XI Men’s Softball Pan American Championship – CAN vs. COL
Parana, Argentina – The Canadian Men’s National Softball Team opened the XI Men’s Pan American Championship with a 5-1 win over Colombia in eight innings. The game was scoreless through seven innings before Canada’s bats broke through with a pair of two-run homeruns and an RBI triple in the eighth.
Sean Cleary (Harbour Main, N.L.) got the start in the pitcher’s circle for Canada and was dominant for most of the game. Colombia managed a two-out triple in the bottom of the second inning, but the runner was tagged out by the catcher on attempted swinging squeeze play. Colombia also put the leadoff batter on base with a single in the fourth and was able to get the runner up to third but a strikeout by Cleary kept the game scoreless.
Meanwhile, Canada looked poised to open the scoring in the top of the third when the first two batters Bryan Abrey (Richmond, B.C.) and Colin Walsh (Petty Harbour, N.L.) singled, but a lineout and a pair of fielder’s choices kept Canada off the board. Abrey singled again with one out in the fifth but pinch runner Patrick Burns (Saskatoon, Sask.) was caught stealing, then Jason Hill (St. John’s, N.L.) led off the seventh with a single but was later thrown out at third trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt. Cleary issued a two-out walk in the bottom of the seventh but got the next batter to pop out to send the game to an extra inning.
In the top of the eighth, Abrey started on second on the international tie-breaker rule and moved up to third on a passed ball before Walsh hit a deep homerun over the left field fence to break the deadlock and give Canada a 2-0 lead. Mathieu Roy (St-Gervais, Que.) reached on a bunt that the third baseman was unable to pick up then came in to score when Bradley Ezekiel (Harbour Main, N.L.) took the first pitch deep to left-center for a two-run homerun. Derek Mayson (North Vancouver, B.C.) fouled off several pitches before drawing a walk and later scored on a triple to the left field corner by Cory Jones (Leduc, Alta.) as Canada built a 5-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the eighth, Colombia managed a double on a soft liner just over the shortstop to score their runner from second, but Devon McCullough (Saskatoon, Sask.) closed out the game with three strikeouts.
Box Score: Canada 5 vs. Colombia 1
Walsh led Canada at the plate with a homerun, a single, two runs batted in and a walk with Ezekiel adding a two-run blast. Abrey singled twice, while Jones had an RBI triple and Hill contributed a single. In the circle, Cleary shut Colombia down allowing only two hits and a walk and struck out 11 batters over seven innings. McCullough allowed an unearned run on one hit and struck out three.
Canada’s (1-0) next game will be against the host team from Argentina at 8:00pm EDT Monday night.
In earlier scores on the first day of competition on Sunday, Venezuela defeated Mexico 4-1, Guatemala blanked the Dominican Republic 1-0 but then dropped a 3-0 decision to Cuba. Later games on Sunday will be Colombia against Puerto Rico and Argentina taking on the United States.
Live streaming for the XI Pan American Championship is available on Facebook Live through the WBSC Americas and Softball Canada pages, and through the WBSC Americas 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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