AUCKLAND NZ -- Islander Jeff Ellsworth swung Canada’s biggest bat in their final round robin game of the International Softball Federation’s Men’s World championship tournament Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Brooklyn, P.E.I. resident, who is captain of team Canada, went three for three at bat with two home runs and a single. The three runs he drove in helped Canada to a 7-0 victory over the Netherlands, giving them a 6-1 record and first place in the eight-team pool.
He got the scoring started with a two-out solo homerun over the right field fence in the bottom of the first inning. Two more runners got on base on walks before Kevin Schellenberg of Squamish, BC sent them home with a single to right-center field, giving Canada a 3-0 lead after one inning.
The leadoff batter in the third inning, Ellsworth increased Canada’s lead to 4-0 with his second solo homerun, and Schellenberg’s sacrifice fly brought in another third inning run.
Ellsworth’s fourth inning single scored Quebec’s Mathieu Roy from second to give the Canadians a 6-0 lead and Stephen Mullaley, from Freshwater NL, gave Canada a 7-0 mercy rule win with a fifth inning leadoff home run.
Jason Hill from St. John’s threw a one-hitter and struck out 10 Dutch batters through five innings of work.
With first place in Pool B sewed up, Canada marches into the play-off round with a game against Venezuela (second place with a 5-2 record in Pool A) at 2 a.m. Friday (AST). Their records have earned both teams double lives in the playoff round.