Canada Finishes Seventh at ISF Junior Men’s World Softball Championship

Published by Gilles LeBlanc

Published on July 20, 2014

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(Whitehorse, YT) The Canadian Junior Men’s National Team finished seventh at the ISF X Junior Men’s World Softball Championship, defeating Singapore 11-1 but dropping an 8-7 decision to Mexico. Canada put up five runs in the top of the fourth and six more in the top of the fifth in their big win against Singapore, but lost a see-saw battle with Mexico in a game that featured five homeruns and a few momentum shifts.
 
In the first game of the day against Singapore, Canada drew three walks in the top of the first inning, but was unable to get on the scoreboard, while Canadian pitcher Matt Wardrop (Owen Sound, ON) struck out two batters and got a groundout on a tapper in front of the plate to end the first. Marc-Andre Villeneuve (St-Leonard-d’Aston, QC) doubled over first base with one-out in the second, but a strikeout and fly out kept Canada off the score sheet again. Singapore managed to get a leadoff walk and a single but could not push them in to score either. In the top half of the third inning, Taylor Schubada (Irma, AB) hit a deep fly ball to the right-center field gap, and the two outfielders collided as the ball popped loose. Schubada raced around the bases but was thrown out at the plate on a relay from the outfield to keep the game scoreless.
 
Canada was able to open the scoring by putting up five runs in the top of the fourth. Francois-Charles Rene (St-Leonard-d’Aston, QC) led off with a single and advanced to third on an error, followed by a walk to load the bases. Villeneuve walked to score the first run, followed by a two-run double by Matt Pilon (Duck Lake, SK). An error added another run for Canada, and Schubada later singled home Pilon to increase the lead to 5-0. In the bottom of the frame, Singapore hit a one-out single, but Wardrop struck out the next batter before Schubada threw out the runner on a steal attempt.
 
In the top of the fifth, Curtis Piecowye (Saskatoon, SK) and Josh Elliot (Prince Albert, SK) got things started with singles, but a fielder’s choice retired Piecowye at third. An error loaded the bases before Johnny Baker (Kitchener, ON) stepped up and hit a two-run double, followed by a three-run homerun by Tyler Pauli (Mitchell, ON). Canada loaded the bases on a single by Nick Penner (New Hamburg, ON) and two walks before Elliot drew another walk to add another run, with Canada now leading 11-0. Singapore was able to get a run on a single by Niels Aplin, but that was all they would get.
 
Box Score: Canada 11 vs. Singapore 1
 
Wardrop earned the win for Canada, allowing one run on five hits and three walks while striking out eight batters. Schubada had a triple and single for Canada, while Pauli had a three-run homerun to lead the offence. Villeneuve, Pilon and Baker all added doubles, with singles going to Penner, Rene, Piecowye and Elliot.
 
Against Mexico, Canada did not waste any time to open the scoring. Pauli led off with a ground-rule double over the right fielder and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a single by Penner. However, Mexico got that run right back on a leadoff homerun by Rafael Alvarez. The following inning, Canada got a leadoff walk but the next batter hit into a double play. Pilon then singled, but the following batter grounded out to end the second inning.
 
In the top of the third, Mexico got a leadoff double but Canadian pitcher Villeneuve struck out the next two batters and later forced a ground out. After Canada went down in order in the bottom of the frame, Mexico got another leadoff double, and after the runner was sacrificed to third, another double by Cesar Marquez gave Mexico the 2-1 lead. Marquez stole third and collided with the shortstop covering third base and Marquez ended up scoring with the throw going into the outfield. Looking to get back on even terms, Schubada led off the bottom of the frame with a double but was retired at third on a fielder’s choice. Piecowye singled to put two runners on base, and after they were sacrificed over to second and third, Pilon drove a deep fly ball to left field that kept carrying and hit the left fielder’s glove and went over the fence for a three-run homerun to give Canada a 4-3 lead.
 
The following inning, Mexico got two runners on base on a hit by pitch and a single, and after a pitching change to bring in Eric Healey (Chapels Cove, NL), Canada issued an intentional walk to load the bases. The move paid off as the next batter grounded out to end the inning. Tyson Zehr (Tavistock, ON) led off the bottom of the frame with a homerun to increase Canada’s lead to 5-3. In the top of the sixth, Mexico got consecutive singles with one out to put runners on the corners, and the following batter hit a surprise slap to score the runner from third. After a strikeout for the second out, Canada issued another intentional walk to load the bases, but this time the move backfired as Daniel Durazo hit a grand slam over the right field fence, giving Mexico the 8-5 lead.
 
Canada got a couple of singles in the bottom of the sixth but was unable to score. After Mexico went down in order in the top of the seventh, Pauli led off the bottom of the inning with a single through the right side of the infield and scored when Schubada smashed a two-run homerun to left, cutting the lead to 8-7. Canada put another runner on base on a two-out walk, but the next batter flew out to center to end the game.
 
Box Score: Mexico 8 vs. Canada 7
 
Villeneuve pitched four and a third innings for Canada, allowing three runs – two earned – on five hits and a walk, striking out seven batters. Healey took the loss, allowing five runs on four hits and three walks with one strikeout. Schubada led the offence with a homerun, a double and a single and two runs batted in. Pilon hit a homerun and a single and drove in three run, while Pauli had a double, a single and two runs scored. Zehr contributed a solo homerun, while Penner, Piecowye, Elliot and Justin Boyer (St. Louis, SK) each had a single.
 
Other scores on the first day of playoff action at the ISF X Junior Men’s World Championship were:
 
Consolation Round
- Czech Republic 8 vs. Denmark 2
- United States 12 vs. Czech Republic 2
 
Championship Round
- Japan 12 vs. Australia 3
- New Zealand 3 vs. Argentina 1
 
With the loss, Canada was eliminated from the consolation round, and with the Czech Republic’s loss to the United States, Canada finished seventh. Mexico and the United States will play in the consolation round final at 2:00pm PDT on Sunday with fifth place on the line. With their loss, Australia finished fourth, while New Zealand advanced directly to the Championship game with their win over Argentina. Japan will take on Argentina at 1:00pm PDT in the Bronze medal game, with the winner going on to face New Zealand at 4:00pm 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/.

The event can also be followed on Facebook (2014 Junior Men’s World Softball) and Twitter (@2014jrsoftball).
 
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For more information, please contact:
 
Gilles LeBlanc
Manager - Marketing and Communications
Softball Canada
(613) 523-3386 ext. 3105
gleblanc@softball.ca

 

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