Canada edges out Japan at Rod Carew Stadium
Pitcher’s duel ends with Canada’s second Win of the Baseball World Cup

Panama City, Panama. Canada picked up its second win of the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup on Monday afternoon at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City. They defeated Japan 3-1 thanks to timely hits and a strong pitching performance on the mound. Jimmy van Ostrand and Cole Armstrong combined to drive in three runs. Japan scored on an error. It was the first loss in the first game for the Asian team.

Similar to their game against Puerto Rico, Canada had a good start out of the block, taking a 1-0 lead in the opening period on a two-out Van Ostrand RBI double. They added two more runs in the fourth thanks to a two-run single by Armstrong. The catcher and the first baseman already had led the Canadian offense hitting homeruns on Sunday. Japan, which tried to counter the Maple Leafs power with small ball, only was able to avoid the shutout, scoring in the sixth when Yoshinobu Kotegawa scored on an error.

Otherwise the two pitching staffs set the tone of the game. Shawn Hill (W, 1-0) matched Andrew Albers’ outing and gave up just three hits and a walk in five scoreless innings for the win. He struck out three and produced a series of easy groundouts. Four relievers closed it out. Japan used submariner Hirofumi Yamanaka (L, 0-1) as starting pitcher, who was able to strike out seven batters in four innings. Nonetheless he got charged with the loss, allowing four hits, three runs and two walks in four innings.

Canada will play a third straight afternoon game on Tuesday, traveling to Aguadulce to face the winless Greek squad. Japan will be back at Rod Carew Stadium to face off with the Netherlands.

(From IBAF Website)