Canada Improves to 2-0 at WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship
Softball Canada – (Whitehorse, Y.T.) The Canadian Men’s National Team improved its record to 2-0 at the WBSC Men’s World Softball Championship with an 8-3 over Argentina. Team Canada got homeruns from Mark Johnson (Glencoe, Ont.) and Bradley Ezekiel (Harbour Main, N.L.) and put up six runs in the third inning, while pitcher Sean Cleary (Harbour Main, N.L.) limited Argentina to four hits in the complete game win.
After both teams went down in order in the first inning, Canada opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the top half of the second. Steve Mullaley (Freshwater, N.L.) led off with a single and Johnson later hit a two-run homerun deep to right-center field with two outs to put Canada on the board. In the bottom of the frame, Argentina cut the lead in half when Bruno Motroni reached second on a throwing error at first, moved up to third on a passed ball and later scored on a single by Juan Zara.
Team Canada’s bats went back to work in the top of the third to pull away from Argentina. Kris Walushka (Victoria, B.C.) led off with a single to right-center field followed by a walk by Mathieu Roy (St-Gervais, Que.) before Brandon Horn (Waterloo, Ont.) hit a sinking line drive near the left field line that dropped in for an RBI single. Ezekiel then blasted a three-run homerun to left as Canada increased its lead to 6-1. Blake Hunter (Nanaimo, B.C.) followed up with a walk and scored when Derek Mayson (North Vancouver, B.C.) singled to right and the right fielder committed an error on the play, allowing Mayson to race around all the way to third. Ryan Boland (St. John’s, N.L.) singled to center to plate Mayson as Canada jumped out to a commanding 8-1 lead.
Looking to chip away at the lead, Teo Migliavacca beat out a bunt single in the bottom of the third, but was thrown out on a perfect throw by Boland on a steal attempt. Team Canada got two runners on base on an error and a walk in the fourth but left them both stranded, while Argentina got a leadoff walk and the runner was able to work his way to third but was unable to score. Needing a run to extend the game in the bottom of the fifth, Argentina did just that as Zara led off with a solo homerun to left. Roy drew another walk in the top of the sixth but was left on second base, with Argentina going down in order in the bottom of the frame. Motroni led off the bottom of the seventh with a homerun, but that was all Argentina could muster as Canada took the 8-3 win.
Box Score: Canada 8 vs. Argentina 3
Johnson’s two-run homerun and Ezekiel’s three-run blast were the key hits for Canada. Boland added a pair of singles and drove in a run, while Mayson and Horn each singled and pushed runs in to score. Other hits went to Mullaley and Walushka. Cleary allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks, striking out seven.
Elsewhere on the second day of competition at the WBSC Men’s World Softball Championship, Hong Kong edged India 2-1, Venezuela powered past Turkey 35-0, the Dominican Republic outscored South Africa 8-6, Japan blanked Botswana 8-0, Denmark shut out Great Britain 3-0, the United States got by Australia 2-1, and New Zealand defeated the Czech Republic 9-2.
Team Canada (2-0) will be back in action against the United States (1-1) at 7:00pm PDT on Sunday night.
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