Seoul, Korea – In a span of a little more than 24 hours, Canada won for the third time in three tries and is now positioned to play in the gold medal game at the IBAF 18U World Baseball Championships on Saturday with a win over its next opponent – South Korea.
Wednesday’s victory came today over Colombia where Canada nearly blew a seven run lead, but hung-on for a 10-6 victory.
“I’m really proud of our guys, it’s tough to do at the best of times,” said Manager Greg Hamilton about his team performance over the past three games. “To have a big emotional win over the U.S. (Tuesday) and then come back early this morning and get back on the horse was tough, but we survived.”
Canada scored a run in the bottom of the first when Jacob Robson (Windsor, ON) and Kyle Hann (Oakville) drew back-to-back walks and moved up a base on a Nathan DeSouza (Milton) ground out.
Colombia’s starter was having control issues as he unleashed a wild pitch that scored Robson and walked four in the first before being removed.
Canada had opportunities to increase the lead, but they left the bases loaded in both the first and second innings which kept the score 1-0.
Starter Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, ON) cruised through his first three innings, not allowing a hit with the only base runner coming off a Canadian error in the first.
Canada looked to put the game away early as they scored six runs in the home half of the third. Mitchell Triolo (Scarborough) hit a three-run triple to the gap in left field and DeSouza slammed a two-run homer well over the wall in right.
Colombia answered back, however, in the top of the fourth, scoring four times to make it 7-4.
Quantrill allowed three doubles and two singles in the inning which breathed new life into the pesky Colombians.
Quantrill allowed another run in the fifth and one more in the sixth to make the score 7-6 before being removed in favour of Travis Seabrooke (Peterborough, ON).
Seabrooke came in and was able to settle things down to end the sixth and he came back out for the seventh and shut Colombia down.
In the seventh the Canadian offence woke-up and scored three runs to give Seabrooke some room to work with.
Once again it was DeSouza who made a difference by singling to right field to score two runs with the bases loaded.
“That hit (in the seventh) was huge,” said Hamilton. “That was a momentum killer for them and it gave our side a big lift.”
Jesse Hodges (Victoria, B.C.) collected an RBI single in the inning and from there Seabrooke took control of the game and picked up the win by tossing 3 2/3 shutout frames without giving up a walk or a hit, while striking out three.