Canada Takes Control of Pool A at WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship
Softball Canada – (Whitehorse, Y.T.) The Canadian Men’s National Softball Team took control of its pool with a 9-4 win over Australia at the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship. Team Canada erased an early 4-0 deficit with a grand slam by Ryan Boland (St. John’s, N.L.) and later got a three-run blast by Mark Johnson (Glencoe, Ont.), while Sean Cleary (Harbour Main, N.L.) shook off some second-inning struggles to strike out 15 batters in the complete-game win.
Cleary struck out the side in the top of the first, while Canada was also retired in order on a ground out, a line out and a pop out on the infield. In the second, Andrew Kirkpatrick lined a single into center followed by a walk before another single scored Kirkpatrick from second to open the scoring. Later in the inning, Australia got a three-run homerun by Brendan O’Byrne to open up a 4-0 lead. Team Canada got things going in the bottom of the frame as Derek Mayson(North Vancouver, B.C.) singled to left followed by a walk by Blake Hunter(Nanaimo, B.C.) and an infield single by Johnson to load the bases before Boland crushed a pitch over the left field fence to tie the game on a grand slam. After a walk to Kris Walushka (Victoria, B.C.), Australia called on Adam Folkard in relief and he got a strikeout and a ground out to end the inning.
In the top of the third, Kirkpatrick led off with a surprise bunt for a single, but Cleary bounced back with three straight strikeouts. In the bottom of the inning, Bradley Ezekiel (Harbour Main, N.L.) led off with a walk and moved up to second on a ground out before Mayson shot a base hit through the right side of the infield to score Ezekiel as Canada took the 5-4 lead. Cleary issued two walks in the top of the fourth but got out of the inning unscathed, with Team Canada going down in order.
Cleary notched two more strikeouts to sit Australia down in order in the top of the fifth before Canada pulled away with a four-run inning. Ezekiel forced a one-out walked followed by a single to left by Steve Mullaley (Freshwater, N.L.) before Mayson also singled to left to drive in Ezekiel. After a pop out for the second out, Johnson hit a frozen rope to center that cleared the fence for a three-run homerun to give Canada the 9-4 lead. Cleary kept rolling by sitting Australia down in order in the sixth with two more strikeouts, and Horn managed a two-out single but the next batter grounded out. Cleary closed out the game with a fly out to center and a pair of strikeouts.
Box Score: Canada 9 vs. Australia 4
Mayson went three-for-three at the plate for Canada, driving in two runs and scoring twice. Johnson registered the three-run homerun and added a single, while Boland delivered the grand slam. Horn and Mullaley each added singles, with Ezekiel drawing two walks and scoring twice. Cleary overcame one bad inning, allowing four runs on five hits and five walks while striking out fifteen batters.
The win improved Canada’s record to 5-0, good for first place in Pool A with Argentina closely behind at 4-1. Australia dropped to 3-2, placing them in tie with both the Dominican Republic and the United States. Team Canada will take on the Dominican Republic at 7:00pm PDT on Wednesday.
In other scores on Tuesday, New Zealand and Japan completed their game that had been suspended the previous evening, with New Zealand overcoming the 1-0 deficit to win 8-1. Australia and the Dominican Republic had also been rained out, with Australia coming out on top of a tight 2-1 contest. South Africa blanked Hong Kong 10-0, Denmark defeated Turkey 23-0, Botswana edged the Czech Republic 1-0, Argentina shut out India 11-0, Japan beat Great Britain 14-0, Venezuela surprised New Zealand 7-3 and the United States powers past the Dominican Republic 12-2.
For more information, please contact: