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2021 Italian Series
The 2021 Italian Series was a rematch of the 2020 Italian Series. Serie A1 went to a very expanded format, with 31 teams competing in 8 pools (presumably to reduce COVID-19 cross-infection?) and the victors then vying for spots in the Series. With all the new teams, it still wound up a rematch of Fortitudo Bologna (winners of 5 of the past 6 Series) and ASD San Marino (runners-up in 2019-2020).
Fortitudo Bologna was managed once again by Daniele Frignani and had numerous players with US minor league experience in Murilo Gouvêa, Ericson Leonora, Nick Pugliese, Raúl Rivero, Osman Marval, Raywendley van Gurp, Claudio Scotti, Claudio Liverziani and Elián Leyva.
ASD San Marino
ASD San Marino was guided by Doriano Bindi, returning to his old role as manager. Among their players with US pro experience were Federico Celli, Tiago Da Silva, Jiandido Tromp, Erick Epifano, Alessandro Ercolani (the first San Marino native in the minors), Carlos Quevedo, Fernando Baez and Oscar Angulo.
- August 12: San Marino 6, Bologna 4. The opener was a thriller. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th, Bologna ties it when 3B Renzo Martini has a two-out single off Da Silva. After Filippo Agretti pinch-ran, 1B Marval singled him in. In the top of the 12th, LF Tromp singled and CF Celli hit a two-run shot off Leyva. Da Silva got the win, allowing one run in five.
- August 13: Bologna 17, San Marino 7. Bologna's lone win of the Series was a rout with 6 runs in the 1st and 8 more in the 9th, after San Marino had closed in. 2B Van Gurp had four runs, CF Lorenzo Dobboletta 3 walks and 3 runs, 3B Martini four hits and C Ernesto Liberatore four RBI. Alex Bassani got the win and Filippo Crepaldi the save, while Luca Di Raffaele issued four walks and allowed four runs in only 1/3 of an inning.
- August 17: San Marino 5, Bologna 3. Henry Centeno strikes out 10 and allows two hits in 4 1/3 IP, while Dimitri Kourtis saves it to beat Rivero. In the top of the 3rd, RF Giovanni Garbella has a two-run single off Rivero, followed by a two-run double by SS Epifano to decide it.
- August 18: San Marino 12, Bologna 3. The clincher is a blowout as Da Silva fans 12 and allows four hits in eight innings to beat Bassani; for the second straight day, San Marino had beaten a former Italian Series MVP. LF Tromp hit a 3-run homer, 2B Angulo had 3 hits, SS Epifano scored three and C Simone Albanese had three hits.
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