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Softball Canada – Prague, Czech Republic – The Canadian Men’s National Team took sole possession of first place in Group B with a 2-1 win over Venezuela at the 2019 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship. Devon McCullough (Saskatoon, Sask.) earned the complete game win and struck out 13 batters for Canada, with Jason Hill (St. John’s, N.L.) hitting a two-run homerun in the second inning that would end up being all the offence Canada needed.
McCullough had a tough time finding the zone in the first inning by issuing a pair of walks but regained his control and struck out the side. After Canada went down in order in the bottom of the first, Venezuela got a one-out single and sacrificed the runner to second, but the next batter flew out to right. In the bottom of the inning, Steve Mullaley (Freshwater, N.L.) led off with a single through the left side of the infield and Hill lined a shot over the right field fence for a two-run homerun to give Canada a 2-0 lead.
Venezuela got a leadoff single to start the top of the third and the runner moved up to third after a pair of wild pitches before scoring on a solid line drive single off the third baseman to cut the lead to 2-1. McCullough struck out the side in the fourth, and in the bottom of the inning Jeff Ellsworth (St. Lawrence, P.E.I.) hit a one-out single followed by an intentional walk to Hill. After a ground out, Venezuela intentionally walked pinch hitter Derek Mayson (North Vancouver, B.C.) and got a big strikeout to leave all three runners stranded.
In the top of the sixth, Venezuela got a one-out double, but McCullough bounced back with a strikeout and the runner was caught stealing at third to end the inning. McCullough proceeded to strike out the side in the seventh to secure the win.
Box Score: Canada 2 vs. Venezuela 1
McCullough allowed a run on four hits and two walks to go along with 13 strikeouts over seven innings. Hill’s two-run homerun was all the offence needed, with Mullaley and Ellsworth each contributing singles as Venezuela outhit Canada 4-3.
In earlier games on Tuesday, Australia shut out South Africa 11-0, Mexico beat Botswana 5-3 and Argentina edged Cuba 3-2.
Team Canada sits alone at the top of Group B at 5-0 while Venezuela dropped to 4-1. Canada’s next game will be against Singapore (1-3) at 1:30pm local time (7:30am EDT) in Havlíčkův Brod on Wednesday. Live scoring is available through the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship website, with live streaming available at (paid subscription required).


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Gilles LeBlanc
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