THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Canada will face Japan for bronze at the under-18 baseball World Cup, while the United States and Korea meet up for gold.
Sunday's bronze-medal game marks the first time since 2012 that the Canadian squad will play for a medal at the tournament and the ninth time in the 28-year history of the event.
Canada has won six medals all-time including gold in 1991, silver in 2012 and bronze medals in 1983, 1987, 1997 and 2006.
"Reaching a medal game is a nice accomplishment for our junior national team program but we want to go home with a (bronze) medal around our necks," said Canadian manager Greg Hamilton.
"The majority of our group has been together for two years, so coming away with a medal would be a nice way to finish off this (U18) cycle."
Canada defeated Japan 6-4 on Friday in Super Round play and expects the Japanese to be ready.
"Japan is a very proud baseball nation with a rich baseball history so we know that they will be giving everything they have tomorrow," said Hamilton. "We belong on the field with them and know that we can play with them."
In a game that had no implications on the Super Round standings, Canada received a solid pitching performance from starter Michael Stovman of Maple Ridge, B.C., and two RBIs from Winnipeg's Victor Cerny in a 4-2 win over Cuba on Saturday.
Stovman worked eight innings and gave up two runs on seven hits and just one walk while striking out one batter.
"Michael provided exactly what we needed today and that was to give us some innings on the mound," said Hamilton. "We're in good shape (pitching-wise) heading into tomorrow."
The Canadian Press