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U18 World Qualifier: Canada to play for bronze after loss to Panama

CHITRÉ, Panama – Some costly mistakes and missed opportunities hurt the Canadian Junior National Team as they fell, 4-2, to host Panama at the COPABE U18 Pan American Championships.

With the win, Panama will meet the United States for the gold medal on Sunday while Canada will play Nicaragua for bronze. The top four finish assures Canada a spot in the 2019 WBSC U18 Baseball World Cup in Gijang, South Korea.

BOX SCORE: Panama 4, Canada 2

Panama broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh when reliever Olivier Morin-Larocque (Québec, QC) unleashed a wild pitch with a runner on third. Larocque had entered the game in the sixth with the bases loaded before a base hit and error by left fielder Blake Buckle (Milton, ON) brought in two runs to erase Canada’s 1-0 lead.

They went on to add an insurance run in the eighth when a ground ball with the infield pulled in was misplayed by second baseman LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, AB) to go up by two.

Canada struggled offensively striking out 16 times and left 12 runners on base including the bases loaded in the first inning and failed to capitalize on a bases loaded, one out situation in the fifth.

Canada’s only runs of the ballgame came when LaRon Smith singled and scored on an error in the fourth while Daniel Carinci (Ajax, ON) drove in Blake Buckle with a sac fly in the sixth.

Canada starting pitcher Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC) provided five scoreless innings on the mound before getting into trouble in the sixth and being taken out of the game with the bases loaded. Millas allowed just two hits, walked three and struck out four batters.

UP NEXT: Canada will close out Super Round play tomorrow against the Dominican Republic at Rico Cedeño Stadium in Chitré with the first pitch set for 10AM ET.

Scores, Schedule (Panama Instagram)

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