By Adam Morissette
AJAX, Ontario – After taking the first two games of the pre U-18 World Cup series, Canada has dropped three consecutive contests to Australia including a 5-2 defeat this evening.
Canada fell into a deep hole after Australia built a 5-0 lead after four and couldn’t generate enough offence to climb back into the game. Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) and Victor Cerny (Winnipeg, Man.) picked up two hits apiece as Canada outhit Australia for the second consecutive game.
With neither team recording a hit through the first two innings, the Aussies caught a break and used some small ball to score the game’s first run. A Jason Willow (Victoria, B.C.) error put the leadoff hitter on before a sacrifice bunt moved him to second. A double to left followed by a two-out triple gave the Australians a 2-0 lead.
Starter Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont.) and Canada fell into a deeper hole in the fourth with three more Australian runs crossing the plate. A leadoff walk, followed by back-to-back one out singles scored one before Noah Naylor’s (Mississauga, Ont.) throwing error brought in two more.
Canada received some luck of their own in the sixth and took advantage after Edouard Julien (Québec City, Que.) reached on a dropped fly ball and came around to score on Naylor’s double to centre. The second Aussie error of the inning, a throwing error, allowed Keyes to trot home from third base.
Harley Gollert (Toronto, Ont.) replaced Cerantola with two out in the fourth, recorded a strikeout then proceeded to throw three scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out three.
Tate Dearing (White Rock, B.C.) struck out one batter in a perfect eighth before Jaden Griffin (Lower Sackville, N.S.) fanned two in a perfect ninth.
The series resumes on Saturday (1 p.m. E.T.) and runs though Sunday, with all games being played at Audley Ballpark (2001 Audley Rd. Ajax, ON), the same site that hosted the Pan Am Games in 2015. Admission is free for all games.
Baseball Canada is providing live scoring for all seven games.
Monday 21 Aug Australia U18 2 @ Canada U183 7PM
Tuesday 22 Aug Canada U18 8 @ Australia U18 2 7PM
Wednesday 23 Aug Australia U18 3 @ Canada U18 2 7PM
Thursday 24 Aug Canada U18 4 @ Australia U18 6 7PM
Friday 25 Aug Australia U18 5 @ Canada U18 2 7PM
Saturday 26 Aug Canada U18 @ Australia U18 1PM
Sunday 27 Aug Australia U18 @ Canada U18 1PM