USA Men win Border Battle VI with win over Canada

By Codi Warren | July 27, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

KITCHENER, Ontario, Canada  –  The USA Men’s Slow Pitch National Team remains the Border Battle Champion for 2014 as announced today by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball.  A magnificent effort from Brett Helmer (Cicero, N.Y.) spurred Team USA to an 18-9 Border Battle VI win in seven innings over Team Canada on Saturday at Peter Hallman Ball Yard (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada).

“We got off to another slow start and run production was a bit low compared to our first eight games,” said Team USA head coach Steve Shortland.  “The wind conditions changed a bit compared to the previous two days and it affected both teams ability to hit home runs, but what we lacked in offense was truly made up on defense. There were some unbelievable plays that had everyone shaking their heads in amazement.” 

Shortland added, “However, when you have this collection of talent, we shouldn't be surprised. Overall, this was a competitive game and we hope softball fans enjoyed it. I'm extremely proud of our players not only for the win but how well they represented our nation.  They were exemplary ambassadors.  I want to say a big thank you to the city of Kitchener, Softball Canada, and Home Run Sports. They were fantastic hosts and we had a great time.”

In the sixth edition of this slow pitch battle, veteran Helmer racked up six RBI on two hits as he homered in the first and third innings.  The Red, White and Blue easily handled Team Canada's pitching as eight hitters combined for 23 hits and 18 runs scored.

Home runs for USA Men's Slow Pitch National Team came when Helmer homered in the first and third innings, Denny Crine (Henderson, Nev.) homered in the third, and six-time USA team member Brian Wegman (Hamilton, Ohio) homered in the fourth inning.  Chris Larsen (Vancouver, Wash.) also homered in the seventh inning.

Chris Parr recorded the loss for Canada as he allowed 18 runs in seven innings and walked one batter. 

The top of the first saw USA Men's Slow Pitch National Team take an early lead, 3-0. The offense woke up as Bryson Baker (Woodland, Calif.) singled before Helmer homered, bringing home Kevin Filby (Delaware, Ohio) and Baker.  After a quick strike from the U.S., Team Canada responded with four runs in the first. Team Canada scored on a two-run single by Francois Henry, a sacrifice fly by Justin Pennell, and an RBI single by Mike McLeod.

USA Men's Slow Pitch National Team never surrendered the lead after the third inning, scoring 10 runs including two three-run home runs.

Three USA Men's Slow Pitch National Team base runners came all the way around to score in each of the fourth, fifth and seventh. In the fourth, USA Men's Slow Pitch National Team scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff McGavin (Macomb, Mich.), scoring Luis Reyna (Tampa Fla.).

Team USA tacked on another three runs in the seventh. A single by Reyna ignited the offense, bringing home Kevin Bazat (Columbia, Mo.). That was followed up by Larsen's two-run blast, scoring Reyna.

For complete scores and game stories from the week-long event for the Team USA Men’s National Slow Pitch teams, log on to the Border Battle Page!

About ASA 

The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation's largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit
http://www.asasoftball.com/

About USA Softball 

USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men's, Women’s, Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women's National Team is one of the only two women's sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit 
http://www.usasoftball.com/.

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