2016 Italian Series
- Unipol Bologna, managed by Daniele Frignani, had gone 27-9 for the best regular season record, then took 4 of 5 from T&A San Marino in the semifinals. They led the league in both offense (221 runs) and pitching/defense (96 runs allowed, 1.85 ERA). They were led on offense by former major leaguer Ronny Cedeño, who hit .368/.420/.552, C Osman Marval (.354/.485/.462) and CF Paolino Ambrosino (.346/.437/.492, 35 R). Cedeño led the league in slugging and OPS, Marval in OBP, Ambrosino in runs and 1B Alex Sambucci with 30 RBI despite a mediocre batting line of .250/.360/.377. Posting ERAs under 2 were ERA and win leader Matt Zielinski (9-0, 0.53), Riccardo De Santis (4-0, 1.54), Raul Rivero (5-2, 3 Sv, 1.64), Pietro Cadoni (1-0, Sv, 1.89) and Brent Buffa (2-1, 1.93); Australian import Ryan Searle allowed no runs and only 4 hits in 14 2/3 IP, going 1-0.
- Defending champion Rimini was guided by Orlando Muñoz. They were 22-14 in the regular season to tie for second, then won four of five in the semifinals from Nettuno. They had a much slimmer run differential at 154-125. 1B Daniel Mayora (.313/.421/.473) and SS Jose Flores (.283/.354/.400) led the hitters, Mayora finishing 5th in OPS (their only player in the top five). The staff was led by a trio of Latino players: former major leaguer Darwin Cubillan (4 Sv, 0.91), 2015 Italian Series MVP Alexis Candelario (4-2, 1.88, 54 K in 38 1/3 IP) and 2015 Hoofdklasse strikeout king Ricardo Hernández (7-3, 2.42, second with 83 K).
- August 12: Bologna 6, Rimini 2. Zielinski allows one run in 5 1/3 innings and Rivero and Searle combine to fan ten in 3 2/3 innings of relief to pitch Bologna to victory. Hernández allowed one run in the first four but gave up four in the 5th before turning the ball over to Carlos Teran. C Marco Sabbatani led a balanced offense with 3 hits, 2 runs and a RBI; Bologna had 14 singles and 3 walks.
- August 13: Rimini 5, Bologna 3. Luca Panerati turned in an excellent start for Bologna, allowing two hits, no walks and two unearned runs in 7 as the team built a 3-2 lead against Carlos Richetti. The difference was the bullpens; Roberto Corradini turned in 4 1/3 shutout relief frames for Rimini while Bologna's pen struggled. SS Flores singled off De Santis to open the 9th, then 1B Mayora drew a 7-pitch walk. Filippo Crepaldi replaced De Santis and got two outs to almost get the save. C Luis Ricardo Serafin de Camargo hit a grounder to 2B Alessandro Vaglio but the former Italian Baseball League MVP made a crucial error to load the bases. Lino Zappone pinch-hit for Riccardo Babini and had a huge three-run double to go up 5-3; while he was out trying to make it into a triple, it would be the game-winning hit.
- August 15: Bologna 5, Rimini 4. 1B Sambucci hit a 3-run homer in the top of the first off José Escalona to give Bologna an early lead. It was 3-1 in the 5th when SS Cedeño added a two-run smash; Bologna got no more hits after that and finished the day with four but it would be enough. Bologna starter Searle lasted only 4 1/3 IP (5 H, 4 BB, 2 R, 1 ER) as Rivero got the win with 4 2/3 innings of relief. 45-year-old DH Jairo Ramos Gizzi drove in two runs in a losing cause.
- August 16: Bologna 4, Rimini 3. Bologna won a second straight one-run game. They again began with a burst, scoring three off Hernández and chasing him from the hill with one out in the first. The bullpen was stellar, though, as Teran and Cubillan would blank Bologna for the next 8 2/3 innings (4 H, 2 BB, 8 K). Meanwhile, Rimini scored only once in the first six off Zielinski despite 8 hits and 3 walks. In the 7th, SS Flores drilled a homer off Zielinski to close it to 3-2. In the bottom of the 8th, Rimini tied it. RF Federico Celli and C Serafin de Camargo both singled off Buffa with one out; Crepaldi relieved and a sacrifice fly by PH Riccardo Bertagnon scored Celli with the tying run. Both teams loaded the bases in the 10th but Loiger Padron (Rimini) and Matteo Bocchi (Bologna) both escaped jams. In the top of the 11th, DH Francesco Fuzzi was hit by a pitch from Padron with one out and stole second. 3B Juan Carlos Infante walked. Corradini relieved Padron and got Cedeño to hit into a force, but RF Claudio Liverziani hit a single to score Fuzzi with the winning run. In the bottom of the 11th, Rimini did get one more shot. With one out, 3B Mayora and DH Ramos Gizzi both singled off Bocchi, but the latter was caught going to second on the play. De Santis was summoned from the bullpen and retired 2B Zappone, the game 2 hero, to end it.
- August 17: Rimini 8, Bologna 2. Rimini stayed alive with a big comeback win. They got ahead in the first against Panerati when LF Ennio Retrosi hit a one-out double and SS Flores singled him in. Bologna tied it in the 4th. C Marval had a one-out double, just the second hit off Richetti. He walked 1B Sambucci, then 2B Vaglio hit into a force and both CF Ambrosino and LF Alessandro Grimaudo walked to force in a run; Richetti left after four due to his control issues. In the top of the 6th, Vaglio singled off Corradini and Ambrosino bunted him over, then Grimaudo had his second RBI of the day with a single. Rimini tied it back up in the bottom of the inning as 1B Mayora hit a solo homer off Panerati. In the bottom of the 7th, against reliever Andrea Pizziconi, 3B Lorenzo Di Fabio hit into a one-out error by SS Cedeño. CF Stefano De Simoni walked and they pulled off a double steal with two outs. Flores was intentionally walked and De Santis came in to pitch to Mayora, but served up a grand slam to put Rimini ahead for good. They tacked on two more insurance runs in the 8th.
- August 21: Bologna 2, Rimini 0. After rain delayed game 6, it created more problems, with two rain delays. The game was eventually called due to the rain after six innings, well after midnight. Hernández and Searle traded goose eggs for three. In the bottom of the 4th, DH Marval had a one-out single off Hernández and advanced on a balk. 1B Sambucci then drew a walk and 2B Vaglio had the big hit, a two-run double for all the game's runs. Searle left after 4 2/3 due to rain delays (0 H, 2 BB, 6 K) and the win wound up going to Rivero (1 1/3 IP), who allowed the lone Rimini hit of the day (to CF De Simoni).
Marval was named Series MVP, hitting .464 with five doubles and four runs.