Italy crushes France 16-2 in their first meeting at the European Championship. It took 3 innings for the floodgates to open but, once they were, there was no stopping Italy’s offense. They put up at least 1 run in each of the next 3 innings then took a break before really racking up the damage. They added 1 in the 8thand 6 in the 9thagainst France’s pen.
A solo homer from Andy Paz got France’s offense up and running in the bottom of the 4th. Then, outfielder Frederic Hanvi singled to short and never stopped running. He advanced to 2ndon a groundout then to 3rdon a wild pitch. He finally finished tracing the diamond on Jacques Boucheron’s groundout to short.
It will come as no surprise to Italian fans that Christopher Colabello’s bat was on fire tonight. Over 6 at bats he had 2 runs off 3 hits and 2 RBIs. Designated Hitter Giuseppe Mazzanti wasn’t far behind him with 3 runs off 2 hits. Federico Celli was hot at the plate as well with 3 runs off 2 hits, including a homerun, and 2 RBIs. The other man to homer for Italy was also their top offensive producer on the night. Sebastiano Poma had 4 runs, including a double, off 6 hits with 5 RBIs over 6 at bats.
Giving Italy’s offense their due, and with the understanding that only 2 of their runs were unearned, it was as much France’s defensive mistakes, as Italy’s willingness to exploit them, that made this a runaway game. They took advantage of every one of the 4 wild pitches thrown by France’s pen as well as the 5 fielding errors and 3 failed pickoff attempts.
Due to rain delays, both teams went pretty deep into their pen with Italy using 4 pitchers and France going through 5. Michael Johnson took the win and Keino Perez was credited with the loss.