First New Zealand loss at Men’s World Championship

24/07/2009

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN — Just 24 hours after teammate Andrew Kirkpatrick threw a (five inning) perfect game, pitcher Adam Folkard tossed a one-hitter as Australia blanked New Zealand, 7-0, in six innings at the International Softball Federation’s XII Men’s World Championship being played here.

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN — Just 24 hours after teammate Andrew Kirkpatrick threw a (five inning) perfect game, pitcher Adam Folkard tossed a one-hitter as Australia blanked New Zealand, 7-0, in six innings at the International Softball Federation’s XII Men’s World Championship being played here.

The loss was the first for the Black Sox, who had won all seven of their round robin games. Australia was 6-1 and now advances to a game tomorrow night against Canada, who topped USA in tonight’s final game, 6-4.

New Zealand is still alive but will have to beat Japan in tomorrow’s first game (1 p.m. local time) if their quest to successfully defend their ISF men’s world championship title is to continue since the loser of that game will be eliminated from the tournament.

Third baseman Jeff Goolagong sealed Australia’s win this evening with a three-run home run to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning.

In other action Friday, the first playoff game saw Japan come from behind to eliminate Argentina, 7-6. The South Americans had leads of 3-1 and 6-2 but Japan put together a five-run (top of the) sixth inning to emerge victorious and stay alive while Argentina was eliminated.

That game was followed by another elimination game. Venezuela stayed alive with a big 10-3 triumph over Great Britain. Acacio Arturo led the way for the victors, going 3-for-5 at the plate, scoring a run, and driving in two on a fourth inning triple. Winning pitcher Erick Alvarez threw a complete game, striking out nine.

The evening finished with Canada coming from behind to defeat Team USA, 6-4. The Americans had built up a 4-0 lead after five innings, only to see their rivals from north of the border tie it with four runs of their own in the top of the sixth inning, followed by two more in the top of the seventh.

Ian Fehrman, who’d hit a two-run home run one inning earlier, drove in what would prove to be the winning run when he hit a ball down the first base line in the top of the seventh that home plate umpire Leigh Evans called fair, and it stood up despite vehement protest from U.S. coach Pete Turner. The run that scored on the play was allowed to stand following a brief umpires conference, giving the red-and-white a 5-4 lead.

Saturday’s schedule:

1:00 p.m. – Japan vs. New Zealand
3:30 p.m. – Venezuela vs. USA
6:30 p.m. – Australia vs. Canada
8:30 p.m. – Japan/NZ winner vs. Venezuela/USA winner