Europe’s largest national league began play last weekend with a slightly contracted roster of teams. Italy’s Serie A is this year divided into four ‘gironi‘ (groups), which are headed by 2021 champions San Marino and three of the Final Four combatants: Fortitudo Bologna, Parma, and Nettuno 1945. Down two teams and two groups from last year’s 32-squad Italian baseball circuit, 2022 features three eight-team loops and a single six-club girone. Three of the four groups began play, with title-holders San Marino given the honour of opening the campaign with the sole Friday night game.
San Marino needed only 13 innings over Friday and Saturday to dispatch Torre Pedrera, while Parma also collected a pair of mercy rule victories. Bologna’s Fortitudo, one of three clubs from Emilia-Romagna’s capital city, made it three sweeps by teams in the 2021 Final Four, with Nettuno 1945 and Macerata both inactive. Other clubs claiming a pair of wins on opening weekend included 2021 Girone C Champions Collecchio and Girone F title-winners Godo, as well as Crocetta and Oltretorrente.
Luca di Raffaele drew the Opening Day start for San Marino and did not disappoint, punching out 11 in four innings, though he was denied a win by the scorekeeper in a game that went seven innings. Several players that suit up for other European national teams joined San Marino this year, and the Netherlands’ Dudley Leonora backed up di Raffaele with a massive weekend. The utility player started both games against Torre Pedrera in left field and turned in 3-for-4 and 2-for-4 performances, homering in Game 1 and driving in at least one run with each of his hits. In the rubber match, Leonora notched a two-bagger and drove in three, raising his RBI total to seven for the weekend.
Elías Jiménez registered the best single-game total for whiffs, sending down 12 on strikes in seven innings in an 8-3 win for Cervignano. Several pitchers turned in 10-strikeout performances, with Parma’s Marc-André Habeck needing only five innings to hit double digits and Eddy García del Toro turning in 10 in six frames for Godo.
The leading hitter was Giovanny Rosales, who helped Ciemme Oltretorrente start 2022 with a two-game sweep, a number equal to half of the club’s wins a year ago. One of several key additions by Oltretorrente over the winter, including former Red Sox and Yokohama Bay Stars’ outfielder José Malavé as manager, the backstop and outfielder had a solid season for Brescia in 2021. However, Rosales’ performance at Senago — a club that went 14-12 in 2021 — was a career best. In Game 1, the catcher went 5-for-6, hitting a go-ahead two-run homer in the ninth and a game-winning single in the tenth after Senago drew even. A day later, Rosales went 3-for-5 with a walk, swiping his second and third bag of the series.
Marco Sabbatani joined Rosales and Leonora as the only players with five or more hits on the weekend. The Godo catcher went 2-for-5 with four RBI in a 10-3 victory on the Saturday before drilling a single, double, and a triple in a 7-4 Game 2 win. A final notable batting performance came from the bat of former Oakland farmhand Cesare Astorri, who ripped a longball and a single in both of Parma’s victories, scoring five runs and driving in four more.
[link to box scores]
Apr. 2: Brescia 8 – Cagliari 12
Apr. 2: Brescia – Cagliari (Susp.)
Apr. 2: Settimo 1 – Parma 12 (7)
Apr. 2: Settimo 0 – Parma 10 (7)
Apr. 3: Oltretorrente 10 – Senago 9 (10)
Apr. 3: Oltretorrente 6 – Senago 4
Apr. 3: Torino 8 – Poviglio 1
Apr. 3: Torino 3 – Poviglio 12
Apr. 2: Rovigo 3 – Bologna 8
Apr. 2: Rovigo 3 – Bologna 13 (7)
Apr. 2: Cervignano 0 – Black Panthers 1
Apr. 2: Cervignano 8 – Black Panthers 3
Apr. 2: Verona 0 – Collecchio 4
Apr. 2: Verona 3 – Collecchio 4
Apr. 3: Padova 15 – Metalco 2 (7)
Apr. 3: Padova 0 – Metalco 1
Apr. 1: Torre Ped. 1 – San Marino 12 (7)
Apr. 2: Torre Ped. 0 – San Marino 15 (6)
Apr. 2: Longbridge 2 – Modena 10
Apr. 2: Longbridge 11 – Modena 5
Apr. 2: Rimini 3 – Godo 10
Apr. 2: Rimini 4 – Godo 7
Apr. 3: Crocetta 10 – Sala Baganza 3
Apr. 3: Crocetta 4 – Sala Baganza 0
Bye week: Girone D
|1||Ciemme Oltretorrente B.C.||2||0||0||1.000||0|
|4||Campidonico Grizzlies Torino||1||1||0||.500||1|
|1||Unipolsai Fortitudo Bologna||2||0||0||1.000||0|
|1||Camec Collecchio Baseball||2||0||0||1.000||0|
|3||Sultan Allestimenti Navali Cervignano||1||1||0||.500||1|
|3||New Black Panthers A.S.D.||1||1||0||.500||1|
|7||Itas Mutua Rovigo||0||2||0||.000||2|
|1||Farma Crocetta B.C. ASD||2||0||0||1.000||0|
|4||Longbridge 2000 Bologna||1||1||0||.500||1|
|4||S.S.D. Modena B.C.- Soc. Coop.||1||1||0||.500||1|
|6||CSA SRL Torre Pedrera Falcons Sc ASD||0||2||0||.000||2|
|6||Mediolanum New Rimini||0||2||0||.000||2|
|6||Fontana Ermes Sala Baganza||0||2||0||.000||2|
|1||Academy Of Nettuno Baseball Orange||0||0||0||.000||0|
|1||Big Mat BSC Grosseto 1952||0||0||0||.000||0|
|1||Spirulina Becagli BBC Grosseto||0||0||0||.000||0|
|1||Nettuno B.C. 1945||0||0||0||.000||0|