Spain beat Italy, 4-3, at the end of a game that may not influence the outcome of the tournament but for sure was a huge disappointment for a raucous crowd in Parma. Italy, as it happened the day before against Israel, will regret for wasting scoring chances and for defensive flaws.
Italy had a clue it was not going to be a very good night in the very first at-bat. A two-out towering pop fly by Chris Colabello fell, but Colabello overran the second base bag and was tagged for the out after an on-field review.
Italy also stranded a lead-off double by first baseman Peppe Mazzanti in the top of the second.
The hosts put runners at second and first in the top of the eighth against reliever Daniel Alvarez, who got out of the jam striking out centre fielder John Andreoli and shortstop Gavin Cecchini. Alberto Mineo grounded out in his first at-bat of the game to end the inning.
Second baseman Oscar Angulo put Spain ahead with an RBI-single in the bottom half of the frame. Catcher Beau Maggi dropped the assist from left fielder Drew Maggi and couldn’t tag Edison Valerio. Spain extended the lead against Italian starter Mourilo Gouvea with aggressive use of the running game. Javier Monzon and Leomartires Rodriguez both stole a base and both scored.
The run that would make a difference came in the bottom of the fifth. A two-out deep fly by Oscar Angulo fell in left field. First baseman Jesus Ustariz doubled on the very first pitch by reliever Matteo Bocchi.
Italy failed to come back despite a raucous crowd in the Nino Cavalli stadium.
Chris Colabello took the field as designated hitter despite a fractured nasal septum. He homered in the top of the fourth to put Italy on the scoreboard.
The benches and bullpens cleared after the final out for a brawl.