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Softball Canada – (Midland, MI) The Canadian Junior Men’s National Team put up a valiant effort but came out on the losing end of a 12-7 decision against New Zealand in the Bronze medal game of the WBSC Junior Men’s World Softball Championship. The game went back and forth, but New Zealand hit four homeruns in a seven-run fifth inning to take control of the game.
Team Canada went down in order in the top of the first, and New Zealand came out swinging with a pair of singles to start the bottom half of the inning. Tyler Randerson (New Hamburg, ON), who was making his fourth start in less than 48 hours, got a fly out and a strikeout but the following batter hit a two-run single to open the scoring. The runner stole second and scored on another single to give New Zealand an early 3-0 lead. Canada did not waste any time getting back in the game. Jake Bricknell (Port Perry, ON) and Daniel Godbout (St-Gervais, QC) started the second with singles and got up to second and third. Bricknell scored when the next batter hit a ground ball that was missed by the third baseman, and Derek Hyde (Tavistock, ON) singled to left to score Godbout. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Jake Wiffen (Tavistock, ON) singled to center to score two and give Canada a 4-3 lead.
New Zealand tied the game on a run-scoring double in the bottom of the second, but Canada came right back with two more runs to take a 6-4 lead in the third. Alexandre Lemieux (St-Gervais, QC) led off with a homerun to center, and after a pair of ground outs, Justin Laskowski (Warman, SK) hit a drive deep to right for a solo blast of his own. New Zealand got a leadoff single in the bottom of the frame but Randerson got three fly outs to keep them from scoring.
In the fourth, Canada got a pair of walks but was unable to add to its two run lead, and New Zealand got another leadoff single but Randerson retired the next three batters once again. Bricknell hit a one-out solo blast in the top of the fifth to give Canada a 7-4 lead, but New Zealand put up their big inning to flip the momentum in the bottom of the inning. A walk and a single put two runners on base, and New Zealand got a huge pinch-hit three-run homerun to tie the game and chase Randerson. Jordan Hudson (Saskatoon, SK) entered the pitcher’s circle and allowed a solo shot to the first batter he faced, and after a ground out, another pitch was hit out of the park for another solo homerun. After getting the second out, Hudson issued a walk followed by a two-run blast as New Zealand took an 11-7 lead.
Meanwhile, New Zealand brought in their ace pitcher Daniel Chapman for the final out in the fifth, and Chapman shut the door on the Canadian offence by sitting the red and white down in order in each of the sixth and seventh innings.
Box Score: New Zealand 12 vs. Canada 7
Randerson allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and a walk with three strikeouts in four innings. Hudson yielded five runs on six hits in two innings of relief. Bricknell led Canada at the plate with a homerun and a single, with Lemieux and Laskowski each hitting a homerun as well. Wiffen contributed a two-run single, with Hyde adding a run-scoring single of his own. Godbout chipped in with a pair of singles as well.
With the loss, Canada earned the Bronze medal at the event after stringing together three playoff wins over the Czech Republic, the United States and the two-time defending World champions from Argentina. The result is also a major improvement on Canada’s disappointing seventh place finish at the previous World Championship in 2014.
Japan went on to defeat New Zealand 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to claim the Gold medal.


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Gilles LeBlanc
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Softball Canada
(613) 523-3386 ext. 3105