U18 Men’s National Team fall short in game 4 at 2023 WBSC Americas Pan American Championships

U18 Men’s National Team fall short in game 4 at 2023 WBSC Americas Pan American Championships

7 September 2023 Emma Lindblad

Sincelejo, Colombia - The U18 Canadian Men’s National Team fell 7-5 in seven innings to Argentina (3-1) in an offensive and defensive battle at the 2023 WBSC Americas Pan American Championships on Thursday.

Making his second consecutive start in the circle was Cohen Christner (New Hamburg, Ont.), who picked up right where he left off on Wednesday, keeping Argentina off the board in the first two innings. 

Scoreless through the first two innings, Argentina’s bats came alive in the top of the third after a single down the middle, followed by a sacrifice causing an advancement to third. Argentina was pressing and finally got on the board off a sacrifice fly to first to make it 1-0. 

Argentina kept their momentum going in the top of the fourth when they earned a walk, then doubled to left field resulting in a run to increase their lead to two. 

Canada got things going in the bottom of the fourth when Christner singled to right, then advanced to second on a passed ball.  Nolan Bultena (Arthur, Ont.) advanced on a walk, resulting in a runner on first and second. Blake Brubacher (Newton, Ont.), pinch running for Christner, and Bultena both advanced off a Daniel Scott (Straford, Ont.) fly out. Adrian Green (Carbonear, N.L.) singled on a line drive to left, scoring Brubacher and Bultena to tie the game at two.

In the top of the fifth, Argentina regained their lead off a walk, followed by a steal of second, then an error causing an advancement to third to make it 3-2. 

Canada responded in the bottom of the frame when Ethan Murphy (Colliers, N.L.) hit a ground ball and reached on an error, then Camden Weatherbee (Brookfield, N.S.) doubled to centre to score a speedy Murphy, tying the game at three. 

Canada made a pitching change in the sixth inning, bringing in Nic Neid (Terrace, B.C.) for Christner. Christner gave up three runs on three hits and retired five batters via strikeout in five innings of work. 

Argentina took the lead again in the sixth inning when they singled to second, followed by another single to centre field, with a runner then advancing to second on the throw, resulting in a run scoring on a wild pitch to make it 4-3. Argentina increased their lead to 5-3 off a passed ball, with a runner advancing to third on the same pitch. They added two more runs off a single to right field, resulting in a pitching change for Canada with Sharl Leclerc (Sainte-Claire, Que.) making his second appearance of the tournament. 

In the top of the sixth, Canada had some work to do to cut the deficit. The red and white had runners on base right away when Mike Walker (Simcoe, Ont.) walked, then Alex McGillivray (Durham, Ont.) earned a walk after being hit by a pitch. Justin Roth (Tavistock, Ont.), pinch running for Walker, advanced to second, then to third off a Brad Barker (Goodwood, Ont.) ground out. Owen Bilinsky (Port Dover, Ont.) stepped up to the plate and singled to left field, scoring Roth and McGillivray to make it 7-5. 

The Canadians kept the game at 7-5 in the top of the seventh with strong defence and a strikeout by Leclerc. 

Team Canada came out hungry in the bottom of the seventh but unfortunately couldn’t generate any runs and the game would finish 7-5.

Canada (2-2) returns to the diamond Friday at 5:00pm COT (6:00pm EDT) to take on border rivals U.S.A (3-0). All games will be live streamed here