In a game that appeared to be heading towards the seventh inning mercy rule, the final innings turned out to be more of a nail-biter than earlier anticipated.
For the second straight day, coach Ernie Whitt gave the ball to a Baltimore Orioles lefthander, and on Wednesday afternoon Adam Loewen didn’t disappoint. While Loewen pitched nearly four scoreless innings, his teammates counted for seven runs, chasing 2005 Cy-Young finalist Dontrelle Willis from the game midway through the third.
Following Canadian Adam Stern‘s inside-the-park home run which stretched the lead over the favoured Americans to eight, the dangerous US lineup exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, with four coming off a Jason Varitek grand slam.
Fortunately for Canada, their pitching staff only gave up a single hit after the Varitek slam and it came with two outs in the ninth when the ball fell out of center-fielder Adam Stern’s glove on what would’ve been a remarkable catch. Stern did it all on Wednesday. Offensively he was a double away from hitting for the cycle and added four RBIs. Defensively he showed his tremendous speed while making some highlight reel plays. Perhaps the Red Sox won’t miss Johnny Damon as much as they thought.
Canada now plays Mexico to see who will advance from group B. A win guarantees them top seed in the group. A loss coupled with a US win over South Africa and the group is decided by a tie-breaker. Game time is 8pm tonight.