Canadian Juniors Clinch First Place and Quarter Final Berth

  • September 22, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national junior team beat Italy 10-0 today, to finish atop the Pool B standings and move onto the quarter finals at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Ciego de Avila, Cuba. Jonathan Waltenbury (Bowmanville, Ont.) got the ball rolling with a solo homerun in the bottom of the first and Canada never looked back, shutting the Italians out in eight innings thanks to the international 10-run mercy rule. The Canadians scored twice in the fourth, twice in the fifth and three times in the sixth to extend their lead before scoring solo markers in the seventh and eighth innings. Waltenbury went 2-for-3 with the homerun, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored while Chris Dennis (Windsor, Ont.) continued his hot streak by going 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and one run scored to pace the Canadians. Meanwhile, starter Cory Hall (Regina, Sask.) overpowered the Italian hitters over seven innings of work, giving up only three hits and striking out 7 to earn the win.  Mehdi Djebbar (Montréal, Qué.) struck out two in the final frame to close out the game. Chase Larsson (Vancouver, B.C.) was 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored, Shayne Willson (Surrey, B.C.) was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and Kyle Gilligan (Toronto, Ont.) was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI. Canada now awaits its next opponent, which will be the fourth place team from Pool A. The two teams will battle Sunday at 2 p.m. EST for a spot in the semi finals. Box Score Standings: In the sidebar on the left, click on "Posiciones B"  

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Unearned Run Lifts U.S. Over Canadian Juniors

  • September 21, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national junior team narrowly missed out on an opportunity to drop the United States to 0-3 at the World Junior Championships yesterday after an unearned run lifted the Americans to a 2-1 win. The winning run was the second of a two-run fifth inning for the U.S. after Canada had taken an early 1-0 lead when a sacrifice fly from David Narodowski (Vancouver, B.C.) score Mark Ellis (Maple Ridge, B.C.) in the second inning. Despite throwing well, Canadian starter James Paxton (Delta, B.C.) found himself on the wrong end of a tight pitchers duel, being tagged with the loss after giving up only one earned run behind three hits, two walks and three strikeouts over the first 4.1 innings. American starter Neil Ramirez earned the win for the Americans, striking out seven Canadians and allowing only two hits and the lone Canadian run before being replace with one out in the sixth inning. Canadian Drew Parker was solid in relief, blanking the Americans over the final 4.2 innings, but Canada’s bats were held silent after scoring over 22 runs in their first two games of the tournament. Ellis, Jordan Wideman (Mississauga, Ont.), Kyle Gilligan (Toronto, Ont.) and Brett Lawrie (Langley, B.C.) were all 1-for-3 while Chase Larsson was 1-for-5 to collect Canada’s hits. Canada’s (2-1) next match-up comes against undefeated Chinese Taipei (3-0) this afternoon at 2 p.m.  EST. Box Score: In the sidebar on the left, click on "Resultados de Los Juegos" then click on Game #17.B = At Bats; C = Runs; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Homeruns; CI = RBI; 0 = Outs; A = Assists; E = Errors Standings: In the sidebar on the left, click on "Posiciones B."JJ = Games Played; JG = Wins; JP = Losses; AVE = Winning percentage; DIF = Games Back; VS = Visiting Team; HC = Home Team  

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Canada Hands Chinese Taipei First Loss at World Juniors

  • September 21, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national junior team vaulted back into first place in Pool B at the World Junior AAA Championships in Ciego de Avila, Cuba, today thanks to a convincing 8-1 victory over previously unbeaten Chinese Taipei. Both teams now sit at 3-1 with one round-robin game remaining in the tournament, but Canada would get the nod over Chinese Taipei virtue of today’s win. Sheldon McDonald (Spruce Grove, Alta.) was impressive for Canada as a powerful Chinese Taipei offence had no answer for the Canadian starting pitcher. McDonald went eight innings strong while giving up only one earned run behind seven hits, two strikeouts and only one walk. While McDonald was throwing seeds, Canada’s hitters were seeing beach balls, clobbering 15 hits on route to yet another big offensive game.  Out of the lead off spot, Brett Lawrie was the catalyst, going 5-for-5 with a double, 1 RBI and 2 runs scored, while catcher Jordan Wideman followed suit by going 3-for-4 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored. Eight of the nine Canadian hitters collected at least one base hit.  Mark Ellis (Maple Ridge, B.C.) was 2-for-3 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored and Kyle Orr (Victoria, B.C.) was 1-for-4 with 2 RBI. Chase Larsson (Vancouver, B.C.), Jonathan Waltenbury (Bowmanville, Ont.), Shayne Willson (Surrey, B.C.) and David Narodowski had a base hit each. Leslie Williams (Scarborough, Ont.) threw a hitless ninth inning to cap off a great outing by Canada. Canada’s (3-1) final round-robin match-up comes tomorrow afternoon against an upstart Italian squad (2-2). Game time is scheduled for 10 a.m. EST. Box Score:  In the side bar on the left-hand side, click on "Resultados de Los Juegos" Standings: In the sidebar on the left-hand side, click on “Posiciones B.”  

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No Spain, No Gain – Canada moves to 2-0 at World Juniors

  • September 20, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national junior team now sits in a tie for first place in Pool B action at the World Junior AAA Championships in Ciego de Avila, Cuba after coasting to a 12-4 win over Spain yesterday. Spain’s 1-0 lead in the second inning was short lived as Canada opened the flood gates with a two-run third inning, a three-run fourth and a four run fifth to stymie the Spaniards. Canada’s youngest player, second baseman Brett Lawrie (Langley, B.C.) was 4-for-6 with a homerun, a double, 3 RBI, and 2 runs scored to spark the Canadians. Chase Larsson (Vancouver, B.C.) was 2-for-4 and also drove in three runs while Jonathan Waltenbury (Bowmanville, Ont.) was 2-for-3 with 1 RBI, Shayne Willson (Surrey, B.C.) was 1-for-4 with 2 RBI and Leslie Williams (Scarborough, Ont.) was 1-for-4 with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored. The win helped Canada improve to 2-0 and a share of the top-spot in their pool, along with Chinese Taipei. The top four teams from each pool will advance to the quarter finals. Southpaw Michael Goemans (Guelph, Ont.) earned the win in relief by striking out five Spanish batters and allowing four hits over 3.2 innings of work. Starter Kyle Orr (Victoria, B.C.) was replaced with one out in the fifth inning after having allowed four runs on seven hits and four strikeouts.  Mehdi Djebbar (Montréal, Qué.) struck out two of the batters he faced in the ninth inning to close out the victory. Canada (2-0) will look to remain undefeated, today, against a hungry United States (0-2) team who lost their two first games of the tournament to Mexico and Chinese Taipei. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST. Standings POOL  B                                                 POOL A Canada                 2-0                        Cuba                  2-0Chinese Taipei    2-0                        Australia            1-1Mexico                    1-1                        Korea                 1-1Italy                         1-1                        Netherlands      1-1United States        0-2                        Panama             1-1Spain                      0-2                        South Africa       0-2  

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Aumont Brilliant for Canada in Marathon Win Over Mexico

  • September 19, 2006

Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Qué.), was a one-man wrecking crew, leading Canada to a 10-6 win over Mexico in 13 innings, yesterday, in the tournament opener for both teams at the World Junior AAA Championships in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. Aumont was called on to throw in relief with the score tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth inning. The 6’7” right-hander struck out seven and allowed only one hit over the next five innings in addition to crushing a two-run homerun to highlight a four-run 13th inning that gave Canada their first win of the tournament. Mexico scored all six of their runs in the second inning. Only two were earned as four Canadian errors allowed Mexico to take an early lead. Shayne Willson (Surrey, B.C.) was 4-for-5 with 1 RBI, Jordan Wideman (Mississauga, Ont.) was 1-for-4 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored and David Narodowski (Vancouver, B.C.) was 1-for-4 with 2 RBI and 1 run scored to pace the Canadian attack. Brett Lawrie (Langley, B.C.) and Chase Larsson (Vancouver B.C.) were both 2-for-7 with 1 run scored. Including Aumont, six Canadian pitchers were used in the lengthy battle. Starter Michael Goemans (Guelph, Ont.) gave up four runs (two earned) on four hits over the first 1.1 innings of play.  Cory Hall (Regina, Sask.) gave up two unearned runs over the next two innings before Leslie Williams (Scarborough, Ont.), Drew Parker (Surrey, B.C.) and Sheldon McDonald (Spruce Grove, Alta.) shut-down the Mexican offence until the ninth inning where Aumont took over. Canada will look to improve to 2-0 in the tournament when they face Spain this afternoon at 1 p.m. EST.  

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Canada Edged by Professional Cuban Team

  • September 14, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national junior team had a comeback effort fall just short yesterday as they dropped a 3-2 decision to Sancti Spiritus of the Cuban Professional League. Kyle Orr homered in the fifth inning while Mark Ellis scored on an error in the eighth for Canada, but Sancti Spiritus held on in the ninth for the narrow victory. Canada’s pitching was solid for the second straight day. After starter Michael Goemans worked the first four innings, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits, Matt Jebb, Mehdi Djebbar and Cameron Gray shutout Cuba the rest of the way while only giving up one hit. The Cubans took the lead early in the first when a lead-off double and two singles enabled Sancti Spiritus to score twice. The winning run was scored in the fourth inning behind a single, a stolen base, a sacrifice fly and a pass ball. Orr, Ellis and Jordan Wideman collected Canada’s only hits. The Canadian juniors then lost their third straight games to the Cuban junior national team today, 7-1. The Canadians scored their only run in the first when Chase Larsson drew a walk to lead off the inning and was later cashed in by a fielder’s choice by Jonathan Waterbury. Cuba’s attack came in bunches and extremely efficient once again, scoring four times in the first inning and three more times in the third on only 8 hits. Carlos Mesa hit a towering two-run homerun for the Cubans in the first inning to jump start his team’s offence. After using the long ball to get ahead, Cuba took advantage of three walks and only one single to score three more to pad their lead in the third inning. James Paxton struggled as Canada’s starter going 2.1 innings and allowing 6 runs behind 3 hits, 4 walks and 1 wild pitch.  Leslie Williams gave up Cuba’s final run in his 2.1 innings which saw him give up four hits, walk four batters and strike out one. Mehdi Djebbar, Cory Hall and Sheldon McDonald pitched shutout ball and gave up only one hit over the final 5.1 innings.

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Canadian Juniors Shutout by Cuba in Second Training Camp Game

  • September 12, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national junior team was blanked 9-0 by Cuba, yesterday, in the second exhibition match-up between the two teams as part of a training camp in preparation for the 2006 World Junior AAA Championships in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. Canada played well, for the most part, taking a 1-0 deficit into the eighth inning against the defending World Champions, but Cuba put up four runs in the eighth and four more in the ninth to cruise to the victory. Canadian starter Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Qué.) held the Cubans at bay over the first five innings, allowing only two hits while striking out five. Reliever Mehdi Djebbar (Montréal, Qué.) was also impressive in his two innings of work, giving up one run on only 1 hit in the sixth inning. Cuba’s Lioius Martin came into score on a sacrifice fly to open the scoring. Cuba put the game away in the eight which was highlighted by a two-run double by Carlos Mesa off of Cameron Gray (Toronto, Ont.). Canadian closer David Francis (Mississauga, Ont.) walked four and gave up a pair of hits in the four-run Cuban ninth. Canada managed four singles by Chase Larsson (Vancouver, B.C.), Shayne Willson (Surrey, B.C.), Mark Ellis (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and David Narodowski (Vancouver, B.C.) against a tough Cuba pitching staff. Cuba was very efficient, scoring their nine runs on only nine hits and two Canadian errors. The Canadians have a day-off today and will resume their exhibition series against Cuba, Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. EST.    

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Cuba Downs Canada in First Tune-up to World Juniors

  • September 11, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national junior team lost 12-2 yesterday in its first exhibition game in preparation for the World Junior AAA Championships, set to begin in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba Sept. 17. Canada struck first and appeared to be off and running when an RBI single by Shayne Willson (Surrey, B.C.) cashed in Chase Larsson (Vancouver, B.C.), but after being held scoreless in the opening frame, the Cubans erupted for five runs in the second behind three hits, a walk, a hit batsman and a pair of wild pitches. After capitalizing on Canadian miscues to open up a convincing 5-1 lead, Cuba’s attack was relentless as the home squad scored a solo marker in the third inning followed by three more in the fourth before Pavel Avesada hit a monster two-run homerun in the fifth inning to put Cuba up 11-1. Canada meanwhile, had difficulty handling four Cuban pitchers who were topping out at over 90 MPH. Brett Lawrie (Langley, B.C.) took advantage of two Cuban errors to come around to score in the top of the sixth inning, but Cuba answered in the bottom half of the inning to round out the scoring. Canada’s five hits in the game were all singles by Larsson, Willson, Jonathan Waltenbury (Bowmanville, Ont.), Mark Ellis (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and Kyle Gilligan (Toronto, Ont.) Cuba had 12 runs on 15 hits and 3 errors. Canada will attempt to even the exhibition series Monday at 1:30 p.m.  

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Saunders Named to Tournament All-Star Team

  • September 11, 2006

HAVANA, CUBA – Baseball Canada national senior team outfielder Mike Saunders (Victoria, B.C.) has been named to the 2006 COPABE Americas Olympic Qualifier All-Star team. Saunders, the youngest member of Canada’s roster, was the only Canadian named to the all-tournament team.  The 19-year-old hit .448 with 7 RBI in nine games during the tournament where he also boasted a .586 slugging percentage and hit four doubles. As impressive as his offensive numbers were, Saunders’ may have made his biggest impact in the outfield. While playing errorless ball, Saunders also collected three outfield assists – Two of which gave Canada a lift in extremely close games. With two out in the eighth in the tournament opener against Puerto Rico, Saunders gunned down Jesus Feliciano at the plate to keep Canada within three and to set up 6-5 Canadian comeback win. Two days later, Canada’s second comeback win of the tournament was also partly set-up by Saunders. With two away in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game against Venezuela, Saunders’ throw from left field beat Luis Landaeta to the plate to send the game into extra innings where Canada scored twice to win 7-5. Saunders also ended a ninth inning comeback attempt by Brazil by throwing out Wilson Watanose at third base as the Brazilian tried to stretch a double into a triple. Canada won that game 7-3. Saunders finished the tournament 5th in hits (13) and 2nd in doubles (4) and 6th in batting average (.448). Other Canadians Among Tournament Leaders: Offence Name Statistic # Tournament Rank Stubby Clapp Stolen Bases 2 1 Stubby Clapp Walks 7 3 Stubby Clapp Plate Presences 45 1 Stubby Clapp At-bats 37 6 Kevin Nicholson At-bats 37 6 Ryan Radmanovich Sacrifice Flies 2 1 Pierre-Luc Laforest Walks 7 3 Emerson Frostad Batting Average .421 9 Defense Name Statistic # Tournament Rank Pierre-Luc Laforest Outs 94 1 Pierre-Luc Laforest Put-outs 98 1 Pierre-Luc Laforest Double Plays 9 2 Kevin Nicholson Assists 34 1 Kevin Nicholson Double Plays 9 2 Stubby Clapp Assists 29 3 Stubby Clapp Double Plays 7 7 Matt Rogelstad Assists 24 6 Pitching Name Statistic # Tournament Rank Michel Simard Relief Appearances 5 3 Chris Begg Wins 2 2 Chris Begg Innings Pitched 13.1 7 Chris Begg ERA 1.35 10 Chris Mears Wins 2 2 Mike Johnson Saves 1 3 T.J. Burton Saves 1 3      

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Canada Keeps Olympic Dreams Intact

  • September 05, 2006

SAN JOSE, CUBA – Baseball Canada’s national senior team qualified for a final Olympic Qualifying tournament thanks to a 3-1 win against Nicaragua today at the 2006 COPABE Americas Olympic Qualifier. The victory against Nicaragua locked up a fourth place finish for Canada at the tournament, allowing Baseball Canada to advance to a wild-card Olympic Qualifying event in Taiwan. A date for the tournament has not yet been established.  Cuba and the United States were awarded automatic berths into the 2008 Beijing Olympics by virtue of finishing first and second in the tournament while third place Mexico will also move on to the wild-card tournament. Mike Saunders (Victoria, B.C.) was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI to spark Canada’s offence while Canadian starter Chris Begg (Uxbridge, Ont.) threw a gem on the mound to stymie the Nicaraguan hitters. In an extremely efficient outing to pick up his second win of the tournament, Begg needed only 64 pitches to preserve a 3-1 Canadian lead through 6.1 innings of work.  He struck out five while only allowing one walk. Canada opened the scoring in the fifth inning thanks to an RBI single from Saunders while Sebastien Boucher (Ottawa, Ont.) drove in Canada’s second run of the inning on a fielder’s choice. Saunders doubled to right-centre the next inning to score Jeremy Ware (Guelph, Ont.) to cap off the Canadian scoring. Nicaragua threatened in the bottom of the sixth. After having already scored one run in the inning, right fielder Ryan Radmanovich (Calgary, Alta.) collected Canada’s fourth timely outfield assist of the tournament, gunning Nicaragua’s Jorge Aurilan down on a close play at the plate to end the inning with two runners left on base.  Two Nicaraguan coaches were ejected for arguing the call. Veterans Mike Kusiewicz (Ottawa, Ont.) and Mike Johnson (Edmonton, Alta.) were solid in relief, combining to allow one hit over the final 2.2 innings of a game where Canadian pitchers needed only 84 pitches to earn a victory. Johnson was credited with the save. Canada will now move onto the final Olympic Qualifier where eight teams will compete for the three final spots at the Olympics.  In that tournament they will face Mexico, two teams from Europe, two teams from Asia as well as the Australian team and the South African team. Box Score  

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