XI Men’s Pan American Championship – CAN vs. CUB
Parana, Argentina – The Canadian Men’s National Team will play for gold at the XI Men’s Pan American Championship after defeating Cuba 9-1 in five innings in their final Super Round game earlier today. Zach Pierce (Saskatoon, Sask.) earned his first pitching win with Team Canada while Bradley Ezekiel (Harbour Main, N.L.) and Justin Laskowski (Warman, Sask.) each hit three-run homeruns.
Cuba was able to manufacture the first run in the top of the first inning, drawing a two-out walk with the runner stealing second before scoring on a single by Miguel Savigne. The red and white did not waste any time coming back, with Mathieu Roy (St-Gervais, Que.) drawing a leadoff walk followed by a single by Shane Boland (St. John’s, N.L.) to put runners on the corners. Roy scored on a fielder’s choice by Colin Walsh (Petty Harbour, N.L.), who later stole second and scored on a single to right by Blake Hunter (Nanaimo, B.C.) to give Canada a 2-1 lead.
The score remained the same until Canada broke through in the bottom of the fourth. Brett Larson (Irma, Alta.) led off with a walk followed by a single by Derek Mayson (North Vancouver, B.C.) before Ezekiel drilled a three-run shot to right-center. A walk by Boland and a single by Walsh put runners on first and second before Hunter singled to score Boland. Laskowski then stepped up and smashed the first pitch he saw deep over the center field fence for a three-run homerun of his own, building Canada’s lead to 9-1.
Pierce closed out the game on the run rule by getting a ground out and two strikeouts for the win.
Box Score: Canada 9 vs. Cuba 1
Pierce limited Cuba to one run on one hit and struck out 10 batters in the five-inning win. Ezekiel and Laskowski each had a three-run homerun and Hunter added two RBI singles. Boland, Walsh, Mayson and Cory Jones (Leduc, Alta.) each contributed with a single for Canada.
Team Canada (5-0 in the Super Round; 7-0 overall) is the tournament’s only undefeated team and will play Argentina (3-1) in the gold medal game at 3:00pm EDT on Saturday. The United States (3-2) will face Cuba (2-3) in the bronze medal game at noon EDT. All four teams have qualified for the 2022 WBSC World Cup later this year in New Zealand.
In the late Super Round games on Thursday, Argentina defeated both Guatemala and Cuba by 10-0 scores. Earlier on Friday, the United States defeated Guatemala 8-1 and Cuba 9-6. Argentina and Venezuela are playing a late game that will not have any impact on the Super Round standings.
Live streaming for the XI Pan American Championship is available on Facebook Live through the WBSC Americas and Softball Canada pages, and through the Softball Premier TV YouTube page.
Team Canada coverage is available through the Softball Canada website and social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.-SC-
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