Courtesy of Adam Morrissette, Baseball Canada
Lagos de Moreno, Mexico-Jimmy Van Ostrand’s (Richmond, BC) two-out double in the top of the sixth gave Canada a 2-1 lead and they held on to defeat the United States and win the gold medal at the Pan American Games.
“To be going at this for so long and finally accomplish our goal is something truly special,” said Canadian Manager, Ernie Whitt. “I’m so happy for these kids. They’ve worked so hard.”
After giving up a run in the first inning, Canadian starter Andrew Albers (North Battleford, SK) turned in a phenomenal performance on the mound as he went 6 2/3 innings and allowed six hits, while striking out eight and walking none.
Scott Richmond (Vancouver, BC) came on in the bottom of the seventh with two out and runners on the corners only to get a fly-out to right field that ended the threat.
“Andrew Albers and Scotty Richmond came through for us tonight and my- gosh, it’s just a dream come true,” added Whitt.
Richmond was perfect the rest of the way and fanned the final batter of the game which sent the Canadian players off in a wild, on-field celebration.
The gold medal is the first gold won at a major international baseball event at the senior level by a Canadian team.
Canada won bronze at the IBAF Baseball World Cup in Panama two weeks ago making this team the most successful in Baseball Canada’s history.
Whitt has come full circle in his involvement with Baseball Canada as he first managed the National Team at the 1999 Pan Am Games where they won bronze.
“I’m a US citizen but I feel like I’m a Canadian at heart,” added Whitt. “I couldn’t be more proud of these kids and more proud to have Canada written across my chest.”
Team Canada will fly out of Leon, Mexico early on Wednesday morning where players will fly their separate ways later in the day.
To view highlights of the game, click HERE.