Canada earns a key 5-3 win against New Zealand at 2023 WBSC U23 Softball World Cup
Parana, Argentina – The Canadian U23 Men’s National Softball Team took down undefeated New Zealand 5-3 in game four of 2023 WBSC U23 Softball World Cup.
Riley Manion (Napanee, Ont.), got his second start of the tournament for Team Canada.
Canada got their bats’ swinging early in the top of the second inning when Mark Stack (Petty Harbour, N.L.), hit a tripled to left field, scoring Connor Brooks (Napanee, Ont.), who made it on base with a walk, 1-0 Canada.
In the bottom of the second inning, New Zealand took a 2-1 lead after a single to left field.
In the top of the fourth inning, Stack hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jordan Pomeroy (Placentia, N.L.), to tie the game at 2.
“We knew we needed a win, we knew we needed to hit the ball. I think we all knew what our job was and we came out and did it as a team,” said Stack, who tallied one hit and two RBI’s at two at bats.
This back and forth game was just getting started when Isaac Lefebvre (St.-Leonard-d’Aston, Que.), hit a triple to left field, scoring Brant Wiebe (Delisle, Sask.), retaking the lead 3-2.
“It was really incredible, we couldn’t have asked for more,” said Lefebvre, who totalled two runs, two hits, and one RBI at four at bats. “We did what we could tonight, we did what we could control…”
Mitch McKay (Tavistock, Ont.), then singled to first base, scoring the speedy Lefebvre which extended the lead to 4-2.
“We had our backs up against the wall and we pushed back,” said Manion, who earned the win tonight. “This atmosphere is great, the fans from home are here, there’s nothing better.”
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Canada made a pitching change, bringing in Reese Yantzi (Shakespeare, Ont.), for Manion. With the bases loaded and only one out, Yantzi had some work to do. After a Yantzi strikeout, New Zealand cut the deficit to one on a passed ball.
In the top of the seventh, Lefebvre secured the 5-3 win with on the second run batted in of the day by Mitch McKay.
Canada’s (2-2) final game of the opening round will be against Israel at 2:30pm ART on Wednesday, April 19.
Live scoring will be available through the WBSC U23 Men’s Softball World Cup Championship site, with live streaming available through GameTime.sport.
Team Canada coverage is available through the Softball Canada website and social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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