Canadian men's baseball team edges Japan in tuneup for Olympic qualifier
Teams play again Friday in advance of WBSC Premier12
Eric Wood hit a three-run double as part of a six-run second inning, and Canada and hung on to defeat world No. 1 Japan 6-5 in an exhibition baseball game Thursday.
After a scoreless first inning, Canada got to Japan starting pitcher Shun Yamaguchi in the second to take a 6-0 lead.
Jordan Lennerton of Langley, B.C., got things going with a single to left to score Victoria's Michael Saunders. Rene Tosoni of Port Coquitlam, B.C., walked with the bases loaded and Dalton Pompey of Mississauga, Ont., hit an RBI single to right field to put Canada up by three.
Wood, from Oshawa, Ont., capped the scoring with his three-run hit as Canada sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.
"Any time we take the field we want to win, so to do so against a quality team like Japan is a bonus for us," Canada manager Ernie Whitt said. "To have the opportunity to play Japan, one of the top teams in the world, and compete with them and beat them is quite pleasing."
Canada and Japan will meet again Friday. The two-game series is a warmup for the WBSC Premier12 tournament, which will be held in four countries starting Nov. 2.
The top finisher from the Americas and the best team from the Asia/Oceania region, excluding Japan, will earn a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Japan has already qualified as host.
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