Border Battle Result
Saturday, July 18, 2009
(Oklahoma City, OK) The inaugural Mens Slo-Pitch Border Battle between Canada and the United States was a huge success, as Canada held a 16-8 lead after four and a half innings, but the United States came back in a huge way by scoring 17 runs in the bottom of the fourth on route to a 30-23 win. Despite the loss, the Canadian team turned in an excellent effort and showed everyone that they were able to hang in a game against a very strong group of professional players.
Canada set the tone for the game early on, producing four runs in the top of the first, highlighted by a two-run homerun by Jeff Falardeau (Welland, ON). After the United States cut the lead in half, Canada got those two runs right back in the top of the second on an RBI single by David Boldt (St. Thomas, ON) and an RBI triple by Jeff Gare (London, ON). USA came right back with two runs of their own, but Canada responded once again by putting up four runs to take a 10-4 lead. Brian Higginbotham (Orleans, ON) blasted a two-run shot, while Al Blais (Maple ON) drove in a run with a triple and Tim Bentley (Chatham, ON) brought Blais in to score with a double.
The United States cut into that lead by scoring four runs in the bottom of the third, but Canada once again kept the upper hand by scoring six runs in the fourth. Ryan Caley (London, ON) had a two-run homerun in the inning, while Higginbotham launched his second homerun of the game, a three-run blast to left-center field. The American bats then exploded for 17 runs in the bottom of the frame, including seven homeruns, to take a commanding 25-16 lead.
Canada chipped away at that lead a little at a time, scoring three runs in the top of the sixth on three solo homeruns off the bats of Francois Henry (St-Hyacinthe, QC), Jeff Falardeau (second of the game) and Brian Higginbotham, who launched his third homerun of the game. After USA put up another four runs in the bottom of the sixth and took a 30-19 lead, Canada rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh but came up short. David Boldt hit a three-run shot, and Ryan Caley hit an RBI single.
Higginbotham was the big offensive threat for Canada, going four-for-four with three homeruns and six runs batted in, while David Boldt, Jeff Gare and Ryan Caley all contributed three hits. Francois Henry, Todd Cadenhead (Vaughn, ON), James Kelly (Amherstburg, ON) and Alain Blais all had two hits. Tim Bentley, Michael McKitrick (Maple Ridge, BC) and Jason Gallichen (Langley, BC) each chipped in with a hit.
The Border Battle can be seen in full on TSN at 4:00pm EDT tomorrow (Sunday, July 19th).
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