European Baseball Update: UnipolSai Bologna Reigns Over Italian Baseball League
ITALY – Former U.S. minor leaguer Andrea Pizziconi tossed one-hit ball over seven shutout innings and UnipolSai Bologna pounded Novara, 10-0, Saturday night to complete an Italian Baseball League doubleheader sweep. With the wins, Bologna improved to 8-1 and leads second place T&A San Marino and Angel Service Nettuno by two games.
Pizziconi (2-1), who went 3-3 with a 4.47 ERA over 88 2/3 frames in two seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Kansas City Royals farm systems, struck out three and issued a pair of free passes in a sterling outing. The 25-year-old has also suited up for Parma, Nettuno and San Marino.
Bologna broke open a scoreless deadlock with a six-run fifth aided by two defensive miscues. Alex Sambucci delivered the biggest blow, a three-run double, in a contest stopped prematurely due to the Mercy Rule.
Filippo Agretti (.435) went 3-for-4 for a high-powered Bologna offense that currently boasts the IBL’s top five hitters – Osman Marval (.471), Alessandro Vaglio (.469), Nick Nosti (.433) and Jose Flores (.424).
Bologna opened the twinbill with a 4-1 victory behind another strong outing by American import pitcher Rudy Owens (5-0). The former big leaguer scattered three hits and a walk over seven innings to remain unbeaten on Italian soil.
T&A SAN MARINO SPLITS WITH ANGEL SERVICE NETTUNO
Sebastian Poma drove home five RBIs with a pair of doubles to help San Marino (7-3) claim a 5-3 win on Saturday. Carlos Quevedo (3-1) fanned 10 in six innings to earn the decision. Nettuno (7-3) salvaged a twinbill split in the second game with a 9-5 victory. Ronald Bermudez tallied three RBIs while Giuseppe Mazzanti and Federico Giordani both drove in twoo runs apiece.
PARMA CLIMA, RIMINI BATTLE TO A DRAW
Carlos Duran slammed a late three-run bomb to lift Rimini (5-5) to a 6-1 victory in the first game. Jose Rosario (2-2) picked up the win and Ricardo Hernandez earned his first save. However, Parma Clima (3-6) took the second game, 3-2, behind Leonardo Zileri’s bases-loaded walk in the 10th. Reliever Michele Pomponi (2-1) threw four innings to earn the win.
PADOVA SWEEPS PADULE
Former major leaguer Mark Teahan’s RBI sacrifice fly in the 10th lifted Tommasin Padova past Padule, 10-9. Reliever Diego Fabiani (2-2) pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings to get the win. Padova (4-6) finished off the sweep with a 9-4 triumph in the second game.
AMSTERDAM PIRATES DISPOSE OF HCAW
The L&D Amsterdam Pirates continued their torrid start to the 2017 Dutch Hoofdklasse season with a three-game sweep over HCAW (8-7) this past weekend. With the wins, the Pirates improved to 11-1 and leads second-place Curacao Neptunus and Hoofddorp Pioniers by 3.5 games.
Gilmer Lampe raised his batting average to .500 (20-for-40) with a 3-for-4 effort to lead the Pirates to a 9-2 victory Sunday in the series finale. The sweet-swinging outfielder tallied a pair of doubles and three RBIs, while starter Kyle Ward (3-1) tossed five shutout innings with seven strikeouts.
Amsterdam opened the series on Thursday night with a 5-2 win behind a two-run shot from Danny Rombley, and Linoy Croes homered in the Pirates 5-3 victory on Saturday.
HOOFDDORP PIONIERS SURPRISES CURACAO NEPTUNUS
The Pioniers (7-4) used a balanced offensive attack to defeat the reigning Dutch champion, 11-5, on Sunday to avoid a two-game sweep. Mervin Gario (.414), Dudley Leonora (.304), Shurman Marlin (.176), Mark Smit (.200) and Joey Eeman (.222) each had two hits apiece for the winning road squad. Neptunus (7-4) opened the series on Thursday night with a 6-2 triumph. Gianison Booekhoudt (.371) and Christian Diaz (.341) paced the Rotterdam club with two doubles and three RBIs apiece.
DSS AVOIDS SWEEP AGAINST PICKLES UVV
Odion Gouverneur delivered a two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to cap a four-run frame as DSS stunned Pickles UVV, 5-4, and avoid a three-game sweep. DSS (6-9) lost the series opener on Thursday night, 5-4, despite a three-run rally in the final inning that came up one run short. American Bryce Cherry and Rodney Daal both homered as Pickles UVV (5-7) won another nailbiter, 8-7, on Saturday.
HEIDENHEIM WALLOPS SAARLOUIS
The unbeaten Heidenheim Heidekoepfe picked up a pair of easy victories over the Saarlouis Hornets this past weekend in the German Baseball-Bundesliga to extend its winning streak to 12 games.
American slugger Gary Owens (.469) smacked a pair of home runs and Simon Guehring (.393) also went deep to help the South Division frontrunner capture a 13-2 win on Saturday night. Johannes Krumm (5-0) surrendered one run on three hits with five strikeouts in six innings on the hill to earn the decision.
The Heidekoepfe finished off the sweep the following day with a 6-0 victory. Mitch Nilsson (.378) homered while American imports Justin Erasmus (4-0) and Clayton Freimuth combined for 13 strikeouts while limiting Saarlouis to just five hits.
MANNHEIM, HAAR SPLIT TWO GAMES
American Ryan Bollinger (4-1) fanned a whopping 16 batters to help the Haar Disciples (0-0) blank the Mannheim Tornados, 9-0, on Saturday to salvage a series split. Lukas Steinlein (.406) tallied three RBIs and also collected the final three outs on the mound. Mannheim (0-0) took the first game, 9-4, on Friday afternoon behind a pair of long balls off the bat of Thomas De Wolf (.308).
STUTTGART POUNDS BAD HOMBURG
The Stuttgart Reds captured a pair of lopsided wins over the Bad Homburg Hornets. Xavier Artega (.293) uncorked a three-run bomb and Marcel Hering (1-0) tossed a two-hitter in a 14-0 victory that ended after seven frames. The Reds (0-0) completed the twinbill sweep with a 12-2 win in the second game. Artega slugged a pair of homers and Drake Zarate (.529) added a long ball for the home team. James Jensen (4-1) struck out nine en route to the win.
BONN ROUTS DORTMUND WANDERERS
Max Schmitz-Stercken (.333) went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless relief frames to lead Bonn to a 12-2 win over Dortmund to complete a twinbill sweep. The Capitals rolled to a 11-0 victory in the first game behind a pair of long balls from Wilson Lee (.250). Vincent Ahrens (.286) also went deep and Sascha Koch (1-0) fanned 11 over six scoreless frames.
SOLINGEN SWEEP HAMBURG STEALERS
Solingen picked up two wins over Hamburg to keep its North Division title hopes alive. The Alligators took the first game of a doubleheader, 5-3, as Dustin Hughes (.353) drew a bases-loaded walk in the 11th to bring home the winning score. Solingen claimed a 6-2 victory in the second game behind a complete-game outing from Louis Cohen (1-0).