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Softball Canada – Prague, Czech Republic – The Canadian Men’s National Team will play New Zealand for the Bronze medal at the 2019 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship after dropping a 7-0 decision to Argentina in five innings in their semi-final matchup. The Argentinians jumped all over Canada offensively in the early parts of the game and kept Canada’s bats silent to advance to Sunday’s Gold medal game.
 
Argentina got a lead off walk to start the game and the runner stole second and advanced to third when the throw from the catcher rolled away from the middle infielders. Devon McCullough (Saskatoon, Sask.) retired the next two batters, but Bruno Motroni hit a towering fly ball to left that travelled over the fence for a two-run homerun as Argentina took an early 2-0 lead. After Canada went down in order in the bottom of the first, Argentina got another leadoff walk and Federico Eder hit a two-run blast to left to double Argentina’s lead. The following batter singled which led to a pitching change to Sean Cleary (Harbour Main, N.L.), with the runner moving up to second on an illegal pitch before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt and scoring on a wild pitch. A walk and a single put runners on second and third, but Cleary got the next batter to pop out to escape the inning trailing 5-0.
 
In the top of the third, Cleary hit a batter and a bunt single put runners on the corners with two outs before Alan Peker tripled past the centerfielder to score two more runs. In the bottom of the inning, Shane Boland (St. John’s, N.L.) drew a leadoff walk for Canada’s first base runner but the next three batters struck out to leave him stranded at first. Canada held Argentina off the board in the fourth, and Steve Mullaley (Freshwater, N.L.) hit a two-out double to break up Huemul Mata’s no-hit bid but the next batter struck out.
 
Patrick Burns (Saskatoon, Sask.) came in to pitch in the fifth and allowed a walk and a single but notched three strikeouts to give Canada a chance to extend the game trailing by seven runs. Shane Boland was hit by a pitch with one out and was replaced by pinch runner Tyler Pauli (Mitchell, Ont.), who advanced to third on a single by Bryan Abrey (Richmond, B.C.) to breathe some life into the Canadian offence. Pinch hitter Jason Hill (St. John’s, N.L.) appeared to have walked to load the bases on a 3-1 pitch, but the umpire called a foul tip on the pitch late which allowed Mata to regroup and strikeout Hill. The next batter hit a chopper to third and was retired on the throw to first to end the game on the run rule.
 
Box Score: Argentina 7 vs. Canada 0
 
McCullough took the loss in the pitcher’s circle, allowing five runs on three hits and two walks and he struck out two, while Cleary allowed two runs on three hits and four walks with a four strikeouts. Burns gave up a hit and a walk and struck out three. At the plate, Mullaley’s double and a single by Abrey were the only two hits Canada managed to produce.
 
Earlier in the day, Japan edged New Zealand 2-1 and will face Argentina in the Gold medal game on Sunday. Canada will square off with New Zealand in the Bronze medal game at 4:30pm local time (10:30am EDT) on Sunday. Live scoring is available through the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship website, with live streaming available at FloSoftball.com (paid subscription required).

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For more information, please contact:

Gilles LeBlanc
Manager – Marketing & Communications
Softball Canada
p: (613) 523-3386 ext. 3105 | m: (613) 795-1996
w: www.softball.ca | e: gleblanc@softball.ca