Panama City, Panama-Canada took their first loss of the 39th IBAF World Cup as Panama upended the Canadians 12-3. A 3-3 tie was broken in the fifth inning when Panama’s Fernando Seguinol hit an opposite field, three-run homer off Canadian reliever Mike Johnson (Edmonton, AB). From there Panama went on to score six more runs to give them the win and a share of first place in the Pool A standings with the Netherlands.
“We got into trouble when (Canadian starter) Scott Richmond had a high pitch count and we had to take him out of the game,” said Canadian Manager Ernie Whitt. “We didn’t really have anyone available to come and bridge the gap. MJ (Mike Johnson) tried but hung a breaking ball and the three-run homer kind of hurt.”
After coming back from a three run deficit to tie the game and then fall behind again, Canada did not do themselves any favours offensively by stranding twelve base runners throughout the game.
“We didn’t come up with any key hits,” added Whitt. “We had runners on base and I thought we would have scored a lot more runs but we didn’t.”
Richmond gave Canada a nice start with the one blemish coming in the third inning when he walked two batters and gave-up a three-run homer with two out in the frame. In total, Richmond went four innings and gave up three runs on three hits along with three walks, while striking out five batters.
Canada clawed their way back into the game in the home half of the third when Brock Kjeldgaard (London, ON) laced a double into right field that plated Jonathan Malo (Joliette, QC) and Skyler Stromsmoe (Bow Island, AB). Malo had doubled to lead-off the inning and Stromsmoe followed with a single.
In the fourth, Michael Crouse (Port Moody, BC) smacked a one-out, solo homerun to left field which tied the score at three.
In front 6-3, Panama put up four runs in the sixth and added two more in the eighth to put the game out of reach for Canada. Jay Johnson (Sussex Corner, NB) gave Canada 2 2/3 innings of relief, while Jimmy Henderson (Calgary, AB) finished the final 1 1/3 innings.
Canada will have to put this loss behind them quickly as a key match-up with undefeated Netherlands awaits them on Saturday at 2pm CT in Panama City (Rod Carew Stadium). The Netherlands are fresh off a stunning 7-5 upset win over the United States to keep their unbeaten record intact.
“We know what’s in front of us,” said Whitt. “Kyle Lotzkar (Delta, BC) is going to start for us and we hope he can give us some innings before handing things over to our bullpen where we have some options.”
Notes: As expected, Canada played in front of the largest crowd they have seen so far as the hometown Panamanian fans were loud and passionate in supporting their team…Four Canadian players had two-hit games (Kjeldgaard, Van Ostrand, Bowman, Malo)…Canada was only outhit by Panama 13-11…Follow all of the action from the 39th IBAF World Cup including schedules, stats and scores by visiting www.ibaf.org …Fans can also watch 50 games from the World Cup on the internet by visiting: www.liveibaf.tv …As always, for the latest info on Team Canada, please follow Baseball Canada on Twitter (www.twitter.com/baseballcanada).