Auckland, New Zealand – The Canadian Men’s National Softball Team bounced back from a 4-1 loss to Japan by beating Colombia, 8-0, in five innings at the ISF XIII Men`s World Championship. Sean Cleary (Harbour Main, NL) retired all 15 batters he faced for the five-inning perfect game, striking out 10 batters along the way.
Mathieu Roy (St-Gervais, QC) led off the top of the first inning with a four-pitch walk, but was retired at second on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt, followed by a pop out in foul territory at third base and a fielder’s choice on a ground ball to the shortstop. Cleary made quick work of the Colombians in the bottom of the inning with two fly outs and a groundout.
In the top of the second, Ian Fehrman (Townsend, ON) started things off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Stephen Mullaley (Freshwater, NL) walked. After a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners, Ryan Boland (St. John’s, NL) doubled down the third base line to push Fehrman to the plate with what would stand as the winning run. Colombia could not get anything going in the bottom of the frame with Cleary striking out the side.
Bryan Abrey (Richmond, B.C.) singled up the middle to start the third inning as Canada put the leadoff hitter on base for the third consecutive inning, which brought on a pitching change for Colombia. Andy Skelton (Scarborough) reached on an error, and Brad Ezekiel (Harbour Main, NL) singled to score Abrey from second. A double by Mullaley drove in Skelton from second, followed by a wild pitch to bring Ezekiel in to score. Boland then hit an RBI single to score Mullaley and give Canada a 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the third, Cleary struck out two more batters as he retired the side in order once again.
The following inning, Brandon Horn (Waterloo, ON) ripped a one-out double and scored on a homerun to left-center field by Skelton to increase the lead to 7-0. Cleary kept the Colombian hitters off balance with two more strikeouts in the bottom of the fourth. Colombia then got two quick outs to start the fifth, but pinch-hitter Jeff Ellsworth (St. Lawrence, PEI) stroked a solo homerun on the first pitch he saw for Team Canada. Cleary ended the game by striking out the side for the second time in five innings.
Ryan Boland led the Canadian offence with a single, a double and two runs batted in. Seven other batters registered a hit, including homeruns by Skelton and Ellsworth, doubles by Mullaley and Horn, and singles by Ezekiel, Fehrman and Abrey.
Team Canada (5-1) will play its last round robin game against the Netherlands (1-4) on Wednesday night and could clinch first place in Pool B with a win.
Other scores on the sixth day of the tournament were: South Africa over Indonesia 6-1; the United States stunned Venezuela 9-3; Japan shut out the Philippines 9-0; and Great Britain defeated the Czech Republic 7-4.