Canadian men repeat as Pan Am baseball champs
The defending Pan Am champion Canadian men’s baseball team defeated the USA 7-6 in extra innings to repeat as gold medallists.
American Tyler Pastronicky hit a two-run double to left field to put the Americans up 6-4 in the top of the tenth, but Canada wouldn’t sit back. They scored one run on a single by Peter Orr (who wears number four) to cut the lead to 6-5 and then took the win with two runs scored on a missed pickoff attempt by American pitcher David Huff. This is likely the first ever walk-off missed pickoff attempt in Pan Am baseball history.
In international baseball, when a game goes to extra innings, each team starts the inning with runners at first and second with no outs. The team gets to decide which batters will go on base and, as a result, where they will start in the batting order.
Throughout the preliminary round and semifinal, Jeff Francis (who is currently in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system) was tabbed as the team’s closer. He went 2-for-2 in save situations. However, after not seeing action in Canada’s last three games, manger Ernie Whitt opted to give Francis (who was a starter in the MLB for years) the start in the final.
He responded by throwing 7 innings, and giving up 4 earned runs to keep the game within reach. He gave up a total of 8 hits and only 1 walk, while striking out 7. Reliever Andrew Albers (who is also in the Toronto Blue Jays system) came into the game next, pitching 2.1 innings of relief.
Christopher Leroux came into the game with the bases loaded in the top of the tenth inning and only one out. The first batter he faced was Pastronicky, who ripped a two-run double to left for the go-ahead runs.
Rightfielder Rene Tosoni led the way offensively, going 2-for-3 with a 3-run homer. Third baseman Peter Orr continued to swing a hot bat as well, with three hits and three runs scored, including the gold-medal clincher.
Once the Canadians walked-off the USA, Twitter was abuzz with excitement: