Joshua Nati with back to back singles. Both runners advanced on a two-out wild pitch and Di Persia scored on a single by first baseman Lucciano Munoz.

In the top of the second, Aussie leadoff hitter Max Durrington walked and then stole second. Nati helped himself with an RBI double that forced Italy to move Di Persia to the outfield and give the ball to Riccardo Mazzanti.

In the bottom of the third, the Italians took the lead. Mazzanti reached on an error and stole second. A base hit by third baseman Matteo Raimondi pushed him to third. Mazzanti scored on a wild pitch as Di Persia struck out. Raimondi moved to third on the play and scored on a single by right fielder Riccardo Baldisseri.

Italy added two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Australia went to the bullpen after catcher Filippo Sabatini reached on a bunt and center fielder Aldo Pavarani became the first out on another bunt attempt. Reliever Riku Mochizuki got Munoz on a groundout to shortstop, but defence wasted the chance to close the inning on a play to second on Sabatini, who ran all the way to third on the error. Second baseman Nicolò Baltieri followed with an RBI single. He then advanced on another error on the pickoff attempt, reached third on the balk and scored on the third Australian error of the inning.

Australia cut the gap to one run in the top of the fifth. Right fielder Lachlan Vella reached on a base hit and Nati took Mazzanti to deep left field for a two-run home run.

Italy added an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame. Di Persia reached on a one-out single and advanced on a wild pitch. Australia called Rubens Alonso from the bullpen. The newcomer got the second out on strikes, then allowed an RBI single to pinch hitter Jordan Ariani.

The game was suspended because of rain in the top of the sixth with two outs, the bases empty and Australia’s pinch hitter Riley Oliphant at-bat.

Play resumed after a long break and thanks to the dedication of the ground crew.
It took only four pitches to Riccardo Mazzanti to strike out Oliphant and give Italy the first win of the tournament.

The game between the USA and Korea, scheduled on the main field, never started because of rain. It will be rescheduled on Wednesday, 31 July. Details on game time will follow.