Newfoundlanders Stephen Mullaley and Brad Ezekiel drove in the runs as Canada defeated New Zealand 2-1 Sunday in the bronze-medal game of the 2019 WBSC world men’s fastpitch championship in the Czech Republic.
At Prague, the bats of Mullaley and Ezekiel backed up the pitching of Patrick Burns, who threw a three-hitter as Canada earned its the 13th all-time medal in the event.
The only run surrendered by Burns came in the top of the fourth inning on a Reilly Makea home run that broke up a scoreless tie.
But in the bottom of the same inning, Mullaley belted an RBI triple to plate Mathieu Roy with the tying run.
The following inning, Ezekiel singled to score Jeff Ellsworth from second base.
Ezekiel, who is from Harbour Main, and Mullaley, a native of Freshwater, Placentia, were two of seven Newfoundlanders on Team Canada’s playing roster. The others are pitcher Sean Cleary of Harbour Main; shortstop Shane Boland and catcher Ryan Boland, brothers from Goulds; Jason Hill of St. John’s, Canada’s designated player Sunday; and infielder/outfielder Kyle Ezekiel of Holyrood, Brad’s younger brother.
John Hill of St. John’s and Les Howey of Conception Bay South are assistant coaches for Canada, which has won its first eight games before getting blanked 7-0 by Argentina in semifinal play Saturday.
Argentina defeated Japan 3-2 in Sunday’s gold-medal final.
Canada entered the tourney as the second seed, behind top-ranked New Zealand, which finished outside the medal positions for just the third time in history.