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Softball Canada – (Whitehorse, Y.T.) The Canadian Men’s National Softball Team fell behind early in the top of the first and played from behind for most of the game until they came roaring back by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat the United States 7-1. Canadian pitcher Devon McCullough (Saskatoon, Sask.) and American starter Tony Mancha were able to tightrope out of danger throughout the game before Canada pulled through in the late innings.
 
Team USA wasted no time getting the lead, with the leadoff batter drawing a walk, stealing second and later scoring on a single up the middle. Brandon Horn (Waterloo, Ont.) also worked a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning for Canada, but the next two batters grounded into fielder’s choices followed by a strikeout to end the inning. The Americans went down in order in the top half of the second, while Canada got a one-out single to right by Andy Skelton(Scarborough, Ont.) but could not move him any further.
 
McCullough made quick work of the United States again in the third, and Horn drew a one-out walk but was doubled off at first after a solid line drive to second. In the top of the fourth, the Americans got a leadoff walk, and after the next batter reached on a fielder’s choice, a stolen base and a wild pitch put a runner on third. With two outs, Pat Sagdal hit a ground ball towards the middle of the diamond that Canadian shortstop Kevin Schellenberg (Squamish, B.C.) was able to get to with a dive directly on second base, turning and firing an accurate throw to first to retire the batter on a very close play and saving a run.
 
Team Canada built off the momentum of the stellar defensive play by loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fourth on a single to left by Bradley Ezekiel (Harbour Main, N.L.) and a pair of walks by Steve Mullaley(Freshwater, N.L.) and Derek Mayson (North Vancouver, B.C.). However, the next batter struck out followed by a double play on a ground ball to third with the defensive player stepping on the bag and firing to first to end the threat. The Americans got two runners on base on a walk and a hit by pitch in the top of the fifth but McCullough notched two strikeouts and a ground ball to third to leave the runners stranded at first and third.
 
In the bottom of the fifth, Kris Walushka (Victoria, B.C.) led off with a pinch-hit single to left and was sacrificed to second before Horn hit a drive to deep right field with the outfielder using the fence to reach over and make the catch and go tumbling over it. The play was originally called a homerun, but after much discussion the umpires ruled the play a fly ball out while allowing Walushka to advance to third as the fielder carried the ball out of play with him. After all was said and done, the next batter grounded out to second as the United States escaped the inning with its 1-0 lead intact.
 
The Americans got a leadoff single in the top of the sixth and another later in the inning but was unable to add to its lead. In the bottom of the inning, Ezekiel, Mullaley and Mayson all worked walks to load the bases with no outs before Mancha issued two more walks to pinch hitters Blake Hunter (Nanaimo, B.C.) and Mark Johnson (Glencoe, Ont.) as Canada took the 2-1 lead. After a pitching change, Ryan Boland (St. John’s, N.L.) delivered the big hit with a line drive past the sliding centerfielder for a bases-clearing double, followed by singles by Mathieu Roy (St-Gervais, Que.) and Horn to bring Boland in to score. Roy scored on a double play as Canada broke the game open with seven runs in the inning. Sean Cleary (Harbour Main, N.L.) came in to shut the door in the seventh
 
Box Score: Canada 7 vs. United States 1
 
Boland’s three-run double was Canada’s only extra-base hit, with Horn, Ezekiel, Skelton, Walushka and Roy each managing singles for Canada six hits. The Canadian offence also drew nine walks in the game. McCullough allowed one run on three hits and four walks, striking out seven batters in six innings of work, with Cleary striking out two in an inning pitched.
 
Other scores on Day 3 of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship saw Japan beat Turkey 24-0, the Dominican Republic blanked India 15-0, Argentina shut out Hong Kong 8-0, Denmark edged Botswana 1-0, Australia defeated South Africa 7-0, Venezuela outscored the Czech Republic 12-5 and New Zealand shut out Great Britain 16-0.
 
Team Canada (3-0) will play its next game against Hong Kong (1-2) at 4:30pm PDT on Monday.

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For more information, please contact:

Gilles LeBlanc
Manager – Marketing & Communications
Softball Canada
p: (613) 523-3386 ext. 3105 | m: (613) 795-1996
w: www.softball.ca | e: gleblanc@softball.ca