2017 WBSC Men’s Softball Championship

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The Comeback Nation Slams Its Way To Gold In the Men’s Softball World Championship

Monday, July 17th, 2017

JOEL EVANS, seen batting in an earlier game against Australia, smashed a grand slam home run as New Zealand beat Australia, 6-4, in the Gold Medal game of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Sunday, July 16, 2017. ANTHONY AU-YEUNG / PHOTOSPORT

WHITEHORSE, YUKON, Canada – Call the New Zealand fastpitch team what you will, the comeback nation or the never-say-die fastballers, as both monikers personify their amazing performance in the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship.

Trailing 3-2 in the sixth inning of the Gold Medal game, Joel Evans blasted a grand slam home run to help New Zealand claim the world championship with a 6-4 victory over the Australia Steelers at the Pepsi Softball Centre, Sunday afternoon.

It was the second meeting of the ball clubs, as New Zealand took a 6-2 win in the opening round of championship playoffs among the top-eight teams.

BRIMMING WITH GOLD

For New Zealand, this becomes their seventh world championship. The Black Sox have won Gold in 2013, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1984 and 1976 (shared with USA and Canada after weather halted the tournament).

“I’m really proud of the way they performed and how hard they worked to get to this stage,” said New Zealand Head Coach Mark Sorenson in a post-game interview. “It’s about never giving up and building pressure. Once we started getting quality at bats, we started to build that pressure.”

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Australia holds off Canada to move into the Gold Medal game of the Men’s Softball World Championship

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Adam Foulard turned in an effective relief effort to help Australia defeat Canada, 7-3, in the Bronze Medal game of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Sunday, July 17. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2016 ISC World Tournament

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – It’s been eight long years since Australia last won a world championship. After winning three straight playoff games, they’ll once again be battling for the Gold Medal.

Thanks to James Todhunter and Nick Shailes who homered and Adam Folkard, who turned in an effective relief job, Australia defeated Canada 7-3 at the Pepsi Softball Centre, Sunday.

With little time for rest, Australia (8-3) will be back on the ball diamond to take on New Zealand (8-1) in the Gold Medal game, while 2015 defending world champion Canada (8-2) leaves the tournament as the Bronze medalist.

LONG BALL BOMBERS

With Australia clinging to a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning, Todhunter squared up on a Sean Cleary rise ball sending it deep over the centerfield fence for a two-run home run, and Shailes homered over the left-field wall to give the Steelers a 7-1 lead, chasing Cleary in favor of Devon McCullough.

But Canada’s big bats wouldn’t go lightly.

Click to continue reading “Australia holds off Canada to move into the Gold Medal game of the Men’s Softball World Championship”

Australia rallies to eliminate the United States in Men’s Softball World Championship

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

DUANE WEILER pitched well in relief for Team USA, but Australia rallied for an 11-7 victory in the second round of playoffs of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Saturday, July 15. Photo USA Softball

WHITEHORSE, Yukon, Canada – The United States jumped out to an early lead, chased one of the world’s best pitchers, and had all the momentum going its way.

But victory was not to be.

Australia capitalized on costly errors and shaky pitching to come away with an 11-7 victory in the second round of playoffs, Saturday, at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse.

Click to continue reading “Australia rallies to eliminate the United States in Men’s Softball World Championship”

Six remain in quest for Gold at WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

ARGENTINA celebrates after defeating Botswana 5-0 in the first round of the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship, Friday, July 14 at the Pepsi Softbal Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. WBSC Photo

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – After eight games Friday, six national teams remain in medal contention, while four were eliminated from the championship at the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship.

Canada and Australia finished Pool A in the top two spots, while in Pool B New Zealand and Japan earned those same spots. This is important as each would have the ability the loss one game without being eliminated.

Click for results of Friday’s playoff games.

Canada and New Zealand front runners in the quest for Gold at the Men’s Softball World Championship

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Josh Pettit has a 4-0 record and is a prime reason New Zealand is making a strong run at winning the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s Softball World Championship. Courtesy Photo

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – Where once there were sixteen of the world’s finest fastpitch teams battling for gold at the Men’s Softball World Championship, we are now down to six.

And these six – their rosters filled with the finest hurlers and batsmen worldwide – are indeed the best of the sixteen.

As the tournament heads into the final two days of championship play, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Japan, Australia and the United States remain in contention for the most treasured of all mens’ fastpitch softball titles: World Champion.

My pick for Gold? Canada.

The defending 2015 world champions are playing an incredibly high-caliber fastpitch.

The Canadians rode through Pool A at 7-0, and in their opening playoff game Friday, shutout Japan 2-0, to extend their unbeaten streak to 8-0 and remain the only undefeated team in the world championship.

Click to continue reading “Canada and New Zealand front runners in the quest for Gold at the Men’s Softball World Championship”

Big sticks and Manley lead the United States to playoff win in Men’s Softball World Championship

Friday, July 14th, 2017

JEREMY MANLEY seen pitching for his native New Zealand Black Sox in an earlier time, turned in an outstanding pitching performance in leading the USA to an 11-3 victory over Venezuela.

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – In what was predicted to be a tightly contested game, Team USA pulled off a shocker by pounding Venezuela, one of the world’s most powerful teams, 11-3, in five innings under the mercy rule in the first-round of playoffs, Friday afternoon.

This huge victory moves Team USA (6-2) into the second round of the playoffs, Saturday, where they will take on the loser between New Zealand and Australia being played later Friday night.

Tony Mancha started, but he struggled from the outset and gave up a two-run homer in the first inning to catcher Rafael Flores that put Venezuela on top, 2-1.

After Mancha walked Jorge Lima, Head Coach Denny Bruckert was out of the dugout motioning for Jeremy Manley.

Bruckert’s decision proved a game-changer.

Click to continue reading “Big sticks and Manley lead the United States to playoff win in Men’s Softball World Championship”

In The Spotlight: Matt Ratliff of the USA Softball Men’s National Team

Friday, July 14th, 2017

MATT RATLIFF made this amazing catch to rob Canada’s BRANDON HORN of a two-run homer in the fifth inning, and though the USA lost 7-1, Ratliff’s catch will long be remembered by his teammates and fastpitch fans worldwide as one of the greatest of the tournament, if not in the long history of the Men’s Softball World Championship. WBSC Photo

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – Outfielder Matt Ratliff’s stock in men’s fastpitch took a sizable leap the past few days as he displayed his talent at the plate and in the field during the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship.

Playing in his first world championship for Team USA, Ratliff seized opportune moments to show just why he earned a spot on the squad.

In the fifth inning against Canada in an early-round pool play game, Ratliff playing right-field, made one of the most spectacular catches in world tournament history by leaping, catching and crashing into and over the fence to rob Canada’s Brandon Horn of a two-run homer during a Pool A game, Sunday, July 17.

If you think that was spectacular, it gets even better.

Trailing the Republic of South Africa, 3-1, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Ratliff, who leads off and bats from the left-side, launched a two-run homer deep over the centerfield fence to pull Team USA even, and sending the game into extra innings which Team USA rallied to win, 4-3.

Ratliff’s home run was huge as it helped the USA (5-2) finish in the top-eight of the 16 teams to qualify for chance at winning a medal – Gold, Silver or Bronze.

To read about Ratliff’s journey in men’s fastpitch click on: Ratliff Aiming For USA Softball Men’s National Team

In its first playoff game, Team USA takes on Venezuela (6-1), Friday, at 2 p.m. To watch the game, click on Sports Canada TV.

Eight nations including the United States remain in medal contention at WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship playoffs

Friday, July 14th, 2017

The United States reacts with joy during its 4-3 victory over the Republic of South Africa, Thursday, to qualify for the playoffs in the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship begining Friday. Eight teams are in the hunt for a Gold medal. WBSC Photo

WBSC Media Release

WHITEHORSE, Yukon, Canada – The preliminary stage at the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship has concluded, leaving eight teams remaining in the hunt for the Gold Medal.

See Playoff Schedule

Following the seven-day round robin pool stage in the men’s international softball flagship event, eight nations (the top four nations from each pool) have advanced into a Double-Page Playoff beginning Friday, 14 July, to determine the 2017 Men’s Softball World Champion.

The national teams to survive into the Playoffs include:

No. 1 New Zealand
No. 2 Japan
No. 3 Argentina
No. 4 Canada
No. 5 Australia
No. 6 United States
No. 7 Venezuela
No. 19 Botswana

  • The United States (5-2 in Pool A) opens with Venezuela (6-1 in Pool B) at 2 p.m.at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse.
  • The bottom four teams in each pool have been eliminated from medal contention but will continue in the Placement Round to determine final standing.

    The 16 participating national teams in the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship represent a global reach that spans across all regions – Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and Oceania – and will play 76 games in total before a World Champion is crowned.

    The gold medal game will take centre stage on 16 July at 16:00, and will be preceded by the bronze medal match at 13:00.

    LIVE WEBCAST
    Continued coverage of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship is available via Sports Canada TV

    USA rallies to escape upset minded Republic of South Africa in Men’s Softball World Championship

    Thursday, July 13th, 2017

    WHITEHORSE, YK, CanadaKevin Castillo gave Team USA hope, Matt Ratliff gave them new life, and Tyler Dudley gave them the winning run as the United States rallied in extra innings to defeat the Republic of South Africa, 4-3, Thursday night in the final game of pool play.

    The win moves Team USA (5-2) into Friday’s first-round of playoffs in the Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse. RSA, playing well in the tournament, drops to 2-5.

    But in the bottom of the seventh, victory seemed improbable with Team USA trailing 3-0 and down to their final out.

    Castillo, however, had other ideas.

    Click to continue reading “USA rallies to escape upset minded Republic of South Africa in Men’s Softball World Championship”

    Canada continues unbeaten streak at world championships

    Thursday, July 13th, 2017

    By Marissa Tiel
    Daily Star

    WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – Team Canada continued their winning streak at the 2017 Men’s World Softball Championship with a 9-4 win over Australia Tuesday night.

    “We’ve got a motto as a team, it’s one step at a time, so this is just another step along the ladder,” said thirdbaseman Derek Mayson.

    “We do have benchmark games and Australia is one of them because they’re a very deep team, they’ve got some of the best pitching in the world. So we knew we were in for a tough game.”

    Continue reading in Whitehorse Daily Star