By Christian J. Stewart (ISN), With Files From Adam Morisette, Baseball Canada
Seoul, South Korea (ISN) – Despite a 9-3 loss to host South Korea in their final Round 2 game, the Canadian National Junior baseball team, which includes Victoria player Jesse Hodges, has advanced to the gold medal game of the IBAF World U18 Baseball Championships, the first time since 1991 a Canadian team has played for gold.
Hodges, who has just signed a free-agent contract with the Chicago Cubs, continued his hot streak at the plate, going 2 for 2 with 2 walks and is now tied for second in tournament hitting with a .500 average.
Canada has secured a spot in the gold medal game, which will take place tomorrow (September 8th) at 6pm local time (2am PT), by finishing second in the Round 2 standings despite the loss to South Korea. The loss, combined with the USA’s win over Japan, resulted in the USA, Canada and Chinese-Taipei all being tied with 5-3 records, but based on tie-breaking formulas, Chines-Taipei came out on the short end, with the USA finishing first and Canada second.
As such, the Canadian will play their southern neighbours in the final, which goes Saturday night at Mokdong Stadium.
In 1991, in Brandon, MB, a group led by Stubby Clapp (Windsor, ON) and Jason Dickson (Miramichi, NB) defeated Chinese Taipei 5-2 in the gold medal game to give Canada their only gold medal at this event.
Canada won bronze in 1983, 1987, 1997 and 2006.
HODGES UPDATE: Victoria’s Jesse Hodges signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Cubs the other day and ISN has learned that the Cubs Pacific Rim scout Steve Wilson was on hand to do the duties, enjoying a nice dinner with Jesse, his mom Sharon and her husband Clyde. Hodges will leave for Mesa, Arizona on September 19th where he will spend a month at the Cub’s fall instructional training camp.