WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – Canada dropped a 10-1 decision to the United States at the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier to fall to 0-2 in the four-team Super Round standings.
The loss ends the possibility of Canada winning the tournament and earning the fifth spot in the Tokyo Olympics.
Canada now faces a must-win game against the Dominican Republic on Saturday (1PM ET) to have any chance of finishing in the top three and earning one of two spots for the Americas in the WBSC Final Olympic Qualifier later this month in Mexico where the sixth and final spot for Tokyo 2020 will be decided.
With Canada trailing 3-1 in the eighth inning, the game took a strange twist that saw a home run call reversed upon video review, a protest filed by Canada Manager Ernie Whitt that was eventually denied with the ensuing decision made by tournament officials leaving many asking, ‘what just happened?’.
“It was a pretty good ballgame until the umpires got in the way,” quipped Whitt after the game.
The confusion began when Team USA’s Triston Casas hit what was ruled a two run homer with Logan Forsythe on first base and one out. The trouble was the ball stayed in the ballpark resting on top of the outfield wall where right fielder Jesse Hodges (Victoria, BC) alertly grabbed it and threw it back to the infield. Forsythe ended up at third base while Casas stood on second base.
“We knew the ball didn’t go out of the ballpark, so we asked for a video replay on it,” explained Whitt. “That confirmed that it was not (a home run), so they kill the ball as a double, so that’s two bases.
“They said (Forsythe) would’ve scored and I told them that ‘he can’t score if you ruled it a double, it’s two bases’, and that was the gist of it.”
The protest lasted over half an hour with multiple tournament officials gathering to sort out the mess.
When the dust settled, the protest was denied, Casas was standing on second base with a double and Forsythe was awarded home to put the US in front, 4-1.
“They said the video review official made the decision that it wasn’t a ground-rule double, yet, why did they put (Casas) on second base,” said Whitt. “Still no explanation, don’t quite understand it.
“At that point it would have been one out, runners on second and third base in a 3-1 ballgame, we’re still in the ballgame. I did what felt I had to do as a Manager of Baseball Canada.”
The delay caused Whitt to remove Chris Leroux (Mississauga, ON) from the game who had taken over from starter Ryan Kellogg (Whitby, ON) in the fourth inning.
Kellogg and Leroux held the US offense in check for the most part giving their side a chance to come back.
“Ryan Kellogg and Chris Leroux did an outstanding job for us,” said Whitt. “They kept us in the ballgame and I can’t say enough about them.”
Travis Seabrooke (Peterborough, ON) took over for Leroux and hit a batter before getting the second out of the inning on a strikeout. A throwing error then opened the floodgates leading to six more USA runs coming across to give them a 10-1 lead.
Canada’s lone run came in the form of a Jacob Robson (Windsor, ON) solo home run in the fourth inning with Canada holding pace in the hit column collecting eight to USA’s ten.
North Battleford, Saskatchewan’s Andrew Albers, who tossed seven no-hit innings against Colombia on the opening day of the tournament, will toe the rubber against the Dominican Republic in what will be a massive start in keeping Canada’s Olympic hopes alive.
“(This game) has passed us now,” added Whitt. “We have to move forward, we have to win the game tomorrow.”
The game can be seen on the CBC Sports streaming platform in Canada and ESPN + in the United States.
WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier website
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