It was a second straight loss for Canada, which had gone undefeated in seven round-robin games and opened the playoffs Friday night with a 2-0 victory, a game that saw Harbour Main’s Sean Cleary throw a five-hit, complete-game shutout, striking out eight.
On Saturday in its next playoff contest, Canada jumped out to a 9-2 third-inning lead against New Zealand, but the Kiwis, the No, 1-ranked team in the world, battled back for a 12-11 win.
Bradley Ezekiel of Harbour Main had four hits — including a homer — and three RBIs in a losing cause.
That result sent New Zealand directly to the championship and meant Canada needed to take advantage of a double playoff life Sunday against the Aussies.
Cleary, who hadn’t pitched Saturday, got the start versus Australia, but struggled to duplicate the effort he had against Japan, giving up seven runs — six of them earned — in four innings. He struck out five.
Freshwater native Stephen Mullaley had two hits, including a solo homer, for Canada, which never led in the game.
The Canadians came close in the third inning, when trailing 3-2, they had the bases loaded with one out — Mullaley and Ezekiel being two of the runners. But Aussie pitching ace Adam Folkard came on in relief, getting a strikeout and groundout to end the threat.
Brothers Ryan and Shane Boland of Goulds, along with Colin Walsh of Petty Harbour are the other members of the Canadian team. John Hill of St. John’s and Les Howey of Holyrood are assistant coaches with the team.
New Zealand’s win set up an all Down Under final against Australia on Sunday night, with New Zealand winning 6-4..