By Adam Morissette
AJAX, Ontario – The pre U-18 Baseball World Cup series between Canada and Australia will need an eighth game to decide a winner after both countries played to a 5-5 tie this afternoon at Audley Ballpark in Ajax, Ont.
The ninth inning was used to practice international tiebreak rules with each offensive inning beginning with runners on first and second. Australia got a sacrifice fly with one out to plate their run while Canada scored on a bases loaded walk. Canada had the winning run on third with nobody out but failed to score.
Both squads are preparing for the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay, Ont., from September 1 to 10.
Noah Naylor’s (Mississauga, Ont.) RBI single to right field brought Edouard Julien (Québec City, Que.) home from third with the game’s first run as Canada opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Julien led off the inning with a walk and ended up on third when Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) lined a single to centre.
Minnesota Twins prospect Landon Leach (Pickering, Ont.) made his selection camp debut for Canada and worked the first inning facing the minimum three batters. Leach allowed a leadoff single before picking the runner off at first base. He recorded a strikeout and induced a ground out in a 13-pitch frame.
Canada added to their lead in the third and it was Julien who got things going drawing a leadoff walk before moving into scoring position with a stolen base. After moving to third on a groundout, Julien scored when Victor Cerny (Winnipeg, Man.) singled through the right side to put Canada up by two.
Reliever Jack DeCooman (North Vancouver, B.C.) took over for Leach in the second and cruised through four scoreless inning allowing just one hit and two walks. With two out in the sixth, he allowed a single and issued two walks before Australia’s Jarryd Dale took the first pitch he saw over the left field fence for a grand slam.
It didn’t take long for Canada to answer back as Michael Stovman (Maple Ridge, B.C.) drove an 0-1 pitch over the wall in left for an opposite field two-run homer. The blast was his second of the series and tied the game in the bottom of the sixth.
Reliever Cade Smith (Abbotsford, B.C.) tossed two perfect innings before coming out for the ninth under international tiebreak rules. Smith then fielded a bunt and tossed the lead runner out at third before walking a batter to load the bases. A sac-fly to centre scored the run before Canada turned a double play to end the frame.
The final game of the series goes Monday(10:30am E.T.) at Audley Ballpark (2001 Audley Rd. Ajax, ON), the same site that hosted the Pan Am Games in 2015. Admission is free.
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 10 @ Australia U18 5 1PM
Sunday 27 Aug Australia U18 5 @ Canada U185 1PM
Monday 28 Aug Canada U18 @ Australia U18 10:30AM