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Good Team, No Baloney

By Harvey Sahker

Despite its limited working agreement with the Seattle Mariners, Bologna lost its first eight games of the Italian season. It since had won 17 of 19 to climb into a playoff position.

"We started the season earlier than usual and I guess we werenít ready," said Bologna manager Mauro Mazzotti, who is also the European scout for the Mariners. "I was new to the club and I didnít know all the players. Now everyone has a role and itís a lot easier."

Former Seattle farmhand Donnie Schmidt has been Bolognaís No. 1 starter since Opening Day. After losing his first two decisions during the clubís winless streak, the 25-year-old righthander won five of his next six starts, including a one-hit, 2-1 victory over lowly Anzio.

Schmidt was sixth in the league with a 2.28 ERA. He went a combined 1-3, 3.68 at two Class A stops last year.

Lefthander Todd Incantalupo made his Italian debut during a three-game sweep in Nettuno that gave Bologna a share of second place. Incantalupo, 24, saved two of the games. He went 4-4, 6.04 in 95 innings with Class A Beloit in the Brewers system in 1999.

Bolognaís offensive leader is third baseman Ruben Santana, another former minor leaguer. Santana was batting .366-6-26 after the Nettuno series. Last season he hit a combined .327-12-68 with two independent teams, Adirondack (Northern) and Nashua (Atlantic).

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