Canada Edges Cuba in Pan Am Championship Opener

October 1, 2006

Hermosillo, Mexico


October 1, 2006


Canada Edges Cuba in Pan Am Championship Opener


(Hermosillo, Mexico) - The Senior Men's National Team defeated Cuba 3-2 in their opening game at the Pan American Championships in Hermosillo, Mexico.


Trailing 2-1 in the top of the seventh, team captain Ryan Wolfe (London, ON) took a two out 0-2 pitch over the left field fence off Cuban pitcher Alain Roman to give Canada the 3-2 victory. "It was an inside drop ball, the third drop ball in a row that he threw to me" said Wolfe.  "Down 0-2 in the count, I just wanted to put the ball in play and fortunately it went out of the park”.


The 7th inning rally began when pinch hitter Derek Mayson (North Vancouver, BC) lined a single into right field to lead off the inning. Rob Giesbrecht (Landmark, MB) followed and reached safely on a fielder’s choice when the throw to 2nd base sailed high failing to get lead runner Mayson.  Ian Fehrman (Townsend, ON) also reached on a fielder’s choice, this time the Cubans were successful in erasing Giesbrecht at 2nd.  Kevin Schellenberg (Squamish, BC) drove home Mayson with a shot to left center but was gunned down at 2nd on a nice relay by the Cubans, leaving Fehrman at 3rd and setting the stage for Wolfe’s blast.


Canada had fallen behind in the bottom of the first inning when Cuban first baseman Alejandro Leal singled home Alexis Navarro. They increased the lead to 2-0 in the 2nd inning when right fielder Roberto Echarte lead off with a home run over the center field fence off Canadian starter Nick Underhill (Campbell River, BC). Underhill settled in to blank the Cubans the rest of the way until replaced by Rick Smith (Duncan, BC) to start the 6th. Smith finished the game to earn the win.


Team Canada did not record a hit until the 4th inning when Jeff Ellsworth (Alberton, PE) lined a single to right field.


The Canadians had a chance for a big inning in the 5th when Giesbrecht lead off with an infield single followed by a double off the top of the fence in right center by Fehrman chasing Cuban starter Gusbel Plutin. Romain was able to induce three ground balls, including one that saw Giesbrecht cut down at home plate, to escape the inning without any damage being done.


The Canadians will now face USA on October 1st at 8:00pm in their second game of a 10 team round robin at the Pan Am Championships in Hermosillo, Mexico.  The top 5 teams, including Canada, will earn a berth for the 2009 ISF World Championships to be held in Saskatoon, SK.




For more information, please contact:


Rick Picard

Director, Marketing and Communications

Softball Canada


(613) 523-3386 ext 3105


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