NORTH READING — It was a trip they’ll long remember…with results to match. The North Reading Diamond Club participated in the 30th annual Sala Baganza International Baseball/Softball Tournament in Parma, Italy, in early August and returned home with the bronze medal after finishing with a stellar 5-2 mark. The squad of 13-15-year-olds defeated a series of foes in pool play: Belgium; France; and both the Pesaro, Italy, and host city Sala Baganza teams. After falling in the semifinals, they rebounded to defeat Stuttgart, Germany, 6–1, in the bronze medal contest. The squad’s two losses came against solid regional tournament teams that met in the final – Parma and Oltra Corrente.
The 2014 Diamond Club squad was coached by Marco Vittozzi, Jim Demitri, Serge Coviello, and Vinny Bonnano. Representing the team were Greg Sawyer, Marco Vittozzi, Ryan DiNapoli, Matt Corrieri, Jared Valade, Anthony Eldridge, Peter Demitri, Mike McCauley, Shawn DiVecchia, Jack O’Brien, Bob Donohue, Dan Madden, and Tyler Collins. DiVecchia won two tournament awards — the Sportsmanship Award and the Best Pitcher Award after posting a 1.72 earned-run average.
“It was a great experience for the kids, and they conducted themselves on and off the field with great respect for the game and our hosts,” said Coach Vittozzi. “And seeing teams from so many countries participate was a reminder at how America’s National Pastime has grown into a game played around the globe.”