2011 Italian Series
The 2011 Italian Series was won by T&A San Marino, their second Italian pennant, following one in 2008. The team was aided by two players and the manager from their opponent Nettuno being suspended for the final two games. San Marino shortstop Anthony Granato was named MVP; he was 11 for 29 with 7 runs, 3 home runs and 9 RBI in six games.
T&A San Marino had won only one Italian Baseball League title, in 2008. Nettuno had the most Italian pennants with 17, but the last one had come in 2001. San Marino outscored their opponents, 245-151, leading the league in runs and posting the best regular-season record (31-11). Their potent attack was led by home run co-leaders 1B Willie Vasquez (.344/.447/.563, 37 R, 8 HR) and CF Carlos Duran (.278/.325/.593, 8 HR). Other contributors included LF Lorenzo Avagnina (.348/.434/.525) and SS Anthony Granato (.315/.415/.491, 33 R, 21 SB, 2 CS). Their staff was led by ERA king Darwin Cubillan (6-0, 2 Sv, 0.41, 16 H, 59 K in 44 IP). Nettuno was only fourth in the regular season at 25-17 with a 221-163 run differential, 5th in the 8-team league in offense and 3rd in pitching. Their best players were 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti (.269/.418/.395, 30 BB), SS Olmo Rosario (.300/.349/.453, 16-21 SB) and DH Juan Camilo (.333/.423/.548) on offense while their staff was led by Kris Wilson (6-3, 1.68, .85 WHIP) and 47-year-old Cuban Remigio Leal (2-0, 3 Sv, 1.05).
- August 27: 1,500 fans turned out to see Nettuno edge San Marino in a dramatic 12-11 extra-inning game. Nettuno had to rally from a 7-0 deficit after four, scoring six runs in the sixth (a 3-run triple by CF Ennio Retrosi was the big blow). With the game tied at 10 after 7 innings, neither team scored again until the 12th, when 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti and backup DH Juan Camilo both drove in runs for Nettuno. SS Olmo Rosario had 3 hits (including a homer), 2 walks, 3 runs and 4 RBI to lead Nettuno. José Escalona was the top hurler, throwing 4 2/3 shutout innings for Nettuno. After a 5-0 record in the regular season, Henry Bonilla takes the loss.
- August 28: Attendance was again 1,500 as Nettuno pulled off a second straight win over the favored San Marino club. This one was more of a sure thing, 10-3. 2004 Olympian Carlos Richetti allowed two runs in seven innings for the win, while the offense comes from the top and bottom of the order. Leadoff hitter/2B Mirco Caradonna goes 4 for 5 with a run and 3 RBI, while #9 hitter/LF Paolino Ambrosino goes 3 for 4 with a walk and four runs. Former A's farmhand Iván Granados is handed the loss while veteran DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi goes 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs in a losing cause.
- September 1: 6,500 fans came to Steno Borghese Stadium only to see the home Nettuno team fall 5-2 to San Marino. José Escalona allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings, not nearly as sharp as in game one, to take the loss. Brazilian native Tiago Da Silva went the distance for San Marino, with the only runs coming on a 2-run shot by catcher Kelly Ramos.
- September 2: San Marino pounded Nettuno ace Kris Wilson for 7 hits and 5 runs in 2 innings on the way to a 10-7 win to tie the Series. Nettuno was down 10-1 after four and a half before making it a game. Henry Bonilla gets the win despite allowing five runs in five innings. Leading the offense for San Marino were SS and leadoff man Anthony Granato (4 for 5, 2 HR, 3 R), 1B Willie Vasquez (3 for 5, 2 R), DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi (3 for 4, 2 R, 2 RBI) and CF Carlos Duran (2 for 5, 3 RBI). For the losing side, 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti (3 for 5, 3 R, RBI) and DH Juan Camilo (2 for 4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) are the top performers.
- September 3: The home team finally won a game this series after four straight losses, in front of 6,000 fans at Steno Borghese Stadium. It didn't look that way for the first third of the contest. San Marino roasted Carlos Richetti for 7 runs and 9 hits in 2 2/3 IP, while Iván Granados was blanking Nettuno. They scored eight times off Granados and Luca Martignoni in the 4th and 5th, though, to take the lead, and wound up with a 11-7 win. Massimiliano Masin tossed five shutout innings of relief for Nettuno for the win before Carlos Pezzullo and Remigio Leal closed it. For Nettuno, the big bats were those of 1B Juan Camilo (3 for 4, BB, 3 R, RBI), 2B Mirco Caradonna (2 for 4, BB, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) and 3B Giuseppe Mazzanti (2 for 5, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB). San Marino's offense had an international flavor with Canadanian SS Anthony Granato (2 for 6, 2 R, 3 RBI, his 3rd HR of the Series), Cuban RF Laidel Chapellí (3 for 5, R, RBI) and Italian catcher Simone Albanese (3 for 5, R, 2 RBI). Both Nettuno manager Ruggero Bagialemani and pitcher Carlos Richetti were suspended three games for arguing with an umpire; Bagialemani got a 500 Euro fine for not leaving the dugout area after being tossed. As fans threw plastic and glass bottles on the field, Nettuno was fined 1,000 Euro and would have to play the first two games of 2012 with an empty stadium.
- At this point in the Series, Nettuno shortstop Olmo Rosario was suspended by the Italian national anti-doping tribunal, due to a positive test for 4-Metil-2-Esanamina for a game played in late August. Also, manager Ruggero Bagialemani and pitcher Carlos Richetti were both suspended for 3 games for their actions in game 5.
- September 9: With their backs to the wall, San Marino came home and put on a good show in front of the 3,000 home fans. Tiago Da Silva threw 158 pitches in going the distance; he allowed two runs in the first four innings but then blanked Nettuno for the last five. With the score tied at two in the bottom of the fourth, San Marino loaded the bases against Carlos Pezzullo on a single by RF Laidel Chapelli, a double by CF Carlos Duran and a one-out walk to 2B Francesco Imperiali. Matteo Modica relieved but allowed a single to C and #9 hitter Mattia Reginato. SS Anthony Granato hit into a run-scoring force, then 3B Giovanni Pantaleoni singled home Reginato for a 5-2 lead. San Marino wound up with a 7-2 victory.
- September 10: San Marino pulled out an easy win in front of 3,000 to lock up the Series. Nettuno did get on the board first, when CF Ennio Retrosi singled, stole and scored on a single by C Kelly Ramos in the first. That was the only run Henry Bonilla (7 IP) and Darwin Cubillan (2 IP) would allow, though. In the meantime, 47-year-old Cuban Remigio Leal looked old, giving up 2-run homers in the second to CF Carlos Duran and 3B Giovanni Pantaleoni as San Marino cruised to a 10-1 victory. Duran finished 3 for 4 with 3 runs and 2 RBI while 2B Francesco Imperiali was 3 for 4 with 2 runs and 3 RBI.