Sept 8,2014(ISN) – LA PAZ, Mexico-Kolby Allard turned in a dominant performance on the mound and Canada had little to answer for Team USA’s offence as they handed the Canadians their first loss of the 18U Pan American Championship with an 11-1 win.
The game ended after just eight innings due to the mercy rule.
“They’re pitching heavy and every guy that they put out there is a number one guy in terms of stuff,” said Head Coach Greg Hamilton. “We’ve played them five times (in Houston) and got beaten pretty soundly four of those times – it really comes down to pitching.”
“We have to pick our spots (in this tournament) whereas they don’t have to. We’re not necessarily in a situation where we can try and match them every night.”
Allard was stellar striking out ten batters through five innings and giving up only one run that came in the fourth when Robert Byckowski (Georgetown, ON) singled off the wall in right-centre that allowed Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, ON) to score from first base.
Down 4-0 in the second, Canada loaded the bases with one but Allard came back to strikeout both Charles Leblanc (Laval, QC) and JF Garon (Terrebonne, QC) to end the inning.
In the sixth, reliever Joe Demers came in and had six strikeouts in three innings of work to combine with Allard for 16 strikeouts.
“Their pitching is outstanding,” said Hamilton. “They have guys who are 91-94 (miles-per-hour) with plus breaking balls, and at the end of the day, what are you going to do.”
Team USA got to starter Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, MB) in the first with a run on an RBI single before a leadoff homer in the top of the second from Lucas Herbert made it 2-0.
Canada didn’t do much to help their own cause early as a costly error coming on a miscommunication in the outfield set the table for two more USA runs scoring in the second, while Onyshko hit three batters and walked two to go along with a throwing error in the top of the first.
He kept the US off the scoreboard in the third, but they came back with three runs in the fourth coming on a hit batter with the bases loaded, sac-fly and RBI single to put them in front by seven.
Reliever Mike Soroka (Calgary, AB) came in with the bases loaded in the fifth and gave up a single that scored two runs before ending the inning. He came back strong in the sixth and seventh holding Team USA off the scoreboard allowing only one single.
Although the loss to Team USA is humbling, Canada still has plenty of tournament left to play with six round-robin games remaining before medal games take place on Sunday, September 14th.
Hamilton relayed that message to his players following the loss.
“I told them that we came here with games to win and this wasn’t one of the games we had to win. There’s Mexico, Panama and Brazil that are key games and we need to take care of two or three of those.”
Canada will get a chance to get back in the win column tomorrow when they travel to Cabo San Lucas to take-on Brazil.
UP NEXT: Tomorrow’s game against Brazil is set for 6pm MDT/8pm EDT at Estadio Cabo San Lucas.