Monday, 20 July 2015 01:43

Canada wins second straight Pan American Games gold medal

Written by Administrator

Canada won its second straight gold medal in baseball in the 2015 Pan American Games, played in Ajax, Ontario.

In both 2011 and 2015, alumni of NAIA schools played a key role in Canada's win. The 2011 team had four players who played at NAIA schools, and RHP Chris Kissock of Lewis-Clark State played a key role for that team (story).

The 2015 edition included two NAIA alumni, LHP Jeff Francis of British Columbia and RHP Jared Mortensen of LSU-Shreveport. Francis got two saves during the preliminary round, retired all six batters he faced, struck out two of them. He was called upon to start the gold medal game against the USA. He went seven innings, allowed four runs (two of them on a home run by DH Patrick Kivlehan [Mariners organization, Rutgers]) on eight hits, struck out seven, and walked one. He got a no-decision; the game was tied 4-4 when he left it. Canada ultimately won the game 7-6 in ten innings; the tying and winning runs came on a bad pickoff attempt followed by a throwing error.

 Mortensen had two starts. The first was a win against Colombia. He went seven innings, allowed three runs on four hits, struck out five. (Story from LSU-Shreveport site: Former Pilot Mortensen notches win for Team Canada) The second start was in the final preliminary round game against USA. Canada had already clinched first place in the preliminary round, but the game was must-win for the USA. He went 3 2/3 innings, gave up all four runs of the USA's runs on five hits, struck out five, got the loss.

Francis, of North Delta, BC, played for British Columbia 1999-2002. He was an All-American, majored in Physics. His record for the final two seasons was 19-5, 1.35 ERA, 219 strikeouts. During that period, he also took the Anchorage Glacier Pilots to the National Baseball Congress championship, and was named MVP. He was drafted fourth overall by the Colorado Rockies. His career MLB record is 72-82, 4.97 ERA, 863 strikeouts. He played a key role in the Rockies' run to the World Series in 2007. He currently plays for the Buffalo Bisons, the Blue Jays' AAA affiliate, but he was called up by the Blue Jays in April and May, and made eight relief appearances.

Mortensen, of Abbotsford, BC, played for LSU-Shreveport 2011-2012. The Pilots went to the NAIA Baseball National Championship both seasons. Mortensen's career record was 21-4, 2.62 ERA, 217 strikeouts. He played for the Grand Prairie AirHogs, an independent league team, in 2012, and was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Rays at the end of that season. He currently plays for the Montgomery Biscuits of the Class AA Southern League. His career minor league record is 14-5, 3.81 ERA, 160 strikeouts.

Story by CBC (with video highlights): Canada beats U.S. in wild baseball gold-medal game

Story from Canadian Baseball Network: Orr races home from first on errors giving Canada gold

Last modified on Tuesday, 21 July 2015 09:58


Bob Broughton started going to British Columbia home games in 2001, and was favorably impressed with the caliber of play. This led to annual trips to the NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID, a nine-hour drive from Vancouver. He retired in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2012.


Add comment

(Maximum characters: 1,200)
You have characters left.

View our comments policy