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Saskatchewan men’s softball team wins Canada Games silver

Team Sask won a silver medal at the Canada Games in Winnipeg

Saskatchewan’s men’s softball team won a silver medal at the 2017 Canada Games in Winnipeg in early August.
The all-star squad rolled through the round-robin games with an undefeated record to qualify for the playoffs. An 8-7 win over Quebec in the semi-final on Friday, August 4, put Saskatchewan into the gold medal game against Ontario.
The championship bout was a rematch of an earlier quarter-final game in which Saskatchewan lost 11-1 to Ontario.
The final was a lot closer, as Saskatchewan fell 4-1 to Ontario. Continue reading “Saskatchewan men’s softball team wins Canada Games silver”

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Team Canada wins bronze at World Junior Men’s Softball championships

By GILLES LEBLANC

Softball Canada (www.softball.ca)

Justin Laskowski of Warman and James Shirley of Delisle are bringing home bronze medals after Team Canada placed third in the WBSC Junior Men’s World Softball Championship in Midland Michigan last week.
The Canadian Junior Men’s National Team put up a valiant effort but came out on the losing end of a 12-7 decision against New Zealand in the Bronze medal game of the WBSC Junior Men’s World Softball Championship on Saturday, July 30. The game went back and forth, but New Zealand hit four homeruns in a seven-run fifth inning to take control of the game.
Team Canada went down in order in the top of the first, and New Zealand came out swinging with a pair of singles to start the bottom half of the inning. Tyler Randerson (New Hamburg, ON), who was making his fourth start in less than 48 hours, got a fly out and a strikeout but the following batter hit a two-run single to open the scoring. The runner stole second and scored on another single to give New Zealand an early 3-0 lead. Canada did not waste any time getting back in the game. Jake Bricknell (Port Perry, ON) and Daniel Godbout (St-Gervais, QC) started the second with singles and got up to second and third. Bricknell scored when the next batter hit a ground ball that was missed by the third baseman, and Derek Hyde (Tavistock, ON) singled to left to score Godbout. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Jake Wiffen (Tavistock, ON) singled to center to score two and give Canada a 4-3 lead.
New Zealand tied the game on a run-scoring double in the bottom of the second, but Canada came right back with two more runs to take a 6-4 lead in the third. Alexandre Lemieux (St-Gervais, QC) led off with a homerun to center, and after a pair of ground outs, Justin Laskowski (Warman, SK) hit a drive deep to right for a solo blast of his own. New Zealand got a leadoff single in the bottom of the frame but Randerson got three fly outs to keep them from scoring.
In the fourth, Canada got a pair of walks but was unable to add to its two run lead, and New Zealand got another leadoff single but Randerson retired the next three batters once again. Bricknell hit a one-out solo blast in the top of the fifth to give Canada a 7-4 lead, but New Zealand put up their big inning to flip the momentum in the bottom of the inning. A walk and a single put two runners on base, and New Zealand got a huge pinch-hit three-run homerun to tie the game and chase Randerson. Jordan Hudson (Saskatoon, SK) entered the pitcher’s circle and allowed a solo shot to the first batter he faced, and after a ground out, another pitch was hit out of the park for another solo homerun. After getting the second out, Hudson issued a walk followed by a two-run blast as New Zealand took an 11-7 lead.
Meanwhile, New Zealand brought in their ace pitcher Daniel Chapman for the final out in the fifth, and Chapman shut the door on the Canadian offence by sitting the red and white down in order in each of the sixth and seventh innings.
Randerson allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and a walk with three strikeouts in four innings. Hudson yielded five runs on six hits in two innings of relief. Bricknell led Canada at the plate with a homerun and a single, with Lemieux and Laskowski each hitting a homerun as well. Wiffen contributed a two-run single, with Hyde adding a run-scoring single of his own. Godbout chipped in with a pair of singles as well.
With the loss, Canada earned the Bronze medal at the event after stringing together three playoff wins over the Czech Republic, the United States and the two-time defending World champions from Argentina. The result is also a major improvement on Canada’s disappointing seventh place finish at the previous World Championship in 2014.
Japan went on to defeat New Zealand 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to claim the Gold medal.

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Canada downs Czech Republic at junior men’s softball worlds

The Canadian Junior Men’s National Team moved on in the playoff round of the WBSC Junior Men’s World Championship with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic on Thursday, July 28 in Midland, Michigan. Tyler Randerson (New Hamburg, ON) was sensational in the pitcher’s circle, allowing only one unearned runs on two hits with 16 strikeouts, while Alexandre Lemieux (St-Gervais, QC) registered the game-winning two-run single in the bottom of the fifth.

The game was a pitcher’s duel right from the start, as Randerson and Michal Holobradek went pitch for pitch over the first few innings. Both of them retired the side in order in the first, with Randerson hitting a batter in the second but catcher Derek Hyde (Tavistock, ON) throwing him out at second on a steal attempt to end the inning. Team Canada got a one-out walk by Daniel Godbout (St-Gervais, QC) in the bottom of the second, but the next two batters struck out.

In the third, the Czech Republic got a leadoff single but the hitter was thrown out by left fielder Lemieux trying to stretch the hit into a double and Randerson followed that up by striking out the next two batters. In the bottom of the frame, Isaac Lefebvre (St-Leonard-d’Aston, QC) earned a one-out walk followed by a single by Jake Wiffen (Tavistock, ON) on a hit-and-run that pulled the shortstop over to the bag. Wiffen stole second before Avery Arsenault (Tignish, PEI) dropped a great bunt for a single to load the bases with one out. However, a fielder’s choice on a chopper to third retired Lefebvre at home, and the next batter struck out as Canada came away with nothing.

The Czech Republic manufactured a run by taking advantage of some miscues to open the scoring in the top half of the fourth. The leadoff batter singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on an error at second base before scoring on a ground ball with a tough hop at second base. Randerson bounced back by striking out the next three batters to leave two Czechs in scoring position. Canada went down in order in the bottom of the fourth as did the Czech Republic in the fifth before Canada fought back. Hyde led off with a triple to right and Wiffen reached on a fielder’s choice when the third baseman tried to tag Hyde at third. Wiffen stole second before Lemieux hit a two-out, two-run single up the middle to give Canada the 2-1 lead.

Randerson struck out two and got a fly out to left in the top of the sixth, with Canada getting a leadoff single by Godbout in the bottom of the frame but could not move him any further. Randerson closed out the game by striking out the side for the third time in the game in the top of the seventh to seal the win.

Randerson was fantastic in the circle, allowing only one unearned run on two hits and struck out 16 batters – including eight in a row at one point – in the key win. Lemieux had the clutch two-run single, with Hyde adding a triple and Wiffen, Arsenault and Godbout each contributing singles.

With the win, Canada moves on to face the United States at 2:30pm EDT on Friday. The Americans lost their first playoff game 5-2 to Japan. On the other side of the bracket, New Zealand edged Argentina 3-2 and Australia beat Mexico 5-1 to set up a matchup between Argentina and Australia at 12:00pm EDT. New Zealand and Japan each secured spots in the medal round and will play each other 5:00pm EDT to decide who will get a direct berth in Saturday’s Gold medal game.

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