Newfoundlander Sean Cleary contributed to a shared no-hitter as Canada defeated Singapore 8-0 at the 2019 WBSC world men’s fastpitch championship Wednesday in the Czech Republic.
Cleary, a native of Harbour Main, started and pitched four almost-perfect innings, striking out six and allowing just a single walk before giving way to reliever Patrick Burns, who preserved the no-hitter with one inning of work; the game was shortened to five innings because of application of the mercy rule.
The 34-year-old Cleary has started and won three games for Canada at the tournament, striking out 23 batters in 15 innings of work, while allowing five hits, five walks and just one earned run.
Another Newfoundlanders, shortstop Shane Boland of Goulds, hit one of four home runs for Canada in the win, improved the record of the Maple Leaf men to 6-0, clinching them first place in their seven-team preliminary-round pool.
Five others from this province are on Canada’s playing roster. They are Brad Ezekiel of Harbour Main, his bother Kyle Ezekiel of Holyrood. Freshwater (Placentia) native Stephen Mullaley of Freshwater and Jason Hill and Ryan Boland of St. John’s also played, while Kyle Ezekiel and Ryan Boland, Shane’s older brother.
In addition to the players, John Hill of St. John’s and Conception Bay South resident Les Howey, are assistants to Team Canada head coach John Stuart at the worlds, being played at Prague and Havlickuv Brod.
The Canadians have just one round-robin game remaining — today against South Africa (1-5) — but even if they were upset in that one, they would hold on to top spot in the pool.
Canada enters the tournament ranked second in the world behind New Zealand, although the Kiwis are 4-2 and sitting in third place in the other pool in the tournament.