REGGIO EMILIA, Italy – Team Canada had no answers for Team USA starter Cory Luebke, who carried a no-hitter for almost eight innings on route to giving Canada its first loss of the 38th Baseball World Cup with an 8-0 victory.
Luebke kept the Canadian hitters at bay his entire outing. His only blemishes before giving up the one hit was a walk and a hit batter, both to Adam Stern (London, ON).
The Americans opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Josh Kroeger drove in the first run on a fielder’s choice, then Terry Tiffee hit a two-run double followed by an RBI double from Jon Weber to give Team USA an early 4-0 lead.
Tiffee and Weber were at it again in the bottom of the third inning when they hit back-to-back doubles to increase the U.S. lead to 6-0.
That would be it for Canadian starter Chris Begg (Uxbridge, ON). He allowed six runs on six hits in three innings of work.
“The result wasn’t exactly what we envisioned, but nothing was really going for us today,” says Begg. “They played well and we played horribly, and coming off the first round in Sweden where the competition really wasn’t what it will be here. We knew we had to step it up, but we didn’t.”
The Americans continued adding to their lead in the bottom of the sixth when Weber drove in his third run of the game with a single, this time off reliever Bryan Dumesnil (Nanaimo, BC), to make it 7-0 for the United States.
Pedro Alvarez struck the final blow on the scoreboard with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh against RJ Swindle (Vancouver, BC) to put the Americans up by eight.
Chris Robinson (Dorchester, ON) broke up the no-hitter with two outs in the top of the eighth with a triple to centre field, and that would spell the end for Luebke. Over 7 2/3 innings, Luebke allowed one hit, one walk; one hit batter and struck out 10 Canadian hitters.
“(Luebke) threw really well and he kept us off balance all night,” says Team Canada Manager Ernie Whitt. “We knew we had our hands full with this U.S. team, but now we just forget it and move on for tomorrow.”
Team Canada will be back on the field on Monday, September 14th as they will face Australia at 8 PM, local time in Novara. To follow the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup live on the web, click on the following link: http://2009baseballworldcup.com/index.php?id=73