USA finishes fourth after 4-1 loss to Canada
Hermosillo, Mexico---The USA Menís National Team lost its bid to repeat as the gold medalist of the Pan American Softball Championships with a 4-1 loss to Canada in the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday. Despite the loss and a fourth place, the U.S. did qualify for the 2009 ISF Menís World Championships being held in Saskatoon, Canada.
Canada used its power early to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Jeff Ellsworth led off the inning with a walk and scored when Ian Fehrman blasted a home run over the right field fence for the early lead.
In the fifth inning Scott Newitt reached on a single and scored when Ryan Wolfe sent a pitch over the left field fence for a 4-0 lead.
Facing elimination and down 4-0, the U.S. responded with a run in the top of the sixth inning that chased starter Cox from the game in favor of Nick Underhill. With two runners on base and no outs, Underhill hit Kyle Magnusson (Salt Lake City, Utah) with his first pitch to load the bases but the U.S. could not capitalize as Omar Moraga (Tucson, Ariz.) and Frank DeGroat (Ringwood, NJ) struck out and Blake Miller (Albany, Ga.) was tagged out at home trying to score on a passed ball.
Paul Algar (Lexington, Ill.), who had been spectacular for the U.S. during the championships, was tagged with his first loss of the tournament.
Canada went on to defeat Argentina in the semi-finals to advance to the championship game against Venezuela but had to settle for silver as Venezuela completed an amazing tournament with a 3-2 extra inning win over the Canucks.