U.S. defeats Canada in U18 World Cup Super Round opener

 Photo Credit: WBSC/Christian Stewart

Photo Credit: WBSC/Christian Stewart

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

THUNDER BAY, Ontario – Triston Casas homered and drove in five runs to lead the United States to an 8-3 win over Canada as the WBSC U-18 World Cup ‘Super Round’ opened at Port Arthur Stadium.

The loss puts Canada’s Super Round record at 1-2 with games against Japan (Friday, 5 p.m. E.T.) and Cuba (Saturday, 5 p.m. E.T.) coming up. Following the Super Round, the top two seeds will meet for gold on Sunday while the third and fourth seeds will play for bronze.

Box Score – USA 8 Canada 3

Canada outhit the United States 10-6 missing on some chances to cut into the lead as the U.S. used some sound defensive play to spoil the comeback.

“We definitely missed out on some opportunities to get back into the game,” said Canadian manager Greg Hamilton. “That’s a pretty good team over there and to beat them you need to take advantage (of opportunities) when you get them.”

Starter Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont.) got off to a tough start as he walked the first three batters he faced in the bottom of the first that led to two U.S. runs crossing the plate.

Canada responded with a pair of hits in the top of the second from Jason Willow (Victoria, B.C.) and Victor Cerny (Winnipeg, Man.) to put runners on second and third before Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) drove in a run on fielder’s choice that put Canada on the scoreboard. Though Canada scored their first run of the game, both Cerny and Clarke were gunned down at home plate, limiting the damage for the United States.

“When you play this team (US) you might not get opportunities to score so we had to take those chances early,” said Hamilton.

Cerantola settled in after the first, save for a solo homer off the bat of Triston Casas in the third, and worked five innings that included seven strikeouts before giving way to reliever Cade Smith (Abbotsford, B.C.).

Canada chased U.S. starter Kumar Rocker from the game in the fourth and in came Landon Marceaux who shut Canada down for 3 1/3 innings that included working his way out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh by getting a double play.

Down 5-1 in the eighth, Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and Archer Brookman (Pointe-Claire, Que.) connected on back-to-back doubles to bring in one run before Willow cashed in another on an RBI ground out.

Any hopes of a comeback were dashed in the bottom of the inning however as a Lucas Parente (Burlington, Ont.) error in left, followed by a pair of walks all scored when Casas doubled to centre that put the Americans in front by five.

Just as they’ve done earlier in the tournament, Canada must move on from a loss and focus on another crucial contest with the chance to play in a medal game on Sunday still well within reach.

“Japan is certainly a tough opponent so it is important again to move on and be ready to play tomorrow,” said Hamilton.

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

WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Schedule
WBSC 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.