Canada beats Cuba, to face Japan for bronze at U18 World Cup

 Right-hander Michael Stovman (Victoria, B.C.) allowed just two runs in eight innings to lead Canada to a 4-2 win over Cuba on Saturday at the U18 World Cup in Thunder Bay, Ont.  Photo Credit: WBSC/Christian J. Stewart

Right-hander Michael Stovman (Victoria, B.C.) allowed just two runs in eight innings to lead Canada to a 4-2 win over Cuba on Saturday at the U18 World Cup in Thunder Bay, Ont.  Photo Credit: WBSC/Christian J. Stewart

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

THUNDER BAY, Ontario – Canada will face Japan tomorrow (Noon E.T.) with a WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup bronze medal on the line, while the United States will play Korea for gold (5 p.m. E.T.).

Tomorrow’s bronze medal contest marks the first time since 2012 that Canada will play for a medal at the U-18 World Cup and the ninth time in the 28-year history of the event. Canada has won six medals all-time, including gold in 1991 (Brandon, Man.), silver in 2012 (Seoul, Korea) and bronze medals in 1983 (USA), 1987 (Windsor, Ont.), 1997 (Moncton, N.B.) and 2006 (Sancti Spiritus, Cuba). Canada lost bronze medal contests to finish fourth in 1986 (Windsor, Ont.) and the last time this event was held in Thunder Bay in 2010.

“Reaching a medal game is a nice accomplishment for our Junior National Team program but we want to go home with a (bronze) medal around our necks,” said Canadian manager Greg Hamilton. “The majority of our group has been together for two-years so coming away with a medal would be a nice way to finish off this (U-18) cycle.”

Canada defeated Japan, 6-4, just one night ago in Super Round play and knows that they will come out hungry tomorrow.

“Japan is a very proud baseball nation with a rich baseball history so we know that they will be giving everything they have tomorrow,” explained Hamilton. “We belong on the field with them and know that we can play with them.”

In a game that had no implications on the Super Round standings, Canada received a tremendous pitching performance from starter Michael Stovman (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and two RBI from Victor Cerny (Winnipeg, Man.) to get past Cuba, 4-2.

Stovman worked eight innings and gave up two runs on seven hits and just one walk while striking out one batter. More importantly, Stovman’s effort means that Canada will have a well rested pitching staff for tomorrow’s game against Japan.

“Michael provided exactly what we needed today and that was to give us some innings on the mound,” said Hamilton. “We’re in good shape (pitching-wise) heading into tomorrow.”

“It was special getting the start today against Cuba,” said Stovman. “It was my first start in a Canadian uniform and something that I won’t forget.”

Box Score - Canada 4 Cuba 2

Live streaming for tomorrow’s bronze medal game will be available via the WBSC’s YouTube channel.

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.