Abbotsford’s Jared Mortensen and the Canadian men’s baseball team grabbed the gold at the Pan Am Games on Sunday with a narrow — and peculiar — 7-6 win over the U.S.
Mortensen tweeted the following day: “I will never forget this moment,” certainly because of the victory, but also possibly because of the ending to the match.
Canada and the U.S. were tied at four through nine innings, forcing the teams into international baseball’s odd extra-innings system. The rules state that teams begin with runners on first and second with no outs and are able to enter into their batting order from anywhere they please.
In the end, it was a botched pickoff play and subsequent throwing error to third that led Canada to their second consecutive Pan Am title, in what was a repeat of the 2011 Guadalajara Games baseball final.
“Being there was overwhelming, and it was extremely emotional,” said Mortensen’s mother Karen, two days after watching her son win gold. “I am extremely proud of my son because he’s been working for this since he was three years old.”
Mortensen saw the mound once through the tournament, pitching seven innings and recording the win in a preliminary round game against Colombia, and the gold-medal finish is a feather in the cap for the Tampa Bay minor league product.
Canada beat Puerto Rico in the semi-finals, 7-1 on Saturday, July 18 and finished the preliminary stage 4-1, suffering their only defeat against the U.S. in their last game before the knockout stage.
— CBC Sports (@cbcsports) July 20, 2015