BC's Hodges Helps Canada Win Again

September 3, 2012

Victoria's Jesse Hodges singled in the seventh and would score for Team Canada.

Myles Vincent (Corner Brook, NL) went seven innings and struck out nine, while Canada managed just enough offence to defeat the Czech Republic 3-2 to improve their record to 3-1 at the IBAF 18U World Championship.

A little more than twelve hours after losing a heartbreaker to Chinese Taipei where they held a 5-0 lead, Canada was faced with the task of coming out to play the Czechs in an early morning game.

“Today was a tough game to play,” said Canadian Manager Greg Hamilton. “When you go from facing a guy who was throwing 95mph on the backend last night to guys throwing in the 70’s today it becomes tough on hitters.”

Canadian batters accounted for seventeen fly-ball outs against the Czechs and after taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning, failed to muster any offence until the seventh.

Starter Myles Vincent was impressive through seven innings with his only blemish coming in the fifth when he gave-up three walks and a single which led to a run that tied the game.

Vincent did a nice job of striking out the final two batters of the inning which left the bases loaded for the Czechs.

“He did exactly what we needed which was to give us some length and not burn any arms in the bullpen,” explained Hamilton. “You have to win, but you can’t afford to use everybody to do it, so I thought he did a great job.”

Josh Naylor’s (Mississauga, ON) RBI single in the first to score Kyle Hann (Oakville, ON) from second base stood as the only Canadian run until the seventh.

It was in the seventh that Jesse Hodges (Victoria, BC) and Daniel Pinero (Toronto, ON) led-off with singles and Chris Shaw (Winnipeg, MB) moved the runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt.

Hodges tagged and scored on a fly-ball to centerfield off the bat of Mitchell Triolo (Scarborough, ON) and Pinero scored when Jacob Robson (Windsor, ON) reached first off a throwing error from the Czech shortstop.

Christian Botnick (Brampton, ON) saw his first action of the tournament in the eighth and allowed a run off an RBI single to cut the lead to one.

Botnick came back out for the ninth and managed to hold down the save by recording a strikeout to end the game with runners on second and third base.

Canada now faces a key contest against Panama on Tuesday to wrap-up Group B play where a win would guarantee a berth in the second round.

“We’re right where we want to be,” added Hamilton. “If you said coming into the tournament that you could advance to the second round with a win in your last (round one) game, you’d take that.”

“We’re capable of beating any team in this tournament.”

Photo courtesy of Chung Sung-Jun - Getty Images

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