• Roberto Angotti

30th Haarlem Baseball Week | Team Italy shuts out Cuba on Day 6

It was the 10th consecutive loss for Cuba in the Qualifying Rounds of the Haarlem Baseball Week dating back to the 2018 edition of the tournament.

Starter and winner against Cuba, RHP Gabriele Quattrini. (Photo: Fibs)

Team Italy shut out Cuba 2-0 at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem, the Netherlands on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.

It is the 2nd win over Cuba ever National Baseball Hall of Famer and Team Italy manager Mike Piazza knew it was a must-win game against Cuba on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 in order for the Azzurri elite squad to keep alive the hope of advancing to the Haarlem Baseball Week semifinals.

Cuba starting pitcher César García gave up a leadoff hitter to Ricardo Paolini, who was thrown out at third base on a fielder's choice by Noel González to stomp out any scoring opportunity for Team Italy in the top of the first inning.

Team Italy starter Gabriele Quattrini held Cuba scoreless for six innings and allowed just four hits with three strikeouts and two walks before handing the ball off in the seventh inning to reliever Mattia Aldegheri, who earned the save.

Team Italy took a 1-0 lead In the top of the second inning. Back-to-back singles by Dario Pizzano and Alberto Mineo was followed by a sacrifice bunt by Erick Epifano to advance the runners into scoring position. A fielder's choice by Mattia Mercuri allowed Dario Pizzano to cross the plate.

In the top of the third inning, the Team Italy offense was limited to a Vito Frescia single. An RBI single by Noel González off Cuban lefty sidearm reliever Paradelo Aguilar in the top of the fifth inning put Team Italy on top 2-0.

Both teams went to bullpen in the seventh inning. Cuba called on reliever Carlos Santana, who pitched an easy 1-2-3 out inning. Team Italy brought in Mattia Aldegheri to pick up the save and secure the 2-0 shutout.

It was the 10th consecutive loss for Cuba in the Qualifying Rounds of the Haarlem Baseball Week dating back to the 2018 edition of the tournament. The shutout extended to 25 the consecutive scoreless innings for the Cuban team in the tournament.

The Italians will have the chance to return to compete in the semifinals on Thursday, July 14, 2022 if USA defeats Curaçao in Day 6 second game.

The two winners of the semifinal contests will go head-to-head in the Haarlem Baseball Week Championship on Friday, July 15, 2022 at 7 pm (local time). The two losers will play in the Bronze Medal Game earlier in the day at 2 pm (local time).

(*) Update: Curacao defeated Team USA 3-2 and Italy was eliminated from medal contention having to play, once again, Cuba for the fifth place of the tournament, tomorrow (Thursday) at 12:00 pm (Local time/6:00 am Havana and US Time)

Daily Results (Jul 13, 2022):

Ita 2, Cub 0 | Box | Play-by-Play

USA 2, Cur 3 | Box | Play-by-Play

Ned 0, Jap 5 | Box | Play-by-Play

Thursday's Games (Jul 14, 2022):

6:00 am (*) | Cuba vs. Italy (5to Lugar)

9:30 am (*) | Netherlands vs. Japan (Semifinals 1)

1:30 pm (*) | USA vs. Curacao (Semifinals 2)

(*) Havana Time and US ET.

Final Standings (Qualifying Round):