PRINCE GEORGE – An eight run outburst in the fourth inning and a 5-for-5 day from Kevin Atkinson was more than enough for Team Canada to earn their second win at the Enbridge Northern Gateway World Baseball Challenge, as three Canadian pitchers combined for a no-hitter as they would go on to crush the Bahamas in a 14-0 mercy victory.
Atkinson led the way hitting two home runs, a pair of doubles and drivning in six of Canada’s 14 runs. Junior Nicholls went 2-for-4 and contributed a homer of his own, drove in a pair of runs and scored twice.
It was just as dominating on the mound as Jordan Rawlyk got the start for Canada and threw five innings, allowing three walks while striking out seven. Brandon Kaye threw a perfect inning of relief, and the same goes for Matt Bannister, who fanned one in his inning of work.
Canada would score in each of the first four innings of the game, starting with a three spot in the top of the first. Sammie Starr led off the game with a triple and scored on a passed ball to make it 1-0. Atkinson would hit a solo home run later in the frame to Canada up by two, and Nicholls hit an RBI single to bring in the third run.
The Canadians would add another in the second when Dan Welch, who led off the inning with a single, came in to score on the RBI double from Atkinson to increase Canada’s lead to 4-0.
The score became 5-0 in the third inning on Nicholls’ solo blast to left, his first of the tournament.
Then the floodgates opened in the fourth inning. It started with Atkinson’s second home run of the game with one out to make it 6-0. Four batters later, Mike Mutcheson drew a bases loaded walk to put Canada up by seven. Then Alex White reached on a fielder’s choice as a throwing error from Lionel Ferguson, Jr. allowed two more runs to score. Mutcheson then scored on a passed ball to make it 10-0 and White would cross on Welch’s RBI single.
David Sweeting came on in relief for the Bahamas, but it did not get any better for them as Starr reached on a fielder’s choice and Greg Wallace, who originally led off the inning, reached with a single. This allowed Atkinson to a two-run double to his home run he already hit in the frame to make it 13-0.
Atkinson drove in his sixth run of the ball game in the sixth inning with an RBI single to bring in Starr and complete the game’s scoring.
Team Canada’s next game will be on Wednesday, July 22 at 3 PM PT when they take on Germany, who has just come off an upset victory over Team USA, by a score of 6-3 on Monday and face Team BC on Tuesday. To follow the tournament as it happens, go to http://livestream.com/worldbaseball or visit the 2009 World Baseball Challenge website at www.worldbaseball.ca.