Canada will play USA-Japan winner for gold
* Coach Greg Hamilton and his Team Canada squad will face the winner of Friday’s morning’s Team USA-Japan winner in the gold medal game Saturday in Korea. Photo: Adam Morissette ….
ADAM MORRISSETTE – DeSouza leads the band in 10-6 win against Colombia …. Kellogg pitches 8 2/3 scoreless in 1-0 extra-inning win over Team USA …. Canada advances with eight double attack in 10-1 win over Panama …. Newfoundland’s Myles Vincent beats Czech Republic with 7 strong innings …. Chinese Taipei rallies to beat Canucks …. Brett Siddall walks of Canucks vs. Italy …. Jesse Hodges hits 2-out HR in 9th, scores winner in 10th …. Canada rained out in opener …. Canada sets roster for worlds as Italy tourney final rained out with link to other action in Italy.
ALEXIS BRUDNICKI – Faris Adamou’s summer? AS game in KC, workout with Jrs. …. Nathan DeSouza fast tracked to Rogers Centre ….Logan Seifrit part of the Vauxhall brand …. Brock Dykxhoorn one tall drink of water …. Gareth Morgan a veteran … who needs a lift to the park …. Myles Vincent best arm from Newfoundland in decades …. Vid of DeSouza, Burnette, Dykxhoorn, Morgan, Quantrill, Seifrit, Vincent … Rogers Centre interviews ….Jamar Burnette has hits on field, recording studio …. Cal Quantrill passes on Under Armour, impresses at East Coast.
MELISSA COUTO – Ryan Kellogg, Jacob Robson chose school over pro ranks
By Adam Morissette
Soeul, Korea — Despite a 9-3 loss to host South Korea, Canada has booked a ticket to Saturday’s gold medal game at the 25th IBAF 18U World Baseball Championship.
Canadian players were informed prior to taking on South Korea that they had already clinched a spot in the tournament final.
“In the big picture of things (today’s) game didn’t matter, it was a situation where we had to get through it,” said Canadian manager Greg Hamilton. “The next game is what matters.”
Canada finished the second round with a 3-2 record and will play the winner of tonight’s Japan/USA game. Canada will finish second in the standings and will be the visiting team for the gold medal game.
The gold medal game will be the first for Hamilton since he took over the Junior National Team program back in 1998. The JNT program has seen the likes of Justin Morneau, Russell Martin, Adam Loewen and Brett Lawrie wear the red and white, but this is the first time since 1991 that Canada will pay for gold at this event.
“For the program this is very significant,” said Hamilton. “As I said to the guys it’s not every day you get to play for a world championship.
“There are only two teams that get to play for a world championship every two years. It’s tough, it’s not easy.”
Hamilton has come close to reaching the gold medal game in the past as he lost semi-final games in 1997, 2006 and 2010. His team’s won bronze in 1997 and 2006, but the gold medal game has eluded his clubs until now.
“We’ve been close a few times, we’ve played in a lot of semi-final games,” he said. “In 2010 in Thunder Bay we lost to Chinese Taipei in the semis as we couldn’t solve a pitcher. In 2006 (in Cuba) we had Phillippe Aumont on the mound and lost to Korea.”
“We’ve had some heartbreak, but hopefully we’ll be smiling after tomorrow.”
Pitching coach Chris Reitsma was a member of the 1995 JNT that played in the IBAF 18U World Championship in Cape Cod, Mass. Reitsma went onto a successful career in the big-league’s and shared his memories of representing Canada for the first time.
“It was a dream come true putting that Canada jersey on for the first time and I remember it like it was yesterday,” he said. “Hopefully these kids are going to look back with fondness on this opportunity in Korea.
“To get to play for a gold medal is truly something special.”
Reitsma has been a member of the coaching staff since October 2010 when the process of preparing for this world championship began with a training camp in Orlando, Fla.
Since then the team has participated in four additional training camps in Orlando, played in the Dominican Summer League for 10 days on two occasions, travelled to Cuba for an exhibition series, took part in St. Petersburg international week and qualified for this world Championship by finishing in second at last year’s COPABE 18U qualification tournament in Cartagena, Colombia.
“It has been a very rewarding experience for me,” said Reitsma. “To see kids where they are at age 16 and watch them mature in front of you and see the product that you get at age 18 – it’s been a lot of work and a lot of fun.
Canada will face a stiff challenge in either the United States or Japan – two teams Canada beat earlier in the tournament with both wins coming in extra innings.
“We like our arms for tomorrow, we like our opportunity for tomorrow,” said Hamilton. “We have everyone ready (to pitch) that we want for tomorrow and we’re excited.”
Hamilton believes his team is ready for the challenge ahead and believes that they have the ingredients necessary to become world champions.
“We have a team that can pitch, a team that can play defence and we have dimension to our offence,” he said. “We’ve got some right/left balance in our (batting) order, some speed at the top of the order and we have experience on the mound.”
“I think it’s a pretty balanced club that’s capable of playing with anyone in the world.”
Korea managed three hits in beating Canada as Myles Vuincent (Corner Brook, Nfld), Jake Marks (Bright’s Grove, Ont.) Logan Seifrit (Spruce Grove, Alta.) and Christian Botnick (Brampton, Ont.) walked nine and hit three batters. Three errors led to two unearned runs. Vincent, who won a must game earlier in the tourney, took a 2-0 lead into the fifth when beset by control problems.
Chris Shaw (Winnipeg, Man.) doubled, singled and knocked in two runs, while Jesse Hodges (Victoria, BC) also doubled and singled.
Canada has only won gold once before: in 1991, in Brandon, Man., a group managed by John Harr (Vancouver, BC) by Stubby Clapp (Windsor, Ont.) and Jason Dickson (Miramichi, NB) defeated Chinese Taipei 5-2 in the gold medal game to give Canada their only gold medal at this event.
Canada won bronze in 1983, 1987, 1997 and 2006.
Notes: The gold medal game against either Japan or Team USA will place at Mokdong Stadium with the first pitch coming at 6 pm local time (5 am ET) ….. You can follow all tournament games LIVE on Game Tracker … Tournament schedule, rosters, stats and standings are also available at the above link … The Korean Baseball Federation also has created a tournament website … And for news, notes and updates directly from Seoul, please follow Baseball Canada on Twitter.