GODO, Italy – Team Canada found its offence against the Netherlands Antilles, making short work of the Caribbean squad with a 19-2, six inning win at the 38th Baseball World Cup.
“We talked about it before the game and I told them that moving on is in their hands and we can’t take anyone lightly,” says Team Canada Manager Ernie Whitt. “We wanted to get on the board quick and that’s what we did.”
In fact it was as it started right away in the top of the first inning when Jimmy Van Ostrand (Richmond, BC) hit a three-run home run and Brett Lawrie added a solo blast to take an early 4-0 lead.
The Canadian added four more runs in the third inning. Lawrie drove in a pair with a double, Emerson Frostad (Calgary, AB) drove in Lawrie with an RBI single and Frostad scored on a Jonathan Malo (Joliette, QC) RBI single to make it 8-0.
Meanwhile, Canadian starter Brooks McNiven (Vernon, BC) was in complete control of the Antilles going the first three innings without allowing any base runners, striking out three.
Two more runs came in to score for the Canadians in the fourth inning on Shawn Bowman’s (Port Moody, BC) two-run home run for a 10-0 lead.
The runs kept pouring in for the Canadians in the top of the fifth, scoring four more runs on a two-run double from Adam Stern (London, ON), a fielder’s choice from Rene Tosoni (Coquitlam, BC) and a sacrifice fly from Bowman for to Canada in front 14-0.
The Antilles broke the shutout in the bottom of the fifth inning when Randolph Kirindongo hit a two-run double to bring in Rafael Jozefa and Quincy Martina to put Antilles on the board, 14-2.
Canada put the final nail in the coffin in the sixth when they scored five runs, highlighted by Frostad’s two-run single, giving the Canadians a 17 run lead.
McNiven completed the game with a one-two-three bottom of the sixth to preserve the mercy win. McNiven earned the win with a six inning complete game, allowing two runs, four hits with five strikeouts.
“We took care of business and won a game we needed to win,” says Frostad, who was 3-for-4 with two RBI. “Brooks did a great job on the mound and our offence gained some confidence after having a couple of rough games earlier in this round.”
Up next for Canada is a matchup with Italy and Whitt sees this game in a similar light as the one tonight.
“The message to the team for tomorrow is exactly the same as it was tonight. We want to swing the bats and score early and put pressure on them.”
Team Canada will now face Italy on Saturday, September 19th, at 8 PM, local time, in Reggio Emilia. To follow the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup live on the web, click on the following link: http://2009baseballworldcup.com/index.php?id=10