Ramada 3 Nartions Challenge - Canada beats Japan 8-1

July 6, 2008

Saskatoon, SK

An enthusiastic crowd of 1,643 were happy they got to the park in time, as Canada got off to a fast start scoring three runs in the top of the first off Japanese starter Kazutaka Murasato. Ryan Wolfe led off the game with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. Rob Giesbrecht hit a fly ball that advanced Wolfe to third. Derek Mayson followed and was hit by the pitch, bringing up cleanup hitter Jody Eidt who drove a double down the first base line. Hometown hero, Keith MacKintosh came up with runners on second and third and coolly stroked a single scoring Mayson and Eidt giving Canada the 3-0 lead. Japan failed to respond as starting pitcher Nick Underhill snagged a hard shot right at him with a runner on second to end the inning. After Canada wasted a two out triple by Craig Crawford, Japan got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second on a two out double by Norihiko Aoyama. Team Canada responded with two runs in their next at bat as Derek Mayson hit a towering shot over the centerfield fence and Jody Eidt followed with a triple down the right field line bringing up Keith MacKintosh who got his sixth RBI in two games with a double to left. In the bottom of the third, Underhill was forced to pitch himself out of jam after a walk and an infield hit put runners on first and second with one out. He roared back and struck out the next two batters to leave the runners stranded. Canada had recorded seven hits in their first three at bats saw a new pitcher, Kengo Terui in the fourth. However, they could do no more damage until the fifth inning. Rob Giesbrecht earned a lead off walk and was bunted to second by Mayson and scored on Jody Eidt’s third hit of the game, a double to left center. After a Keith MacKintosh strike out, Steve Mullaley hit a 3-1 pitch deep over the center field fence to make the score 8-1 for Canada. Underhill shut down the Japanese from here on and finished the 5 inning game giving up only four hits. The win guaranteed Canada a place in the final game on Sunday at 3:00 against the winner of 1:30 semi final.
                   1 2 3 4 5 R H E                                      
Canada       3 0 2 0 3 8 9 0                                      
Japan          0 1 0 0 0 1 4 0