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Preview: WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – The Canadian men’s baseball team along with seven other countries are in South Florida gearing up for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Baseball Americas Qualifier that gets underway on May 31st and runs until June 5th.

The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach and Clover Park in St. Lucie will play host to all tournament games.

What’s on the line?

The winner of the event will earn a spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic baseball tournament becoming the fifth nation to qualify joining host Japan along with Israel, Korea and Mexico.

The second a third place finishers will earn spots in the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier, June 22-26 in Puebla, Mexico, where the final spot in Tokyo 2020 will be decided in a group that also includes Australia, Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands.

Groups and Format

Canada is in Group B along with Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela while Group A features host USA along with the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico.

Canada opens play against Colombia on May 31st (7PM ET) before taking on Cuba on June 1st (7PM ET) and Venezuela on June 2nd (1PM ET).

After group play concludes, the top two finishers from each group will advance to the Super Round, on June 4th and 5th, where they will each play two games. Head-to-head contests among these teams from the opening round will carry over into the Super Round standings.

The team with the best Super Round record will be declared the winner and earn a spot in Tokyo 2020.

How to watch

All tournament games will be streamed live in Canada via the CBC Sports streaming platform. The WBSC recently announced that the event will be broadcast in 70+ countries and territories.

Team Canada

Ernie Whitt returns to manage the national side for the 19th time in his career Whitt where he’s guided Canada to four Pan Am Games medals (two gold, one silver and one bronze), at all four World Baseball Classic events and the 2004 Athens Olympics.

He will oversee a roster at the Americas qualifier that includes former major leaguers Andrew Albers, John Axford, Chris Leroux, Scott Mathieson, Dustin Molleken and Scott Richmond. 

The team has been in West Palm Beach for training camp since May 25th and has played three games to ready themselves for the event.

Useful Links:

WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier website

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