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Saskatchewan Improves to 2-0 to Start Cup

  • August 17, 2006

In more day one action from the 2006 Baseball Canada Cup, Saskatchewan exploded with six runs in the sixth inning to defeat British Columbia 6-4 and improve to 2-0 in the tournament.

Left fielder JP Willner’s sixth inning, 3 RBI double pushed Saskatchewan ahead, as he followed the lead of catcher Kal Whiting, whose earlier 2 RBI single cut into B.C.’s lead.

B.C. first baseman/left fielder Chad Stang was 3-for-4, with 2 RBI in a losing effort.

In other action, Québec came away with a victory in a tight fought 1-0 game against the traditionally strong Ontario team.

Philippe Aumont threw a complete game three hitter for the victory, holding Ontario off the scoreboard while striking out seven.

Prince Edward Island defeated Newfoundland and Labrador 15-5, highlighted by designated hitter Neil Sherren, who went 2-for-2 at the plate, doubling into left field for 2 RBI in the first inning and scoring 2 runs on the day.

Also, Manitoba pieced together three separate four-run innings, defeating Nova Scotia 13-1.

Manitoba shortstop Mike Mutcheson was 3-for-4, with 1 RBI, and 3 runs scored in a winning effort. Winning pitcher Logan McGonigal needed little help, as he hurled five innings of one hit, one run ball.

The Opening Ceremonies, as well as a game between Alberta and Québec, are scheduled to take place later tonight at Athletic Park.

For more information, please visit the championship website at www.baseball.ca/cup/

Québec Pitchers Combine for Perfect Game

In Bantam Girls action, Ontario’s juggernaut of an offence rolled over Nova Scotia 39-4 in an abbreviated five-inning game.

Ontario centre fielder Katie Pacuta went 4-for-5, with 5 RBI, and 5 runs scored, while catcher Samantha Leviston also had 5 RBI and 5 runs scored, going 2-for-4 at the dish.

In other Girls action, Québec beat up on Newfoundland and Labrador 12-0 in a condensed four-and-a-half inning game, also invoking the mercy rule.

Québec pitchers Sabrina Gauthier and Chrytelle L. Lepage combined to pitch a perfect game, not allowing a hit or walk, and fanning six hitters.

Québec second baseman, Maxandre Desharnais, and catcher, Amelie Patry-Roy, both had 3 RBI in a winning effort.

For more information on the Bantam Girls Championship, please visit www.baseball.ca/bantamgirls/

 

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Tribute to Terry Puhl - Major League Baseball's King of Defence

  • August 10, 2006

Without using the letter "e," Ernest Vincent Wright once wrote a 50,000-word novel called ‘Gadsby’. Team Canada Manger Terry Puhl (Melville, Sask.), who holds the career major league record for fielding percentage at .993 also saw very few ‘e’s over his 15-year Major League Baseball career.

******

If Puhl should opt to publish his own manuscript outlining how to play ‘D’ on a ball pitch, I think anybody that has anything to do with this sport should study it from front to back – start to finish. For all you kids and aspiring MLB stars, you would consult this book to find out if your ability away from batting is as good as you claim it is.

Just for fun, try to unfold you own microcosmic variation on Puhl’s 15 MLB campaigns, which saw him botch but 18 balls hit towards him from 1977 to 1991. I will toss all of my gambling chips in, and risk all my cash to hazard a supposition that you will last about as long as Moonlight Graham did in a Giants uniform back in 1905 or as long as Mitch Williams did on a 2-2 count of a sixth and final match-up for a World Championship in 1993.

Tackling such an arduous task is about as inviting as physical with an unusually thorough proctologist or facing David Ortiz in a walk-off situation in Boston with that ridiculously inviting short porch in right, gobbling up long balls on a nightly basis.

I don’t know how long it took Puhl, a 1978 all-star, to polish his skills on ‘D’, but my assumption is that this man would stop at nothing to attain his goal. Puhl was, without a doubt, a workaholic and a champion at anticipation, thus not much got by him.

Truthfully, Puhl’s passion was probably of ridiculous proportions, proving to gain him much admiration from thousands of ball fans in Canada and abroad in towns such as Houston and Kansas City. Fans that saw Puhl play will concur – Puhl always put on display his skillful command of running, catching and throwing. An old myth also told Puhl could guard a turf of potato chips and not crush anything whilst chasing down a long warning track fly.

I find it difficult to dismiss his amazing .993 mark as anything short of inspirational – most apt ‘D’ man in history and without a solitary gold mitt award. I must admit that I hold an unconditional admiration for such an artist.  

It is obvious that Puhl has not and will not obtain as much acclamation as stars such as Ruth, Aaron, Williams or Jackson – goliaths who could swing a bat with intimidating fury. Many fans may not forcibly honour his flair for his tactful manufacturing of a myriad of outs – a final total of 2,576 in addition to 57 assists – but historically, Puhl is a king at his craft, a top-notch man and catalyst for his squad.

Puhl will look to apply such skills and bring a similar approach to Canada’s squad in its bid to win a 2nd straight Olympic trip, starting in Havana Cuba, August 23. By playing solid ‘D’ and swinging that bat on occasion, Puhl and his troops know anything is possibl‘e’ . . . . . Oops.

 

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Women’s Team Claims Second Straight World Cup Bronze

  • August 06, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national women’s team claimed its second bronze medal at the Women’s World Cup of Baseball today, blanking Hong Kong 10-0 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Four teams were tied in second place with 4-2 records behind the gold medalists from the United States after the round robin tournament. Japan came out of the tie-break scenario with the silver medal while Canada claimed the bronze to duplicate the final medal standings from the 2004 World Cup in Edmonton.

Despite having the same 4-2 record, Australia and Taiwan had to settle for fourth and fifth place respectively while Cuba finished in sixth at 1-6 and winless Hong Kong rounded out the pack.

Canada took control early against Hong Kong, scoring three runs in the first inning to set the tone for the game. Four runs in the second, two in the third and a solo marker in the fourth ended the game early after five innings thanks to the international 10-run mercy rule.

Designated hitter/first baseman Marie-Josée Tremblay (Saint Honoré-de-Chicoutimi, Qué.) led the way for Canada, going 3-for-3 with 3 RBI, but was not to be outdone by catcher Amanda Asay (Prince George, B.C.) who also produced three runs, while going 1-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored.

Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, Ont.) was 2-for-4 with a two RBI and Karin Gagné was 2-for-2 with 2 walks, 1 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Asay, who batted .500 at the World Cup, was named to the tournament All-Star Team.

Southpaw Annie Kowalczyk (Mississauga, Ont.), Susan Douthwright (Riverview, N.B.) and Samantha Ostrom (Calgary, Alta.) combined for a three-hit shut out. Douthwright held Hong Kong hitless over one inning of work in relief to earn the win.

Box Score

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Aussies End Gold Medal Run by Women's National Team

  • August 05, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national women’s team’s hopes for a gold medal at the Women’s World Cup in Taipei, Taiwan were dashed with a 9-4 loss to Australia today.

After beating the defending gold and silver medalists from the United Sates and Japan to help the Canadians start the tournament with three straight victories, Canada has now suffered two consecutive defeats, placing the team in a dog fight for a medal.

“We managed 10 hits, but never at the right moments,” said Canadian head coach André Lachance. “It was a really tough day for us.”

Canada made three errors behind starting pitcher Martine Nadeau (Québec, Qué.) who was tagged with the loss.

Japan and the U.S., who share the top spot in the tournament with 4-1 records, will face-off tomorrow to determine the World Champion. What follows could be a murky tie-break scenario in which a possibility of four teams could be involved with 4-2 records. Two of those teams would be left out of the medals.

Barring a major upset against winless Hong Kong in the final game of the tournament tomorrow, Canada will likely finish at 4-2, as will the loser of the Japan/U.S. game. Chinese Taipei could also finish at 4-2 with a win over Cuba while Australia has already wrapped up its schedule, also at 4-2.

Standings

Japan                  4-1
U.S.A                   4-1
Canada              3-2
Chinese Taipei 3-2
Cuba
                   1-4
Hong Kong           0-5

Tomorrow
U.S.A. vs. Japan
Canada
vs. Hong Kong
Chinese Taipei vs. Cuba

*Box score from this game has not been released.

 

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Canadian Bats go Silent in Loss to Chinese Taipei

  • August 04, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national women’s team suffered its first loss, today, 7-1 against the host squad from Chinese Taipei, missing an opportunity to secure a podium finish at the 2006 Women’s World Cup in Taipei, Taiwan.

Catcher Amanda Asay (Prince George, B.C.) collected the only Canadian hit in the seven-inning affair while several fielding errors keyed the victory for Taiwan who improved its record to 2-2 to stay alive in the tournament.

“After the game against Japan where the intensity level was at a maximum, I think the girls were emotionally drained and tired,” said Canadian head coach André Lachance. “Our bats are going to have to come alive tomorrow if we want a chance to win the gold.”

Canada’s record, meanwhile, drops to 3-1 and moves the team down one spot in the standings behind Japan (4-1) with two games remaining in the tournament.

Kat Hannah (Kirkland Lake, Ont.) took the loss for Canada on the mound. Samantha Ostrom (Calgary, Alta.), Annie Kowalczyk (Mississauga, Ont.) and Marie-Josée Tremblay (Saint Honoré-de-Chicoutimi, Qué.) all pitched in relief for Canada, Tremblay closing out the game with two perfect innings of work.

With the loss, Canada’s bid for gold becomes a more difficult task as five teams are still in the medal hunt with only two days remaining in the tournament.

A win against Australia (3-2) tomorrow would put Canada back in the driver’s seat going in to the last day of competition where it is slated to face the entry from Hong Kong, which has been outscored 98-4 in its first four games of the tournament.

Martine Nadeau (Québec, Qué.) will get the start on the mound for the Canadians.

Current Standings
1)    Japan                 4-1
2)    Canada              3-1
3)    U.S.A.                  3-1
4)    Australia             3-2
5)    Chinese Taipei 2-2
6)    Cuba                   0-4
7)    Hong Kong        0-4

Tomorrow

Hong Kong vs. Cuba
Chinese Taipei vs. U.S.A.
Australia
vs. Canada

*Box score for this game is unavailable.

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Canadian Major Leaguers: August 2 Statistics

  • August 03, 2006

Eight Canadians played in the major leagues yesterday. Here’s how they fared.

Position Players

1. Kansas City Royals third baseman Mark Teahen was 3-for-5 with a double, a homerun, 3 RBI, and 2 runs scored in a 7-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. Teahen hit his homerun off of Freddy Garcia in the fifth inning.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Jason Bay (Trail, B.C.) was 1-for-3 with a double, 1 RBI and 1 walk in a 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

3. Texas Rangers right fielder Matt Stairs (Fredericton, N.B.) was 1-for-5 with 1 RBI and 1 strikeout in a 10-2 win over the Minnesota Twins.

4. Twins first baseman Justin Morneau (New Westminster, B.C.) was 0-for-2 with 2 walks in a 10-2 loss to the Rangers.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin (Chelsea, Qué.) was 0-for-3 with 1 walk in a 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

6. Braves first baseman Scott Thorman (Cambridge, Ont.) was 0-for-2 in a 3-2 win over the Pirates.

Pitchers

1. Reds reliever Rheal Cormier (Moncton, N.B.) threw one scoreless inning in a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers. The line on Cormier: 1.0 innings pitched, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches-7 strikes, 4 batters faced.

2. Baltimore Orioles starter Erik Bedard (Navan, Ont.) was tagged with his seventh loss of the season (12-7) after dropping a 2-1 decision to the Seattle Mariners. The line on Bedard: 5.1 innings pitched, 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, 1 homerun, 93 pitches-57 strikes, 24 batters faced.

Today’s games featuring teams with Canadian players (Bolded teams):

American League
Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royals
Texas Rangers @ Los Angeles Angels

National League
Atlanta Braves @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Chicago Cubs – Game 1
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Chicago Cubs – Game 2
Los Angeles Dodges @ Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies @ St. Louis Cardinals

 

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Asay Bats Canada into First Place at Women’s World Cup

  • August 03, 2006

First baseman Amanda Asay (Prince George, B.C.) was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBI to lead Baseball Canada’s national women’s team 6-3 past Japan in a crucial battle of undefeated teams today at the Women’s Baseball World Cup in Taipei, Taiwan.

With the win, Canada is now the only undefeated team remaining half-way through the tournament and is one win away from assuring itself of a top-three finish.

Asay, who was named the top catcher at the Women’s National Championships July 20-23, was quick to display her offensive prowess to help Canada strike first in the game and take a 3-0 lead mid-way through the third inning.

The Canadians never looked back as three Canadian pitchers staved off all Japanese comeback efforts.  Martine Nadeau (Québec, Qué.) was credited with the win, retiring all eight batters she faced in relief of starter Kate Psota (Burlington, Ont.).

Psota threw well, giving up three runs behind six hits in 4.1 innings of work, but was replaced by Nadeau before she could meet the five-inning requirement to qualify for the win. Kat Hannah (Kirkland Lake, Ont.) retired the final batter of the game to earn the save.

After going 5-for-5 in a win over Cuba yesterday, third baseman Ashley Stephenson continued to swing a hot bat, going 3-for-4 with a run scored while Samantha Magalas was 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored to help pace the Canadian attack.

Having already defeated the defending gold and silver medalists (U.S.A. and Japan), Canada is now in great position to match and possibly improve on their bronze medal performance from the 2004 World Cup in Edmonton, Alta.

The Canadians will look to improve to 4-0 Friday against the host squad from Chinese Taipei (1-3) before facing the Australians (3-1) Saturday and wrapping the tournament up against winless Hong Kong (0-4) on Sunday.

Box Score

 

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Stephenson Leads Canada in Comeback Win Over Cuba

  • August 01, 2006

Third baseman Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, Ont.) was 5-for-5 with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored as Baseball Canada’s national women’s team came from behind three times to top an upstart Cuban squad 10-8, today, moving Canada to 2-0 at the Women’s World Cup in Taipei, Taiwan.

Two first-inning errors by Canadian shortstop Erin Forman (Hamilton, Ont.), allowed Cuba to take a quick 3-1 lead into the second inning where the wild see-saw affair began.

Canada came back with a three-spot of their own in the top-half of the second to take a 4-3 lead, but the Cubans struck with three more in the bottom half of the inning to take another two-run lead, 6-4.

After both teams were held scoreless in the third inning, Canada reclaimed a one-run lead only to have it slip  away in the bottom of the fourth as Cuba drove in a pair of runs to take a 8-7 advantage.

Katherine Hannah (Kirkland Lake, Ont.) picked up the win in relief, shutting Cuba out over the final 3.1 innings of work, allowing only one hit and striking out four. While Hannah stymied the Cuban offence, Canada took advantage of a tiring Yaima Ramos, who pitched all seven innings for Cuba. The Canadians scored a pair in the sixth to go ahead for good and added a final run in the seventh for the 10-8 win.

“The Cubans have really improved since we played them in Havana in 2005. That team has a lot of potential,” said Canadian head coach André Lachance. “We got off to a rocky start with the two errors in the first inning, but Hannah was spectacular on the mound and Geneviève Beauchamp (St. Jérome, Qué.) continued to do damage at the plate.”

Beauchamp, Karine Gagné (Granby, Qué.) and Kate Psota (Burlington, Ont.) each had a pair of RBI while Canada was also sparked by its youngest team member, 16-year-old Nicole Luchanski (Edmonton, Alta.), who was 3-for-3 with 2 runs scored.

Canada does not play Wednesday but will prepare for a rematch of the 2004 World Cup Semi Final, Thursday, against Japan.  The reigning silver medalists, Japan beat Canada 3-1 to advance to the 2004 championship game.

Box Score

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Women’s Invitational underway in Spruce Grove

  • August 01, 2006

OTTAWA-The Senior Women’s Invitational began yesterday in Spruce Grove, but only two of four scheduled games were completed due to inclement weather.  Four provinces (BC, Alberta, Ontario and Québec) and one regional team (Team West) are in Spruce Grove to determine a National Champion.

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Canada Tops U.S. in World Cup Opener

  • July 31, 2006

Baseball Canada’s national women’s team opened its 2006 Women’s World Cup schedule, today, with a 5-2 win over the defending champions from the United States in Taipei, Taiwan.

The bronze medal winners at the 2004 World Cup, Canada rode clutch hitting to victory, scoring four of their on two-out hits.

Right fielder Kate Psota (Burlington, Ont.) broke a 2-2 tie with a two-out bases-loaded single in the bottom of the fourth inning to score Erin Forman (Hamilton, Ont.) and Nicole Luchanski (Edmonton, Alta.).

Having given her team the lead, Psota, then earned the save in the game by throwing three scoreless innings in relief of winning pitcher Martine Nadeau (Québec, Qué.), who gave up the only two U.S. runs behind five hits, a pair of strikeouts and one walk.

Canadian catcher Geneviève Beauchamp (St. Jérome, Qué.) drove in the first two Canadian runs with a two-out double to score Samantha Magalas (Burlington, Ont.) and Melanie Harwood (Mississauga, Ont.) in the second inning. American shortstop Keri Lemasters slapped an RBI-single to centre in the top of the third and the Americans tied the game on a wild pitch from Nadeau.

Psota dominated the rest of the way and Canada added an insurance marker in the sixth inning to secure Baseball Canada’s second straight victory over the United States in international competition following an 8-6 win by the men’s senior national team at the World Baseball Classic in March.

Canada will look to improve to 2-0 at the World Cup when they face Cuba tomorrow at Tien-Mou Stadium in Taipei.

Box Score

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