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Canada remains undefeated on path to defending title at WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

posted Jul 9, 2017, 8:59 PM by Jairy Otero

Canada remains undefeated on path to defending title at WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

WHITEHORSE, Yukon, Canada – After beautiful weather on opening day, the day began with a short rain delay. But once the clouds cleared, the sixteen national teams put on a show for the crowd at the men’s softball flagship event.

Day two ended with Canada and Dominican Republic undefeated in Pool A and New Zealand and Japan in Pool B.

Hong Kong, Dominican Republic, and USA all win in nail-bitters.

Pool A
Hong Kong (1-1) v India (0-2)

Box Score
Play-by Play

Both teams were looking for their first win of this year’s championship after being on the wrong side of yesterday’s lopsided games. But today was a low scoring game that saw Hong Kong claim the 2-1 walk-off victory.

It was a scoreless game until the fourth inning when India’s Raj Sunil singled with two outs. Hitesh Kumar then cranked the ball down the left field line for a double to score Sunil and give India their first-ever run at a men’s softball world championship.

But Hong Kong got their opportunity to cross the plate in the sixth inning as Ng Ling Kwan hit a solo shot to tie the game up 1-1.

In the seventh, back-to-back singles by Po He Fung and Chan Chun Kin, followed by a bunt down the third base line for Lau Hom Man loaded the bases for Hong Kong with no outs. Pinch hitter Kam O Man then hit a roller off the defense’s foot to bring Fung home, giving Hong Kong a walk-off 2-1 win over India.

Win: Wong Wai Hung
Loss: Kumar Deepak

Next Up:
Hong Kong – 9 July at 12:30pm against Argentina
India – 9 July at 11:30am against Dominican Republic

Pool B
No. 7 Venezuela (1-1) v Turkey (0-2)
35-0 (3 innings)

Box Score
Play-by Play

After having to forfeit their world championship opener yesterday due to travel delays, Venezuela came out swinging in the lopsided defeat of Turkey.

Jorge Lima’s sac fly in the first inning was all that was needed for Venezuela to win their first game of the men’s championship. Venezuela finished the inning scoring four runs, followed by 21 runs in the second, and 10 runs in the third in the three-inning game. Arturo Acacio led the offense in the game scoring six times, while Luiger Pinto drove in nine and Yeider Chirinos hit three of the game’s 10 home runs.

Win: Erick Urbaneja
Loss: Cansin Etgu

Next Up:
Turkey – 9 July at 10:00am against Japan
Venezuela – 9 July at 4:30pm against Czech Republic

Pool A
No. 11 Dominican Republic (2-0) v No. 14 South Africa (0-2)

Box Score
Play-by Play

Dominican Republic and South Africa clashed in a nail biter with several lead changes but the Latin American nation pulled ahead for good, winning 8-6.

Dominican Republic got on board at their first at-bat scoring three runs. Francis Medina tripled to start the inning and later scored, along with Pablo Figereo and Elias Valerio after three straight no-out singles.

But South Africa tied the game up 3-3 in the bottom of the second with a three-run homer by Isaiah Chepape, scoring Malesela Phasha and Lindsey Kerchhoff.

Left-fielder Josuel Chalas tried to squeeze a double out of a single, but was caught red-handed to end the third inning. However, he still recorded the RBI to score Pablo Figuereo and give Dominican Republic the 4-3 lead.

But South Africa tied the game back up, before solid defense brought the half-inning to an end. After Cristopher Bann singled up the middle to score Kerchhoff, Dominican Republic recovered for an odd 8-2-4 double play to end the inning.

In the fourth, South Africa threatened to pull ahead, but left the inning with two runners in scoring position. Then Dominican Republic scored four runs off five hits for the third lead change of the game and the 8-4 advantage.

Both teams put runners on in the fifth and sixth inning, but neither could capitalize.

South Africa made it interesting with a lead-off homer by Brandon Bouillon in their final at-bat. With one out, Sehlabi Molokoane reached second on a defensive error. The next batter, Kerchhoff, doubled to score Molokoane for the inning’s second run. But Yan Carlos Gonzalez was called into the game and struck out Phasha and Chepape to give Dominican Republic the 8-6 win.

Win: Santiago Paulino
Loss: Tidima Barnat Kekana
Save: Yan Carlos Gonzalez

Next Up:
South Africa – 9 July at 3:00pm against Australia
Dominican Republic – 9 July at 11:30am against India

Pool B
No. 2 Japan (2-0) v No. 19 Botswana (1-1)

Box Score
Play-by Play

After a huge win yesterday for Botswana, they faced a tough competitor in World No. 2 Japan. The fresh Japan, who did not play due to Venezuela unable to field a team for the opener, performed well completing the 8-0 shut-out in six innings.

Japan took control of the game from the start when Hikaru Matsuda hit a two-run homer. By the end of the inning, Japan had scored four runs.

In the second inning, Japan extended their lead to 5-0 when Yusuke Tokoi tripled with two outs to score Masaki Sawada.

The next three innings were scoreless for both teams. But Japan ended the game early adding three more runs in the sixth to make it 8-0. Taiyo Kataoka led all hitters with three RBIs.

Win: Kento Okazaki
Loss: Karabo Motsholathebe

Next Up:
Japan – 9 July at 10:00am against Turkey
Botswana – 9 July at 2:00pm against Denmark

Pool B
No. 13 Denmark (1-1) v No. 10 Great Britain (0-2)

Box Score
Play-by Play

Both Great Britain and Denmark were looking for their first win in this year’s world championship. Both lost in close, one-run games yesterday with one of them requiring extra innings. But Denmark was able to piece together a third inning rally to defeat their continental counterpart 3-0.

Denmark scored all of the game’s runs in the third inning. Valdemar Terkelsen and Anton Brown walked to lead the inning off. With one out, Daniel Julenon doubled to left field scoring Terkelsen. Anders Jorgensen then walked to load the bases. Anders Svane hit to the first baseman but sloppy defense allowed Brown and Julenon to score.

Great Britain could not get anything going offensively. Luke Peters led their team going 2-3. Both Kyle Linton and Kim Hansen brought the heat striking out 10 and 11 batters respectively in the game.

Win: Kim Hansen
Loss: Kyle Linton

Next Up:
Great Britain – 9 July at 5:30pm against New Zealand
Denmark – 9 July at 2:00pm against Botswana

Pool A
No. 6 USA (1-1) v No. 5 Australia (1-1)

Box Score
Play-by Play

An anticipated game between two top teams, USA earned their first win of this year’s world championship defeating Australia 2-1 in a close match.

Australia took the early lead scoring one run in the first inning as Nick Shailes hit the ball out of the park. But that was all the offense Australia would see until a one-out single in the fifth by Nick Norton.

USA didn’t make their move until the fourth, when Matt Palazzo would single and be batted around to third. Australia’s Adam Folkard then walked Bryce Kay and Erick Ochoa to load the bases. Nicholas Mullins singled to right-center, allowing Palazzo and Kay to give USA the 2-1 lead.

Australia threatened in the seventh. Julian Jemmott entered the game to run for Andrew Kirkpatrick, who had reached on a defensive error. Joshua White then advanced Jemmott on a grounder to second base. USA’s Derrick Zechman gave up a walk to Norton, who was then replaced by Joshua McGovern as a pinch runner. A wild pitch had runners on second and third with only one out. But Zechman found the strike zone, striking out Liam O’Leary and Mark Harris to end the game in USA’s favor.

Win: Jeremy Manley
Loss: Adam Folkard
Save: Derrick Zerchman

Next Up:
Australia – 9 July at 3:00pm against South Africa
USA – 9 July at 7:00pm against Canada

Pool B
No. 1 New Zealand (2-0) v No. 8 Czech Republic (1-1)
9-2 (5 innings)

Box Score
Play-by Play

In the final warm-up tournament last week, Czech Republic handed New Zealand their only loss in round robin play. But New Zealand didn’t let that happen twice, defeating the Europeans in five innings.

The first inning was three-up three-down for both teams before Czech Republic struck first scoring one run in the second. Tomás Benda singled and later advanced into scoring position from a passed ball, before being batted in by Tomás Klein.

But New Zealand put up six runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. With the bases loaded, back-to-back walks pushed Cole Evans and Wayne Laula home. Tyron Bartorillo then scored on a passed ball, before Captain Nathan Nukunuku tripled to drive in Ben Enoka, Campbell Enoka and Zane van Lieshout.

Slobby work by the Black Sox battery allowed Marek Maly to score for the Czech Republic, down 6-2 in the third inning.

But New Zealand recovered as Thomas Enoka drove in his brother, Ben, the following inning.

The Black Sox ended the game early in the fifth after scoring two. Brad Rona began with a double up the middle and was replaced by Joshua Harbrow to run. Evans then advanced Harbrow on an infield grounder. But rather than advance to third on a hit by Laula, Harbrow interfered with third baseman Václav Svoboda for an out. However, Bartorillo took matters into his own hands, belting a two-run shot over the outfield fence to end the game.

Win: Nik Hayes
Loss: Marek Maly

Next Up:
New Zealand – 9 July at 5:30pm against Great Britain
Czech Republic – 9 July at 4:30pm against Venezuela

Pool A
No. 4 Canada (2-0) v No. 3 Argentina (1-1)

Box Score
Play-by Play

No. 3 Argentina took on No. 4 Canada in what was supposed to be a hitter’s duel. But the defending champions cruised for the easy 8-3 win to remain undefeated.

After both teams went three-up three-down in the first, Stephen Mullaley lead off the second with a single. Mark Johnson would later hit a two-out home run for a 2-0 Canada advantage. But in the bottom of the inning, Argentina cut that to one. Bruno Motroni would reach third on an error and passed ball. With two outs, Juan Cruz Zara would hit the ball up the middle scoring Motroni.

Canada put the game out of reach in the third, scoring six runs on five hits including a homer by Bradley Ezekiel bringing the score to 8-1.

Argentina tried to get something going in the sixth as Zara hit a lead-off homer over the left field fence. But that was it as three straight ground-outs ended the inning.

Argentina cut the deficit by one run as Motroni homered to start the seventh inning off. However, that was all Canada would allow, winning the game 8-3.

Win: Sean Cleary
Loss: Huemul Mata

Next Up:
Canada – 9 July at 7:00pm against USA
Argentina – 9 July at 12:30pm against Hong Kong