Panama City, Panama-Shawn Hill (Mississauga, ON) was magnificent on the mound and Brock Kjeldgaard (London, ON) belted a three-run homer in the second inning as Canada earned an upset, 6-1 win over the United States. The win was Canada’s final game in Pool A at the 39th IBAF World Cup and gives them a 6-1 record. Canada will carry two of those wins (Netherlands and either USA or Puerto Rico) and one loss (Panama) over to the second round which gets underway on Tuesday.
“I think this win goes all around Shawn Hill,” said Canadian Manager, Ernie Whitt. “Today he showed the veteran presence that he has and I just can’t say enough about the way he pitched today.
Hill kept the US batters off balance most of the game as he didn’t allow a hit from the second through sixth innings and tossed perfect frames in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
“The first couple of innings I was just hitting my spots with my fastball, which was the biggest thing for me today,” said Hill. “Basically, they had to hit my pitch.”
Kjledgaard’s homer to left field in the second inning came with nobody out after Jimmy Van Ostrand (Richmond, BC) walked to lead-off the inning and Emerson Frostad (Calgary, AB) followed with a single.
Canada had a chance to add to their lead in the seventh when they loaded the bases with only one out, but weren’t able to cash in any runs.
The US finally got to Hill in the bottom of the seventh when Matt Clark hit a solo homerun to lead-off the inning. After a strikeout and a walk, Hill was taken out of the game and Chris Kissock (Trail, BC) came out of the Canadian bullpen. Hill’s outing saw him go 6 1/3 innings and giving up one run on three hits, while striking out four batters.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming in to the game,” explained Hill. “Once I got loose I felt good and actually started to feel better as the game went on.”
Kissock was able to get a fly out and ground out to prevent the US from scoring anymore runs.
Canada added three insurance runs in the ninth as Tim Smith (Toronto, ON) continued to swing a hot bat and singled up the middle, scoring two. Smith then scored all the way from first base on a double to left field from Kjeldgaard.
Kissock stayed in the game and pitched the ninth inning that included striking out the final batter to end the game.
“It’s a great win for us but there’s still some room for improvement,” added Whitt. “As we go forward in this tournament we have to continue to improve and limit the mistakes we make.”
Notes: Canada will enjoy an off day on Monday before the second round begins on Tuesday…With round-robin action coming to a close in both Pool A & B today, be sure to check-out www.ibaf.org for the latest scores, standings and schedule information…LIVE scoring of all tournament games is also available on www.ibaf.org... Fans can also watch select 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).