CANADA ELIMINATED FROM
WORLD CUP IN CONTROVERSIAL FASHION
TAIPEI, TAIWAN In a must win game that went back and forth battle upto the bottom of the ninth, the Senior National Team fell one run short of moving on to the medal round at the 2007 IBAF World Cup due to a controversial play. Canada fell to Australia 7-6 at Tien-Mou Stadium.
With the Netherlands upsetting Cuba earlier in the day, and Korea defeating Germany it set the following scenario. Should Canada win, they would finish second in Pool B and move on to the medal round. Should Canada lose, they would finish fifth in a tiebreaker with Korea and be eliminated from the tournament.
The Canadians were trailing 7-4 going into the bottom of the ninth inning but were able to shorten the deficit to one on a pair of RBI singles from Nick Weglarz (Stevensville, ON) and Mike Saunders (Victoria, BC).
After a sacrifice bunt from Jimmy VanOstrand (Richmond, BC) and an intentional walk to Jamie Romak (London, ON), it was bases loaded with one out for Emmanuel Garcia (Montreal, QC).
Garcia grounded to shortstop Brad Harman, who juggled the ball while touching the second base bag and continued to juggle it after stepping of the bag, however second base umpire, Edgar Estivison of Panama called Romak out at second. Meanwhile, Harman was able to regain control of the ball and was able to throw out Garcia at first for the controversial game ending double-play.
While Australia was celebrating their victory, Estivison and the rest of the umpires rushed off the field before SNT Field Manager Terry Puhl could argue the call.
“It's a disappointing loss. The players did everything they possibly could and we get a very poorly called play at the end of the ball game,” says Puhl. “Our club is never out of any ball game as they showed again tonight. It’s just a privilege to be a part of this team.”
The controversy overshadowed a great performance by the Canadians, especially from starting pitcher Jon Lockwood (Toronto, ON).
Lockwood allowed three runs, only one earned, on four hits with three strikeouts over five and 2/3 innings.
“I just pitched to my strengths today. I thought I executed pretty well and I felt I got stronger as the game got on,” says Lockwood.
“This team showed what it can do today,” says Kevin Nicholson (Langley, BC). “The young guys showed that they can handle the pressure situations in this kind of an environment. It's unfortunate that our tourney was cut short due to a terrible call, because I felt we were just hitting our peak as a team.”
The Senior National Team finished the World Cup with a 4-3 record and in fifth place in Pool B. The players will head back to their respective hometowns and the team will meet up again in March for the final Olympic Qualifier here in Taiwan.
Manager, Media/Public Relations
BASEBALL CANADA 14 November 2007