Laidel CHAPELLI had four hits and Riccardo DE SANTIS pitched seven effective innings as Italy dealt Russia a 7-2 setback on Wednesday at the European Championship. Italy failed to make the final round finishing fourth in Pool B with a 3-2 record.
CHAPELLI and Max DE BIASE connected for a single and a double in the opening frame before Giuseppe MAZZANTI put Italy up 2-0 with a line drive up the middle. But Russia’s Alexander NIZOV led off the bottom half of the first with a double and scored on teammate Andrey BOLOTIN’S single to make the score 2-1.
Both teams added a run in the fourth before the Italians wrapped up the win with a pair of runs in both the fifth and six innings. MAZZANTI starts the first rally – already two outs – with a double to left center and scores on James BUCHERRI’S single to give Italy a 4-2 lead. BUCHERRI makes the score 5-2 moments later.
Italy finished the scoring in the sixth after Russian reliever Viacheslav VASILIEV enters the game and proceeds to issue free passes to Jack SANTORA and Lorenzo AVAGNINA. Davide DALLOSPEDALE reaches on an error to load the bases and then CHAPELLI and DE BIASE delivers RBI singles to make the final tally 7-2.
The 27-year-old DE SANTIS tossed seven quality innings giving up only two runs on eight hits. He also fanned eight Russian hitters while walking just one. Cristopher DI ROMA struck out three while allowing only one hit in registering the final six outs.
Italy will meet the Czech Republic on Thursday while Russia will battle Austria in a game featuring two winless squads.