Pan Am Qualifier: Canada suffers heartbreaking semi-final loss
Baseball Canada – IBIÚNA, Brazil – Canada’s gold medal hopes at the Pan Am Games Qualification Tournament are done after a three-run homer in the tenth inning gave the Dominican Republic a walk-off win and a spot in tomorrow’s championship contest.
With Canada down to their final out in the top of the ninth and trailing by two runs, Tristan Pompey (Mississauga, ON) singled to right allowing Michael Saunders (Victoria, BC) to score while Wes Darvill (Langley, BC) followed when the ball was misplayed in right field to the excitement of the Canadian dugout. Pompey then hustled around third looking to give Canada the lead on a Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC) single to left but was thrown out at home plate to end the inning.
After reliever Dustin Molleken (Regina, SK) sat the Dominican Republic down in order in the bottom of the ninth, Canada came to the plate with runners on first and second with international tie-break rules in play but failed to push any of them across home plate.
In their half of the tenth, the Dominican Republic used a sacrifice bunt to move runners over before Garabez Rosa took a Molleken offering over the wall in right for the walk-off win.
Canada had opened the scoring in the top of the first courtesy an Eric Wood (Oshawa, ON) homer to left-centre and added a pair of runs in the second, while starting pitcher Scott Richmond (Vancouver, BC) retired the first six batters he faced as Canada led 3-0 after two innings.
Things took a turn for the worse in the third however as three Canadian errors and three hits led to four runs scoring as the Dominican Republic took their first lead of the game.
The seesaw affair continued in the fourth as back-to-back doubles from Daniel Pinero (Toronto, ON) and Wes Darvill evened the score before Tristan Pompey knocked in Darvill from third when he grounded into a double play to give Canada a one-run advantage.
From there, the Dominican used a two run homer in the fifth off reliever Evan Rutckyj (Windsor, ON) to regain the lead and a solo shot off Chris Leroux (Mississauga, ON) in the seventh to go up by two runs.
UP NEXT: Canada will face Nicaragua in tomorrow’s third place game with the first pitch set for 7AM ET/10AM local…The best way to stay up-to-date on the action is by following Baseball Canada on Twitter.