The right-handed starter allowed only two hits in eight innings of work. Michael Saunders batted in the first run and advanced the runners who would score the second and the third on a bunt.
Canada beat Cuba, 3-0, to open group C of the WBSC Premier12 2019. Starter Philippe Aumont threw eight shut-out innings allowing only one walk and two hits while striking out nine.
“Aumont went from being a thrower to a pitcher,” commented Canada’s manager Ernie Whitt. “He was so dominant.”
“I just tried to focus on my task,” added Aumont “I tried to stick to my game plan."
The former Major Leaguer allowed only two singles: one by Yordanis Samon in the third and one by Yosvany Alarcon in the eighth.
Korean media wondered during the post-game press conference if Aumont may consider playing for a KBO team in the future.
“I’m here to win for Canada, but also to get an opportunity for myself,” answered the pitcher.
Canada’s manager Ernie Whitt added: “If scouts didn’t like what they saw, they better find another job.”
Canada scored the go ahead run in the top of the fourth against Cuba’s starter Carlos Viera. Third baseman Eric Wood reached on a lead off double and scored on a base hit by former MLB All-Star Mike Saunders.
Canada’s right fielder was also instrumental in the top of the eighth, when Canada broke the score open. Saunders dropped an unlikely sacrifice bunt with runners at first and second.
“You don’t really expect your clean-up hitter to bunt,” explained Ernie Whitt. “He had a green light and made that decision. That’s what Canada Baseball is all about: there’s no ‘I’, we work like a team.”
Cuba intentionally walked the bases loaded but left-handed reliever Livan Moinelo, who appeared in 60 games for the NPB Fukuoka Softbank Hawks this season, couldn’t get any advantage out of the situation. He allowed back to back walks that extended Canada’s lead to 3-0.
“Moinelo pitched in Japan this season, we expect a lot from him. His velocity was good, since he hit 154km/96mph per hour. His control was not good,” explained Cuba’s manager Miguel Borroto. “We allowed too many walks. You rarely win when it happens.”
Scott Mathieson struck out the side in the ninth to end the game.