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USA wins World Baseball Challenge, Canada third

PRINCE GEORGE – Team Canada finished the 2009 World Baseball Challenge on a bit of a downer as they would drop their first playoff game to the USA National Team in a 1-0 pitchers duel, then would follow it with stunning semi-final loss to Germany 4-2 to finish the tournament in third place.

In the USA game, American starter Gerrit Cole threw a complete game shutout, allowing only two hits and one walk while striking out seven.

The only run of the game came in the second inning on a RBI triple from Andy Wilkins off of Canadian starter Jordan Rawlyk. That would be his only blemish in four innings pitched, allowing the one run on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts.

Eric Brown came in relief and gave his team a chance to come back in this game, allowing one hit and three walks in four innings of shutout baseball.

In the semi-final, the surprising Germans took it to Canada early by scoring two runs in the second inning and one more in the sixth for a 3-0 lead before the Canadians cut the lead to one in the eighth with a pair of runs. But Germany was able to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth and the Canadians could not recover.

Most of the damage for Germany came from Michael Franke and Ludwig Glaser. Franke was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI, while Glaser was 3-for-3 with three runs scored and a home run.

Canada did have their chances to score runs, collecting 11 hits in the game, but they stranded 11 runners on base.

André Hughes picked up the win, going 7-2/3 innings allowing two runs on 10 hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Danny Britton-Foster took the loss, giving up two runs on six hits over five innings of work. He walked two while striking out three.

In the final, it was a no doubter as the USA National Team went on to defeat Germany and avenge their earlier round-robin loss with a convincing 8-1 victory to win the World Baseball Challenge.