Aguadulce, Panama-Canada exploded for five runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back as they blanked Venezuela 7-0. Canada plays South Korea in the second half of a doubleheader this afternoon (3:30pm CT) as round two continues at the 39th IBAF World Cup.
Jimmy Van Ostrand (Richmond, BC) got things rolling in the first when he hit an RBI single to score Chris Bisson (Orleans, ON). Van Ostrand came around to score along with Tim Smith (Toronto, ON) when Emerson Frostad (Calgary, AB) hit a double to right field that rolled to the wall. Brock Kjeldgaard (London, ON) put an exclamation point on the inning when he drilled a two-run homer to left field that easily travelled over 400 feet.
“It was huge for us,” said Canadian Manger Ernie Whitt of the five-run outburst in the first. “We had a little talk before the game and the guys know what’s at stake. We came out aggressive today and that is what we wanted to do.”
Canadian starter Kyle Lotzkar (Delta, BC) looked as though he enjoyed pitching with a big lead as he threw five innings of shutout ball. Lotzkar only gave up three hits, while not allowing a walk.
“The lead helped out and probably took some pressure off Kyle,” explained Whitt. “He threw strikes and worked quickly which allowed our offence to take over.”
Canada’s other two runs came when Tim Smith hit a single to right that was misplayed by the right fielder. Two runs scored on the play and Smith ended up on third base.
Mike Johnson (Edmonton, AB) came out of the Canadian bullpen to start the sixth and worked two perfect innings to seal the victory.
Andrew Albers (North Battleford, SK) will start this afternoon against South Korea in a game that Canada must win if they hope to reach the gold medal game.
Notes: To follow Canada/South Korea LIVE, please visit: www.ibaf.org… Canada’s record in round two now sits at three wins and two losses (3-2).