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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”

    Dudley and Mancha drive USA closer to playoff spot in Men’s Softball World Championship

    Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

    WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – Lean and fit Tyler Dudley doesn’t have the big, burly build of the prototypical power hitter, but his incredibly quick hands can whip a bat around with lightning speed.

    When Dudley hits a softball, it can go a long way.

    And two of his gigantic wallops did just that in leading Team USA to a 12-2 victory over the Dominican Republic in the Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Tuesday.

    With the USA trailing 1-0 in the bottom half of the first inning, Dudley came to the plate with the bases loaded and promptly drilled a triple down the left-field line to clear the sacks and give Team USA a 3-1 advantage.

    Click to continue reading “Dudley and Mancha drive USA closer to playoff spot in Men’s Softball World Championship”

    Team Canada undefeated in world softball championships

    Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

    By Emily Blake / Whitehorse Daily Star

    WHITEHORSE, YK, CanadaTeam Canada (5-0) was on a winning streak this weekend at the Men?s Worlds Softball Championship.

    The returning champs and hosts started off this year?s championship strong, remaining undefeated after the first three days of competition in Whitehorse.

    Facing off against South Africa Friday night they won 10-2 and went on to win 8:3 against Argentina the following evening.

    Sunday night?s game was a nail biter against Team U.S.A. with Canada starting off slow and ending with a resounding finish.

    Canada continued its winning streak culminating with a 9-4 win over Australia to improve to 5-0 in Pool A on Tuesday. Continue reading in The Daily Star

    Canada converts USA walks into blowout in Men’s Softball World Championship

    Monday, July 10th, 2017

    WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – One walk, troublesome; two walks, alarming; three, flirting with disaster, but five consecutive? Well, against a prolific hitting team like Canada, it can mean only one thing: catastrophe and game over.

    For five innings in the Men’s Softball World Championship, Sunday, the United States and Canada battled toe-to-toe like two heavyweight fighters, with Team USA holding a 1-0 advantage heading into the sixth inning.

    And until the sixth, USA pitcher Tony Mancha had been pitching tough-minded and making crucial pitches at critical times. The defense had made superb, run-saving plays behind him. And the offense had taken a first inning 1-0 lead on Erich Ochoa’s (2-for-2) RBI single.

    Everything seemed to be going Team USA’s way. They had powerful Canada on the ropes. A United States victory was a very real possibility.

    Then disaster struck in the sixth.

    Click to continue reading “Canada converts USA walks into blowout in Men’s Softball World Championship”

    United States defeats Australia for crucial win in softball world championship

    Saturday, July 8th, 2017

    WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – The defense? Stellar. The pitching? Superb. The offense? Clutch.

    Team USA put together an outstanding game to defeat Australia, 2-1, in the second round of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Saturday.

    And it was without a doubt a team win.

    Let’s start with the pitching.

    Jeremy Manley started and went five innings giving up just two hits – one of them a first-inning home run to Nick Shailes that gave the Aussies the early lead.

    Often, that’s all the run support Aussie hurler Adam Folkard needs. Considered by many fastpitch experts as the best pitcher in all of men’s fastpitch, he can be nearly impossible to hit with his 80-plus mph riser and drop.

    Click to continue reading “United States defeats Australia for crucial win in softball world championship”

    Homers and Montero send Team USA to opening round defeat in Men’s Softball World Championship

    Saturday, July 8th, 2017

    WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – The long ball and the pitching of Maxi Montero gave Argentina a 5-1 first-round victory over the United States in the 2017 XV Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Friday night.

    Team USA certainly got the start they wanted when second baseman Tyler Dudley drilled a double up the middle, scoring Matt Palazzo, who walked to open the game.

    But Argentina struck right back in the bottom half when Ladislao Malarczuk homered over the right-field fence to even the score. And from that point on, the offensive firepower belonged to the Argentinians.

    Click to continue reading “Homers and Montero send Team USA to opening round defeat in Men’s Softball World Championship”