TAICHUNG, Taiwan – The Canadians allowed two big innings and could not quite comeback from the deficit as they would suffer the loss against Australia by a score of 10-5 at the Final Olympic Qualifier.
Australia would put together two four-run innings and it would turn out to be enough to take down the Canadians.
“We just gave them too many runs. You can’t win many ball games when you give up 10 runs,” says Manager Terry Puhl.
The game started off well for Canada with a solo home run by Jimmy VanOstrand (Richmond, BC), who was 2-for-3 in the game, in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead.
It would turn out to be the only lead the Canadians would have in this one as Australia would get their first four run inning in the third. Four runs on four hits and an error against Canadian starter Brooks McNiven (Vancouver, BC) to take a 4-1 lead.
Meanwhile, Aussie starter Steve Kent was frustrating the Canadian offence, allowing three runs on six hits with one walk in six innings of work.
In that time, the Aussies would put together their second four run inning in the fifth. Australia would load the bases on Jamie Richmond (Mississauga, ON) and Brett Roneberg would clear them with a three-RBI double. In total, four runs on four hits in the inning gave Australia a 8-1 lead.
The Canadians were able to produce a bit of a comeback in the seventh inning. VanOstrand lead off the inning with a single and Matt Rogelstad (New Westminster, BC) would follow with a two-run home run to reduce the lead to 8-3.
Canada would have the bases loaded with one out in the inning and Mike Saunders (Victoria, BC) at the plate. Saunders would hit a ground ball to second and seemed to have beat out a double play, but first base umpire L.K. Hsieh of Taiwan called Saunders out at first, to the protest of Saunders and Puhl, killing any rally.
“It was an obvious bad call and it cost us a run and you never know what would’ve happened after that,” says Puhl.
The Canadians were determined however. Nick Weglarz (Stevensville, ON) lead off the eighth inning with a single and Ryan Radmanovich would follow with a two-run homer to bring the Aussie lead down to 8-5. That would be as close as Canada would get.
Australia would add a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth for insurance and that would prove to be the final runs of this game.
“It was a tough loss, but no one said it would be easy,” says Radmanovich, who was 1-for-4 on the day. “Unfortunately today we came up on the short end of the stick.”
“It’s one ball game. We’ve already moved on. There’s nothing you can do about it, you just come back and focus on the game at hand,” says Puhl.
Up next for Canada is Chinese Taipei on Monday, March, 10th at 6:30 pm. Jonathan Lockwood (Toronto, ON) is scheduled for the start.