Canucks lose to Cuba, play for bronze


* Cuba thumped Canada 11-0 at the Pan-Ams 18U to set up a Canada-Mexico meeting for bronze on Sunday. Louis-­Philippe Pelletier (Montréal, Que.) fires to first in loss. …. 

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18U Pan Ams: Canada dropped by Cuba, will meet Mexico for bronze

By Adam Morissette

LA PAZ, Mex. – After an emotional win over host Mexico last night and a chance to advance to the gold medal game with a win over Cuba, Canada suffered a one-sided, 11-0, loss that ended after only seven innings due to the mercy rule today at the 18U Pan American Championship.

Canada will now play for bronze tomorrow (4pm MDT/6pm EDT) against Mexico regardless of the result of Mexico’s game tonight against unbeaten USA.

Cuba took advantage of a hit batter with two-out in the top of the first as Jorge Ona drilled a two-run homer over the wall in centerfield off starter Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, Man.) to open the scoring.

Onyshko managed to keep the Cubans off the scoreboard in the second inning that saw him strikeout two but his outing ended in the third after walking three and giving up an RBI single with one out.

“When you spot (Cuba) five runs through three innings it’s really tough to come back,” said coach Greg Hamilton. “At the end of the day, I am really happy with the way we’ve competed this week and we still have a chance to come home with a medal.”

Offensively, Canada did not get their first base runner until Mitch Bigras (Sarnia, Ont.) walked in the third and did not record their first hit until Gareth Morgan (Toronto, Ont.) singled with one out in the fourth. Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) followed with a single to centre and MattLloyd (Okotoks, Alta.) walked to load the bases only to see a strikeout and groundout to first end the inning.

Cuba counted for two more runs in the fifth as Victor Mesa tripled to centre to score two, while Canada squandered another opportunity to score in the home half of the inning leaving runners on second and third after LP Pelletier (Montréal, Que.) walked and Luke Horanski (Dugald, Man.) doubled to right, with two out.

In the sixth, Cuba put the game out reach scoring four times with the big blow coming on a Alexander Munoz solo home run off of reliever Brad Smith (Vancouver, BC).

Canada must now regroup and get ready to face a Mexican team that has a lot reasons to want to beat Canada after losing an emotional battle last night.

“It’s not going to be easy (tomorrow),” explained Hamilton. “They have a lot of incentive to get back at us, and, as I said to the guys, we need to be ready.

“It’s a lot better to finish third than it is fourth.”

UP NEXT: Tomorrow’s game against Mexico is set for 4pm MDT/6pm EDT at Arturo C. Nahl Stadium in La Paz.

TUNE IN: All games played at Arturo C. Nahl Stadium in La Paz will be shown live on National TV in Mexico courtesy of Cable Sports TVC Deportes. People in Canada can access a live stream of the televised games by visiting:

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