The Netherlands beat Italy to the title in Bonn ©WBSC

The Netherlands secured their third consecutive European Baseball Championship title as they eased to a 5-1 victory over Italy in the final in Germany.

The Dutch side, who started the tournament slowly, have grown as the competition has progressed and were too strong for their Italian opponents in a one-sided gold medal match in Bonn.

Victory saw the Dutch team continue their dominance of the continental event, which they have now won 23 times.

The final was the fourth in the past five editions to feature the Netherlands and Italy, who were again forced to settle for silver.

Spain won the bronze medal after they emerged with a 16-11 victory from a high-scoring contest with Israel, who guaranteed their best ever finish at the tournament by reaching the semi-finals.

The Czech Republic beat Germany 5-4 to claim fifth place.

The top five teams secured a place at the Africa/Europe qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Italy.

One direct spot at Tokyo 2020 will be on offer at the competition, with the second place team advancing to a final qualification tournament.

Italy will be seeded first as hosts, with the next four seeds corresponding to their result at the European Baseball Championship.

The six-team tournament, due to be held in Parma and Bologna, begins on Wednesday (September 18).