Canada now 4-1 at ISF Men’s Worlds
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND -- Canada suffered its first loss of the International Softball Federation Men’s World Championship tournament in Auckland, New Zealand Tuesday but still has a share of first place in their eight-team pool with host New Zealand, both with 4-1 summaries.
The defending champion Australians lead the other pool with a 5-0 record.
Canada took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning Tuesday when pinch runner Kevin Schellenberg from Squamish, BC was advanced to second on a Jason Hill (St. John’s) sacrifice and to third on an illegal pitch. Bryan Abrey then grounded into a fielder’s choice, which brought Schellenberg in for what would be Canada’s only run.
Japan’s bats came to life in the bottom of the sixth. A single and a hit by pitch put two runners on base. A Yohei Ono’s blast to left field sent both runners home and pinch hitter Kenji Nakamura hit a two-run homer to right field for the 4-1 victory.
Canada’s Mathieu Roy accounted for both of Canada’s hits in the game, including a one-out double in the seventh.
Paul Koert held Japan scoreless on three hits and a walk in four and two-thirds innings of work. Skelton gave up four runs on three hits and recorded one strikeout in an inning of relief. Don Scott of Stratford, Ontario got the final out.
Prince Edward Island’s Jeff Ellsworth, who is captain of the Canadian team, got on base with a walk in the fourth inning and he was subsequently stranded at second.
Canada has two round-robin games remaining before the play-off round commences.
They play Colombia at 4 p.m. Wednesday (10 p.m. Tuesday AST) and finish off 24 hours later against the Netherlands. Wins in both games would guarantee the Canadians first place in their pool as they’ve already defeated New Zealand in round robin pool play.