The Italian bats came alive in the repeat World Baseball Classicmatch up against Team Canada, getting the best of them once again in convincing fashion with a 14 to 4 victory. Team Italy knocked out 14 runs off of 17 hits, as the Canadians were only able push across 4 runs in a mercy rule loss in game 3 of pool D. The Italians move to 2 and 0 in the tournament, which dramatically help their chances in moving onto the second round in this 2013 edition of the World Baseball Classic.
The Italians got on the board in the bottom of the first when Nick Punto scored on a groundout to the second baseman, Pete Orr, which gave them the early lead. However team Canada came right back tieing then game on a double by Orr, which scored Saunders making it a tied ballgame.
The game didn’t stay tied for very long as in the bottom half of the third Granato led off with a single to right and then sole second. Punto then followed with a walk, however with runners on first and second Denorfia grounded into a double play on a sharply hit ball to second base. After a pitching change, Anthony Rizzo was able to work a walk off of the new pichers, Scott Mathieson, putting runners on the corner with two outs. Following Rizzo, Alex Liddi drove in Granato and moved Rizzo to second on a soft single to left field. With two outs and the five-hole hitter at the plate in Chris Colabello, Mathieson reared back and delivered a first pitch fastball, which was deposited in the left field bleachers putting Italy on top five to one.
Italy tacked on one more in the fith on a sac fly by team captain Mario Chiarini which scored Alex Liddi from third.
Team Canada started to make started to make a comeback, scoring one in the top of the sixth and two in their half of the seventh to pull within two runs, but that was the closes that they would come to making this a game, as the Italians exploded for eight more runs scoring three in the bottom of the seventh and five in the eighth with the team captain, Chiarini, driving in the last nail that ended the game thanks to the ten run rule in place in this tournament.
Alessandro Maestri picked up the win, throwing three strong innings giving up only one run on three hits and recording three strikeouts. Chris Cooper was also a factor on the mound, going three, giving up one on two hits.
The Italians will take on team USA on Saturday in their third and final game of Pool D play, at 9pm US Eastern Time at Chase Field in Phoenix.