ITALY KEEP CRUISING
ICC 2010 Semi-Finals Day 1: Italy and Cuba keep cruising
The defending champions win against The Netherlands coming from behind. The ‘azzurri’ beat Korea and are now a legit contender
Phase 2 of the 2010 IBAF Intercontinental Cup commenced with the Netherlands taking on Cuba representing the two pool winners. Cuba received the advantage of the final bat via winning the coin toss the previous night and continued the push for victory with leadoff Giorvis Duvergel launching a 0-1 pitch in the right field stands. The Cuban squad added another run in the bottom of the second with a leadoff triple by Alexis Bell, scoring on a ground out by Jose D Abreu however Netherlands fought back adding 2 in the 3rd, lead by Danny Rombley’s lead off double and 1 in the 5th to lead 3-2. The game was decided in the bottom of the 7th when the Cuban offense added 3 runs on 3 hits, including a home run to Abreu, and 1 in the 8th. Defensively Cuba received solid pitching performances from starter Freddy Alvarez and Jonder Martinez who went on to pick up the win, pitching 4.1 innings in relief, allowing just 2 hits while striking out 1. The Netherlands also started strongly on the mound, with Tom Stuifbergen lasting 6.1, giving up 3 while striking out 7. Cuba will face Japan at Intercontinental Stadium in tomorrow morning fixture, while the Netherlands will play South Korea from Tou-Liou.
Italy proves sto be a legit contender in the Intercontinental Cup defeating (5-2) Korea by playing some superb defensive baseball and displaying timely hitting.
Italian left hander Chris Cooper had a shaky start, allowing 4 hits in the first 2 innings. But Korea could score only once and Italy was quick in getting ahead in the bottom of the first on a 2 RBI single by left fielder Chapelli off lefty Tae Soo Choo.
After the go ahead run, Korea wasted no time in making the call to the bullpen and sent to the mound their ace Seong Hyun Kim. The right hander limited Italy to a couple of hits over 5 innings and in the 7th Korea tied the game. Designated hitter Jae Hwan Kim hit a lead off double against reliever Cicatello and scored on a bunt and a sac fly.
Seong put himself in trouble in the bottom half of the inning. He walked first baseman Sambucci, allowed him to reach second and then, with pinch runner Mazzuca on second, he misplayed a sacrifice bunt by Italian second baseman Vaglio. When his throw reached the outfield, Mazzuca put Italy once again ahead.
Against right hander Jun Yuk Him Italy added 2 more runs on a base hit by Chiarini in the 7th and on a single by Vaglio in the 8th.
Korea opened the ninth with back to back singles by third baseman Won Suk Lee and DH Jae off reliever Grifantini. Italy called Alessandro Maestri from the bullpen. The Chicago Cubs prospect struck out the first batter and then fell down in the count against shortstop Joo Hwan Choi. On a full count, Choi sent a rocket in the foul territory in right field and then lined into the glove of left fielder Chapelli. Left fielder Beung Hyun Hin grounded out to second to end the game.
Baseball Federation of Asia’s (BFA) great rivals Japan and Chinese Taipei met for their round 2 clash at Intercontinental Stadium tonight in games that neither team could afford to lose. Chinese Taipei was coming off a rest day while Japan showed no signs of the shock loss to Italy, putting up 4 runs in their half of the second with Nohara, Nakagawa, Ohmine and Nakamura collecting hits. Local favorites Chinese Taipei bounced back immediately however, knocking in 4 on 4 hits including a Lo K triple and a Kao K double to lock the scores at 4 after 2 complete innings. Chinese Taipei would add 3 more in the 3rd and 1 more in the 4th to lead 8 to 5 after 4 complete innings.
Chinese Taipei added 4 extras in their half of the 8th, all runs coming after the first 2 outs of the inning had been collected by Japan. The inning typified Japan’s pitching troubles, with the World Baseball Classic champions using 5 hurlers on the night. Defensively Chinese Taipei turned to relevier Yu-Ching Lin who impressively went 5.1, striking out 6, allowing no runs before turning the ball over to Ching-Lung Lo to close out the game. 6 Chinese Taipei starters collected 2 hits on the night, while Akira Nakamura picked up 3 hits for Japan. Chinese Taipei will face Italy at Intercontinental Stadium tomorrow evening while Japan has a must win with the only undefeated team Cuba in the morning game