Giovanni CARRARA limited a potent British lineup to just three hits in seven innings as Italy blanked Great Britain 6-0 on Monday to revive their medal hopes. The Italian National Team (2-1) was in a must-win situation after being upset by France a day earlier.
The 39-year-old veteran fanned six of the first nine batters he faced and did not allow a single runner past first base. The Nettuno ace needed only six pitches to retire Great Britain in the sixth.
Italy loaded the bases in the first after British starter Sam JEW (0-1) was tagged for a pair of singles by Mario CHIARINI and Giuseppe MAZZANTI before hitting Joseph MAZZUCA with an errant pitch. But Great Britain escaped trailing only 1-0 heading into the second frame.
The Italians went up 2-0 the next inning when CHIARINI’s second hit of the game knocked home Max DE BIASE whose single earlier had started the two-out rally.
The hot-swinging British trio of Brant UST, Ian YOUNG, and Mike NICKEAS were limited to a combined 3-for-10. UST entered the game hitting .700 (7-for-10) with two doubles, two home runs, and eight RBI’s.
Italy added a run in the fourth and DE BIASE hit a two-run blast off British reliever Paul WATERMAN in the seventh to make the score 5-0. CHIARINI finished the scoring when his third hit of the night scored MAZZUCA from third base.
DE BIASE, one of San Marino’s top sluggers, was 3-for-4 and is hitting .455 for Italy. CHIARINI was 3-for-5 and is now hitting .357 after starting the tournament in a 2-for-9 slump.
Italian bullpen mates Allessandro MAESTRI and Fabio MILANO pitched scoreless innings to preserve the win.
Italy will meet Spain in a crucial Pool B game on Tuesday while Great Britain has a date with an unbeaten French squad.