Leroux dominates, O'Neill, Kjeldgaard, Gillies go deep to cinch 1st

RHP Chris Leroux (Mississauga, Ont.) looked pretty impressive -- one run in six innings for his second win -- as Canada wrapped up top spot.

RHP Chris Leroux (Mississauga, Ont.) looked pretty impressive -- one run in six innings for his second win -- as Canada wrapped up top spot.

July 16, 2015

Canada powers past Puerto Rico to clinch top spot

By Adam Morissette
Baseball Canada

AJAX, Ont. – Canada pounded out 15 hits including home runs from Brock Kjeldgaard (London, Ont.), Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) and Tyson Gillies (Vancouver, BC), and received six solid innings on the mound from starter Chris Leroux (Mississauga, Ont.) en route to an 11-4 win over Puerto Rico.

Kjeldgaard and Gillies paced Canada’s offence with a combined seven hits and six runs driven in, while right fielder Rene Tosoni (Port Coquitlam, BC) and O’Neill had two hits apiece.

The win kept Canada’s unbeaten record (5-0) alive and clinched first place in the round robin standings. Canada will play its final round robin game Friday against the United States before facing the fourth place seed in Saturday’s second semi-final game (7pm ET) at President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ball Park.

Canada has relied on solid pitching and sound defence throughout the tournament and have received some timely hitting in the process. This offensive outburst is something Canadian manager Ernie Whitt hopes will continue.

“We expected that we were going to pitch and play defence and manufacture some runs (in the tournament),” he said. “We have scored a lot of runs and hopefully it will continue through the weekend.”

The defending Pan Am Games gold medalists from 2011 got things going early scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first on RBI singles from Tosoni and Kjeldgaard.

Kjeldgaard was just getting started as he stepped to the plate in the third with two runners on and socked a home run over the wall in right-centre. The home run came on the heels of two walks given up by Puerto Rican starter, Luis Ramos, with two out in the inning.

Kjeldgaard’s homer was a sign of things to come as two innings later, O’Neill clubbed his third home run of the tournament and second in as many games to put Canada in front by five and Gillies followed in the seventh with a solo shot that cleared the wall in right field.

Canadian starter Leroux was solid during his second start of the tournament working six innings where his only blemish came in the fourth on a one out solo home run.

The right-hander had seven strikeouts on the evening, scattered three hits and walked two in picking up his second win.

In the seventh, Evan Rutckyj (Windsor, Ont.) came out of the bullpen and struck out one batter in a scoreless inning of relief before Canada added a pair of runs in the eighth to go up by ten.

The 10-run cushion gave Canada a chance to end the game via the mercy rule, but a three-run homer off reliever Kyle Lotzkar (Delta, BC) ensured the game would go a full nine innings where Jasvir Rakkar (Brampton, Ont.) held Puerto Rico off the scoreboard to end the game.

Up Next: Canada will their final round robin game tomorrow against the United States (7pm ET) at President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ball Park … RHP Jared Mortensen (Abbottsford, BC) is expected to start on the mound for Canada … The best way to keep up with the action is by following @baseballcanada on Twitter … For tournament standings and stats, and to receive live game updates, please click


Canada 11, Puerto Rico 4
Team       123 456 789      R  H E LOB
Canada      203 021 120  -- 11 15 0 9
Puerto Rico 000 100 030   -- 4 8 3 7

Puerto Rico
Name    Position    AB    R    H    RBI    BB    SO    PO    A    E

THON Richard, 2B 4    1    1    -    -    2    -    3    -    
PONCE Hector
Centre-Fielder    5    -    -    -    -    2    1    -    -    
DOMINGUEZ Jeffry, 3B 4    2    3    1    -    -    -    2    -
GARCIA Anthony, RF 4    1    1    3    -    -    5    1    -    
BAEZ Edgardo, LF 3    -    1    -    1    -    3    -    -
FELICIANO Joiset, DH 3    -    -    -    1    -    -    -    -
PENA Roberto, C    2    -    -    -    -    2    4    3    -
CRUZ Yomar, C    2    -    1    -    -    1    3    -    1    
ROBLES Gabriel, SS    3    -    -    -    1    1    3    2    1    
GONZALEZ Richard, 1B    4    -    1    -    -    1    8    -    1    
RAMOS Luis, P     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
GEIGER Roy, P     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    1    -
SOLER Jose, P    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
Totals        34    4    8    4    3    9    27    12    3

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

JAMIESON Sean, SS    5    -    1    -    1    -    2    3    -
ORR Peter, 3B 5    -    -    1    -    1    -    2    -
O’NEILL Tyler, LF 4    3    2    1    1    2    2    -    -    
LENNERTON Jordan, 1B 2    3    1    -    2    -    6    -    -    
TOSONI Rene, RF 4    1    2    2    1    1    3    -    -    
KJELDGAARD Brock, DH 4    2    4    4    -    -    -    -    -
SMITH Timothy, DH 1    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
DEGLAN Kellin, C    5    -    1    -    -    2    9    -    -    
GILLIES Tyson, CF    5    1    3    2    -    -    5    -    -    
STROMSMOE Skyler, 2B    3    1    1    -    1    -    -    2    -    
LEROUX Christopher, P     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
RUTCKYJ Evan, P     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
LOTZKAR Kyle, P     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
RAKKAR Jasvir, P    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
Totals        38    11    15    10    6    6    27    7    -

Pitching Statistics
Puerto Rico 
Name    Position    W/L/S    IP    Hits (H)    R    ER    BB    SO    HR    WP    BK    

RAMOS Luis    L(0,1,0)    3.0    3    5    5    3    4    1    -    -    
GEIGER Roy        2.0    5    2    2    1    1    1    -    -    
SOLER Jose        4.0    7    4    2    2    1    1    -    -
Totals            9.0    15    11    9    6    6    3    -    -

Pitching Statistics
Canada    
Name    Position    W/L/S    IP    Hits (H)    R    ER    BB    SO    HR    WP    BK  
 
LEROUX Christopher    W(2,0,0)    6.0    3    1    1    2    7    1    -    -    
RUTCKYJ Evan        1.0    -    -    -    1    1    -    -    -    
LOTZKAR Kyle        1.0    2    3    3    -    1    1    -    -    
RAKKAR Jasvir        1.0    3    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
Totals            9.0    8    4    4    3    9    2

Standings
Country              P W-L RF RA W/L% GB 

1 Canada             5 5-0 37 11 1.000  -    -
2 Cuba               6 4-2 41 23 .677 1 1/2
3 Puerto Rico        5 3-2 35 41 .600    2
3 United States      5 3-2 29 21 .600    2
5 Dominican Republic 5 2-3 26 34 .400    3
6 Nicaragua          5 1-4 19 38 .200    4
7 Colombia           5 0-5 21 40 .000    5    

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.