July 13, 2015
Canada drops Nicaragua to remain unbeaten at Pan Ams
By Adam Morissette
AJAX, Ont. – The Canadian Team picked up their third win in as many games after they defeated Nicaragua 9-1 Monday night to remain undefeated at the Pan American Games Baseball men’s baseball competition.
Canadian starter Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.) worked five scoreless innings and struck out eight, while the offence received several standout performances including Pete Orr (Newmarket, ON) who tripled and drove in three runs and Skyler Stromsmoe (Bow Island, Alta.) who drove in three with two coming on the strength of a two-run homer in the sixth. Rene Tosoni (Port Coquitlam, BC) led all Canadian batters with four hits and scored two runs and drove in one for good measure.
Canada had plenty of opportunity to score even more runs as they left 18 runners on base, but still managed to produce nine runs on 11 hits and took advantage of ten walks issued by five different Nicaraguan pitchers.
“We had opportunities we let get away and you just can’t get down, that’s why you play nine innings,” said Canadian manager Ernie Whitt. “It’s nice to be 3-0 but the competition gets a little bit tougher.”
Canada will play Cuba Tuesday before an off day on Wednesday and conclude round robin action with match-up against Puerto Rico and the United States on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Canada got on the scoreboard in the fourth and it was Orr coming through in the clutch as he laced the first pitch he saw into right field to bring in Tosoni and Tyson Gillies (Vancouver, BC). Tosoni and Gillies had back-to-back singles and Sean Jamieson (Simcoe, Ont.) walked to set the stage for Orr.
The floodgates then opened in the fifth as Canada struck for four runs with Stromsmoe and Orr collecting RBI singles, while Jamieson drove in a run on a fly ball and Jordan Lennerton (Langley, BC) cashed in a run on a fielder’s choice coming with the bases loaded.
Meanwhile, Aumont was working on four scoreless innings on the mound when he came back out for the fifth, snared a line drive back to the mound before he struck out two batters to end his five inning outing on a high note.
Unfamiliar with many of the hitters he faced, Aumont was able to stick to his game plan to achieve success.
“The key was just to keep attacking those guys and just keep my defence into it,” he said. “Overall I felt good.”
Aumont was also able to work his way out of trouble in the fourth getting a strikeout and pop-out to third baseman Orr with runners on the corners after a pair of singles.
Stromsmoe put Canada up by eight after his two-run blast to left in the sixth and the Canadian bullpen was able to go to work getting scoreless frames from Shane Dawson (Drayton Valley, Alta.) is the sixth, Kyle Lotzkar (Delta, BC) in the seventh and Brock Dykxhoorn (Goderich, Ont.) in the eighth.
Nicaragua broke the shutout bid in the ninth using a leadoff double followed by a double with two out off reliever Scott Richmond (Vancouver, BC) who had one strikeout in the inning.
Up Next: Canada will be back in action at President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ball Park tomorrow when they face Cuba at 7pm ET … RHP Shawn Hill (Georgetown, ON) is scheduled to start … 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 here.