PrintPrint

Despite win, Canada eliminated from baseball in Beijing

The Canadian Press

8/19/2008 11:45:22 AM

BEIJING - Canada was eliminated from the medal round of the Olympic baseball tournament despite a 4-0 win over the Netherlands on Tuesday.

Japan and the United States both won their games to improve to 4-2 with one game left, making it impossible for 2-4 Canada to close the gap.

Brooks McNiven of Vancouver game one hit and no walks over six innings for Canada, which finishes its Olympics with a meaningless game against Taiwan on Wednesday.

''We put together a more complete ballgame today with outstanding pitching,'' manager Terry Puhl said.

Elsewhere, John Gall hit a go-ahead home run and Brandon Knight struck out five in 6 1-3 strong innings as the United States beat Taiwan 4-2 .

Dexter Fowler, batting ninth, missed hitting for the cycle by a home run for the U.S., which has a 4-2 record in the preliminaries and has advanced to the medal round.

Fowler's sixth-inning double against Taiwan reliever Lee Chen-chang gave the Americans a two-run cushion.

''We always seem to make it a little too interesting,'' Knight said. ''There's a little sense of relief (to be in the medal round). I'm not going to lie and say we didn't expect that. It was a goal.''

In the other night game Tuesday, designated hitter Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit a two-run homer and also singled in a run as Japan beat China 10-0 in seven innings.

Hideaki Wakui (2-0) struck out six and allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings for Japan (4-2). China fell to 1-5 in its first-ever Olympic tournament.

Earlier, Ko Young-min's two-run single in the fourth tied the game and Cuba also committed a costly two-run error that inning as South Korea rallied past the defending champion Cubans 7-4.

Ko also scored an insurance run on Lee Yong-kyu's RBI single in the sixth.

The teams will finish first and second - the order still to be determined - after the preliminary tournament is completed Wednesday.

South Korea is 6-0 and the only remaining undefeated club with one game left.

''This is unexpected and we are very fortunate,'' South Korea manager Kim Kyung-moon said. ''Since we beat the U.S. in our opener, the good luck has stayed with us so far. I'm very satisfied with my players, their co-operation and the results.''