Hodges and Team Canada Advance

September 4, 2012

Victoria's Jesse Hodges was 2-5 with an RBI in a rout of Panama on Wednesday.

Canada hammered out fourteen hits, including eight doubles and Brock Dykxhoorn (Goderich, ON) provided 7 1/3 solid innings on the mound as Canada pounded Panama 10-1.

The win gives Canada first place in Group B with a 4-1 record and sets up a date with the United States this evening at 6:30pm local time (5:30am ET) in the first of three second round games.

Canada will play Colombia tomorrow and host Korea on Friday. At the conclusion of the second round first and second place will meet for gold, while third and fourth spot will play to decide the bronze medal.

The Canadian boys came out of the gate firing in the top of the first as Jacob Robson (Windsor, ON) led-off with an infield single and Kyle Hann (Oakville, ON) wacked a double to right field that saw Robson score and Hann end up on third after the fielder misplayed the ball.

Hann scored on a wild-pitch and Canada got off to the quick start they were looking for.

Canadian starter Brock Dykxhoorn was efficient working the top half of the first as he managed a strikeout, ground out and foul out on only eight pitches to get his team back on offence.

Just as they did in the top of the first, Canada kept rolling as Mitchell Triolo (Scarborough, ON) doubled to the gap in left to score Josh Naylor and Nathan DeSouza (Milton, ON) doubled to right which brought in Owen Spiwak (Mississauga, ON) and Triolo.

Brett Siddall (Windsor, ON) and Josh Naylor (Mississauga, ON) each collected doubles in the top of the third and Canada jumped in front 6-0. The doubles were Canada’s fourth and fifth of the game in only the third inning.

Dykxhoorn had faced the minimum amount of hitter through three allowing only a walk that was erased by a double play.

Photo courtesy of Chung Sung-Jun - Getty Images

“I just wanted to pound the strike zone early and get ahead of hitters,” said Dykxhoorn. “Once I did that I tried to use my secondary stuff to get them to swing late and it worked right from the start.”

The doubles parade continued in the fourth as Jacob Robson led-off with one to right-centre and moved to third on a base-hit from Kyle Hann.

After Nathan DeSouza walked, Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) hit into a fielder’s choice which scored Robson and Jesse Hodges (Victoria, BC) singled up the middle which brought in Hann.

Panama broke the shutout bid in the fifth when back-to-back singles, a fielder’s choice and wild-pitch brought in a run.

Canada added a pair of runs in the eighth when Brett Siddall smoked a double to deep centerfield which scored Gareth Morgan, and Siddall later scored on a wild pitch.

Siddall led the Canadian offence going 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored, while Robson, Hann, Hodges and Naylor had two hits apiece.

Dykxhoorn came back out for the bottom of the eighth, struck out the first batter he faced and them was replaced by Christian Botnick (Brampton, ON) who finished off the game.

“I was a little nervous when the game was postponed last night, but when I got to the park this morning I was calm,” explained Dykxhoorn. “(Pitching) Coach Chris Reitsma really helped me prepare for this start.”

Dykxhoorn’s start was tremendous start as he went 7 1/3 innings, allowing only one run on three hits and two walks, while striking out seven.

“My arm felt good (as the game went along) and there wasn’t any reason why I couldn’t go as long as I did,” he said.

Most important, the length of his start saved some arms in Canada’s bullpen which will come in handy with four crucial games left to play in just three days.

Photo courtesy of Chung Sung-Jun - Getty Images

Story courtesy of Baseball Canada

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