Team USA comes from 18-4 deficit to beat Team Canada at "Border Battle"
USA claims Border Battle IV
OKLAHOMA CITY – The USA Softball Men's National Slow Pitch Team came from
behind to defeat Canada, 32-21, on Saturday in the Border Battle IV at the
Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Hall of Fame Stadium. The Americans used
34 hits to score the 32 runs and capitalized off of two key errors from
Canada to capture Team USA's third Border Battle title in the event's
Click here for a box score.
"We got off to a slow start coming out flat the first couple of innings,"
said USA head coach Steve Shortland. "These guys showed some real heart in
the way they battled back. I am really proud of the way they continued to
fight and pulled out the win."
Canada jumped out to an early 4-0 lead with three home runs in the top of
the first inning. Two of the three home runs were solo shots, while Todd
Cadenhead's two-run shot scored Frank Henry, who had reached on a double.
Team USA cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first on a two-run home
run from Brett Helmer (Cicero, N.Y.).
Canada tacked on three more runs in the top of the second as Jeff Gare and
Al Blais reached on back-to-back singles before Chris Parr blasted the
fourth home run of the game for the Canadians. A great defensive play from
Don Dedonatis, Jr. (Kissimmee, Fla.) ended any additional threat from Canada
as Team USA got out of the inning with a double play.
Team USA pitcher Andy Purcell (Kissimmee, Fla.) reached on a single to start
the second and scored on Johnny McCraw's (Lake Wylie, S.C.) home run to
score two more runs for the Americans.
Canada added two runs on an RBI double from Tim Bentley and a sacrifice fly
from Gare to push its lead to 9-4 after three innings.
Canada then pushed across nine runs in the top of the fourth. Cadenhead hit
his second multi-RBI home run of the game and Parr added another one as the
Canadians went up 18-4 after four innings.
The Americans mounted a comeback in the bottom of the fourth as Team USA
exploded for 20 runs to take a 24-18 lead. Home runs from Kevin Rainwater
(Kathleen, Ga.), Brian Wegman (Hamilton, Ohio), Andy Purcell, Rick Baker
(West Harrison, Ind.) and Dennis Rulli (Moorpark, Calif.) fueled the charge
as two Canadian errors allowed 14 unearned runs to cross the plate.
Team USA added eight runs in the bottom of the sixth as home runs by Greg
Connell (Moultrie, Ga.) and Rulli led to the 12-run lead. Following Canada's
nine-run fourth inning, Team USA held the Canadians to just three runs in
the final three innings.
Geno Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) picked up the win for Team USA in relief. Buck
pitched one inning, holding Canada to three runs on five hits. Parr picked
up the loss for Canada, pitching 3.2 innings and allowing 24 runs on 22
Henry and Cadenhead each went 4-for-5 for Canada with three runs scored.
Cadenhead's three home runs and six RBIs were the most by any player on the
day. Connell went 4-for-5 for Team USA, as did R. Baker. Connell also had
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing
Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States
Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation's largest sports
organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network
of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the
early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more
than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links
the USA Men's, Women's, Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' National Team
programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and
promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic
competitions. The USA Softball Women's National Team is one of the only two
women's sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive
gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won
nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well
as claimed five World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA
Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.