World Baseball Challenge Underway
Prince George, B.C. – The 2016 Ramada Inn World Baseball Challenge is underway at Citizen Field in Prince George.
The 9-day tournament features five teams: Canada Sidearm Nation out of Calgary, the Kamloops Sun Devils, the Thurston County Generals from Washington State, the Roswell Invaders out of the semi-pro Pecos League in New Mexico and Team Japan.
This is a modified round-robin tournament with each team playing a minimum six games. They face each other once and will play two teams twice. Play throughout the coming week will lead to the bronze medal game Saturday August 20th at 2 pm, with the gold medal game going at 6 that evening.
The kick-off to the tournament came with the opening ceremonies last evening, although there were only four teams on the diamond for the festivities. The Thurston County squad got waylaid when their bus transportation failed to materialize as planned. Tournament chair Rick Pattie says the club decided to come north in cars, but that got fouled up when a couple of the cars were held up at the Canada-U.S. border for 30 to 45 minutes. So they missed the opening ceremony, but he had received word the team would be pulling into Prince George Friday night.
The ceremony was followed by the tournament opener between Canada Sidearm Nation and Team Japan, and what a game it turned out to be. Sidearm Nation’s DH Justin Johnston smashed a shot, bases loaded, nobody out in the second, well over the left field fence to produce the first four runs of the 2016 WBC. Japan got two back and Nation was up 4-2 after four innings. A solo homer made it 5-2 before Japan scored two more to trail 5-4 after six.
Japan’s Ken Tanaka drove in two runs with a double off the fence to leave the game tied at 6 at the end of seven innings of play. Then Japan scored four runs with a huge inning in the 8th to take the opening game 11-7. .
The schedule for the remainder of the tournament is:
Sat. Aug. 13 Kamloops Sun Devils vs Roswell Invaders 4 pm
Sat. Aug. 13 Thurston Country Generals vs Canada Sidearm Nation 8 pm
Sun. Aug. 14 Team Japan vs Roswell Invaders 4 pm
Sun. Aug. 14 Kamloops Sun Devils vs Thurston Country Generals 8 pm
Mon. Aug. 15 Canada Sidearm Nation vs Roswell Invaders 4 pm
Mon. Aug. 15 Team Japan vs Kamloops Sun Devils 8 pm
Tues. Aug. 16 Thurston County Generals vs Roswell Invaders 4 pm
Tues. Aug. 16 Canada Sidearm Nation vs Kamloops Sun Devils 8 pm
Wed. Aug. 17 Thurston County Generals vs Team Japan 4 pm
Wed. Aug. 17 Roswell Invaders vs Kamloops Sun Devils 8 pm
Thurs. Aug. 18 Thurston Country Generals vs Canada Sidearm Nation 4 pm
Thurs. Aug. 18 Kamloops Sun Devils vs Team Japan 8 pm
Fri. Aug. 19 Thurston County Generals vs Roswell Invaders 4 pm
Fri. Aug. 19 Canada Sidearm Nation vs Team Japan 8 pm
Sat. Aug. 20 Bronze medal game, 3 vs 4, 2 pm
Sat. Aug. 20 Gold medal game, 1 vs 2, 6 pm