Hill, O'Neill give Canucks win over Cuba, Canada now 4-0

July 14, 2015

Hill shines, O’Neill homers as Canada tops Cuba

 

By Adam Morissette
Baseball Canada

AJAX, Ont. – Canadian flags were in abundance and waiving proudly at President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ball Park Tuesday as Team Canada gave the hometown fans plenty to cheer about as they earned a 3-1 win over Cuba.

Shawn Hill (Georgetown, Ont.) frustrated Cuba’s hitters during six scoreless innings of work and Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) belted a mammoth three-run homer in the sixth inning as Canada improved their record to a perfect 4-0 after four days at the Pan American Games Men’s Baseball Competition.

Canada now sits alone in first place in the seven-team event and in an excellent position to grab one of four semi-final spots.

“Anytime you can beat Cuba or the USA - they’re power houses. It just shows where we are in Canada — that we can compete with the best nations,” said Canadian manager Ernie Whitt. “It will really mean something if we meet them in the semis or the final and beat them.”

Cuba scored their lone run on a lead off home run by Alfredo Despaigne in the bottom of the seventh, but reliever Andrew Albers (North Battleford, Sask.) bounced back retiring six out seven hitters before Jeff Francis (North Delta, BC) worked a perfect ninth to earn the save.

The story of the game early on for Canada was Hill who allowed only three hits and a walk over six shutout innings. The right-hander was forcing Cuba’s hitters to drive balls into the ground, as ten of his 18 outs were on groundouts.

“He’s just a true professional, he knows how to pitch,” explained Whitt. “He doesn’t light up the radar gun, but he knows how to pitch, move the ball in and out, change speeds. He kept a good Cuban team off-balance.”

Hill overcame adversity in the sixth after allowing a one out single and a walk by getting a lineout to second baseman Skyler Stromsmoe (Bow Island, Alta.) and a fly ball to centre to leave the runners on base.

In the sixth with runners on first and second and one out, O’Neill came to the plate and belted a three-run homer off the batter’s eye that sits behind the wall in centre bringing the capacity crowd to its feet.

“I got some good wood on it,” said O’Neill. “It’s one of those feelings where when you tag a ball and really know it’s gone, it just kind of erupts something inside of you and gets you really going.”

Joked Ernie Whitt: “He’s got to hit the weight room a little bit. He didn’t clear the batter’s-eye, so we’ve got to get that cleared up a little bit. No, he’s been pretty good in this tournament.”

Both sides were even for the most part throughout the game with Cuban starter Yoennis Yera and Hill going toe-to-toe in the early innings. Cuba out-hit Canada five to four and both clubs left four runners on base.

Up Next: Canada will enjoy an off day tomorrow before returning to action on Thursday when they face Puerto Rico (7pm ET) at President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ball Park…The best way to keep up with the action is by following @baseballcanada on Twitter …  

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Canada    Canada
3    -    1    
Cuba    Cuba

Score
Team    1 2 3    4 5 6    7 8 9    Total    H    E    LOB
Canada    000  003   00 0   --   3    4    0    4
Cuba        000  00 0   1 00   --  1    5    0    4


Statistics
Cuba    
Name    Position    AB    R    H    RBI    BB    SO    PO    A    E    

SANTOS Roel CF 2    -    -    -    1    -    2    -    -
SAAVEDRA William, PH 1    -    -    -    -    1    -    -    -
LF                             1    -    -    
GONZALEZ Raul, 2B 4    -    1    -    -    -    -    5    -    
GUERRA Urmaris, DH 4    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    
DESPAIGNE Alfredo, LF 4    1    1    1    -    -    -    -    -
MALLETA Alexander 1B, 4    -    -    -    -    -    12    -    -
REYES Rudy, 3B    3    -    1    -    -    -    1    2    -    
BORROTO Yorbis, SS 2    -    -    -    -    -    1    2    -
MANDULEY Yordan, PH 1    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
SS                            1    1    -
LA ROSA Yulexis, C 1    -    -    -    -    -    4    -    -
ALARCON Yosvany, PH 2    -    1    -    -    -    1    -    1
C                            3    1    -    
GARCIA Jose RF 3    -    1    -    -    1    1    -    -
CF                            1    -    -    
YERA Yoennis, P-    -    -    -    -    -    -    1    -    
MOINELO Livan, P    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
Totals        31    1    5    1    1    2    27    12    -

Canada    
Name    Position    AB    R    H    RBI    BB    SO    PO    A    E

JAMIESON Sean SS 3    1    -    -    -    2    1    4    -
ORR Peter 3B, 4    -    -    -    -    -    -    4    -
O’NEILL Tyler, LF     4    1    1    3    -    1    3    -    -    
LENNERTON Jordan, 1B 4    -    1    -    -    1    15    -    -    
KJELDGAARD Brock DH 4    -    -    -    -    2    -    -    -
DEGLAN Kellin 3    -    1    -    1    -    2    1    -
TOSONI Rene 3    -    -    -    1    -    -    -    -    
GILLIES Tyson, CF    2    -    -    -    1    1    2    -    -
STROMSMOE Skyler 2B     3    1    1    -    -    -    4    3    -
HILL Shawn P    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    2    -
ALBERS Andrew, P    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
FRANCIS Jeff, P    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
Totals        30    3    4    3    3    7    27    14    -

Pitching Statistics
Cuba    
No.    Name    Position    W/L/S    IP    Hits (H)    R    ER    BB    SO    HR    WP    BK  
 
YERA Yoennis    L(0,1,0)    6.0    3    3    3    1    4    1    1    1    
MOINELO Livan 3.0    1    -    -    2    3    -    -    -
Totals            9.0    4    3    3    3    7    1    1    1

Pitching Statistics
Canada  
 
No.    Name    Position    W/L/S    IP    Hits (H)    R    ER    BB    SO    HR    WP    BK    
HILL Shawn    W(1,0,0)    6.0    3    -    -    1    -    -    -    -    
ALBERS Andrew        2.0    2    1    1    -    2    1    -    -    
FRANCIS Jeff    S(0,0,2)    1.0    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
Totals            9.0    5    1    1    1    2    1    -    

Standings
Rank    Team    P    W    L    RF    RA    W/L%    GB

1    Canada    4    4        26    7    1.00    -
2    Puerto Rico    3    2    1    23    23    0.67    1 1/2
2     United States 3    2    1    19    15    0.67    1 1/2
4     Cuba    4    2    2    21    12    0.50    2
5     Dominican Republic    3    1    2    15    21    0.33    2 1/2
5    Nicaragua    3    1    2    13    21    0.33    2 1/2
7    Colombia    4        4    14    32    0.00    4

Comment

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.