PARMA, Italy – Team Canada broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the sixth before the rain came down and the Canadians would end up with a rain shortened 5-3 win over Chinese Taipei to conclude the second round of the 38th Baseball World Cup.
It was a tough battle from the beginning. Chinese Taipei opened the scoring in the top of the third inning when Chung Chun Wu drove in Chia Hao Chang on a sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead.
Canada would tie it up in the bottom of the fourth when Rene Tosoni (Coquitlam, BC) hit a solo home run to right.
Chinese Taipei would retake the lead in the fifth inning against Canadian starter Jamie Richmond (Mississauga, ON). Tai Yung Kuo led off with a solo home run to make it 2-1. Then Wu drove in Han Lin on a RBI double for a 3-1 lead.
Richmond would complete the fifth before ending his day. He allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out one.
The Canadians would respond in the bottom half of the fifth with back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning from Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC) and Cole Armstrong (Surrey, BC) to reduce the lead to one. Armstrong would later come in to score the tying run on a Shawn Bowman (Port Moody, BC) RBI single.
The rain started to come down before the start of the sixth, causing a 25 minute delay. When action resumed, Trystan Magnuson (Vancouver, BC) pitched a one-two-three top of the sixth to keep the game tied 3-3.
With lightning in the distance, the Canadians came in the bottom of the sixth and broke the tie. First, Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) drew a leadoff walk and stole second, putting himself in scoring position for Loewen. Loewen would drive Lawrie in on an RBI single to put Canada ahead 4-3. Armstrong followed with an RBI double to bring in Loewen and give the Canadians an insurance run.
As the seventh inning was about to begin, heavy rain started to fall on the field. After a 30 minute delay, official called the game, giving Canada the win.
“It’s a battle every game,” says Team Canada Manager Ernie Whitt. “Chinese Taipei pitched well, they play great defence and we were able to get some runs scored, but it was a battle.”
“It was a huge win for us, no matter how we got the win,” adds Cole Armstrong, who was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI. “It would’ve been a pretty tough uphill battle if we would’ve gone into the third round 0-3. But now we’ve got a win in there and hopefully we can knock some teams around and do some damage.”
Canada is going into the third round on a five game winning streak after starting the round 0-2. Ernie Whitt feels confident that his team can keep the momentum going into the next round.
“We’re on a pretty good role right now. Tomorrow is a travel day, which will give our bullpen some much needed rest and we’ll see what we’ll do with our rotation. But I like where we’re at. We’ve positioned ourselves very well.”
Canada will carry over a record of 1-2 into the third round after their win against Chinese Taipei and losses against the United States and Australia. The Canadians will play four games against the teams who advanced from Group F in Netherlands, which are the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Venezuela. From there, the combined records of each team will determine who will play for the World Cup championship.
Canada finishes the second round with a 5-2 record and in third place in Group G behind the United States and Australia. Canada will now make its way to Rome, Italy and play its first game of the third round in Nettuno, Italy against Puerto Rico on Tuesday, September, 22nd at 8 PM. To follow the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup live on the web, click on the following link: http://2009baseballworldcup.com/index.php?id=10
Note: In the IBAF statistics, it was noted that Trystan Magnuson pitched for 2 1/3 innings of relief against Italy on Saturday, September 20th. This, in fact, was an error on the part of the IBAF. The actual pitcher of record was Dustin Molleken. We apologize for any inconvenience.