2011 IBL Champion - San Marino
2009 IBL Champion - Bologna
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2011
Since the Italian Baseball League moved to the 8 team format a few years ago, there has been a clear division between the top six teams (Parma, Bologna, Rimini, San Marino, Grosseto, Nettuno), and the bottom two teams have generally struggled.
More specifically, none of the bottom two teams have won more than 10 games (including the 6 times the bottom two play head to head) or finished closer than seven games behind sixth place. Godo has been joined in the bottom by Redipuglia, Reggio Emilia, and Catania in the last three seasons, but now that there is no longer relegation or promotion between the IBL and the Serie A, the bottom teams would be fixed in theory.
But this off season, rumors circulated that both Godo and Catania would leave the IBL, and a number of Serie A teams were asked if they would be interested in taking their places. In the end, Godo was able to stick around for at least another year through their partnership with Verona, while Catania has returned to the serie A leaving an opening which will be filled by Novara.
Without the risk of relegation, Novara so far seems focused on their core team from the second division last year, and would appear destined to win very few games and remain at the bottom. But the goal of the franchise seems to be to patiently bring top level baseball back to the Milan area, something that Catania failed to do in Sicily for a variety of reasons, but most notably problems with the ballpark.
Posted At 02:02 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2009
After taking a 2-1 series lead in three low scoring close games, the Bologna offense exploded in the final two games in San Marino, scoring 17 and 16 runs respectively and leaving no doubt about the top team this year.
Bologna tried to play the underdog card due to financial troubles throughout the season, but the team was consistently one of the top performers at every level, and specifically with an explosive offense full of stars all of whom shined when it counted most.
Claudio Liverziani was names series MVP hitting .571 with six RBIs and 7 runs scored. Richard Austin hit .471 with two home runs and Eddy Garabito hit three homeruns as well. Fabio Betto pitched seven dominant innings in his game 3 win, and Yulmann Ribiero picked up the win in the clinching game on three days rest.
Posted At 02:08 PMby Michael
WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2009
Bologna built a 9-0 lead in San Marino behind two home runs by Richard Austin, but after Betto gave up three runs in the fifth and turned the ball over to the bullpen in the seventh, things collapsed as the high powered San Marino offence rolled over relievers Norrito and Milano for three runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth to take a 10-9 lead. Despite the early offensive explosion, Bologna was held scoreless over the final five innings by Pedro Orta and Mauro Schiavone. In the late outburst David Sheldon had a two run homer, Duran drove in four runs, and De Biase had the bases loaded single to take the lead.
The win pulled San Marino even with Bologna for the second spot in the finals at 2-2 with five games left in the round robin series, as the teams shift to Bologna Friday and Saturday nights.
Meanwhile in Bologna, Rimini continued to roll, building a quick 4-0 lead against Parma starter Corradini, and holding on for an easy 6-2 win. Rimini pitchers Patrone and Quattrini yielded 12 hits in the end, but only walked one and managed to escape trouble as Parma failed to come up with the big hit in numerous situations. The win moved Rimini to 3-1 and dropped Parma to 1-3, with the teams continuing the series in Rimini where Parma will face Rimini ace Garcia in what has become a must win game.
Posted At 06:07 PMby Michael
FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2009
This marks Reggio Emilia's third one year stint in the top level in the last seven years, after a 2003 debut and a 2005 team that saved themselves but dropped after the season for financial reasons.
In other playoff tune ups San Marino topped a young Grosseto team which started a number of prospects over veterans, and Rimini scored double digits against Bologna to pull into first place with one game to play.
Posted At 04:07 PMby Michael
WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2009
Bologna holds a one game lead over Rimini for the top playoff seed, and San Marino holds a one game edge over Parma for the third and fourth seeds.
After a devestating sweep in San Marino, Nettuno was eliminated from the playoffs a full week early and is locked into fifth place four games ahead of Grosseto which has been steadily in sixth place all season.
The real excitement is at the bottom where Godo upset Rimini last week to pull even with Reggio Emilia to avoid relegation to A2. Reggio Emilia holds the tie breaker so Godo has to do one better than their rivals in the final weekend series to stay in A1.
Reggio Emilia heads to Nettuno where they have never one, but will face a down Nettuno team who misses the playoffs for the first time in five years, and might not be at full strength or concentration.
Meanwhile Godo plays Parma who still hopes for the third playoff seed and to stay sharp, but who will be more worried about preparing for the playoffs and lining up their pitchers.
And our playoff coverage begins next week!
Posted At 06:07 PMby Michael
|© Copyright BaseballItalia.com 2009. All Rights Reserved.|