Manager Maurizio Balla announces Italian National Team for Baseball5 Euros

Manager Maurizio Balla announces Italian National Team for Baseball5 Euros
Balla is a member of the Italian National Federation Coach-Commission and a Physical Education Teacher. His selection is made of baseball and softball top prospects.

The Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (FIBS) has named Maurizio Balla (pictured above) as the manager of the Baseball5 National Team. A Physical Education teacher from the northwestern Valle d'Aosta Region, Balla is a member of the FIBS Coaching Commission. He also announced his squad for the Baseball5 European Championship.

The eight players who will represent Italy at the European Championship in Vilnius, Lithuania, from 28 February to 1 March are: Elisa Grifagno, Giulia Mattioli, Elena Slawitz, Luisa Macciotta, Matteo Pizzolini, Matteo Pascoli, Marco Pascoli, Matteo Oldano.

Balla said that he based his selection on baseball and softball players who had previously been considered by the U-23 National Team programmes. "Baseball5 requires speed, so we are concentrating on players who have experience in the middle infield," commented Balla.

Italy will compete in Group B of the 16-team event with Belarus, Latvia and Romania. The other participants are Belgium, Moldova, The Netherlands, Sweden (Group A); Bulgaria, Estonia, Israel, Russia (Group C); France, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

After group play, the tournament will proceed with a single elimination format.

The top two finishers of the European Championship will advance to the first-ever Baseball5 World Cup, to be played in Mexico in December.

Related: Continental Quota confirmed for Baseball5 World Cup