24/09/2023 - 01/10/2023

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Baseball European Championship 2023 - Official Payoff
Italy comes back in 8th inning to prevail over Croatia in Game for 9th Place
30/09/2023 1 Minute Read

Italy comes back in 8th inning to prevail over Croatia in Game for 9th Place

After surprisingly missing out on qualifying for the quarterfinals following the first round, Italy managed to clinch the best possible result in the relegation round with a ninth-place finish in the Baseball European Championship 2023. They avoided another surprise defeat by coming back in the eighth inning to prevail 6-5 over Croatia in the Saturday evening game in Blansko.

Croatia’s starting pitcher Luis Diaz stifled Italy’s offense for the first seven innings, conceding only a sac fly by Giulio Monello in the fifth. Meanwhile Croatia put four runs on the board for a 4-1 lead. Antonio Horvatic drove in the first two runs with a RBI double in the fourth and a sac fly in the fifth. In the seventh Justin Olic added a two-run single.

But this time Italy wasn’t done. In the bottom of the eighth inning they came back with a impressive comeback rally. Robel Garcia and Federica Celli cut the deficit to a run with RBI singles. Vito Friscia followed with a two-run single to give Italy a 5-4 lead and chasing Luis Diaz from the game in the process. Mattia Mercuri drove in Albert Mineo with a RBI groundout to add a much needed insurance run.

Croatia didn’t go down without a fight. In the top of the ninth Slobodan Gales scored on a RBI groundout by Antonio Horvatic – his third RBI in the game – to make it 5-6. But after a walk to Justin Olic, Italy brought in Marco Artitzu who struck out Ronald Krsolovic to end the game.

All games can be followed by live streaming on www.baseballeurope.tv and live play by play through www.wbsceurope.org.

Photo by Petra Voet