Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Daniel Descalso had a complicated path to competing for Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
Descalso, from California, had to gather documentation on his lineage in order to play in the spring’s tournament before the start of the 2017 season.
He eventually tracked down a birth certificate of his great-grandfather, something Italy has to be happy with after the game Descalso had Saturday.
The 30-year-old reached base three times in Italy’s 11-10 loss to Venezuela, tying a game-high with 3 RBI.
Italy jumped out a 5-0 lead in the first four innings of the game, and the first three were all brought in by Descalso.
His double in the first inning brought home Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli and a single in the third scored Cervelli and Dodgers left fielder Rob Segedin.
Descalso’s early efforts weren’t enough, as Venezuela went on to score eight unanswered runs and eventually win the game in extra innings, evening out both team’s records to 1-1 in group play.
Italy takes on Puerto Rico on Sunday