- Bats Left, Throws Right
Ilo Bartolucci has played for two decades in Italy.
Bartolucci debuted in 1991 with Fortitudo Bologna, going 2-2 with a save and a 6.00 ERA, walking an unsightly 49 in 48 innings. He fell to 2-9 with a 8.39 ERA for Calze Verdi Casalecchio in 1992, with 64 walks in 74 innings and a .331 opponent average. Moving to Milano 1946 in 1993, he improved a bit, to 2-2, 6.11. With Macerata in '94, he had a 5-8, 6.19 record with 76 walks in 91 2/3 innings. His next club was Rimini, for whom he was 2-1 with two saves and a 3.44 ERA in 1995; for the first time, he had more strikeouts than walks.
Ilo played for his sixth club in six seasons when he signed with Caserta BC for 1996 and went 4-5 with two saves and a 6.12 ERA. Back with Caserta in '97, the 26-year-old had a 1-2, 3.54 record with 7 saves. He held opponents to a .173 average and had a 1.03 WHIP. In 1998, he was 5-2 with three saves and a 4.08 ERA for Caserta.
Moving to Modena in 1999, Ilo fell back to his old struggles, going 0-4 with three saves, a 6.11 ERA and .376 opponent average. Rejoining Caserta in 2000, he had a 5-5, 4.39 record. His next stop was Warriors Paternò in 2001, the 8th club of his 11-season career. He was only 3-8 for them but had five saves and a 3.38 ERA.
Bartolucci was Italy's second-best hurler in the 2001 Baseball World Cup, giving up only two runs (one earned) in seven innings of toil. He rejoined Rimini in 2002 and would finally establish stability with one organization. He was 4-2 with six saves and a 2.73 ERA. He then tossed 4 1/3 shutout innings in the Italian Series, garnering both a win and a save, to help the team take the Serie A1 title. In the 2002 Intercontinental Cup, the veteran was Italy's least-effective hurler, surrendering 13 runs (12 earned) in only 5 2/3 innings. Opponents teed off on him at a 14-for-28 clip to give him his 19.06 ERA.
Ilo was 3-3 with three saves and a 4.50 ERA for Rimini in 2003. The former wild man walked only 7 in 38 innings. He played for Italy in the 2003 European Championship, allowing three runs in 1 1/3 innings as the lone negative on a staff with a 1.63 composite ERA (1.40 if you remove Bartolucci from the equation). He still remained with the Azzurri for the 2003 Baseball World Cup, tossing two shutout frames to tie Kasey Olenberger for Italy's best ERA.
Bartolucci had an off-year in 2004, going 1-1 with three saves and a 5.40 ERA for Rimini. He fanned 34 in 33 1/3 innings but allowed a .340 average. In '05, he had a career year, going 2-1 with a league-best ten saves and a 0.94 ERA (which would have ranked second had he qualified). He had a 0.97 WHIP, a nice improvement for a guy who had topped 2.00 three times. He fell one shy of Italy's single-season save record, held by Emiliano Ginanneschi.
The Rimini reliever was 1-1 with seven saves and a 3.00 ERA in 2006. He tied Peter Nyari for fourth in the loop in games saved. In the finals, he again starred, tossing 1 1/3 shutout innings as Rimini claimed a second pennant with Bartolucci. He faded to 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA and four saves in 2007, then was 1-4 with two saves and a 3.07 ERA in 2008. In his 19th season, 2009, he was 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA.
Through 2009, Bartolucci had a career record of 47-65 with 63 saves and a 4.67 ERA in 372 career games, the numbers weighted down by his bad early years. Never used as a position player with any regularity, Bartolucci still was 5 for 8 at the plate through 2009. Through '09, Ilo ranked among Italy's all-time leaders in games pitched (6th) and first in saves (two ahead of Roberto Cabalisti, 7 ahead of Ginanneschi and 12 ahead of Fabio Milano).