Canada defeated the USA, 10-3, after 6 innings. The hosts entered the bottom half of the sixth with a one run lead, then they rallied to score 6 and end the game on the mercy rule.
The game followed the Opening Ceremony of the WBSC Men’s Softball Junior World Championship and was played in front of a sellout crowd. During the Ceremony players, officials and fans were adressed by WBSC Executive Director Michael Schmidt, Member of Parliament of Canada Randy Hoback, the Premier of Saskatchewan Scott Moe and the Mayor of Prince Albert Greg Dionne. Wahepeton Dakota Nation Round plains offered a welcome dance.
Canada got an early lead against USA starter Landry in the bottom half of the first. The hosts seemed in control, since their starter Owen Torrie had struck out the side in the top half of the frame, showing impressive command of his breaking ball.
USA hitters proved good enough to adjust. Anthony Wark hit a moon shot to left for a solo homer to open the second. Lewis and Martinez made it 3-1 adding opposite field base hits.
Canada wasted no time and struck back in the bottom of the second and took the lead back. Brady Hogg capped a three run rally with a home run.
Canada didn’t need to look back. Riley Manion relieved Torrie in the top of the sixth to stop a comeback attempt by the USA.
In the bottom half of the frame Canada’s bats finally got to Landry. Kipfer and Sears hit back to back doubles, a pop by Hagerman fell in shallow centre field to extend the hosts lead to 10-3 and close the game.
Japan defeated Argentina, 5-2, in their first game of the tournament. Right handed pitcher Shota Onodera had a great outing today, shutting down the Argentine bats for sixth innings to claim the win.
The defending champions stroke first in the third and added one more in the fifth frame, to take a 2-0 lead. Then Japan scored three security runs in the bottom of the sixth, including an RBI triple by Natsuki Sato to the right field line, and an RBI single by Kaito Miyamoto, and opened the gap to 5-0.
In the top of the seventh Argentina made it interesting with a 2-run rally (2-RBI single by Gian Scialacomo), that brought the tying run to the batter’s box. However Onodera fanned Ignacio Sangoy to clinch the victory.
Tomorrow Japan will face Denmark at 17:00 p.m. local time, while Argentina will play against Australia at 19:30 p.m.