July 30, 1998
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State's Willie Bloomquist smacked a solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lead the United States to a 3-2 win over Canada on Wednesday night before a capacity crowd of approximately 3,000 at Campo Fondo Patti. The USA Baseball National Team improved its tournament record at the World Championships to 4-3, while Canada dropped to 3-4. However, because Netherlands defeated Australia 11-9 in another Group B contest, the USA failed to qualify for the tournament quarterfinals, thus ending the 1998 summer season.
With the score tied 2-2 after 8-1/2 innings, Canadian reliever Mark Randall retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth. Bloomquist then provided the heroics with an opposite-field blast over the rightfield fence to give the USA the 3-2 victory.
The Americans got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning. Shortstop Bobby Hill slugged a two-out, solo homer to straight-away center to make the score 2-1 after six innings. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Bloomquist tied the score with an RBI single to leftfield to plate rightfielder Ryan Ludwick from second base to even the score at 2-2.
USA reliever Jon McDonald tossed 2.2 scoreless innings to earn the win, his first of the tournament. He allowed just one hit, walked one and struck out two. Starter Casey Fossum hurled 6.1 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out two, but did not figure in the decision.
Bloomquist went two-for-four with one run scored and two RBI on the night. For the tournament, he batted .389 with two triples, a homerun and seven RBI. On the season, Bloomquist batted .333 with nine doubles, two triples and two homers with 19 RBI. He was six-for-eight in stolen bases.