Sept 9,2014(ISN) – LA PAZ, Mexico- Twelve hours after defeating Brazil in Cabo San Lucas and enduring a three-hour bus ride back to La Paz, Team Canada found themselves back on the field this morning for a game against Ecuador.
It didn’t take long for Canada to strike in this one as they jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and didn’t look back cruising to a 13-1 victory that ended after only seven innings due to the mercy-rule.
“It sounds redundant, but you just try and take care of these games (like today) and try and do it with your offence,” said Head Coach Greg Hamilton. “No disrespect to them (Ecuador) but you want your offence to take over and make it easy.”
Make it easy they did as Canada’s offence pounded-out 17 hits including a 3-for-3 day from Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON), while six other players achieved multi-hit games.
Morgan singled home a run in the first and turned the trick again in the third as Canada put up four runs to go up by six. Three of the runs came with two out as Tristan Clarke (Brampton, ON) smacked a double to left-centre that scored two and Darren Shred (Brampton, ON) lined a sharp single to left to score Clarke.
Starting pitcher Brad Smith (Vancouver, BC) was efficient through two innings of work picking off a runner to end the first after allowing a single and coming back with a fly-out and two strikeouts in the second inning after allowing a leadoff double.
Up 9-0 after the top of the fourth and with Mitch Bigras (Sarnia, ON) now on the mound, Ecuador broke the shutout bid on an RBI single after two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out.
Bigras was in control throughout his five inning outing scattering three hits and two walks, while he struck out five to record the win.
With two games in a little over 12 hours, it will be important for Team Canada to maximize their down time prior to facing Guatemala tomorrow before games against Panama, Mexico and Cuba to end the round-robin.
“It’s important to get our rest today and catch-up from the game and bus ride last night,” explained Hamilton. “Tomorrow we want come out and do the same thing (as today) which is to bear down offensively and not draw out a game and use people that we don’t want to use.”
With the final three games of the round robin looming, Hamilton knows that his team is in for a challenge, which he says is what was expected heading into the event.
“We’re where we want to be,” he said. “We knew coming in that we’d have to pick a few spots to be successful and it starts with a huge game against Panama on Wednesday and continues against Mexico and Cuba.
“It lined up that way coming in and it’s playing out that way, so it’s not a big surprise and we need to be ready for those games.”
UP NEXT: Tomorrow’s game against Guatemala is set for 10am MDT/Noon EDT at Arturo C. Nahl Stadium in La Paz.
Top four teams qualify for 2015 IBAF 18U World Cup