Canada Defeats Czech Republic to Open ISF Junior Men’s World Softball Championship
Published by Gilles LeBlanc
Published on July 12, 2014
(Whitehorse, YT) The Canadian Junior Men’s National Team opened its ISF X Junior Men’s World Softball Championship schedule with a 7-0 win in five innings over the Czech Republic. Matt Wardrop (Owen Sound, ON) fired a one-hitter, while Johnathan Baker (Kitchener, ON) blasted a three-run homerun and Taylor Schubada (Irma, AB) had a double and two singles to lead Canada to victory.
In the top of the first inning, Wardrop induced three ground balls to the right side of the infield – two to second base and one to first base – to put the Czech Republic away in order. In the bottom of the inning, Samuel Bedard-Desmarais (Nicolet, QC) drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a single by Schubada, but Czech pitcher Michal Holobradek struck out the next two batters to end the inning. The Czechs managed a two-out walk in the second, but a ground out to third base send Canada back to the plate, but the red and white went down in order quickly as the game remained scoreless.
After Wardrop retired the Czechs in order on two more groundouts and a strikeout, the Canadian bats finally got going. Tyler Pauli (Mitchell, ON) smacked a one-out triple to the opposite field past the left fielder, and scored on a ground ball that got through the shortstop. Schubada hit another single through the right side of the infield to put two runs on base, setting the stage for a three-run homerun by Baker to left-center field, giving Canada a 4-0 lead. Curtis Piecowye (Sakatoon, SK) then walked and advanced to third on another error by the shortstop before scoring on a double steal to add another run for Canada.
The Czech Republic drew another two-out walk in the top half of the fourth, but Schubada threw the runner out at second on a steal attempt. In the bottom of the frame, Pauli singled, stole second base and advanced to third when the throw to second got by the center fielder. Bedard-Desmarais then hit a ball up the middle past second base to score Pauli, and went on to score on a double by Schubada to increase the lead to 7-0.
In the top of the fifth, the Czech Republic managed its first hit of the game through the right side of the infield, but the next batter hit a ground ball to Tyson Zehr (Tavistock, ON) at second base, who tagged the runner going to second and threw the ball to first for a double play. After a hit by pitch put a runner on first, Michael Bala hit a towering drive to straightaway centerfield that Matt Pilon (Duck Lake, SK) caught on a well-timed jump at the fence to steal a homerun away and end the game on the run rule.
Box Score: Canada 7 vs. Czech Republic 0
Wardrop earned the win in the pitcher’s circle for Canada, firing a one-hitter with two walks and two strikeouts over five innings of work. Schubada had a double, two singles and a run batted in, while Baker added a three-run homerun and Pauli had a triple, a single and two runs scored. Bedard-Desmarais chipped in with a single, a run batted in and two runs scored as the top of the lineup did all the damage for Team Canada.
Other scores on the first day of competition at the ISF X Junior Men’s World Championship were:
- Japan 33 vs. Singapore 1 (4 innings)
- Argentina 1 vs. Mexico 0 (8 innings)
- New Zealand 5 vs. Australia 1
- United States 13 vs. Denmark 4 (5 innings)
Team Canada (1-0) will be back in action on Saturday when they take on the defending champions from Argentina (1-0) at 7:30pm PDT. Live Pointstreak scoring, webstreaming and Ballpark Radio broadcast will be available through the ISF IX Junior Men’s World Championship’s official website: http://worldfastpitch2014.com/en/home/.
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