Junior Men`s Worlds - Day 9
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Walker delivers key hit again in 2-1 playoff win over New Zealand
On a cold day with strong winds blowing towards home plate, neither team was really able to get anything going until the fifth inning, when Canada opened the scoring. Jessin Potskin (Prince George, BC) led off with a single through the right side, while Dan Mitchell (Paris, ON) later singled as well. New Zealand then intentionally walked Terrell Walker, who had delivered the winning hit against them in round-robin play, to load the bases for Dylan Cunningham (Belwood, ON). Rather than produce the run with their bats, Canada took advantage of a wild pitch that bounced off the screen and went back to the catcher, who dove for the tag but Potskin barely touched the corner of the plate ahead of the tag to give Canada the 1-0 lead.
New Zealand certainly did not lay down, as the leadoff hitter singled and later scored on an error. The Kiwis followed up with a single, but Keshane forced a ground ball to Cunningham at third who touched his base for a force out and fired the ball over to first for the inning-ending double play. In the bottom of the inning, Canada was able to get a runner in scoring position, but was unable to score.
After Keshane made quick work of New Zealand in the top of the seventh, Canada seized the opportunity they had been looking for. Shane Boland forced a walk to lead off the inning, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Dan Mitchell, who was called safe at first as the first baseman bobbled the ball. With one out, Walker came up to the plate and hit a ground ball up the middle past a diving second baseman. Boland did not hesitate as he was waved home setting up a close play at home on the center fielders throw. Boland slid head-first and the Kiwi catcher was unable to come up with the ball, as the Canadian team erupted from the dugout in joy.
Keshane was phenomenal once again less than 24 hours after his no-hitter, allowing only one unearned run on two hits and one walk over seven innings, striking out seven batters. Walker had a pair of singles for Canada, including the game-winning hit, while Mike Noftall (St. Johns, NL), Potskin and Mitchell each added a single
The Canadian win eliminated New Zealand from the tournament. It was the third straight time they have lost to Canada in the third versus fourth playoff game at the ISF Junior Mens World Championships. Immediately after the game, Australia defeated Japan 4-1 to earn a direct spot in Sundays Championship game at 4:00pm PDT. At 1:00pm, Canada will take on Japan; with the winner going on to play Australia in the Championship game, while the losing team will be awarded the bronze medal.
Both of tomorrows games (June 29th) will be aired live on Ballpark Radio through the internet. Click on the logo below for a link to Ballpark Radio, and be sure to visit the Multimedia section for pictures from the event!
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