The U.S. and Canada clinched the final two spots in the World Cup as
they both beat the Czech Republic twice at the World Cup Qualifying
tournament in Bradenton, Fla..
The two teams advance to the International Baseball Federation World
Cup in The Netherlands this September. The qualifier was added to the
international baseball schedule after Canada and the U.S. opted out of
attending the IBAF's qualifier in Columbia because of safety concerns.
With only three teams in the qualifier, the U.S. and Canada were
heavy favorites over the Czech Republic, something that quickly was
proved true. Canada beat the Czechs 11-0 on Sunday in a game shortened
to seven innings because of the mercy rule and 9-1 on Monday.
The U.S. qualifying team, selected from players recently released by
teams at the end of spring training and independent league stars, had a
little tougher time clinching its spot, as the U.S. led only 6-5 n the
eighth inning of its tournament opener against the Czech's before Bryon
Jeffcoat hit a three-run inside-the-park home run to give the U.S. the
9-5 victory. Team USA beat the Czechs in the tournament's final game
The U.S. and Canada split their two games. Canada beat Team USA 9-4
on Saturday behind Geoff McCallum's 5-for-5 and Greg Morrison's 4-for-4
performances. Team USA bounced back on Sunday, as Brant Ust hit a grand
slam to lead the U.S. to an 11-8 win.