WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – Canada was limited to just one hit on offence while Venezuela received two home runs to give the Canadians their first loss of the WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier, 5-0.
The loss gives Venezuela first place in Group B while Canada will settle for second. Both teams have qualified for the Super Round with today’s result counting towards the Super Round standings.
“We came out flat what can you say,” said Manager Ernie Whitt. “We had some opportunities but couldn’t cash in on them.
“We’ll take tomorrow (off) and be ready to play when the crossover games start on Friday.”
Venezuela scored two runs off Canadian starter Travis Seabrooke (Peterborough, ON) in the second inning before former Blue Jays prospect Carlos Perez connected on a two-run homer off Trevor Brigden (North York, ON) in the fourth.
A solo home run in the seventh off reliever Brendan McGuigan rounded out the scoring for Venezuela.
Jacob Robson (Windsor, ON) collected Canada’s only hit of the ballgame when he singled in the first inning.
“They pitched well, they played well and that’s the bottom line,” added Whitt. “It was an emotional game last night (against Cuba) with a rain delay and back at it today which is difficult to overcome.”
Canada’s best chance to score came in the top of the third when Jesse Hodges (Victoria, BC) reached third and Jonathan Malo (Jolliete, QC) reached second after drawing walks while a sacrifice bunt from Wes Darvill (Richmond, BC) advanced them.
Both runners were left stranded.
Venezuela pitchers Enmanuel de Jesús and Oddanier Mosqueda combined to strikeout 11 batters.
Canada will have an off-day on Thursday before opening the Super Round against the United States (1-0) on Friday (7PM ET) in West Palm Beach, and then facing the Dominican Republic (0-1) on Saturday at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie (1PM ET).
“We’re going to have to step up as players and coaches so that we’re ready on Friday and Saturday,” explained Whitt. “Our players know what’s at stake and the unique opportunity that we have here in what we’re trying to accomplish.
“I have no doubt that our team will respond.”