February 29, 2008
BRISBANE, Australia – Canada was running on all cylinders as both the pitching and offense flexed their muscle in a 10-1 win over Australia in the second exhibition game of this series.
The Canadians collected 15 hits to go along with four home runs in this game which saw 10 of the 12 players who saw action get at least one hit.
“We got to see a lot of pitch tonight and this time we were squaring up the baseball,” says Manager Terry Puhl. “You could see that this team has a lot of power. It’s going to be fun.”
The Canadian offense did not waste any time to put points on the board. The first inning saw Canada put four runs on the board with the help of a grand slam from Matt Rogelstad (New Westminster, BC).
The inning started with two straight walks to Adam Stern (London, ON) and Stubby Clapp (Windsor, ON) and a single by Mike Saunders (Victoria, BC) to load the bases. After Ryan Radmanovich (Calgary, AB) hit into a fielder’s choice, Rogelstad belted the grand slam to put Canada in front 4-0.
“Today, guys got a lot of good swings,” says Stern, who was 2-for-4 with a two-run home run. “Now it’s going to be getting (timing) down, getting to hit the breaking balls and off speed stuff, because that’s going to be our biggest challenge when you don’t have a lot of time to prepare.”
After increasing the lead to 5-0 on a RBI single from Radmanovich in the second inning, the Canadians scored two more runs in the third inning on a two-run homer by Nick Weglarz (Stevensville, ON), making it 7-0.
“I had a pretty good approach, slowed it down and it went good,” says Weglarz, who was 2-for-4 including a double. “It was 3-1 knuckle ball that didn’t break, got it up and it went.”
The score would be 7-1 going into the seventh inning when Saunders hit a solo home run to bring the lead back to seven runs.
Stern would complete the scoring in the eighth inning with his two-run knock.
“Right now, results are good but you want to get comfortable, get ready to hit and today happened to be a good day,” says Stern. “I still want to see more off speed stuff, but it was one of those things that all of a sudden clicked and I was ready to go.”
As for the pitchers, they held the Aussie offense in check all night.
It started with Jamie Richmond (Mississauga, ON), who threw two no-hit innings, allowing only two walks with a pair of strikeouts.
“Not bad for the first time out. I didn’t feel great, but it I think it went good,” says Richmond.
“Jamie’s been pitching with a lot of confidence really early,” says Puhl. “He did well for us at the World Cup and he’s going to be a big part of our pitching staff.”
Jonathan Lockwood (Toronto, ON) followed with a solid two innings of his own, allowing one run on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
Alexandre Periard (St. Eustache, QC) and T.J. Burton (Ottawa, ON) combined to close out the Canadian side on the mound, giving up only a walk with one punch out in three innings of work.
Canada will do battle with Australia in the third game of the exhibition series on Saturday, March 1st at 7 pm.