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Canada Earns Silver Medal

  • August 29, 2008

MATSUYAMA, Japan – The Women’s National Team’s quest for their first World Championship fell just short as Canada would fall to Japan by a score of 11-3 in the Gold Medal Game at the III IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup.

Despite the loss, Canada’s silver medal finish means that this is the team’s highest placement since the tournament’s inception in 2004. Canada earned bronze medals at the two previous Women’s World Cups in 2004 and 2006.

“I’m really proud of our team. We showed a lot of character to get where we are and I can’t ask for a better performance out of the girls,” says Manager André Lachance.

The Canadians got on the board first in the second inning when Karine Gagné (Granby, QC) singled up the middle to score Marie-Josée Tremblay (St-Honoré, QC) from third and give Canada a 1-0 lead.

Canada added to its lead in the third inning when they would load the bases with one out for Tremblay, who hit into a fielder’s choice to drive in Amanda Asay (Prince George, BC) and put the Canadians ahead 2-0.

Japan would bounce back however in the bottom of the fourth when they would plate four runs off of Canadian pitcher Kate Psota (Burlington, ON), who came in relief of starter Martine Nadeau (Québec City, QC), to take a 4-2 lead.

The Canadians responded in the top of the fifth inning when Geneviève Beauchamp (Sherbrooke, QC), who reached on a double, would score on a RBI single from Tremblay to cut the lead to one.

But then the wheels would fall off for Canada in the bottom of the fifth as they would run out of fresh arms on the mound and Japan would capitalize to score seven runs and put the game out of reach.

Canada would pound out 12 hits to Japan’s 11, however a pair of costly errors and leaving 12 runners on-base was the story on this day for the Canadians. But there is a silver lining.

“We’ve moved one step closer to our main goal here,” says Lachance. “Hopefully in 2010, we will accomplish what we’ve set out for since the beginning and that’s to bring home a gold medal.”

Box Score

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Canada Goes for GOLD!

  • August 28, 2008

MATSUYAMA, Japan For the second day in a row, the Womens National Team came from behind late and this time it earned them a trip to the Gold Medal Game as Canada defeated Australia 7-6 at the III IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup.

The previous night, Canada executed two successful squeeze plays in the top of the seventh inning to come back and win against the United States, also by a score of 7-6.

“We are playing like bandits!  We keep stealing games from our opponents in the late innings or our last at-bats!” stated Team Canada Manager André Lachance.

Tonight’s 7-6 win over Australia was very gratifying for the coaching staff as they’ve seen the Aussie’s play the role of spoiler before.

“Australia beat us in 2006 in Taiwan and almost knocked us out of medal contention,” says Eric LaForest. “Australia certainly affected our chances of winning a gold medal in 2006; we again showed mental toughness tonight to come from behind late to get this win!”

Canada gave up three runs in the top of the first inning but responded with one run in the bottom of the first and again in the second to cut the lead to one.  Then the Canadian women posted three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-3.  Australia rallied in the top of the fifth inning with another three-run frame to regain the lead 6-5.

Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Nicole Luchanski (Edmonton, AB) singled to right and scored the tying run on a follow up triple by Autumn Mills (London, ON). With Mills standing at third, Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, ON) singled to left field with two out and cashed the go-ahead run.

Kate Psota (Burlington, ON) shut the door the rest of the way and got the win for Canada, putting them one win away from their first world championship.

Canada plays Japan for the gold medal on Friday, August 29 at 6:30 pm local time (Friday, 5:30 am EST) at Botchan Stadium.  You can follow the game live at the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) website at: www.ibaf.org.

Box Score

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Canada Squeezes Out Win Over USA

  • August 27, 2008

MATSUYAMA, Japan – The Women’s National Team are now one step closer to earning a birth in the Gold Medal Game at the III IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup after a hard fought 7-6 win over the United States.

It was a rollercoaster battle that saw the lead change five times, but Canada took the lead for good in the top of the seventh to improve their record to 3-1.

“I am proud of our players and the character they showed today”, said André Lachance, Field Manager for Team Canada. “There were times we could have given up when the momentum changed in (the U.S.) favour, but we were quick to get the momentum back. You could feel the energy on our bench.”

Canada was able to flawlessly execute three squeeze plays in the late innings to come up with the victory, including a clutch pinch-hit single from Stephanie Savoie (La Pocatière, QC) in the seventh inning to tie the game.

“We have been working on offensive execution”, said Wayne Parro, hitting and first base coach. “Our players are buying into the team’s plan, and we are starting to play with the confidence that matches our ability.”

Leading Canada’s offensive attack was Kate Psota (Burlington, ON), who was 3-for-4 with an RBI.  Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, ON) was 2-for-3 with two RBI for Canada.

Stephenson also got the win in relief, pitching one and two-thirds innings.  Martine Nadeau (Québec City, QC), who started for Canada, went four innings allowing three runs on seven hits and a pair of walks while striking out three.  Autumn Mills (London, ON) went one and a third innings in relief, giving up three runs, one earned, on two hits.

Canada’s next game in the cross-over round is against Australia.  A win will put Canada in the Gold Medal Game against Japan, who earned their spot with a 10-1 win over the Aussies.

Canada takes on Australia on Thursday, August 28 at 12:30 pm local time, at Botchan Stadium.

Box Score

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Canada Bounces Back Against Korea

  • August 26, 2008

MATSUYAMA, Japan – The Women’s National Team responded to yesterday's loss against Japan with a 15-0, four-inning mercy win today over Korea at the III IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup.

Although the game was called after four innings due to the mercy rule, this game took exactly five hours to complete due to frequent rain delays.

"That was the longest mercy rule game I've ever seen!" says third base coach Eric LaForest.

Canada opened the flood gates immediately by scoring 10 runs in the top of the first inning and then never looked back.  They would go on to add two runs in the third inning and three run in the fourth inning to seal the win.

"I knew we would be ready for today. Our players have a lot of character and most important, we were solid with our pitching and defence,” says Manager André Lachance.  “We do not lose many games when we pitch well and play sound defensively."

Marie-Josée Tremblay (St-Honoré, QC) started the game, allowing only one hit with three walks over two innings of work.  Melanie Anctil (St-Hubert, QC) came in relief and she would also only give up one hit in her two innings on the mound.  Anctil would also allow two walks with one strikeout.

"M-J was pitching well but because of the frequent and lengthy rain delays, we had to go to our bullpen", says Lachance. "Both pitchers were sharp and combined gave up only two hits."

Leading Canada's offensive assault was Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, ON), who was 2-for-2 with four RBI.  Megan Cornellson (Grande-Prairie, AB) was 2-for-3 with three runs driven in while Amanda Asay (Prince George, BC) was 2-for-4 and drove three runs of her own.  All nine hitters in the Canadian lineup reached base at least once and scored at least one run.

Canada now starts the divisional cross-over and will first take on the United States on Wednesday, August 27 at 12:30 pm local time at Botchan Stadium. Martine Nadeau (Québec City, QC) will get the start for Canada.

Box Score

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Canada Slips in Game Two

  • August 25, 2008

MATSUYAMA, Japan  The Canadian Women's National Team suffered a setback at the III IBAF Women's Baseball World Cup as they would lose their second game of the tournament at the hands of Japan by a score of 12-2.

"This is far from over", quipped manager André Lachance. "We are not out of this tournament, we simply have to regroup and come back ready to play tomorrow."

"They hit the ball well tonight, we did not", added Jean-François Lacroix, Team Canada's pitching coach.

Canada came out swinging in the first inning; after one quick out, Marie-Josée Tremblay (St-Honoré, QC) hit a single, followed by a double by Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, ON). Amanda Asay (Prince George, BC) ripped a single that plated both runners and gave Canada a 2-0.

That lead was short lived as Japan responded with three runs in the bottom of the first.

Canada was unable to get its offense in gear for the balance of the game and Japan had a big inning in the fifth, scoring eight runs to seal the win.

Team Canada will next face off with Korea at 12:30 pm local time on Tuesday, August 26.

Box Score

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Baseball Canada Selects New Crop of Junior Players

  • August 25, 2008

OTTAWA – The Junior National Team ended its two year cycle with a sixth place finish at the World Junior Baseball Championship in Edmonton in early August.  Now Baseball Canada begins a new cycle for the 2010 World Juniors in Thunder Bay and it all starts at the Baseball Canada Cup, which took place from August 13-17 in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Baseball Canada coaches and scouts selected 30 new players from all over the country to participate in the Fall Instructional League camp in Orlando, Florida from October 2-12.  There, these players will take on professional players from teams affiliated with Major League Baseball. 

The following is the list of players selected for the Junior National Team’s Fall Instructional League camp:

Alberta

Jordan Wong, RHP (Calgary)
Joel Lutz, 3B (Medicine Hat)
Mitch Frey, SS (Medicine Hat)

British Columbia

Keaton Briscoe, 2B (North Vancouver)
Darren Kolk, OF (Cobble Hill)
Ethan Stewart, LHP (Campbell River)
Kellin Deglan, C (Langley)
Steve McKinnon, RHP (Duncan)
Wes Darvill, SS (Langley)
Brooklyn Foster, C (Langley)
Jason Gibson, LHP (Victoria)
Mike Ellis, RHP (Surrey)
Paul Barton, RHP (Qualicum Beach)

Manitoba

Paul Schaak, LHP (Plum Coullee)

New Brunswick

Mike Washburn, 1B (Fredericton)

Ontario

Jeff Gibbs, RHP (Toronto)
Larry Balkwill, C (Chatham)
Tanner Nivins, OF (Kitchener)
Jonathon Solazzo, 3B (Mississauga)
Maxx Tissenbaum, SS (Toronto)
Andrew Ruck, OF (Whitby)
Trevor Barton, OF (London)
Donovan Latour, RHP (Barrie)
Jerome Werniuk, RHP (Toronto)

Québec

Alexandre Béland, C (Trois-Rivières)
Jonathan Paquet, RHP (Ancienne Lorette)
Brian Bardis, OF (St-Constant)
Yan Fortin, RHP (Laval)

Saskatchewan

Evan Zerff, RHP (Regina)
Tyler McWhirter, 2B (Regina)

A complete roster along with schedule for the Fall camp will be released at a later date.

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Canada Opens Women’s World Cup With Convincing Win

  • August 24, 2008

Canada’s National Women’s Baseball Team opened play at the III IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup with a convincing 19-9 win today over Hong Kong.

“This win was a good start for our team, but we know we can play much better defensively,” said André Lachance, Field Manager for Team Canada. “We showed some nerves early in the game, but our players responded positively and we finished strong.”

“Pitching and defense will win championships”, said Lachance. “We have some new players this year and it was important to get them into a World Cup game early in the tournament.”

Veteran Marie-Josée Tremblay (QC) pitched the first inning; newcomers Shelby Gordon (AB) and Louise Harris (ON) finished the game which was shortened due to the five-inning mercy rule.

“I am confident in our offense”, added Wayne Parro, hitting and first base coach. “We get better every year and we will compete against every country with our offense.”

Leading the offense against Hong Kong were veterans Nicole Luchanski (AB) and Mel Harwood (ON) who were both two for two with two walks.

Canada plays Japan on Monday evening at Botchan Stadium in Matsuyama in game two of the preliminary round.

“We expect a large crowd in support of the home Japanese team, but we are ready for them!” said Lachance.

The game is scheduled for 7:00 pm local time, immediately following the tournament’s opening ceremonies.

Box Score

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National Championships: Day 13 Recap

  • August 24, 2008

OTTAWA – On the final day of the Baseball Canada National Championships, two more teams, one in the Senior Men division and the other in the peewee division, earned the title of National Champion.  But first, the medal matchups had to be decided.

In the Senior Men Championship in Brandon, Manitoba, two quarter-final games started the day’s activities and it took 11 innings to decide the day’s opening contest as Ontario would drive in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning to move on to the semis with a 5-4 win over Manitoba.

Thomas Grubb (Wheatley, ON) was 3-for-4 with an RBI for Ontario, while Rory Tycoles (Reston, MB) was 3-for-5 with an RBI for Manitoba.

In the other quarter-final, it was Nova Scotia holding on for the 6-4 win over Alberta.  Nova Scotia took a 6-1 lead into the top of the seventh, but Alberta would rally to score three runs against starter Jason Bailey (Dartmouth, NS).  Bailey however would regroup to earn the complete game win and send his team to the semi-finals.

In the semis, Nova Scotia took on Québec and ran into the hot hand of Steven Bélanger (Trois-Rivières, QC).  Bélanger threw a complete-game, two hit shutout on route to a 4-0 win to give Québec a birth in the Gold Medal Game.  In the other semi, British Columbia scored five runs in the bottom of the first and then scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth to mercy Ontario 11-1.  Matt Gunning (Victoria, BC) was 2-for-3 with an impressive seven RBI and two runs scored.

So now British Columbia would square off with Québec for the gold.  British Columbia would take command early as they would take a 6-0 lead after three and a half innings. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Québec would get on the board, scoring three runs to cut the lead in half.  After both teams scored four runs in the fifth inning to make it 10-7 for British Columbia, Québec would add one in the sixth to cut the B.C. lead to two but that is as close as they would get as British Columbia would win the gold with a 10-8 win over Québec.

Lance Burrows (Victoria, BC) was 2-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored for British Columbia, while teammate Jon Bosnick (Burnaby, BC) was 4-for-4 with four runs scored and an RBI.  Danny Girard (Trois-Rivières, QC) was 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored for Québec.

In the Bronze Medal Game, Ontario would score five runs in the third inning and never look back as they would defeat Nova Scotia 10-4 to earn the bronze.  Kris Klassen (Harrow, ON) was 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.

At the Peewee Championship in Vaughan, Ontario, the semi-finals were all set as British Columbia took on Ontario and it was the host team from Vaughan taking on Québec in semi-final number two.

In the first semi-final, it was British Columbia all over Ontario as they would move on to the Gold Medal Game with a 7-1 win.  In the second semi-final, it was Québec earning a birth in the Gold Medal Game edging Vaughan by a score of 5-4.

For bronze, it was an all Ontario battle as Team Ontario was too strong for the host team from Vaughan as Ontario captured the bronze medal with an 11-5 win.  In the Gold Medal Game, it would be Québec who would take home the title as they would go on to defeat British Columbia by a score of 6-2.

Click here for complete Baseball Canada National Championships coverage.

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National Championships: Day 12 Recap

  • August 23, 2008

OTTAWA – The playoff picture is now set at the Senior Men and Peewee championships after some more intense action at the Baseball Canada National Championships.

Both British Columbia and Québec finished their preliminary schedules undefeated at 4-0 at the Senior Men Championship in Brandon, Manitoba. Both teams earned berths into the semi finals and are awaiting their opponents.

But first the quarter-final matchups had to be determined. Manitoba earned their spot in the playoffs after playing three games today and winning two, first against Ontario 2 where Jeff Thomson (Grande Point, MB) pitched a complete game shutout to earn a 5-0 win. Then, Manitoba held off a surging Newfoundland & Labrador for a 9-7 victory. Mitch Stephens (Brandon, MB) went 3-for-4 with three RBI.

Ontario would earn their spot in the quarters with a 4-0 win over New Brunswick. Steven Carter (Windsor, ON) threw a complete game, one-hitter to help send his team to the playoffs.

Alberta had to win their final game of the day to earn a spot and they did just that, holding off a resurgent Brandon team for the 3-2 win. Brandon scored their two runs in the top of the seventh inning, but Craig Tomas (St. Albert, AB) got the final out and the save. Finally, Nova Scotia earned the fourth quarter-final berth in virtue of their bottom of the seventh, 3-2 win over Ontario 2. Darren Doucette (Dartmouth, NS) drove in a pair of runs for Nova Scotia.

At the Peewee Championship in Vaughan, Ontario, the quarter-final matchups were set and both Ontario and Québec were awaiting their opponents for the semi-finals on Sunday.

Two teams established their dominance in the quarter-finals as both matchups were lopsided affairs. First, British Columbia would blank Manitoba 10-0 to earn a date with Ontario, while the host team from Vaughan earned their spot in the semis and a matchup with Québec with an 8-2 victory over Saskatchewan.

Click here for complete Baseball Canada National Championships coverage.

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National Championships: Day 11 Recap

  • August 22, 2008

OTTAWA –Rain was a factor at the Senior Men Championship while some more high scoring contests at the Peewee championship to round out the day of competition at the Baseball Canada National Championships.

Only three games were completed in Brandon, Manitoba at the Senior Men Championship, but they were all exciting matchups as all three were decided in the final inning.

Alberta scored an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning to give them a 2-0 lead, and it turned out they would need that run as New Brunswick came back and scored one run in the bottom of the seventh on a RBI from Craig Betts (Moncton, NB) to score Ryan Barry (Miramichi, NB), but that would be all they could get as Alberta defeated New Brunswick 2-1.

It took ten innings for Ontario 2 to complete their comeback as they would score the go-ahead run in the top of the frame and hold on to win against Newfoundland & Labrador by a score of 2-1. Bobby Kent (St. John’s, NL) threw all ten innings in a losing cause, allowing two runs on eight hits. He walked one while striking out seven.

Ontario thought they had a comfortable 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the seventh against Brandon, but the host team would make things interesting by scoring three runs with the help of RBIs from Kevin Levandosky (Neepawa, MB) and Ian Hockin (Neepawa, MB), but that’s as close as they would get as Ontario held on for the 4-3 win.

At the Peewee Championship in Vaughan, Ontario, a repeat of the first day with some lopsided scores, but some one-run games started the day.

Québec defeated British Columbia by a score of 5-4 in the first game of the day. The host team from Vaughan beat Alberta 9-8, while Prince Edward Island held on to a 7-6 win over New Brunswick.

Then, the scores became a little more one sided. Ontario beat Manitoba 13-5, Saskatchewan topped Newfoundland & Labrador 19-9, British Columbia was all over Prince Edward Island 23-8 and Manitoba defeated Nova Scotia 14-5.

It was Québec over Vaughan 16-7, but there would be one more one-run game before the day was out as New Brunswick edged Alberta 5-4.

Click here for complete Baseball Canada National Championships coverage.

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