SANTIAGO, Panama – Blake Buckle (Milton, ON) homered twice including a grand slam while Dasan Brown (Oakville, ON) belted a solo home run to lead the Canadian Junior National Team to an 8-2 win over Venezuela.
The win improves Canada’s record to 2-0 at the COPABE U-18 Pan Am Baseball Championships with two games remaining in the opening round. The event is being used as a qualifier for next year’s WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup with the top four countries advancing.
Buckle and Brown got Canada’s offence going in the fifth with solo blasts off Venezuela starter Daniel Vilchez who was removed from the game after the two-run fifth inning.
Canadian starter Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC) held Venezuela hitless until the fifth when they recorded back-to-back, one-out singles and looked to cut into Canada’s lead. With two out and runners on first and second, Blake Buckle made a game saving catch in left field for the third out to keep the Venezuelans off the scoreboard.
Millas was pulled in the sixth with two out and runners on second and third bringing in lefty Antoine Jean (Montréal, QC) who walked the first batter he faced to load the bases before redeeming himself with a huge strikeout to end the frame.
In the seventh, Cesar Valero (Calgary, AB) took a pitch off the helmet with the bases loaded to score a run before Buckle hammered a 2-2 offering well over the wall in right field for a grand slam.
Venezuela ended the shutout bid when Tyler McWillie (Watrous, SK) gave up a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth before they added another later in the inning after an error.
UP NEXT: Team Canada will get a day off on Sunday before taking on Bahamas at Rico Cedeño Stadium in Chitré on Monday, November 26th…RHP Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, SK) will get the start on the mound with the first pitch set for 10AM ET.
Scores (Panama Instagram)
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