(Medellin, Colombia) With a guaranteed berth in the first versus second playoff game, the Canadian Men’s National Team took the field against the Dominican Republic in their final preliminary round game at the VIII Men’s Pan American Championship, dropping a 9-4 decision to finish the round-robin portion of the event with a 7-2 record.
Team Canada jumped out to a quick three run lead in the top of the second inning. Jason Hill (St. John’s, NL) walked and Andy Skelton (Newmarket, ON) followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Blair Ezekiel (Harbour Main, NL) then stroked a three-run opposite field homerun to put Canada up 3-0. The Dominican quickly scored three runs in the bottom of the second courtesy of two hits, a walk and an error. Canada did not score in the top of the third, and the Dominicans scored three more times on three hits, two walks and a fielder’s choice.
The Dominican Republic added to their lead with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth on three hits, a walk and a wild pitch. Canada got one back in the fifth as Bryan Abrey (Richmond, BC) led off with a double, advanced to third on a fly out to center field and scored on a passed ball. That was all the scoring in the game as Canada lost 9-4.
Tyson Barkman (Abbotsford, BC) started in the pitcher’s circle for Canada and threw the first two and a third innings before being relieved by Brady Woods (Stonewall, MB). Woods pitched into the top of the fourth, and with one out, injured his throwing arm, forcing Barkman to re-enter the game. Barkman allowed eight runs – six of them earned – on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts in five innings pitched, while Woods allowed one run on four hits and two walks with a strikeout in one inning.
Canada will now take on Venezuela (7-2) on Friday night in the first versus second playoff game scheduled for 8:00pm CDT. Mexico will finish third, and depending on tonight’s games, could either face Argentina or host Colombia.
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