The Aussie Steelers have defeated Canada 7-3 to advance to the gold medal game against New Zealand at the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, Canada.
The Steelers scored the first runs of the game in the top of the second inning, with Andrew Kirkpatrick, Josh White, Nick Norton and Ryan Sinclair all getting hits to put Australia up 3-0.
Canada immediately answered in the bottom of the second, when leadoff hitter Derek Mayson hit a home run.
The Steelers couldn’t add to their tally in the third, and when Canada loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with one out, Adam Folkard came in to relieve starting pitcher Kirkpatrick. Folkard immediately went to work, a strikeout and a ground out getting the Steelers out of the dig and still leading 3-1.
The Steelers opened the game up in the top of the fifth inning, with a walk to Sinclair and a single to Brendon O’Byrne followed by a massive three-run home run to James Todhunter. Nick Shailes backed that up with a home run of his own, taking the Steelers to a 7-1 lead.
Canada made a late run at the Steelers, with back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning from Steve Mullaley and Mayson with none out making it a 7-3 scoreline. Canada were able to get runners on first and second base with one out, but a fantastic double play got the Steelers out of the inning.
The Steelers loaded up the bases in the top of the seventh inning but couldn’t convert, before Folkard retired Canada in order to secure the win. Folkard finished the game with 7 strikeouts in his 4.2 innings of work.
The Aussie Steelers will now play against New Zealand in the gold medal game, scheduled to begin at 4.00pm (9.00am AEST Monday 17 July).