LIMA, Peru – A six-run sixth inning highlighted by a Wes Darvill (Langley, BC) grand slam combined with seven strong innings on the mound from starting pitcher Scott Richmond led Canada’s men’s baseball team to a 10-3 win over Colombia at the Pan Am Games baseball competition.
The win clinches first place in Group B with a perfect 3-0 record and gives Canada a 1-0 record heading into super round play beginning on Friday.
“We’re right where we want to be,” said Manager Ernie Whitt. “Our ultimate goal is to win a gold medal and anything short of that I’d be disappointed.”
Trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Canada caught a break as a hustling Connor Panas (Etobicoke, ON) reached second base on a dropped pop-up by Colombia’s second baseman and came around to score the tying run two batters later when Tristan Pompey (Mississauga, ON) bounced a single through the middle of the infield.
“Their starting pitcher, he had us baffled,” continued Whitt. “They made a mistake and we were able to capitalize on it. Their second baseman catches that ball who knows what’s going to happen.”
Canada then took the lead in the sixth when Tyson Gillies (Vancouver, BC) drew a walk with the bases loaded setting up Darvill’s grand slam that banged off the foul pole in left field.
“Wes’s home run was a big momentum shift that worked in our favour,” explained Whitt. “In these tournaments you have to execute, not make mistakes and then you have a chance to win.”
Colombia had opened the scoring in the top of the fourth using a lead off double, followed by a single to put runners on second and third base before a Derwin Pomare base hit to left brought in the game’s first run.
After Canada took the lead in the sixth, Richmond allowed a solo home run in the seventh but capped his seven-inning outing by retiring the next three batters he faced and finished with five strikeouts.
“I wanted to go out there and fill the strike zone up,” said Richmond. “Our defence has been really great this whole tournament so I wanted to make sure to use them.
Jordan Lennerton (Langley, BC) put an exclamation point on the win with a three-run homer off the batter’s eye in centerfield in the eighth to pick up his second hit of the game for a Canadian team that had 14 on the day.
UP NEXT: Canada will open Super Round play on Friday against Group A winner Puerto Rico at the Del Triunfo Baseball Field in Lima with the first pitch set for 4PM ET.
To stay up-to-date with Canada’s men’s baseball team in Lima be sure to follow @baseballcanada on Twitter.
To follow the Pan Am Games baseball competition including standings, box scores and statistics, please visit the Official Lima 2019 website.