Japan defeats Canada, 7-6 in 11 innings

Jon Syrnyk. Photo by Bob Broughton.
Jon Syrnyk. Photo by Bob Broughton.

Brno, CZ – Team Canada, representing Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), was defeated by Japan, 7-6, at AVG Draci Brno Stadium, in Brno, CZ. Team Canada falls to 0-2 at the 4th annual World University Baseball Championships while Japan improves to 2-0.

For the second straight night, Team Canada fell behind early as they spotted Japan four runs over the first three innings. However Team Canada, like it did on Friday Night, used the big inning to come from behind and tie the game at 4 all in the top of the 5th inning. Canada would then take a page out of Japan’s playbook and play “small ball” scoring once each in the 6th and 7th inning, on just one hit, to take a two run lead into the bottom of the 9th inning where Japan would score twice, on three hits, to send the game into extra innings. In the extra frames Team Canada reached base in both innings but was unable to score the go ahead run. Japan left two men on in the 10th inning and scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Takeshi Hosoyamada in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Canada was out-hit 14-6, but they made the the hits count as three of them came in the 5th inning capped off by Ken Fuglerud’s (Saint Mary’s) second straight game with a bases loaded extra base hit. Fuglerud now has 6 runs batted in after two games in the tournament. In addition to Fuglerud’s triple, Jon Syrnyk (British Columbia) singled twice while Marshall MacDonald (Dayton) , Mike Glinka (Waterloo) and Grant Vickers (Mesa State) each had one hit in the loss to Japan. Team Canada struck out 13 times in the game, while earning two walks and one batter was hit by a pitch. “Our offense has struggled so far in the tournament,” said Head Coach Terry McKaig. “We have produced two big innings but have not been consistent over a 9-inning game to this point.”

Canada’s starting pitching has also only gone three plus innings in both games but the bullpen has been great. Tonight Mark Hardy (British Columbia) shut the door on Team Japan in the 5th and 6th innings and Kris Dabrowiecki (Northeastern) gave Coach McKaig one and two thirds of scoreless relief leading up to team closer Hiarali Garcia (Kansas) who gave up the two tying runs in the 9th inning. “What’s fustrating is we did not lose the lead in the 9th inning, Japan was agressive at the plate in the 9th, hitting their way back into the game,” said McKaig.

World University GamesJapan’s third pitcher of the night, Shingo Tatsumi, pitched the last 4 plus innings of the game, shutting out Canada on only one hit and one walk, while striking out 7 Team Canada batters to earn the victory. Canada held the middle of Team Japan’s batting order to two hits while striking them out 3 times. In was the bottom of the batting order that gave Team Canada the most problems as they scored the winning run in the 11th inning.

Kyohei Iwasaki went 3-6 for Japan. Hosoyamada was 2-4.

Team Canada will next face Lithuania (0-2), on Monday, July 21st, at Olomouc, CZ, at 4:30PM (10:30AM EDT).

David A. Kent, Communications Manager