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Switch-pitching alum Pat Venditte takes mound on world stage

Pat Venditte, BSBA'08, in his Creighton playing days. The switch-pitching hurler is playing for Team Italy in his second World Baseball Classic.Itís still very much basketball season for most of Bluejay Nation, but on Thursday night, Creighton fans who tuned into the World Baseball Classic may have caught a familiar face pitching for Team Italy.

Pat Venditte, BSBA'08, whose switch-pitching spectacle while he played for the Creighton baseball team has translated into a career in the Major Leagues, took the mound for the Italian squad in the top of the fifth inning against Mexico with the game knotted at 4-4.

Though born and raised in Omaha, Venditte, like many of the players on the Italian team, is eligible to pitch for Team Italy by dint of his Italian heritage. Venditte was also on Italyís roster in the 2013 edition of the Classic.

His outing against Mexico didnít quite go as Venditte would have hoped ó he allowed three runs on three hits, striking out one and walking one in an inning of work ó but Team Italy provided one of the more exciting finishes in the Classicís history.

Trailing 9-5 in the bottom of the ninth, the Italians strung together three consecutive doubles, then capitalized on an error and a walk to pull the score within 9-8. Brandon Nimmo singled in the tying run and John Andreoli hit a bases-loaded single to seal a 10-9 victory.

Now pitching with the Seattle Mariners, Venditte began his professional career in the New York Yankees organization. He made his MLB debut in 2015 with the Oakland Athletics and spent part of the 2016 season with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Italy is next in action against Venezuela on Saturday, March 11, at 2 p.m.

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