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Softball Canada – (Oklahoma City, Okla.) Team Canada defeated the United States for the first time since 2010 in the ninth edition of the Men’s Slo-Pitch Battle, earning a 31-28 win on Canada Day just over two hours after the Canadian Women’s team won the inaugural Women’s Border Battle. Canada scored some runs early, stayed on top for most of the game and used a 14-run fifth inning to put the score out of reach.
Team Canada wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as Jeff Zanolli(Taber, Alta.) led the game off with a double and scored on a single by Colin Andrews (Hanover, Ont.) followed by a two-run homerun by Justin Pennell(Toronto, Ont.) and a solo shot by Josh Zanolli (Drayton Valley, Alta.) for a 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Team USA produced two runs on four singles. Canada got those two runs back immediately as Chris Parr (Chilliwack, B.C.) hit a two-run homerun in the second. The Americans got a pair of singles in the bottom of the frame but was unable to score, with the last batter striking out looking.
In the third, Canada got a two-run homerun by Ron Nadalin (Woodstock, Ont.) to extend its lead, but the United States got a two-run blast of their own in the bottom half to cut the lead to 9-4. After Canada was unable to score in the fourth, Team USA made its move by scoring seven runs to take an 11-9 lead. That would prove to be the only lead they would hold, as Canada responded with 14 runs in the top of the fifth. Pennell led off with a triple to the right field corner and scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Zanolli. After a single by Dustin McLoughlin (Maple Ridge, B.C.), Nadalin hit a two-run blast and Canada went on to load the bases with two singles and a walk before Parr delivered a grand slam over the right field fence. Three doubles plated two more runs for Canada and Josh Zanolli hit a two-run homerun, which was followed by a single, a double and a three-run blast by Kyle Knechtel (Ayr, Ont.) as Canada built up a 23-11 lead.
Not to be outdone, the United States battled back with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth. Canada responded with four runs the following inning on a three-run homerun by Colin Andrews and Pennell scored after a fielder’s choice missed the target at second base. USA got and RBI double and a three-run homerun to get those four runs back, but Canada piled on four more in the seventh on a run-scoring single by Steele Lewis (Windsor, Ont.) and a three-run blast by Parr. The Americans led off the bottom of the seventh with a pair of singles and later got a three-run homerun, scored a run on a sacrifice fly and two more on another homerun to cut the lead to 31-28. The next batter hit a sharp line drive that was caught by third baseman McLoughlin to end the game.
Box Score: Canada 31 vs. United States 28
Parr led the way offensively and in the pitcher’s circle for Canada, pitching the full seven innings and going five-for-five at the plate with three homeruns and nine runs batted in. Pennell also registered five hits, hitting for the cycle, driving in four and scoring five times. Nadalin and Josh Zanolli each homered twice, with Zanolli driving in five runs and Nadalin four. Knechtel had four hits including a homerun and a double with three RBIs, and Colin Andrews also homered, doubled and produced five runs. Hunter Platten (Edmonton, Alta.) had four hits with two of them doubles and Jeff Zanolli also doubled twice.


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Gilles LeBlanc
Manager – Marketing & Communications
Softball Canada
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