Fortitudo Bologna tops San Marino to win Italian Baseball League championship

Fortitudo Bologna tops San Marino to win Italian Baseball League championship
01/10/2020
Bologna defeated San Marino, 6-5, in Game 7 of the final series. Federico Celli was the IBL's fifth player to celebrate a triple crown.

Fortitudo Bologna defeated San Marino, 6-5, in Game 7 of the Italian Baseball Series to claim their third scudetto (national championship) in a row and 13th overall.

Alex Bassani took the mound in the third inning after starter Murilo Gouvea left the game with an injury. He earned the win going 4.1 innings and earned the series MVP honours. Filippo Crepaldi earned the save getting the final two outs.

Former Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) starter Alessandro Maestri didn't survive the second inning and suffered the loss for San Marino.

Bologna scored the tie-breaking run on a base hit by third baseman Eugene Helder, a former Minor League Baseball (MiLB) player born in Aruba, off reliever Dmitri Kourtis. Second baseman Julian Dreni, a 20-year old prospect born in Albania, scored from second.

San Marino's centre fielder Federico Celli, a former minor leaguer, became only the fifth player in the history of Italian baseball to win the triple crown. During the regular season, shortened because of the COVID-19 outbreak, he had a .473 batting average, 10 home runs and 36 runs batted in.

The other four triple crowns were Roberto Gandini (1962), Giorgio Castelli (1974), Roberto Bianchi (1987, 1991) and Carlos Duran (2010).