United States Defeats Canada at Home Run Sports Border Battle

Published by Gilles LeBlanc

Published on July 26, 2014

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(Kitchener, ON) The Canadian Men’s Slo-Pitch team was defeated 18-9 by the United States in the sixth edition of the Men’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle between the two countries in front of large crowd in Kitchener. The game was tight through the first half but Team USA took control in the middle innings and Team Canada went down in order three times as the Americans doubled the Canadians. The game concluded three great days of Men’s Slo-Pitch action at Peter Hallman Ballyard in Kitchener, ON that featured a total of seven teams, including Team Europe, Quebec Pharmapar, the Home Run Sports All-Stars, the USA Futures team and the Canada Selects. A homerun derby was also held on Friday night with the world’s top players launching balls for an excellent group of spectators, which was won by Brian Wegman and Jason Gallichen (Langley, BC).
 
With the Home Run Sports Border Battle game taking place in Canada for the first time in its history, Team USA was the visiting team and opened the scoring on a three-run homerun by Brett Helmer in the top of the first inning. Looking to respond immediately, Team Canada got runners on second and third on a single Jeff Falardeau (Welland, ON) and a double by Steele Lewis (Windsor, ON) and Francois Henry (St-Hyacinthe, QC) drove both in with a single. A double by James Kelly (Amherstburg, ON) put runners on second and third again before Henry scored on a sacrifice fly by Justin Pennell (Toronto, ON) and Kelly scored on a single by Mike McLeod (Dorchester, ON) to give Canada a 4-3 lead after one inning of play.
 
In the top of the second, the American got a leadoff walk but a great double play led to a scoreless inning. Canada went on to add one run to its lead when Olivier Forrest (St-Leonard-d’Aston, QC) hit a one-out double and scored on a double by Kyle Knechtel (Ayr, ON). The red and white looked to add more to its lead, but a hard ground ball scooped up by the pitcher led to a double play to end the inning with Canada holding on to a 5-3 lead. The following inning, the United States bats woke up in a big way, as the first two batters reached with singles before scoring on another three-run shot by Helmer. Later in the inning, Denny Crine hit a two-run bomb of his own as the United States took an 8-5 lead.
 
After Canada went down in order in the bottom of the third, the United States added three more runs in the fourth as the leadoff batter tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly, and Brian Wegman later hit a two-run homerun to increase the lead to 11-5. Canada went down in order again in the bottom of the fourth, and the Americans put up another three runs in the fifth on a two-run single by Crine and a double by Kevin Bazat to take a commanding 14-5 lead. Team Canada was able to respond with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame on a run-scoring single by Falardeau and a two-run homerun by Lewis.
 
In the top of the sixth, the United States added a run on a double by Kevin Filby, and Canada also scored one on a solo homerun by Pennell, making the score 15-9 after six innings of play. The Americans got a three-run shot by Jeff McGavin in the top of the seventh while Canada went down in order in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
 
Box Score: United States 18 vs. Canada 9
 
Chris Parr (Chilliwack, BC) pitched all seven innings for Canada, allowing 18 runs (16 earned) on 22 hits. Lewis and Pennell each had a homerun and drove in two runs for Canada, with Falardeau collecting three singles and two runs scored. Knechtel, Lewis, Kelly, Parr and Forrest each had a double, with other hits going to Henry (2), Kelly, McLeod and Jeff Zanolli (Taber, AB). Helmer did a lot of damage for the Americans with two homeruns and six runs batted in, while Crine and McGavin each had a homerun and four RBIs.
 
Softball Canada would like to thank Home Run Sports for putting this fantastic event together on home soil, and Worth Canada for supplying the uniforms. Other Softball Canada sponsors contributing to this event were Mizuno, Easton and Miken. We would also like to thank the event’s other sponsors, the other teams that participated in the event as well as all of the fans who attended the games throughout the three days of competition.
 
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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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