IN BATTLE OF TOP PITCHERS, JONES TOPS FOLKARD

Written by Bob on July 5th, 2015
Venezuela's Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 4-0 victory over Australia in the medal round playoffs of the 2015 ISF Men's World Softball Championship, Saturday.

Venezuela’s Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 4-0 victory over Australia in the medal round playoffs of the 2015 ISF Men’s World Softball Championship, Saturday.

SASKATOON, SK, Canada – Ramon Jones versus Adam Folkard.

Venezuela’s talented workhorse versus Australia’s ace, the fastest throwing pitcher on the planet.

Jones and Folkard have proven in the 14th ISF World Softball Championship that they are the two best pitchers in the world of men’s fastpitch softball.

They were destined to meet in the 16-team tournament. And Saturday night they did.

One team would win and stay alive in pursuit of a gold, silver or bronze medal, while the other would head for home, with a fourth-place finish.

    JONES AT HIS BEST

This time around, Jones and Venezuela came away the winner, besting Folkard and Australia for a 4-0 victory that moves Venezuela into Sunday’s coveted medal day in which they can finish with no less than a bronze.

Jones was simply brilliant in leading Venezuela to its third win in the playoffs. The right-hander with the best drop ball in the game, held Australia to just one hit over seven innings with a walk and 11 strikeouts. His victory comes on the heels of beating the Dominican Republic 3-0 on a one-hitter with nine strikeouts earlier on Saturday.

    HOMERS FOLKARD’S UNDOING

Folkard, who has pitched nearly every inning for his country, wasn’t quite as sharp as he needed to be. He only allowed five hits, but two of them were game-busters.

Edwin Linares blasted a solo home run in the second inning, which actually was the game-winner. Then Luiger Pinto sunk Australia’s dreams of a gold medal when he launched a three-run homer in the third.

Iran Perez and Rogello Sequera both singled to set up Pinto’s blast.

Folkard allowed just one hit and a walk the rest of the way, but the damage was done as Jones closed out the Steelers in the seventh with his 10th and 11th strikeouts to move Venezuela on to Sunday’s Bronze Medal game with Canada.

    BACK-TO-BACK OUSTINGS

It is the second consecutive ISF world championship that Venezuela has eliminated Australia. In 2013, the two teams met in the Bronze Medal game with Venezuela coming away with a 2-0 win. Venezuela went on to take the Silver Medal, losing 4-1 to Gold Medalist New Zealand.

Adam Folkard pitched superbly and nearly every inning for Australia.

Adam Folkard pitched superbly and nearly every inning for Australia.

    AUSSIE GREAT GIVES HIS ALL

Throughout the 2015 ISF world championship, Australia has leaned heavily on Folkard as left-hander Andrew Kirkpatrick was injured and unable to help in the circle.

Australia finishes with a 5-2 record in Pool B, and 1-2 in the playoffs, in which the Steelers lost 8-3 to Canada, and beat Japan 3-0.

Folkard certainly gave his all as he appeared in eight games, hurling 50 innings in which he allowed just 28 hits, struck out 82 batters, issued 12 walks, had an ERA of 1.68 and leaves the world championship with a personal 5-2 record.

    JONES SOLDIERS ON

However, Jones has been better, pitching in 10 games over 41 2/3 innings for a 1.18 ERA. He has given up 19 hits and 10 walks, while striking out 62 batters. He continues on in the playoffs, and will try and improve his 6-1 record against Canada Sunday morning.

Erick Urbaneja (2-0) has pitched just 11 2/3 innings. With gold gleaming so close and so temptingly, Venezuela has to hand the ball to Jones and ride their workhorse as far as he can go.

    SUNDAY’S MEDAL DAY SCHEDULE
  • Venezuela vs. Canada, Bronze Medal game, 10:30 PDT
  • Winner vs. New Zealand, Gold Medal game, 1:30
  • To watch live, visit Sports Canada TV .

    2 Comments so far ↓

    1. Glen Moreland says:

      Jones apeaars to be # 1 from his recent excellent performances!

    2. Bob says:

      Agreed, but a shocker to me that as well as Jones has been throwing he didn’t get the start against Canada. I’m second guessing, which of course is easy to do. But I’m left wondering, “what if he had gotten the call.” I’ve always believed in riding the horse as far as he will take you, especially when he’s throwing well and on a roll.

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