Bahamian players suit up for Great Britain, suffer two losses in World Baseball Classic

GREAT Britain’s Harry Ford, centre, celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run against Canada in the fourth inning of a World Baseball Classic game yesterday. 
(AP Photo/Godofredo A Vásquez)

GREAT Britain’s Harry Ford, centre, celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run against Canada in the fourth inning of a World Baseball Classic game yesterday. (AP Photo/Godofredo A Vásquez)

As of Monday, March 13, 2023


#Senior Sports Reporter

#GREAT Britain, stacked with a group of Bahamian coaches and players, suffered their first two losses over the weekend in Pool C of the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s 2023 World Baseball Classic at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.

#After losing a 6-2 decision to the defending champions United States of America on Saturday, Great Britain came back yesterday for game two, but this time Canada went on a offensive tear in a 18-8 slug-fest for their first game played.

#Great Britain, with Antoan Richardson serving as a bench coach and Albert Cartwright on first base, juggled its batting order after the loss to the Americans, but they didn’t have enough fire power to pull off their first win against Canada. “The team had some good moments and some bad moments,” Cartwright said. “Tournament play is tough because we don’t know what you are going to get from your players and you only have a few games to adjust to be able to compete.”

#Despite the two losses, Cartwright said the players are having good at-bats and they are grinding it out to keep Great Britain in the games.

#On Sunday, right fielder Chavez Young moved up to lead off, went 1-for-2 with two base on balls (walk) and three runs scored, centre fielder Trayce Thompson, who had a big outing against the USA, was 1-for-1 with a walk, a strike out, a RBI, a run scored and was even left on base once.

#Third baseman BJ Murray was 1-for-2 with two walks, a strike out and a run scored.

#D’Shawn Knowles had one of the key moments of the game against Canada when in the top of the third with one out, he came in to pinch hit with a RBI double that plate Murray for a 6-5 deficit for Great Britain.

#In the fourth with one-out as well, Harry ford hit a three-run homer, sending both Young and Thompson for a 10-8 deficit.

#Canada came back in the bottom to produce six runs and they went on to hold Great Britain scoreless the rest of the game, while they added a run in the fifth and sixth to preserve the big win.

#In their match-up against the USA, Great Britain trailed 5-1 and the Bahamian connection came through as D’Shawn Knowles, pinch hitting for Jaden Rudd, tripled and scored on Seymour’s RBI ground out.

#Great Britain got on the scoreboard in the first inning after third baseman BJ Murray struck out, leading off the game and centrefielder Trayce Thompson cracked a flyball to left centre field for a solo homer for a 1-0 lead.

#After fielding a grounder for the third out on the USA to keep them scoreless in the bottom of the first, second baseman Anfernee Seymour singled on a ground ball to shortstop Trea Turner, deflected by pitcher Adam Wainwright.

#That put Jaden Rudd to second as Great Britain threatened again to score, but Murray was called out on strikes.

#Thompson, who passed up an opportunity to play professional basketball like his father Mychal ‘Sweet Bells’ Thompson and brothers Klay and Michael Thompson, came back to lead off the third with a double to left field.

#Matt Koperniak flied out to right field that sent Thompson to third, but catcher Harry Ford grounded out and right fielder Chavez Young field out to Mike Trout to leave Thompson stranded on base.

#After scoring a pair of runs in the third to go ahead 2-1, the USA added three more in the fourth and one in the eighth before Great Britain added their final run in the seventh.

#Thompson led Great Britain’s attack by going 2-for-4 with a RBI and run scored, while Seymour was 1-for-3 with a RBI.

#Knowles, who stayed in the game to play left field on the defensive end, was 1-for-2 with a run scored.

#Great Britain will be back in action today at 12:30pm against Colombia and against Mexico on Tuesday at 7pm.

#“We need to throw strikes and play defence,” was what Cartwright prescribed for Great Britain.

#“We have the offence to put up a cricket number every once in a while, but being able to play defence and throw strikes will give us the opportunity to win some games.”

#The Bahamians are playing for Great Britain because the Bahamas was unable to field a team to go through the qualifying process. However, the Bahamas Baseball Association is currently trying to rectify the situation.

#With the amount of professional players now in the pipeline in the Major League Baseball, the BBA will begin its trek to qualifying the Bahamas for a spot in the World Baseball Classic by participating in its first WBSC’s tournament later this year.

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