Prince Albert, Sask. – The Canadian Men’s National Softball Team broke a tight ballgame open by scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a 10-3 run-rule victory over the United States on the first day of competition of the WBSC World Softball Championship. Brady Hogg (Thamesville, Ont.) hit a go-ahead three-run homerun in the bottom of the second inning, while Dallas Kipfer (Kitchener, Ont.) delivered a key two-run double in the six-run sixth to lead Canada to the win.
Owen Torrie (Williamsford, Ont.) started the game in the pitcher’s circle and struck out the side in the first after issuing a walk to the first batter of the game. Team Canada used the energy from a near capacity crowd at Prime Minister’s Park to open the scoring in the bottom of the inning when Isaac Lefebvre (St-Leonard-d’Aston, Que.) singled, stole second and third and scored on a single through the left side of the infield by Troy Kosmynka (Warman, Sask.). The United States turned the tides in the top of the second with a leadoff homerun by Anthony Wark to lead off the inning and added two more runs on a pair of singles and three walks to take a 3-1 lead. Torrie escaped the inning with a big strikeout to leave the bases loaded. In the bottom of the frame, Rowan Sears (Brookfield, N.S.) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved up to third on a double by Brendan Hagerman (Napanee, Ont.) before Hogg stepped up and cranked a three-run blast to left to put Canada ahead 4-3.
Both pitchers settled in from there with both teams getting runners on base but neither was able to push any runs across throughout the middle innings. Canada was finally able to break through in the bottom of the sixth by adding an insurance run on a wild pitch, another on a run-scoring single by Lefebvre and one more on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Pomeroy (Placentia, N.L.) to build a 7-3 lead. Kipfer hit a double past the left fielder to plate two more runs before Sears dropped an RBI single into short left field to end the game on the run rule.
Box Score: Canada 10 vs. United States 3
Torrie earned the win in the pitcher’s circle, allowing three runs on three hits and seven walks while striking out 12 batters in five innings and a third. Riley Manion (Napanee, Ont.) got the final two outs of the top of the sixth with one strikeout for the save. At the plate, Lefevbre, Kipfer and Hagerman all had two hits while Hogg had the three-run homerun, a walk and a hit by pitch. Kosmynka and Sears each added RBI singles.
Team Canada (1-0) will return to action against the Czech Republic (1-0) at 8:00pm CST on Sunday. The Czechs opened their tournament with a 7-0 win over Guatemala, with New Zealand defeating Hong Kong 10-0 in the two other Group B games. Group A saw Mexico beat Denmark 12-1, South Africa scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat Denmark 3-2, Australia won a tight 4-1 game over India, and Japan took a 5-2 win over Argentina.