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Mar '13 07

Italy, Spain lose in WBC Warm-Ups against MLB Clubs

While European Baseball already has a team in the second round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic with the Netherlands, Italy and Spain will enter the tournament this evening and on Friday. The last two days the two squads got the opportunity to square off with Major League teams during Spring Training, concluding training camp.

Spain got shut out 0-10 by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. Led by top prospect Gerrit Cole the Pirates allowed just six Spanish hits. The lone Spanish Major Leaguer on the roster, Rhiner Cruz, got charged with the loss, issuing four hits, three runs and a walk in one inning of relief. Manager Mauro Mazzotti used seven pitchers in the game. One day later Spanish lost a slugfest 7-19 to the Baltimore Orioles. Spain managed 14 hits this time, led by Barbaro Canizares and Salomon Manriquez, which had three hits apiece. Engel Beltre scored twice. Again seven hurlers took the mound. Baltimore’s Russ Canzler impressed with two home runs and six RBI.

Italy didn’t fare much better. On Tuesday the Oakland Athletics downed the team of manager Marco Mazzieri by a score of 4-3. Oakland took a quick 4-0 lead through three innings. Italy was able to cut the deficit to a run until the ninth. Anthony Rizzo and Chris Colabello hit home runs for Italy. Ten pitchers took the mound for the Azzurri. Coco Crisp had three hits for the A’s. Brett Anderson had received the start. On Wednesday Italy looked to upset the Los Angeles Angels, taking a 5-5 tie into the bottom half of the eighth. But seven runs in that frame lifted LA to a 12-6 victory. Alex Liddi hit a two-run home run and drove in three. Seven hurlers took the mound for Italy, while Jered Weaver pitched for the Angels.

Italy will open the 2013 World Baseball Classic on Thursday at 9pm CET against Mexico, playing at Salt Rivers Field in Phoenix. Spain takes on Puerto Rico on Friday evening (11.30pm CET) at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan. The Netherlands will face Cuba on Friday afternoon (4am CET) at the Tokyo Dome to start round two.

1 Comment

  1. Comment by straffan
    March 8, 2013 | 3:49 pm

    Italy beat Mexico and the Dutch beat Cuba,again.Euopore has to use this to improve the standard throughout Europe. we need a league playing top class baseball THROUGHOUT Europe and not just in 2 countries. 2 leagues or divisions. Each division with 2 Italian and 2 Dutch teams. Then one team from GB,France,Germany,Czech Rep.,Belgium,Spain,Russia(?),Austria,Switzerland ot whoever feels they can make a go of it.These other teams would be allocated to one of the divisions. These other countries could use foreign players but there would have to be a limit. The Italain and Dutch teams would have a home base but the other teams would have several home fields so that they could tour their home country presenting top class baseball. What a stimulus for coaches,new umpires and young players. Money from sponsors.MLB and Government sports aid funding. It has to come at some time if we want to prgress and what better time to do it.

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