Stubby A Hero

Stubby A Hero

Stubby Clapp

Canada’s Olympic Baseball Team rallies in the bottom of the ninth and overcomes a near riot from the fans to beat the Chinese Taipei 6-5.

Up 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Taiwan/Chinese Taipei seemed poised for a huge victory against one of its key rivals in the eight-team tournament, but 21 year-old reliever Lo Chia-jen could not close the deal.

With two out and Stubby Clapp on first, Lo threw a disastrous wild pitch that advanced Clapp to second.

The right-hander then made a good pitch, a tough breaking ball on the outside part of the plate that an off-balance Michael Saunders pulled through the right side of the infield to send home the tying run, with Clapp just beating the throw home.

Jimmy Bandstand’s double in the 10th inning brought home Matt Rogelstad with the winning run as Canada rallied for a wild 6-5 win over Chinese Taipei at the final Olympic baseball qualifying tournament Monday.

Matt Rogelstad

Rogelstad, of New Westminster, B.C., led off the 10th with a single. He came around with the go-ahead run on the double by VanOstrand, of Richmond, B.C. off Yomiuri Giants pitcher Chiang Chien-ming.

Chinese Taipei made it interesting in the bottom half of the inning with runners on first and second with one out. But pitcher Mike Kusiewicz of Ottawa got Yi Chuan Lin to ground into a game-ending double play.

The game, played before an energetic, pro-Chinese Taipei gathering, reached a fever pitch in the eighth when both benches emptied after VanOstrand was called out following a collision at home plate. After the play, catcher Chun-Chang Yeh flipped the ball directly at VanOstrand, who turned to confront Yeh which cleared the benches.

Then fans began throwing debris on to the field, causing Taiwanese police to intervene and the Canadians to nearly boycott the game. After a delay of several minutes, play finally resumed with Canada trailing 5-4.
The win improved Canada’s record to 3-1, leaving it tied with Chinese Taipei for second behind unbeaten South Korea (4-0).

“This will go down as one of the greatest games I have ever been involved in with Team Canada,” said Canadian manager Terry Puhl. “There are so many heroes on this team tonight, just one after another you can name them.”

Added Kusiewicz, who recorded the game’s final two outs. “I can’t even talk right now. I mean, after what happened with that brawl the guys came out, showed a lot of heart. Obviously we didn’t give up. This is the most incredible game I’ve ever seen or been a part of. I’m just happy to be here.”

VanOstrand had a terrific game offensively for Canada, going 3-for-5.

“This is the most fun I’ve ever had in my life on the baseball field,” he said. “I was told by Terry (Puhl) that if (Rogelstad) got on that we would put on a hit and run.

“The count came into my favour and we put it on and . . . everything happened right.”

Clapp finished 2-for-5 at the plate and scored twice.

“This win ranks pretty high up there,” he said. “I mean our program was on the line tonight.

“If we lose that game, it would have been tough to come back and qualify. The way the guys prevailed after all the incidents . . . they kept their focus and I can’t say enough at how well they settled down and played the game. My hat’s off to them.”

The contest was a roller-coaster affair, with three different lead changes.

Chinese Taipei opened the scoring with two runs in the first before Canada countered with two in the third. Saunders drove in Montreal’s Emmanuel Garcia with a single before an RBI single from Calgary’s Ryan Radmanovich brought home Adam Stern of London, Ont.

Canada took a 3-2 in the fifth when Radmanovich’s run-scoring fielder’s choice scored Clapp. A solo shot by Nick Weglarz of Stevensville, Ont., in the sixth put the Canadians ahead 4-2.

But Chinese Taipei rallied to take a 5-4 lead in its half of the sixth on a three-run homer from Kuo-Hui Lo.

The loss left Taiwan tied with Canada at 3-1 for second place in the standings, with South Korea still undefeated at 4-0. The top three finishers in the tournament will advance to the Olympics.

Canada takes on Spain on Wednesday in its next tournament game.

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2 replies on “Stubby A Hero”
  1. says: Kman

    Did this rogelstad ever get any minor or major league play? He seems to be all over these recaps.

    Outside of international competition does Clapp play independent ball the rest of the time?

  2. says: Callum

    Rogelstad was in the Seattle system mostly. He jumped from low level A ball to AAA ball when he was 20 and didn’t fare well. We know how Seattle does at developing their players. He is currently in the Nationals system at AA at age 24.

    Clapp doesn’t even play anymore outside of international competition! He is currently the hitting coach for the Lexington Legends.

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