Riley Manion was the receiver of Team Canada’s (2-0) first Gatorade shower at the XII WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship, after tossing a no-hitter their 6-1 victory over the Czech Republic (1-1) Sunday at Rotary Field.
“Honestly, it’s so hard to think,” Manion said moments after his cold, refreshing shower. “You never think you’re going to accomplish something like that, what happened tonight. It’s an unbelievable feeling.”
Not only did he chuck a no-no, it was difficult for the Czechs to even make contact. Of the 21 outs he made, Manion struck out 15 of them through his seven full innings of work.
Jiri Seda was the only Czech able to score, in the bottom of the fourth inning. He reached base on a walk and was later able to score on a fielder’s choice,
For Canada, this is the second straight game at these championships that they’ve played error-free ball. Manion said that’s a huge plus as a pitcher, knowing the defence will handle its business when the ball is in play.
“It’s kind of awesome. We have absolute stellar defence,” Manion said. “To have the confidence that I have in the fielders behind me, it’s unbelievable.”
The Canadian pitchers have also had some run support in their first two victories, with 16 runs scored in their first two games.
Brady Hogg has been a big part of that. Like he did in Canada’s 10-3 victory over the United States on Saturday, Hogg hit another three-run home run. They are carbon copies of each other as well, opposite field boomers to left-centre.
When asked if Canadian fans should expect a three-run shot every game, Hogg smiled.
“I’m not really sure, I sure hope so,” chuckled Hogg. “If it helps the team.
“I had the same plan, look outside, and it was there so I just took it.”
Hogg’s power that he’s shown so far in the tournament caught the eye of two young fans, who asked Hogg to sign a ball—during play—as Canada was trying to close out the game. Despite all that, Hogg didn’t hesitate to shuffle out of the dugout and sign the ball for the youngsters.
“I’ve never done that before, it was pretty cool,” Hogg said.
Brady Hogg just signed an autograph for two young fans, while the game was going on, and was more than happy to do it pic.twitter.com/DZFljb6H03
— Jeff D'Andrea (@Jeff_paNOW) July 9, 2018
Isaac Lefebvre doubled, then scored on a wild pitch all the way from second base to give Canada the 1-0 advantage. The Canadians struck again in the top of the third inning, with Hogg doubling off the wall. He later scored from third on a wild pitch.
The Czechs got one back in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Seda scored on a fielder’s choice.
Canada broke the game open in the top of the sixth inning with Hogg’s now trademarked three-run blast. Before that, catcher Brendan Hagerman singled to drive in centre fielder Jordan Pomeroy.
There was a scary incident in the bottom of the second inning as Marek Rosenkranz was hit by a pitch in the head, as he squared to bunt. Rosenkranz was quickly helped to his bench and underwent concussion protocol, and did not return to the game.
The rest of Canada’s looks like this: they will take on Guatemala (1-1) on Monday, New Zealand (2-0) on Tuesday, a bye on Wednesday before battling Hong Kong (0-2) on Thursday—all at 8 p.m. on Rotary Field.
Here are the rest of the games from Day 2.
Australia 7 Argentina 2
Australia (2-0) scored four runs in the fifth inning to seal the deal against Argentina (0-2) in the other night game.
Australian left fielder Michael Ludkin went 2-4 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. Shaun Lanaghan went the distance for the Aussies, striking out seven.
New Zealand 11 U.S.A 1
For the second straight game, the New Zealanders (2-0) reached double digits after their 11-1 victory over the United States (0-2). The Kiwis kicked off the tournament with a 10-0 win over Hong Kong on Saturday. They scored seven runs in the first inning, highlighted by a Reilly Makea two-run home run. Makea also pitched four of the five innings played, striking out seven, giving up two hits and one earned run.
Japan 16 Denmark 0
Defending champions Japan improved to 2-0 with a decisive 16-0 victory over Denmark (0-3). The Japanese scored three runs in both of the opening first two innings, before putting up five-spots in innings three and four to end the game. First baseman Shoki Matsuo was 3-4 with a pair of triples and four runs batted in. Seiya Shimomoto had the game’s lone home run.
Guatemala 5 Hong Kong 1
Guatemala (1-1) picked up their first win of the tournament with their 5-1 decision over Hong Kong (0-2). Guatemala pitcher Juan Morales Rondán kept Hong Kong off the board until the seventh inning. He struck out 14 batters in all and surrendered just one hit in his seven innings of work. Luis Xuya Sam led the way offensively for Guatemala, going 3-3 at the plate, with a triple, two runs scored and one RBI.
Mexico 1 India 0
The only run of the game came in the top of the sixth inning, when Mexico (2-0) third baseman Jose Valenzula Castañon doubled, bringing in Kevin Saldaña Sanchez. Salvador Lopez Ureña pitched 6-and-two-third innings of shutout ball, surrendering eight hits and striking out two. Gaurav Chaudhari went the distance for India (0-2), striking out 10, giving up four hits and one earned run.
On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW
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