RECAP | BOX SCORE
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Mike Piazza doubled and scored a run and Jason Grilli was almost perfect in 4 2/3 innings of work, leading Italy to a 10-0 victory over Australia in the first round of the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night.
Grilli left to a standing ovation after allowing only a one-out, fourth-inning double to Trent Durrington. He also struck out seven. Riccardo De Santis finished with 2 1/3 perfect innings.
Frank Menechino, now with the Cincinnati Reds after several years with the Oakland Athletics and Toronto, keyed a three-run second inning for Italy with a two-run double. That helped to chase Australia starter John Stephens, who allowed three earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Italy managed 12 hits off five different Australia pitchers before the 10-run mercy rule ended the game after seven innings.
The atmosphere at The Ballpark at Disney for Italy and Australia was decidedly calmer than it was for the Venezuela-Dominican Republic game that preceded it.
The Dominican Republic defeated Venezuela 11-5 in front of a raucous packed house.
In the nightcap of Pool D play, the stadium was half-filled and there were no Aussie or Italian flags being waved.