Havana, Cuba – Emerson Frostad’s solo homerun to lead off the 10th-inning was the wining run in a 7-5 Canadian win over Venezuela today at the 2006 COPABE Americas Olympic Qualifier.
Frostad, who came off the bench in the eighth inning to replace starting catcher David Corrente, was a clutch performer for the second straight day. After keying a four-run ninth inning to come from behind for a 6-5 win over Puerto Rico yesterday, Frostad was 2-for-2 with 2 runs scored and an RBI in today’s victory.
In addition to hitting the game-winner over the left field fence, Frostad also helped ignite a Canadian comeback in his first at bat in the top-half of the eighth when he singled off of Venezuelan relief pitcher Argenis Laendeta to load the bases with one out.
With Canada down 4-2, Mike Saunders then hit a ground-rule double to tie the game before Sebastien Boucher cashed Frostad with a single to left for the go-ahead run, 5-4 Canada.
After Luis Cordova homered on Canadian reliver Mike Johnson’s first pitch of the game to notch things up at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth, Saunders and Frostad teamed up to make what may very well have been the biggest play of the game.
In the bottom of the ninth and Puerto Rico threatining with men on first and second base and two outs, Jose Aronte slapped a single over the left side of the infield. Saunders, the left fielder, charged the ball and zipped a bullet over to Frostad who went to his left to retrieve the ball and dove back to his right to tag Luis Landaeta at the plate to end the inning and send the game into extras.
In the extra frame, Kevin Nicholson followed Frostad’s homer with a RBI single to add an insurance marker, 7-5 Canada.
Pierre-Luc Laforest also had a good day at the plate for Canada, going 3-for-3 with a homerun, two runs scored, 1 RBI and 1 walk. Johnson picked up the win for Canada while T.J. Burton sent the Venezuelans home hitless in the bottom half of the tenth to earn the save.
Canada faces Mexico in its fourth Olympic Qualifier round robin game tomorrow at Santiago Mederos Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST.