Loading articles...

Winner moves on when Canada and U.S. play Sunday in World Baseball Classic

After a bench-clearing brawl in the Canada-Mexico World Baseball Classic game on Saturday overshadowed a Canadian win, the boys in red-and-white will return to the field Sunday.

Canada will play the United States Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. from Chase Field in Arizona, with the winner set to move on to the next round.

Both teams are 1-1, with the U.S. losing their first game to Mexico but winning a Saturday night tilt with Italy.

The Canadian squad, meanwhile, was beaten badly by Italy in their first game, before coming back to soundly beat the Mexican team 10-3 Saturday.

During that game an ugly bench-clearing brawl resulted in several ejections and punches being thrown as the two teams went head-to-head.

With Canada already leading 9-3 in the ninth inning, the Mexican team was apparently offended by Canada trying to score more runs.

In response, Mexican pitcher Arnold Leon deliberately hit Canadian batter Rene Tosoni.

That triggered the benches to clear and players traded punches and shoves for several minutes.

After the brawl ended the problems did not stop immediately, as some members of the crowd began hurling insults, and at one point even a waterbottle and baseball, at the Canadian team.

Announcers at the stadium came on the P.A. system and warned that anyone engaging in such behaviour would not only be ejected from the game, but would also face arrest.

Eventually things calmed down enough that the game was finished, and now the Canadians are looking forward to their next opponent, the baseball powerhouse United States.

In baseball it is generally accepted etiquette to not deliberately try to run-up-the-score late in the game when the game is out of reach for one team.

In the World Baseball Classic, however, run differential determines who moves on in the case of a tie, so the Canadian team was only trying to ensure their own success in a potential future tie-breaker.

Both managers called the brawl unfortunate and pointed to the run-differential rules as being the spark.

You can watch Sunday’s game between the U.S. and Canada on Sportsnet.