Teammates celebrate catcher Ryan Boland’s game-tying grand slam during Canada’s game against Australia in the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship July 11 in Whitehorse. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News)

Canada only remaining undefeated team at Softball World Championship

Home team makes it five straight with win over Australia

Five-and-Oh, Canada!

With five straight wins Canada is now the only undefeated team at the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse.

The defending champion team has clinched a spot in the championship pool of the playoffs and is guaranteed an eighth place finish or higher.

Canada scored nine straight runs in a 9-4 come-from-behind win over Australia on July 11. Once again cool heads prevailed, said Canada head coach John Stuart.

“We’re taking it one game at a time and we look at every game like we can win it,” said Stuart. “We’re confident in our hitting and our pitching, everything is falling into place. We got down 4-0 and our players were saying on the bench, ‘We’ve been here before.’ We’re a calm and patient team and there’s no panic in us whatsoever and that filters from the top all the way down to the bottom.”

Trailing by four in the bottom of the second, Canada catcher Ryan Boland cranked his team’s first grand slam of the tournament to tie the game.

Canada took the lead in the third when infielder Derek Mayson grounded to left field to score outfielder Bradley Ezekiel from second.

In a bit of déjà vu two innings later, Mayson again brought Ezekiel home with a line drive to left field to make it 6-4. Mayson is leading his team at the plate with a .545 batting average.

Infielder Mark Johnson kept the inning lucrative with a screaming line drive that sailed over the centre field wall for three more runs, and his third homer of the tournament.

“In every game it seems like it’s somebody different,” said Stuart. “Even the guys on the bench, if we put them in we know they’re going to do the job.”

Pitcher Sean Cleary, who was facing the hook after letting four runs in the second inning, went on to pitch his second full game of the championship. The Newfoundlander allowed five hits for the Aussies with 15 strikeouts.

“That wasn’t what we wanted to do early, but I’m fully confident in my teammates. We’ve certainly been there before and we’re never out of a game,” said Cleary.

“We have two big games coming up in the next couple of days, so we’re not done yet and we’ll keep on going,” he added.

“We knew that he had a bad inning and he was going to bounce back,” said Stuart.

New Zealand, Japan and Venezuela — and Argentina in Canada’s pool — are going into Wednesday with 4-1 records.

Japan lost 8-1 to New Zealand on July 10, New Zealand lost 7-3 to Venezuela on July 11, and Venezuela lost 7-0 to Japan on opening day.

New Zealand has the most titles with six — the last coming in 2013 — and was runner-up to Canada at the last championship in 2015.

“That was a couple years ago and it’s a changed team, changed venue, new event, so we can’t live on the memory of 2015,” said New Zealand head coach Mark Sorenson.

“It’s cold. I’ve got like seven layers on at the moment in the middle of summer,” he added of the tournament thus far. “It’s a lovely complex here and I’ve seen some pretty good knowledgeable fans, so it’s always good to play against good teams in a good ballpark with good crowds. We’re looking forward to the rest of the week.”

India and Turkey, playing their first worlds, as well as Great Britain, are all still searching for their first win of the tournament.

This week Canada beat South Africa 10-2, Argentina 8-3, U.S.A. 7-1 and Hong Kong 14-1. They will face the Dominican Republic today at 7 p.m., and India tomorrow at 3 p.m. to finish the round robin.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

 

Australian outfielder Hayden Mathews whiffs on a pitch. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News)

Brandon Horn tags out USA’s Marcus Tan in Canada’s 7-1 win July 9. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News)

Just Posted

Yukon hospital workers reach tentative deal to avoid a strike

The proposal will be voted on March 4, the union says

Longtime Yukon lawyer, former federal NDP candidate Melissa Atkinson dead at 45

Atkinson, who served as the territory’s first Indigenous Crown attorney, died the morning of Feb. 14.

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Women ordered to pay former Dawson City couple $800k in damages for defamation

The women had started a campaign in support of a Dawson retiree the couple was suing over her house

Senior U.S. official says Canadian report authors may not ‘fully understand’ mitigation proposals for ANWR development

Joe Balash responded to a report alleging problems with the draft environmental impact statement

German rookie wins 2019 Yukon Quest red lantern

Hendrik Stachnau was the last musher to cross the finish line

Hospital workers are prepared to strike

‘They’ve had enough’

Whitehorse mayor calls tax and fee increases reasonable

Council approved the 2019 operations budget

Team Yukon attends pep rally before heading off to Canada Winter Games

The Games are taking place in Red Deer, Alta., from Feb. 15 to March 3.

This year’s Sima Cup medals were delicious

A local bakery provided the prizes

Mushers of all sizes come out for the Babe Southwick Memorial Sled Dog Races

As the leading Yukon Quest mushers were nearing the finish of their… Continue reading

History Hunter: Mining on Dublin Gulch has a long history

A new gold mine is being developed north of Mayo that will… Continue reading

Yukonomist: Yukon carbon tax decisions

With the carbon tax coming into effect on July 1, you now… Continue reading

Most Read