Team Canada ends pre-tournament play with double-header split

Ryan PilgrimTeam Canada finished their exhibition series with a split of two seven-innings games with the Burnaby Collegiate Bulldogs, losing the first game 2-0 and winning the second 4-1.

The Bulldogs were playing with a makeshift roster because four of their regulars were playing for Team Canada. There was a “family feud” factor; Team Canada’s Head Coach, Terry McKaig, and two of the assistant coaches, Cav Whitely and Shawn Corness, are on the British Columbia coaching staff. The Bulldogs Coach, Connor Janes, is another British Columbia assistant coach. Seven British Columbia players and one incoming recruit saw action for the Bulldogs; five British Columbia players played for Team Canada.

First game: Jon Hesketh (New Mexico) and Geoff Burke (British Columbia) combined for the shutout. Each of them gave up one hit. Hesketh, a 38th round draft pick in 2006, got the win; he went four innings, struck out three.

Both of Burnaby Collegiate’s runs came in the fourth inning. David Dick (British Columbia) got an infield hit. He scored when Mike Caleb (Douglas College) reached on an error. Caleb was batted in by Jack Thompson (Douglas College).

Team Canada starter Thain Simon (Santa Clara) allowed four hits over three innings. Sheldon McDonald (Northeastern) gave up two hits, and got nailed for the loss with the two unearned runs. Brandon Kaye (Douglas College) pitched two hitless innings.

Caleb finished with two hits. Team Canada’s hits came from Eric Cattoni (Saint Mary’s) and Ryan Pilgrim (British Columbia).

Mathew WilsonSecond game: Ryan Pilgrim (British Columbia) batted in three of Team Canada’s runs, with singles in the third and fifth innings, and a sacrifice fly in the seventh. He was 3-3 for the game.

Team Canada’s starter was Mathew Wilson (Bucknell), who had several days of fame during the NCAA Regionals for a complete-game, six-hit, 7-0 win over Florida State. (See Tallahassee Regional Day 1 Recap.) He allowed two hits and no earned runs in three innings of work, and got the win. The relievers for Team Canada were Adam Reynolds (Guelph), Scott Webster (British Columbia), Dustin Northcutt (Indian Hills CC), and Hiarali Garcia (Kansas). Reynolds got two strikeouts in only one inning of work.

Josh Brink (British Columbia) got the loss for the Bulldogs. He went four innings, allowed five hits, struck out four.

Team Canada’s first game of the World University Games tournament is on Friday against Chinese Taipei, in Brno.