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Canada ready for World Cup opener

Panama City, Panama-After three exhibition games against the United States and one day of practice in Panama City, Team Canada will open the 39th IBAF Baseball World Cup against Puerto Rico tomorrow at 2pm CT. Canada is coming off their best finish ever at the World Cup as they come into this year’s event as the defending Bronze Medalists. Canada defeated Puerto Rico 6-2 in 2009 when the event was held in Italy and other parts of Europe.

Andrew Albers (North Battleford, SK) will get the nod against Puerto Rico and says that he plans on pitching his game tomorrow against a team that he has never faced.

“I’m just going to go out tomorrow and pitch my game,” he said. “I’ll try and work ahead and let my defence work a bit for me and hopefully I’ll have some success that way.”

Albers, who will be making his World Cup debut on Sunday, is a left-handed pitcher that spent the 2011 season at Double-A New Britain (Minnesota Twins). He’s a pitcher that likes to keep hitters off balance by mixing different speeds and locations.

“I like to pitch to contact, I’m not going to throw a lot of nasty stuff out there,” explained Albers. “I like to try and get guys out early (in counts) which hopefully lets me pitch deeper games.”

Canada has experienced success recently in international competition against Puerto Rico. In addition to the Bronze Medal victory in 2009, Canada defeated Puerto Rico 14-6 in October 2010 to qualify for the World Cup along with the Pan Am Games taking place October 19-26 in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico.

Canada will be put to the test quickly as they play in Pool A of the World Cup. After tomorrow’s game with Puerto Rico, Canada will face Japan and Greece before having an off-day on October 5th. Canada will resume pool play on October 6th against Chinese Taipei which will kick-off four games in four days with Panama, Netherlands and USA following.

The top four records after pool play will advance to the second round.

Notes: On Saturday evening, Team Canada participated in the opening ceremonies of the 39th IBAF World Cup at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City…The ceremonies included an immaculate firework and light show to a near capacity crowd of 30,000 fans…Follow all of the action from the 39th IBAF World Cup with LIVE scoring of all of Canada’s games by visiting: …Fans can also watch 50 games from the World Cup on the internet by visiting: …As always, for the latest info on Team Canada, please follow Baseball Canada on Twitter (