TAIPAI, TAIWAN – The Senior National Team got a little scare at the end of this game, but they were able to hold on to a 6-3 win over Venezuela at the 2007 IBAF World Cup at Tien-Mou Stadium.

The Canadians had a 6-1 lead with two outs in the ninth inning when Venezuela were able to score two runs on an RBI single from Yosner Garcia and on a throwing error. However, T.J. Burton (Ottawa, ON) got Jose Aponte to ground out on a comebacker to the mound for the final out of the game.

Despite the little hiccup at the end of the game, the Canadiens played a near flawless game, especially starting pitcher James Avery (Moose Jaw, SK). Avery threw six innings of two hit ball, allowing only one run and three walks along with the two hits with four strikeouts.

“It’s good to get the win, especially in a game that we really needed to win that was big for us. We seem to be peaking at the right time,” says Avery.

“Avery did a really nice job on the mound today. It was a little sloppy towards the end, but things are coming together,” says SNT Field Manager Terry Puhl.

Canada opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning on a sacrifice fly from Taylor Green (Courtenay, BC) that scored Emmanuel Garcia (Montreal, QC).

Venezuela tied things up in the third inning on a solo home run by Saul Torres, but the Canadians took the lead back quickly in the fourth inning when Nick Weglarz (Stevensville, ON) hit an RBI double to score Green. Weglarz would later score in the inning on a single from Chris Robinson (Dorchester, ON).

“Today got me back on track,” says Weglarz, who was 2-for-4 with a double, triple, RBI and two runs scored. “I felt pretty comfortable, slowed things down a little bit which helped me see the ball a lot better. I'm just trying to be ready whenever I'm called upon.”

The Canadians added two more runs in the fifth inning to make it 5-1. With Matt Rogelstad (New Westminster, BC) on base after hitting a single, Mike Saunders (Victoria, BC) hit a two-run homer, his third of the tournament and second in as many nights, which turned out to be the difference in the game.

“The whole team played great today,” says Saunders, who was 2-for-3 with the home run, two RBI and a walk. “Avery pitched a great game and it’s always easier to play a game when your pitcher's on. It lights the fire in the dugout and get everyone going.”

Sebastien Boucher (Ottawa, ON) drove in the sixth run for Canada in the eighth inning with a ground out that scored Weglarz.

“We’re still going with the mentality of taking it one game at a time and to win. We're not taking anything lightly tomorrow,” says Puhl.

The Senior National Team plays its final round-robin game on Wednesday, November 14 at 6 pm at Tien-Mou Stadium. The probable starter for Canada is Jon Lockwood (Toronto, ON).

André Cormier
Manager, Media/Public Relations
Baseball Canada

BASEBALL CANADA – 13 November 2007

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