Italy's LaSorsa turns sour jam into sweet celly

March 12th, 2023

TAICHUNG, Taiwan -- It was an almost insurmountable challenge. How could -- a Team Italy relief pitcher by way of the Tampa Bay Rays Minor League system -- get himself, his team and what must have felt like his entire country out of this jam?

With Italy leading 6-1 in the sixth inning of the final Pool A qualifying game of the World Baseball Classic, in a must-win game for each team to get to the next round, the Dutch had loaded the bases. LaSorsa had come into the game to replace Andre Pallante to try and, at least, not give up all three of the inherited runners. The 24-year-old did more than his manager Mike Piazza could’ve asked for.

The tall lefty got Didi Gregorius on an infield popup, struck out Jonathan Schoop looking and fired one past Roger Bernadina for the third out. Italy went on to a 7-1 victory to clinch a spot in Round 2 of the Classic in Tokyo.

"I had to throw strikes," LaSorsa said. "Plain and simple as that."

Understandably fired up, LaSorsa had one of the most incredible, drawn-out celebrations of all-time.

"I was able to do the job for my team and able to upheld what I was expected of," LaSorsa said. "I'm really glad I was able to leave it all out there, because I know that's what all these other guys were doing."

"How could you not fall in love with a guy like that and really enjoy that moment?" Piazza said. "That's what this tournament is all about."

We can't wait to see what he has in store for the next round!