PRINCE GEORGE – Team Canada is off to a solid start after the opening weekend of the 2009 World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, B.C. Canada sits in a three way tie for third at the moment with a 1-1 record in the tournament after an opening their schedule on Saturday with a win over Team BC by a score of 6-2, followed by a defeat at the hands of Team USA on Sunday by a score of 5-2.
In game one, Team Canada got on the board first in the top of the fourth when Jordan Padrinao hit a double to right brining in Chase Larsson, who hit a single to lead off the inning, to put Canada ahead 1-0. Padrinao would also come in to score on an RBI single from Mike Mutcheson to make it 2-0.
Team BC responded in the bottom half of the fourth when Rob Recuenco was hit by a pitch from Team Canada starter Sheldon MacDonald to lead off the inning. He would advance to second on a balk and would later score on a Devon Franklin RBI single to cut the lead to 2-1.
Greg Wallace would increase Team Canada’s lead in the top of the sixth when he hit a two-out double with the bases loaded to bring in a pair of runs and put the Canadians up by a score of 4-1. Wallace was 2-for-3 with the two RBI in the game.
But Team BC would not go away quietly as in the bottom half of the inning they would cut the lead in half when Franklin scored on a passed ball to make it 4-2.
Team Canada however would add some more insurance in the seventh inning. Larsson came in to score on a Nic Lendvoy base hit. A throwing error on the play allowed Larsson to score. Canada would add another when Lendvoy came around to score on the sacrifice fly from Mutcheson for his second RBI of the game to make it 6-2, which would be the final.
Team Canada did not have the same type of luck against the Unites States in their second game. Christian Colon led the way offensively for the Americans, going 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and an RBI. Yasmani Grandal chipped in with a two-run home run. He was 1-for-4 in the game.
The scoring started early in this one as in the top of the first when Colon hit a solo-blast to left to the Americans ahead 1-0.
Canada would immediately respond in the bottom half of the first by scoring a pair of runs to take the lead. Kevin Atkinson hit a sacrifice fly and Nic Lendvoy hit an RBI fielder’s choice to take the 2-1 lead.
The Canadians would hold on to that lead until the top of the sixth when Grandal hit a two-out, two-run homer to put Team USA in the lead again 3-2.
The Americans added insurance in the eighth and ninth innings. Colon came in to score in the eighth on a wild pitch after reaching with a one out double and another double, this time from Kolten Wong, drove in the run in the ninth.
Canada takes on the Bahamas on Monday, July 20th at 3 PM PT. To follow the tournament as it happens, go to http://livestream.com/worldbaseball or visit the 2009 World Baseball Challenge website at www.worldbaseball.ca.