By Adam Morissette
AJAX, Ontario – Jason Willow (Victoria, B.C.) belted a solo home run and drove in three runs to lead Canada to a comeback, 10-5 win over Australia and a 4-3-1 pre U-18 Baseball World Cup series win.
Both squads are preparing for the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay, Ont., from September 1 to 10.
Down 5-0 in the fifth, Willow’s solo home run put Canada on the scoreboard and started a four-run inning to close the gap to one.
Willow was at it again in the sixth as he belted a 0-2 offering to the gap in left that brought in the tying and go ahead runs.
Canada fell into a deep hold early after Australia put up four runs in the bottom of the first. Starter William Sierra (Montréal, Que.) hit the first batter of the inning before a base hit and an error brought in the game’s first run. With two out and the bases loaded, Dondrae Bremner (Toronto, Ont.) failed to come up with a fly ball in left field leading to three more runs crossing the plate.
Reliever Tate Dearing (White Rock, B.C.) took over for Sierra in the second and tossed a scoreless frame before the Aussies added a run in the third to go up by five.
Canada exploded for four runs in the fifth starting with Willow’s solo homer before Edouard Julien (Québec City, Que.) drove in a pair on a bases loaded single to centre while Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) followed with an RBI single.
Relievers Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) and Griffin Hassall (Newmarket, Ont.) held Australia off the scoreboard for three innings with each recording a strikeout.
The seventh inning was used to practice the international tiebreak rules that saw Canada score three times while Australia was held off the scoreboard.
Team Canada will depart for Thunder Bay tomorrow and open the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup on Friday against Chinese Taipei (6:30 pm E.T.) at Port Arthur Stadium.