Willow, Cerny, Hassall power Canada to Super Round

 Victor Cerny (Winnipeg Man.) went 3-for-5 including a three-run homer as Canada thumped Nicaaragua 15-3 to advance to the Super Round in Thunder Bay. Photo: Christian J. Stewart.

Victor Cerny (Winnipeg Man.) went 3-for-5 including a three-run homer as Canada thumped Nicaaragua 15-3 to advance to the Super Round in Thunder Bay. Photo: Christian J. Stewart.

U-18 World Cup: Super Round up next after big win over Nicaragua

Sept. 6, 2017

By Adam Morissette
Baseball Canada

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Canada exploded for ten runs in the top of the seventh and received home runs from Jason Willow (Victoria, BC) and Victor Cerny (Winnipeg, Man.) to record a 15-3, mercy-rule win over Nicaragua that concluded opening round action at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.

The win improves Canada’s record to 3-2 good for second place in Group A while also booking a ticket into the Super Round that begins Thursday, Sept. 7 with a match-up against unbeaten USA (6PM ET).

Box Score – Canada 15 Nicaragua 3

“It was important for us to come out today and get this win,” said Canadian Manager Greg Hamilton. “I’m real proud of our group and the way we’ve competed so far in this tournament.”

Nicaragua starter Noel Leonardo Diaz battled control issues in the top of the first leading to three Canadian runs crossing home plate, the last of which scored on a Jason Willow single.

Willow was front and centre again in the third as he launched a solo homer to left on the first pitch of his at bat before Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) drove in Victor Cerny from third on a fly ball. Cerny had followed Willow’s homer with a triple to start his 3-for-5 day at the plate that included a single and three-run homer.

Starter Griffin Hassall (Newmarket, Ont.) was in control until the fourth when Nicaragua got on the board with two runs before a strikeout and inning-ending double play ended the threat.

They kept coming in the fifth and used three singles to score a run and chase Hassall from the game. Harley Gollert (Toronto, Ont.) took over and went to work right away getting a 6-4-3 double play and pop out in foul territory to first baseman Archer Brookman (Pointe-Claire, Que.) that ended the inning.

“Harley was huge for us in that spot,” explained Hamilton. “It was close at that point and they had some momentum going.”

Gollert came back out for the sixth and threw a scoreless inning before Canada’s offensive explosion in the seventh.

Brookman looked to have hit his tournament leading third home run but the third base umpire concluded that the ball bounced off the top of the fence leaving him with a two-run triple.

Brookman, Cerny and Denzel Clarke each had three RBIs for Canada while Cerny and Willow collected three hits apiece as Canada’s offence combined for 15 hits.

Canada now can set its sights on the Super Round and an American team that has given up just one earned run though five games.

“We know we’re going to face a really strong team tomorrow night,” added Hamilton. “But we’re also feeling pretty good about ourselves and are looking forward to playing in front of our home fans.”

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

WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Super Round Schedule
WBSC YouTube Channel

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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.