Canada Defeats Denmark to Finish U18 Men’s World Cup
Palmerston North, New Zealand
– The Canadian U18 Men’s National Softball Team ended its tournament
with an 11-4 win over Denmark in five innings, going a perfect 3-0 in
the Placement Round to ear a seventh place
finish at the WBSC U18 Men’s Softball World Cup. Canada erased a 2-0
deficit by scoring the game’s next nine runs highlighted by an
inside-the-park grand slam by
Ryan Bicknell (Prince Albert, Sask.) while Andrew Van Boekel
(Bright, Ont.) got his first innings in the pitcher’s circle after
dealing with an injury all week and held Denmark to only two hits.
Denmark wasted no time opening the scoring in the top of the first. They drew a four pitch walk to start the game and the next batter popped a bunt single over the pitcher, with the runners moving up on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch scored the game’s first run, with another walk putting runners on the corners. A safety squeeze brought in Denmark’s second run, and Van Boekel struck out the next two batters. In the bottom of the inning, Tyler Branchaud (Metcalfe, Ont.) worked a four pitch walk, stole second and moved up to third when the catcher’s throw went into centerfield. A ground out to first by Bicknell scored Branchaud as Canada cut the lead to 2-1. Van Boekel issued a two-out walk in the second but struck out the three other batters, . Brody Fraser (Upper Nine Mile River, N.S.) got a leadoff walk and moved up to third on a single up the middle by Owen Rahn (Durham, Ont.) before scoring on an infield single by Xavier Daneau (St-Celestin, Que.) to tie the game. A push bunt double by Van Boekel to a vacated second base scored Rahn from second and Daneau also scored on an error by the right fielder, and a ground out by Branchaud scored Van Boekel from third to give Canada a 5-2 lead.
After both teams went down in order in the third, Denmark put their leadoff runner on base on a dropped third strike and the next batter walked. After both runners moved up to second and third, Canada turned a triple play as the next batter grounded out to first and the runner on second was caught between second and third when the lead runner held up at third. As that runner was tagged, the other runner tried to score but was tagged by the catcher while trying to scamper back for the third out. Daneau hit a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth, stole second and moved up to third on a ball in the dirt. Van Boekel and Brock Fencott (Belleville, Ont.) both walked to load the bases, and Bicknell lined a pitch over the centerfielder for an inside-the-park grand slam as Canada increased its lead to 9-2. Denmark hit a one-out double followed by a walk in the top of the fifth and the runners advanced on a passed ball before they pushed a run in to score on a ground out to the pitcher. Denmark scored another run on a passed ball to cut the lead tom 9-4. In the bottom of the inning, Connor Brooks (Napanee, Ont.) reached on an error and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a double to left by Fraser. Pinch hitter Joey Rousseau (St-Charles de Bellechasse, Que.) hit an infield single to shortstop before Daneau hit a sacrifice fly to right to end the game.
Box Score: Canada 11 vs. Denmark 4
Van Boekel pitched four innings and two thirds for Canada, allowing four runs (two earned) on only two hits and six walks, striking out eight batters while Jackson Pegelo (Cargill, Ont.) got the final out. At the plate, Bicknell had a grand slam and drove in five runs, with Van Boekel hitting a double and driving in two and Fraser added an RBI double. Daneau had a pair of singles and two RBIs, with Rahn and Rousseau each adding a single.
The win ended the tournament for Canada who earned a seventh place finish after going 5-0 against the Placement Round teams. The medal round matchups were already set before the final day of the Super Round, as Argentina will play the Czech Republic in the bronze medal game while Japan and Australia will square off in the Gold medal game. For more information including schedules, live scoring and streaming, visit the tournament website at https://u18mswc.wbsc.org/en/2020.
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