Former Northern Illinois baseball player Joe Mazzuca, who closed his collegiate career with the Huskies in 2003, has established a career for himself playing in the Italian Baseball League, winning his third Italian Baseball League Championship with T & A San Marino last Sunday.
After playing three seasons in the Florida Marlins organization, who drafted him in the 12th round in 2003 and reaching as-high-as the single A level in Greensboro, Mazzuca tried his hand in the Italian League where he has played the last eight seasons of his professional career.
Mazzuca began his career with De Angelis Godo in 2006 with the Knights, eventually moving to Fortitudo Unipol Banca Bologna in 2008 where he played four seasons. He won his first Italian League Championship in Bologna in 2009. The last two years, Mazzuca has played for the baseball club in San Marino and has won two championships with the club. He has also represented Team Italy at the international level, winning the 2010 European Championship over the Netherlands for the country and participating in Olympic qualifying.
On Sunday, September 22, San Marino won game five of the Italian League Championship Series, 4-1, over Telemarket Rimini to claim its second-consecutive championship over Rimini. Mazzuca led the charge in the top of the second inning, driving a solo home run over the left field wall in the top of the second inning to give San Marino the early lead.
Watch the highlights of the championship game below posted by the Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball).