2015 WBSC Premier 12: Canada rolls past Cuba in opener

A three run first inning highlighted by a Pete Orr (Newmarket, ON) two run homer was all of the offence that Canada would need as they cruised to a 5-1 win over Cuba to open the WBSC Premier 12.


Canada starting pitcher Chris Leroux (Mississauga, ON) allowed a run in the first inning but was lights out after that as he went five and two-thirds innings and struck out eight, while Andrew Albers (North Battleford, SK) and Scott Richmond (Vancouver, BC) did the rest of the heavy lifting on the mound to preserve the win.

“It was a good win for us today,” said Canada Manager Ernie Whitt. “We got out of the shoot really quick, scoring in the first inning and then our pitching took over. Leroux was outstanding, gave us what we needed. I’m really pleased with today’s game.”

After leadoff hitter Tyson Gillies (Vancouver, BC) reached on an error in the top of the first, Orr deposited the second pitch he saw over the wall in right for a quick 2-0 lead. Later in the inning Jordan Lennerton (Langley, BC) singled to left and eventually scored from second base on a Taylor Green (Comox, BC) RBI single to right.

Cuba answered back in the home half of the first as they took advantage of a hit batter and pair of walks issued by Leroux to push a run across on a sacrifice fly. Leroux quickly settled in after that and shut Cuba down before being removed with two out in the sixth.

“I was a little rusty in the first but after that I felt good,” said Leroux. “My change-up was really good, all my pitches felt good.”

Leroux got out of trouble in the third stranding a runner on third base who had doubled with one out by getting a groundout and fly out to end the threat. He was removed from the game after issuing a two out walk in the sixth in favour of Andrew Albers (North Battleford, SK) who promptly got a groundout to end the inning.

Canada added two runs in the seventh as Tyson Gillies (Vancouver, BC) and Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) singled to put runners on the corners before Rene Tosoni (Port Coquitlam, BC) singled through the right side with two out in the inning. O’Neill later scampered home on a wild pitch.

Cuba young lefty Liván Moinelo pitched an excellent game for Cuba on relief.
Liván Moinelo

Albers was flawless in an inning and two-thirds on the mound as he retired all five batters he faced before giving way to Scott Richmond (Vancouver, BC) with one down in the eighth.

Richmond recorded a strikeout with runners on the corners to end the eighth before erasing a leadoff single in the ninth by getting groundball with one out in the inning that went for a double play to end the game.

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