BRISBANE, Australia – It started off well, but one inning would turn out to be Canada’s downfall in their first exhibition game as they would fall at the hands off Australia by a final score of 5-3.
The Canadians would be the ones to break it open in the third inning when Emmanuel Garcia hit a double to cash in Jeremy Ware (Guelph, ON) would had reached base on a walk.
“I was just trying to see the ball well. I got a 3-1 fastball and I was able to put the bat on the ball,” says Garcia.
David Corrente (Chatham, ON), who also walked, would score the second run of the inning on a sacrifice fly from Emerson Frostad (Calgary, AB) to make it 2-0.
The Canadians would add to the lead in the fourth inning when Ware hit a double of his own to score Matt Rogelstad (New Westminster, BC) and make it 3-0.
“I’m just trying to keep it simple, put a good swing on the ball and it worked out,” says Ware of his double.
Things were going smoothly until the fifth inning when the Aussies would put up a five spot and take the lead. Aaron Wideman (Mississauga, ON) and Steve Green (Greenfield Park, QC) combined to give up those runs on two singles, four walks and a wild pitch.
“We’re obviously getting out there for the first time, facing hitters for the first time this year and it feels good to get out there,” says Wideman of his outing. “I didn’t have my control today, but I’m working on all of the glitches and the bumps and bruises, but my arm felt good. I just need to get rid of the wrinkles and be ready for the next day.”
James Avery (Moose Jaw, SK), who started for Canada, and Brooks McNiven (Vancouver, BC) threw two innings a piece and combined to shutout the Australians allowing only two hits with six strikeouts.
There were more positives than negatives for Canada in a game which saw most of the players taking the field for the first time since the end of last season.
“They had a soft five runs off of balls that weren’t hit real hard and our guys are still just trying to see some pitches,” says Manager Terry Puhl.
“Defensively we did well. We made some really nice plays. They’re good athletes. It’ll be a couple more days and they’ll be right there.”
Canada takes to the field again on Friday, February 29th against the Aussies for the second game of their exhibition series. The action starts at 7 pm.