Canada Takes Bronze at WBSC Men’s World Softball Championship
Softball Canada – (Whitehorse, Y.T.) The Canadian Men’s National Softball Team took the Bronze medal at the WBSC Men’s World Softball Championship on Sunday following a 7-3 loss to Australia. Team Canada got three homeruns but all of them were solo shots, while Australia was able to capitalize on their chances with runners on base.
The game featured a premier pitching matchup between Canada’s Sean Cleary (Harbour Main, N.L.) and Australia’s Andrew Kirkpatrick. Cleary sat Australia down in order in the top of the first, while Bradley Ezekiel (Harbour Main, N.L.) got the game’s first hit with a two-out single to left in the bottom of the inning. Ezekiel stole second base to get into scoring position, but the next batter struck out to end the inning. Kirkpatrick led off the second by chopping a single over the first baseman and advanced to second on passed ball before scoring on a single. Two more singles plated a second run, while Australia’s third run of the game came on a first and third play with the runner on first stealing second and the throw from the catcher was off line, allowing the other runner to score from third. Derek Mayson (North Vancouver, B.C.) got Canada on the board by leading off the bottom of the inning with a solo blast to right-center field to cut into Australia’s lead with the score 3-1.
In the bottom of the third, Mathieu Roy (St-Gervais, Que.) hit a single through the right side of the infield to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a one-out single by Ezekiel. Steve Mullaley (Freshwater, N.L.) then dropped a single into short center field to load the bases, as Roy held up at second to make sure the ball would drop in. That spelled the end of Kirkpatrick as Australia brought in Adam Folkard, who struck out the next batter and induced a ground ball to second to leave three runners stranded on base.
Both teams were retired in order in a quick fourth inning before Australia struck for four runs in the top of the fifth to make the score 7-1. A walk and a single started off the inning before James Todhunter hit a three-run homerun to center, followed by a solo shot by Nick Shailes to knock Cleary out of the game. Canada got back in the game in the bottom of the sixth, as Mullaley and Mayson led off the inning with a pair of solo homeruns to make the score 7-3. Brothers Shane Boland (St. John’s, N.L.) and Ryan Boland (St. John’s, N.L.) reached on a single and a hit by pitch, but Australia got a huge inning-ending double play to escape the inning with a four run lead.
Australia tried to add to its lead in the seventh by loading the bases with one out on a single and two walks, but Devon McCullough (Saskatoon, Sask.) shut the door with a pair of important strikeouts to give Canada one last chance in the bottom of the seventh. However, the red and white could not get anything going as Australia got a pop out, a ground out and a strikeout to end the game.
Box Score: Canada 3 vs. Australia 7
Mayson had two solo homeruns for Canada while Mullaley added one of his own as well as a single. Ezekiel singled twice, while Roy and Shane Boland each chipped in with a single as both teams registered eight hits. Cleary allowed seven runs – six earned – on seven hits and struck out five in four innings, while McCullough pitched three innings of one-hit ball in relief, sitting down seven batters on strikes.
New Zealand won the Gold medal after defeating Australia 6-4 in the Championship game.
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