XI Men’s Pan American Championship – CAN vs. USA
Parana, Argentina – The Canadian Men’s National Team came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the United States 4-2 in their last preliminary round game at the XI Pan American Championship. Canada’s veteran players led the charge in the comeback win as Derek Mayson (North Vancouver, B.C.) tied the game with a homerun in the bottom of the fifth and Jason Hill (St. John’s, N.L.) hit the game-winning homerun in the bottom of the sixth.
The United States jumped out to an early lead in the top of the second, taking advantage of two walks to score a run on a single up the middle by Matthew Ratliff and a sacrifice fly caught by the second baseman in shallow center to go up 2-0. American pitcher Brad Kilpatrick sat Canada down in order over the first two innings, but the red and white was able to get one run back in the bottom of the third when Tyler Pauli (Mitchell, Ont.) drew a two-out walk and scored all the way from first when Mathieu Roy (St-Gervais, Que.) hit a hard sinking liner for a single that was misplayed by the right fielder.
Colin Walsh (Petty Harbour, N.L.) led off the bottom of the fourth with a single but was erased on an inning-ending double play on a hard ground ball to the shortstop who stepped on second and threw it over to first. In the bottom of the fifth, Mayson put a great swing on the first pitch he saw and hit a no-doubt homerun to straightaway centerfield to tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Bradley Ezekiel (Harbour Main, N.L.) led off by drilling a line drive off the centerfield fence, and after advancing to third on a wild pitch, came in to score when Hill crushed a two-run blast to center to give Canada a late 4-2 lead. Devon McCullough (Saskatoon, Sask.) closed the game out by striking out the side in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Box Score: Canada 4 vs. United States 2
Sean Cleary (Harbour Main, N.L.) started his third game of the tournament, allowing two runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out seven batters over four innings and two thirds. McCullough relieved him with two outs in the fifth and tossed two innings and a third allowing only one hit and striking out five. Hill’s two-run homerun, Mayson’s solo shot and Ezekiel’s double where the big hits Canada needed, with Roy and Walsh each contributing with a single.
Late scores on Tuesday saw the Dominican Republic edge Mexico 8-7 before losing to Cuba 3-2, and Argentina defeated Colombia 8-7. Earlier today, Venezuela beat the Dominican Republic 3-2 in 10 innings and Argentina beat the United States 3-1 in the game that had been suspended on Monday.
The win improved Canada’s preliminary round record to 4-0 and locked them into first place in Group B, carrying a 2-0 record from their wins against Argentina and the United States into the Super Round. Argentina finished second in Group B and will carry a 1-1 record, while the United States advance and carry an 0-2 record. In Group A, Cuba (4-0) took first place carrying a 2-0 record, Venezuela (3-1) finished second and holds a 1-1 record, while Guatemala (1-3) took the third spot and carries an 0-2 record after winning the tiebreaker over the Dominican Republic (1-3) and Mexico (1-3).
Canada will play two Super Round Games on Thursday, facing Guatemala at 11:00am EDT followed by Venezuela at 2:00pm EDT.
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.
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