Hermosillo, Mexico - Team Canada opened the 2023 WBSC U18 Men’s Softball World Cup with a 5-2 win over the Czech Republic and an 18-1 win over Singapore. Blake Brubacher (Newton, Ont.) and Adrian Green (Carbonear, NL) each hit run-scoring triples in the first game on Saturday, while Sharl Leclerc (Saint-Claire, Que.) pitched four and a third solid innings of relief. In the game against Singapore on Sunday, Canada’s offence was on full display registering 11 hits to go along with 10 walks for the three-inning run rule win.
After a scoreless first inning in the game against the Czech Republic, Canada opened the scoring in the top of the second. Danny Scott (Stratford, Ont.) led off with a single followed by a hit by pitch to Green and a sacrifice bunt by Conner Hopper (Fitzroy Harbour, Ont.) before Brubacher tripled down the third base line to score two runs. An infield single by Owen Bilinsky (Port Dover, Ont.) brought Brubacher in to score as Canada took a 3-0 lead.
The Czech Republic scored a run in the bottom of the second, but Canada responded in the top of the third. Leclerc hit a double on a shallow fly ball that dropped behind the shortstop and scored on a triple by Green. The Czechs scored a run in the bottom of the frame on a double and an error to make the score 4-2. The score remained the same until the top of the seventh, when Brubacher reached on an error before scoring on a single by Leclerc.
Mexico put runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Nate Thiessen (Surrey, BC) got a pop out and a strikeout to end the game.
Box Score: Canada 5 vs. Czech Republic 2
In the game against Singapore, the red and white jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the top of the first. Bilinsky led off with a single followed by a walk, a run-scoring single by Green and a two-run triple by Nolan Bultena (Arthur, Ont.) who came in to score on a fielder’s choice. Hopper followed with a double and scored on a throwing error. The following inning, Canada put two runners on base with two walks, with one run scoring on an error and two more crossing the plate on a single by Hopper.
Canada proceeded to add 10 runs to its lead in the top of the third. Brubacher was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Bilinsky. Cam Weatherbee (Brookfield, N.S.) singled followed by a walk to load the bases before four more walks pushed four runs in to score. Bilinsky hit a two-run double, and after another walk loaded the bases again, Green drilled a base-clearing triple to center to round out the scoring.
Nic Neid (Terrace, B.C.) earned the win in the pitcher’s circle, allowing one run on three hits and six strikeouts.
Box Score: Canada 18 vs. Singapore 1
Canada (2-0) will be back in action with an important game against Mexico (2-0) at 8:00pm local time (10:00pm EST) on Monday. In other action over the first two days of the tournament, the United States beat Venezuela 8-5, Japan doubled New Zealand 10-5, Australia shut out Singapore 14-0, Mexico blanked Colombia 10-0, Venezuela edged New Zealand 2-1, Australia got by Colombia 3-2, Japan beat Argentina 12-1 and Mexico defeated the Czech Republic 4-1.