Hot-hitting New Zealand thrashes Canada in ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

Written by Bob on July 4th, 2015

SASKATOON, SK, Canada – No team in the 14th ISF Men’s World Softball Championship is hitting – make that slugging – the ball better than the New Zealand Black Sox.

In its last four games, New Zealand has outscored its opponents 37-7. The latest victory was huge, 9-5 over Canada in the playoffs Saturday that moves New Zealand into the Gold medal game on Sunday.

    FENCE BUSTERS

The Black Sox pounded out 10 hits, including home runs by Jerome Raemaki, Wayne Laulu, Thomas Enoka and Brad Rona.

Raemaki hit a home run in the third inning; Laulu blasted a two-run bomb over the left field fence erasing Canada’s lead for good, and pushing the Black Sox in front, 4-3, in the fourth inning. Tyson Byrne followed with a run-scoring triple that scored Cole Evans, and in the fifth, Enoka cleared the left-center field fence for a two-run homer.

Brad Rona finished the Black Sox fence-busting attack with a two-run shot in the seventh.

    CANADA GOES LONG BALL TOO

Ian Fehrman and Brad Ezekiel gave Canada hope when they hit solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings off New Zealand’s Heinrick Shannon. But he withstood the onslaught and after Ezekiel led off the seventh with his homer, Shannon retired three in a row to seal the win.

Shannon threw seven innings to improve to 2-0 the playoffs. He allowed three earned runs on six hits, walked one and struck out four.

    DEFENDING CHAMPS SEEK SECOND GOLD

Now New Zealand – the defending ISF Men’s World Softball champions from 2013 – move to the Gold medal game, Sunday afternoon. Canada remains in the running for the gold, but must defeat the winner between Venezuela and Australia played Saturday night (results not available at publishing time).

    CANADA STILL IN CONTENTION

Canada came into the game against New Zealand undefeated and the top team in Pool A at 7-0. And the Canadians began the playoffs in dominating fashion, beating Australia and its ace pitcher Adam Folkard, 8-3, on Friday.

New Zealand finished round robin play in Pool A as the number four team at 5-2. The Black Sox entered the playoffs stinging the ball and beat the Dominican Republic, the top team from Pool B with a 6-1 record, 8-0, to set up the meeting with Canada.

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