Dark horse Italy, which did not receive much attention, will play Japan, who passed the first round with a 4-game winning streak, in the quarterfinals. It looks like a team of Italian guys with nice beards who leave espresso machines in the dugout, but in fact, most of them were born in the United States and played minor league baseball.
Italy, led by coach Mike Piazza, advanced dramatically to the second round. On the 12th, they won 7-1 against the Netherlands, throwing Group A into confusion. With Italy’s victory, all five teams have 2 wins and 2 losses, and the rankings are determined according to the run rate (runs lost/defense outs). Italy climbed to second place with 7 points behind the Netherlands.세븐 토토
Piazza took over as Italian coach in 2019. He set up a plan called ‘Mission Classic’, met Italian players in the United States, and encouraged them to join the WBC team.
Only 5 players were born in Italy, not many. Most of them are from the United States, and some are from the Dominican Republic. Robel Garcia, who briefly played for LG last year, competed in the WBC as an Italian player due to his dual citizenship in the Dominican Republic and Italy.
Current major leaguers include David Fletcher (Angels), Nikki Lopez (Kansas City), and Ben DeRugio (Cubs). Lopez is leading the offense with 8 hits in 16 at bats and 7 RBIs with a batting average of 0.500. Fletcher had a batting average of 0.188 and DeRugio had a batting average of 0.154.
The most famous players are different. It’s ‘The Dark Knight’ Matt Harvey. Harvey, who played in the major leagues until 2021, tried to return to the big leagues last year in a minor team under Baltimore, but failed to achieve his will. In this tournament, he recorded an average ERA of 1.29 with 1 run in 7 innings in 2 games, but he threw 60 pitches against Cuba on the 12th and could not come out in the quarterfinals against Japan.
There are also celebrities who became a hot topic on social media. Bullpen pitcher Joe Lasorsa is a minor leaguer under Tampa Bay, and drew attention by preventing a bases loaded crisis in the 6th inning against the Netherlands on the 12th. He stopped first batter Didi Gregorius with an infield fly, then struck out Jonathan Scoop and Roger Bernardina in succession. Then he hopped into the dugout and roared for nearly a minute.