Siddall walks off Canada to win over Italy
* Mitchell Triolo (30) congratulates Brett Siddall after his game-winning, walk-off hit as Canada won in its final at-bat for the second time to move to 2-0 at the World Juniors. Photo: Adam Morissette ….
By Adam Morissette
Seoul, Korea _ The cardiac kids were at it again as for the second game in a row Canada earned a walk-off victory, this time a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Italy.
The win moves Canada’s record to 2-0 good enough for top spot in Group B at the IBAF 18U World Championships.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it,” said Canadian coach Greg Hamilton. “Give Italy credit, they played well. I guess in the end we played well enough to win, so we’ll take it.”
Down 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth Mitchell Triolo (Scarborough, Ont.) led-off with a double to the gap in right field.
Triolo was one the few bright spots offensively as he accounted for three of Canada’s nine hits.
“I was getting good pitches to hit and getting good swings on them,” said Triolo. “When I got up in the ninth I was trying to do anything to get on base for the guys behind me.”
With Triolo standing on second, Jacob Robson (Windsor, Ont.) slashed a single through the left side which put runners on the corners.
The Canadians didn’t make it easy on themselves as Kyle Hann (Oakville, Ont.) struck out and Nathan DeSouza (Milton, Ont.) popped-out to shallow right field bringing Owen Spiwak (Mississauga, Ont.) to the plate with two out.
Spiwak hit a hard grounder down the first base line and beat the pitcher, covering first, to the bag which scored Triolo to tie the game.
With Robson now on third Brett Siddall (Windsor, Ont.) lofted a ball to left field that got under the glove of the Italian fielder which scored Robson and gave Canada the win.
“Today was a perfect example of the beauty of international baseball,” added Hamilton. “You play different teams of different ability levels and at the end of the day, as I said to the guys after the game, all that really matters is the score.
“It doesn’t matter how it looks, at this point and in this environment, it matters that you get it done and you win.”
Italy opened the scoring in the third inning when starter Jake Marks (Brights Grove, Ont.) allowed a lead-off walk that came around to score on a RBI single.
The Italians added to their lead with a run in the fourth when Marks fired a ball over Jesse Hodges’ (Victoria, BC) head at third base in an attempt to throw out a runner who took a big turn around the bag after Marks had recorded an out at first base.
Canada got one of the runs back in the home half of the fifth when Hann drilled a single to centre scoring Triolo who had doubled with one-out.
Marks came back out for the sixth, but was removed from the game after a lead-off walk and Brock Dykxhoorn (Goderich, Ont.) came in from the bullpen.
Dykxhoorn walked the first batter he faced before a sac-bunt and sac-fly allowed Italy to regain their two run lead.
Triolo was at it again in the seventh as he singled and came around to score on a wild-pitch. Canada looked as though they would threaten to tie the game, but Jacob Robson was doubled-off at third base on a line-out to shortstop.
“The bottom line is we need to play better than we did today,” explained Hamilton. “I think everybody realizes that and today we were lucky to get away with one.”
Dykxhoorn earned the win for Canada as he tossed four innings and gave up an unearned run, while allowing only three hits and a walk and struck out one batter.
Notes … Canada will next see action against defending champion Chinese Taipei tomorrow at 6pm 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 link … The Korean Baseball Federation also has created a tournament website.