By Adam Morissette
AJAX, Ontario – Wesley Moore (Surrey, B.C.) and William Sierra (Montréal, Que.) combined to strikeout 14 batters, while Michael Stovman (Maple Ridge, B.C.) belted a solo home run and Rhys Cratty (Langley, B.C.) drove in four runs to lead Canada to an 8-2 win over Australia.
Canada now leads the seven-game series 2-0 with both squads preparing for the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay from September 1 to 10.
Canada took advantage of three consecutive walks to start the second inning when Archer Brookman (Pointe Claire, Que.) drove in two runs on a line drive single to centre and Rhys Cratty followed with an RBI ground out.
Canada struck again in the fourth with a pair of runs coming with two out. With Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) on second base, Dondrae Bremner (Toronto, Ont.) singled to right to bring him in before Rhys Cratty drilled a double to centre that saw Bremner score all the way from first.
Moore cruised through three innings before running into trouble in the bottom half of the fourth. A leadoff walk followed by a double put runners on second and third before a ground out gave the Australians their first run of the game. Moore then unleashed a wild pitch to bring in another run before getting out of the inning. He finished his four-inning outing with six strikeouts.
Stovman’s leadoff homer in the sixth came on a 1-0 pitch before Canada went on to add two runs after Rhys Cratty sailed a ball into shallow right that scored Clayton Keyes and Archer Brookman.
William Sierra took over for Moore in the fifth and began work on a masterful four-inning outing that saw him rack up eight strikeouts and give up just one hit. He struck out the side in the seventh and eighth innings, and walked two batters during his outing.
The series resumes on Wednesday (7 pm E.T.) and runs though Sunday with all games being played at Audley Ballpark (2001 Audley Rd. Ajax, Ont.), the same site that hosted the Pan Am Games in 2015. Admission is free for all games.
Baseball Canada will provide 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 @ Canada U18 7PM
Thursday 24 Aug Canada U18 @ Australia U18 7PM
Friday 25 Aug Australia U18 @ Canada U18 7PM
Saturday 26 Aug Canada U18 @ Australia U18 1PM
Sunday 27 Aug Australia U18 @ Canada U18 1PM