U18 World Qualifier: Canada falls to Cuba on eve of Super Round
Baseball Canada – CHITRÉ, Panama – After already earning top spot in Group B and a berth in the COPABE U18 Pan Am Championships “Super Round”, the Canadian Junior National Team closed out the opening round with a 4-0 loss to Cuba.
Canada will carry a record of 1-0 into Super Round play by virtue of a defeat of Group B second place finisher Venezuela earlier in the tournament. The Super Round gets underway on Wednesday with Canada facing Nicaragua (0-1) to be followed by USA (1-0), Panama (1-0) and the Dominican Republic (0-1).
A two-run fifth inning proved to be the difference as the Cubans played some small ball using a sacrifice bunt to move a runner into scoring position before getting an RBI single and sac fly.
Canada starting pitcher Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket, ON) blanked the Cubans for four innings working his way out of one-out bases loaded jam in the first via a double play and ended up toeing the rubber for five innings and registering five strikeouts.
Canada’s bats were silent throughout the game mustering just two hits, a Denzel Clarke (Pickering, ON) single in the second inning while Cesar Valero (Calgary, AB) dropped a base hit into left field in the seventh.
Cuba added a pair of insurance runs in the home half of the seventh with one run coming on a Tate Dearing (White Rock, BC) wild pitch while another scored with two out on a Valero throwing error.
UP NEXT: Canada will open Super Round play tomorrow against Nicaragua at Rico Cedeño Stadium in Chitré with the first pitch set for 2PM ET…RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, ON) is scheduled to get the start on the mound.
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