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Dec '08 04

Rimini signs Pitchers from Spanish National Team

After signing Ivanon Coffie a few weeks ago, the Italian Baseball League club TELEMARKET RIMINI acquired two members of the Spanish national team. Starting pitcher Jorge Balboa is coming from the FC BARCELONA. Reliever Fernando Gutierrez last played for MR COCKER HCAW in the Dutch Hoofdklasse.  Both players were on the roster for Spain at the 2007 Baseball World Cup and the 2008 Olympic Qualifier in Taiwan.

Balboa is 22 years old and pitched for the Spanish vice champion BARCELONA in 2008. He had a 7-1 record with an ERA of 1.57 in 13 games (eight starts). He struck out 47 in 63 innings, while walking 34. In the European Cup tournament in Regensburg, Germany, he was the starter in the combined no-hitter by BARCELONA against OLIMPIJA KARLOVAC. In this match he struck out eight in six no-hit innings. He walked four and hit two batters, but remained unharmed. At the European Cup Final Four he pitched one scoreless inning of relief.

Gutierrez is a former minor leaguer in the BALTIMORE ORIOLES organization, being signed as a catcher in 1997, but converted to pitcher a few years later. The 28-year-old was born in Venezuela and came to Spain, winning the national title with the MARLINS in 2007. The right-handed reliever signed with HCAW last winter and had a 0-2 record with six saves in 17 games for the sixth-ranked team in the Netherlands. He posted an ERA of 4.29 with 23 strikeouts (ten walks) in 21 innings.

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