Lennerton leads, acrobats in OF, Canucks now 3-0

Nov. 12th, 2015


Premier 12: Canada defeats Taipei in thriller
By Adam Morissette
Baseball Canada

TAICHUNG, Taiwan - In a game that was nothing short of epic, Canada defeated host Chinese Taipei 9-8 to remain undefeated with a 3-0 record, good for first place in Group A at the WBSC Premier 12.

The game was filled with incredible moments with a boisterous crowd of over 10,245 fans providing an electric atmosphere.

Home runs, lead changes, momentum shifts and one incredible game saving catch, this game had it all in what is already an instant classic that will live in Baseball Canada history.

“I’ve been in the game a long time, a lot of professional years. This game tonight was quite a game,” said Canada Manager Ernie Whitt. “I tip my hat to the Taipei team, to the crowd, it was exciting. A lot of things happened, but it was a tremendous ball game and I’m just glad we came out on top.”

“There was a lot of real good hitting, some key pitching at times. It was just a wild, crazy game.”

One play stood out among all others that defined how incredible a baseball game this truly was. With Taipei trailing by one run in the bottom of the eighth and threatening with a run on second base and two out, a ball was drilled into the gap in right-centre. With centre fielder Tyson Gillies (Vancouver, BC) giving chase, he leapt a caught the ball for a brief moment before hitting the wall only to see the ball pop out of his glove and into the glove of right fielder Rene Tosoni (Port Coquitlam, BC) who was covering on the play.

With Tosoni running hard and with a finger pointed into the air in celebration, the first base umpire signaled ‘no catch’ motioning that the ball hit the wall after coming out of Gillies’s glove. With Canadian players furiously protesting and Whitt on the field pleading his case, the umpiring crew huddled and concluded that the ball popped out of Gillies’s glove and directly into Tosoni’s for the out.

“The best thing about that whole situation is that the umpires got together and called the play correctly,” explained Whitt. “That’s the beauty of this game, you want the umpires to get the call right.”

Gillies and Tosoni were eager to explain the play after the game.

“They were spraying the ball all over the place so it was tough to know where to play (in the outfield),” said Gillies.

“I don’t think I’ve ever ran so hard in my entire life. I just tried to knock (the ball) down; I didn’t really care where the wall was. Tosoni did a great job backing me up and that was the biggest part of the game.”

Added Tosoni: “I thought I was going to catch it and then I saw Tyson under it so I let up a little bit. He caught the ball and I thought ‘sweet, we’re out of the inning’ but then he hit the fence, it popped out and just landed in my glove.”

The biggest moment up until the catch in the eighth took place in the sixth. After Canada had taken a 7-4 lead with three runs in the top of the inning, Taipei responded with a solo home run before loading the bases on a walk, hit batter and error. Reliever Kyle Lotzkar (Delta, BC) was taken out of the game and Jasvir Rakkar (North York, Ont.) came out of the bullpen in an unenviable situation. Rakkar handled the situation with ease fanning the first batter he faced before starting a 1-2-3 double play that kept Canada’s two run lead intact.

Rakkar came back out for the seventh and recorded an out before a walk brought in Andrew Albers (North Battleford, Sask.). Albers lasted until the eighth after giving up a run with two out that brought in Dustin Molleken (Regina, Sask.). Molleken allowed a two run double before Gillies and Tosoni combined on the game saving catch that got Molleken out of the inning. He came back in the ninth and nailed down the save.

Taipei had opened the scoring in the second inning putting a charge into the hometown crowd as a two run homer with two out in the inning put them up by a pair. With two out, a single up the middle set the stage for the home run that landed in the seats beyond the wall in left-centre off Canada starter Shawn Hill (Georgetown, Ont.).

Canada responded in the top half of the third and it was Jordan Lennerton (Langley, BC) who came through as he lined a 2-2 pitch to left that brought in Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) from third base. O’Neill had walked and was awarded second base on a balk call before he advanced to third on a wild pitch.

Canada chased Taipei starter Fu Te Ni from the game in the fourth as the put up three runs to take a 4-2 lead. Skyler Stromsmoe (Etzikom, Alta.) singled to left and scored from first base when Sean Jamieson (Kitchener, Ont.) lined a double down the left field line. With runners on the corners and two out, Lennerton came through again, this time with a double to the gap in left to pick up his second and third RBI’s of the game. He added an RBI single in the sixth and finished the game 3-for-5 with four RBIs.

“I had two strikes (on me) before all of my hits and I was able to lay off some good pitches,” said Lennerton. “I wasn’t worried about pulling the ball. With runners in scoring position, I was just trying to get the ball in the outfield and it ended up working out for me.”

Canada flexed their muscle in the eighth as O’Neill silenced the crowd with a mammoth blast that left the stadium in left before Tosoni launched a solo shot into the right field bleachers to make it 9-5.

The game featured five home runs including three from Chinese Taipei, but Canada managed to keep the damage to a minimum and provided enough on offence to come out on top.

“They kept coming, but the thing was, so did we,” said Lennerton. “It was crazy. I’ve never played in an atmosphere like that. It was a lot of fun and that’s the reason we play baseball.

“Our team was resilient, tough and we got the job done.”

UP NEXT
After an off-day on Friday, Canada will resume play in Group A on Saturday against Italy (6:35pm CST/5:30am EST) at Douliou Baseball Stadium … RHP Jared Mortensen (Abbotsford, BC) is expected to start for Canada … Fans in Canada can watch the game on Sportsnet ONE (5:30am ET with a replay at 3pm ET) … Fans not in the Sportsnet ONE viewing region can view the game at: wbsc.org/en/tournaments/2015-premier12/streaming.


WBSC - Premier 12 - 2015
CANADA 9 (3-0), CHINESE TAIPEI 8 (1-2) - Composite Box Score
Nov 12, 2015 at Taichung (Intercontinental)

CANADA
ab       r       h     rbi     2b     3b     hr     bb     sb     cs     hp     sh     sf     so     ibb     kl     gdp     po       a       e

JAMIESON ss     5     1     1     1     1     0     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     2     0     0     0     2     2     0
ORR 3b     5     2     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     0
O’NEILL lf     3     3     2     1     0     0     1     2     0     0     0     0     0     1     0     0     0     3     0     0
LENNERTON 1b     5     1     3     4     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     10     0     0
TOSONI rf     5     1     1     1     0     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     2     0     1     0     1     0     0
KJELDGAARD dh     3     0     2     2     1     0     0     2     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
DEGLAN c     5     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     3     0     2     0     7     1     1
GILLIES cf     5     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     1     0     0     0     0     1     0     1     0     1     1     0
STROMSMOE 2b     4     1     2     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     1     0     0     1     0     1     0     3     6     0
HILL p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
LOTZKAR p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
RAKKAR p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     1     0
ALBERS p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     1     0
MOLLEKEN p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Totals      40     9     13     9     3     0     2     5     1     0     1     0     0     11     0     5     0     27     12     1 

CHINESE TAIPEI  
ab       r       h     rbi     2b     3b     hr     bb     sb     cs     hp     sh     sf     so     ibb     kl     gdp     po       a       e

CHANG CH cf     4     0     1     0     0     0     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
JHANG c     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     1     1     0
KUO YW ss     5     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     3     1     0
LIN CS 2b     5     1     2     1     0     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     2     0     0     1     3     3     0
LIN YC dh     4     0     1     0     0     0     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
LIN HY c     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     1     0     0     1     0     0     1     0     1     0     9     0     0
LIN CH pr     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
KAO CK c     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
KAO KH ph/cf     2     1     1     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
CHANG CM lf     4     1     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     2     0     0
CHEN CH 1b     4     3     3     3     0     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     1     0     0     0     6     1     0
CHIANG 3b     3     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     1     0     0     1     0     2     0
YANG ph     1     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
CHEN YC pr/3b     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
WANG PJ rf     4     1     2     4     1     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     1     0     0     0     2     0     0
NI p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
LU p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
LIN TW p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
CHEN KY p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
CHEN YH p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     1     0     0
LO CJ p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
LIN p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
CHEN HW p     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Totals      37     8     12     8     2     0     3     3     0     0     1     0     0     6     0     1     2     27     8     0 

CANADA
ip       h       r     er     bb     so     wp     bk     hbp     ibb     ab     bf     fo     go     np

HILL Shawn W,1-0     5.0     6     4     4     1     2     0     0     0     0     19     20     5     6     69
LOTZKAR Kyle      0.0     1     1     1     1     0     0     0     1     0     2     4     0     0     13
RAKKAR Jasvir      1.1     0     0     0     1     2     0     0     0     0     3     4     0     1     15
ALBERS Andrew      1.1     2     2     2     0     1     0     0     0     0     6     6     0     3     15
MOLLEKEN Dustin S,2     1.1     3     1     1     0     1     0     0     0     0     7     7     3     0     20
 
CHINESE TAIPEI
ip       h       r     er     bb     so     wp     bk     hbp     ibb     ab     bf     fo     go     np
NI Fu-Te      3.2     8     4     4     2     5     1     1     1     0     19     22     3     3     80
LU Yen-Ching      0.1     0     0     0     1     0     0     0     0     0     1     2     0     1     9
LIN Tzu-Wei L,0-1     1.0     0     1     1     1     2     0     0     0     0     3     4     0     1     20
CHEN Kuan-Yu      1.0     2     2     2     1     2     0     0     0     0     5     6     0     1     18
CHEN Yu-Hsun      1.0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     3     3     1     2     10
LO Chia-Jen      0.1     1     1     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     2     2     1     0     4
LIN Po-Yu      0.2     1     1     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     3     3     2     0     10
CHEN Hung-Wen      1.0     1     0     0     0     2     0     0     0     0     4     4     1     0     15 

Umpires - HP: PIMENTEL O (VEN) 1B: FABRIZI F (ITA) 2B: NISHIMOTO K (JPN) 3B: 
Start: 1835 Time: 3:45 Attendance: 10245
Weather: WARM
LU faced 1 batter in the 5th. 
LIN TW faced 1 batter in the 6th. 
LOTZKAR faced 4 batters in the 6th.

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Adam Morissette

Adam Morissette was born and raised in Ottawa, Ont. where sports were always a big part of his life whether it be baseball, hockey or football, including playing two seasons as centre for coach Pat Sheahan with the Queen's University Golden Gaels in Kingston -- Canada's first capital. Morissette has always have been passionate about baseball and has fond memories of attending Montreal Expos games with his father, Mike, and listening to his recollection of watching baseball in Montreal at Jarry Park and stories about Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Steve Rodgers. Morissette could often be found in a near empty Lynx Stadium watching Joe Siddall, Bert Heffernan, Curtis Pride and Jamie Carroll soaking in a beautiful summer night at the ballpark. He was a member of the provincial championship Orleans Red Sox Little League teams also played with the Ottawa White Sox for the late Lyle Anderson and Todd Burke in OBA Midget and American Legion play and the Capital City Crushers (NCBL), primarily as a catcher. Has also spent time coaching Little League in Orleans and South Ottawa. He wanted to turn his passion into a career and enrolled in Sport Business Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2007. After working for the Ottawa 67's OHL team as the Ticket Coordinator, Morissette jumped at the opportunity to become the Media and Public Relations Coordinator with Baseball Canada in 2010. He loves watching and reading about pro, college or amateur baseball and is a long-time subscriber to Baseball America. Morissette is thrilled about the idea of writing about baseball and is interested in covering any story that his car -- and time -- will allow him to cover.