Gillies, Deglan, Mortensen, Dawson excel vs. USA collegians

Canada earns convincing win over US College Nats

Kellin Deglan, 22 (Langley, BC) congratulates Brock Kjeldgaard (London, Ont.) as Team Canada beat Team USA collegians 12-2 in Cary, NC. Photo: Baseball Canada.

Kellin Deglan, 22 (Langley, BC) congratulates Brock Kjeldgaard (London, Ont.) as Team Canada beat Team USA collegians 12-2 in Cary, NC. Photo: Baseball Canada.

By Adam Morissette
Baseball Canada

CARY, NC- The Canadian Men’s Baseball Team defeated the United States College National Team 12-2 to pick up their first win of the Americas Baseball Festival, an event being used as a tune-up for the upcoming Pan American Games.

The game was declared complete after the seventh inning as both teams used the eighth to practice the international tiebreak rule that will be in use at the Pan Am Games should extra innings be necessary.

Pitchers Jared Mortensen (Abbottsford, BC) and Shane Dawson (Drayton Valley, Alta.) both made their Canadian National Team debuts and combined to hold the US squad to just one hit that came in form of a solo home run in the bottom of the first.

After Tyson Gillies (Vancouver, BC) led off the game with a solo home run, Canada exploded for seven runs in the eighth before adding one in each of the third and fourth frames, while catcher Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC) belted a two-run shot in the fifth.

“It was a nice win for us,” said Canadian Manager Ernie Whitt coming off a 9-3 loss to the US Pan American Games team yesterday, “we needed it.”

“I was really happy with our pitching ” added Whitt. “We threw strikes. That’s something I strongly believe in as a manager. I truly believe that our defence can play – we just have to throw strikes and put the ball in play.”

After the solo home run in the first, Mortensen settled in nicely retiring 11 in a row and finished his four-inning outing with two strikeouts. The right-hander was pleased with his first performance in a Canadian uniform.

“I got the first inning jitters out of the way and was able to settle in after,” he said. “The sinker was by far the best thing I could throw. Righties and lefties were swinging over top of it and beating it into the ground and once we saw the swings they were taking on it, we had to keep throwing it.”

In the seven-run second, Canada sent eight batters to the plate before Team USA recorded an out and received two-run singles from Brock Kjeldgaard (London, Ont.) and Gillies, while Pete Orr (Newmarket, Ont.) contributed an RBI double.

Canada kept rolling in the third getting a run when Tim Smith (Toronto, Ont.) scored from third on an RBI groundout off the bat of Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC), and added a run in the fourth when Gillies tripled off the wall in left and scored on a sac-fly from Orr.

Gillies went 3-for-4, scored three runs and drove in three, while falling just a double short of the cycle.

“When he gets on base it puts pressure on the defence,” explained Whitt. “That’s what a leadoff hitter is supposed to do and it was nice to see today.”

Deglan slugged his second home run in as many games in the fifth and reliever Dawson was sharp through three innings of work allowing only a walk, while fanning four batters.

Canada will play their third and final game of the Americas Baseball Festival tomorrow against Cuba, a team they will face on July 14 at the Pan Am Games.

“Tomorrow will be a chance for our staff to see three more of our arms,” said Whitt. “Hopefully they can throw strikes, our offence can keep going and we can keep rolling along as a team.”

Notes: Tomorrow’s game will begin at 10am ET … RHP Phillippe Aumont  (Gatineau, Que.), LHP Evan Rutckyj (Windsor, Ont.) and RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (Goderich, Ont.) are expected to pitch for Canada … Live tweets will be available by following @Team_C_Updates on Twitter … Following the game, Canada will fly to Toronto.

Canada will open defence of the Pan American Games gold medal, won in 2011, on Saturday, July 11 at President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ball Park against the Dominican Republic. To view a full schedule and to purchase tickets, please click here.

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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.