Canada 11-4 Denmark: Bicknell’s Grand Slam bolsters Canada’s seventh place finish

Canada 11-4 Denmark: Bicknell’s Grand Slam bolsters Canada’s seventh place finish
Pitcher Andrew Van Boekl also had 8 strikeouts and contributed offensively with 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs to help Canada in their 11-4 win over Denmark.

Ryan Bicknell’s inside the park Grand Slam put Canada’s final U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup game out of reach against Denmark to record an 11-4 victory on Saturday and confirm their seventh-place finish at Colquhoun Park in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Canada's left fielder contributed with a home run and 5 RBI, while teammates Xavier Daneau and Andrew Van Boekl had 2 RBI apiece. Van Boekl started the game in the circle for Canada and had 8 strikeouts in 4.1 innings, with 2 hits, 8 strikeouts and 6 walks.

Magnus Kirstein put Denmark on the board in the top of the first inning on a wild pitch and Nicholai Andersen sacrificed to plate Linus Kjaerulff from third base to put Denmark with a 2-0 advantage.

Canada retaliated in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter Tyler Brandchaud drew a walk, stole second base, and advanced to third on an error by catcher Andersen. Then the first baseman scored from there on a grounder to first by Bicknell to cut Denmark's lead by one, 2-1. One inning later, Canada scored four more runs to take a 5-2 lead, with an RBI single by Daneau and a run-scoring double by Van Boekl.

In the bottom of the fourth, Bicknell stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a long ball to deep centre field for an inside-the-park grand slam, to extend Canada's lead to 9-2.

Denmark scored two more runs in the top of the fifth, as Sebastian Gill and Kjaerulff took advantage of a grounder and a passed ball respectively to cut down the lead of Canada to 9-4.

However, Canada gave back the two runs in the bottom of the fifth, as Connor Brooks and Brody Fraser scored to consumate the walk-off win.

Canada ended the U-18 Men's Softball World Cup in seventh place, with an overall 5-3 record. Meanwhile, Denmark finished in last position after a winless tournament for the second edition in a row.