Texas third baseman Nate Miranda couldn’t field a grounder from Austin Gomez to put two runners on with two outs, but Patel struck out Grant Okawa swinging to end the inning and the game. Patel finished with eight strikeouts, no hits, no walks and no hit-by-pitches in five innings.
“I tried to throw my fastball more than throw my off-speed, because I threw it by them the first inning,” Patel said. “I didn’t want to speed up their bats, so I just kept throwing fastballs until one of them fouled it off.”
While Patel’s pitching kept Canada guessing the entire game, Texas’ hitters had no problems solving Canada starting pitcher Kevin Hillsdon. Texas scored in each of its first four innings, getting three runs in the top of the second.
Isaac Garland singled up the middle with one out in the top of the second for Texas, then Ivan Vera singled to left. A throwing error by Hillsdon led to one run and Vera at third, then Vera scored on Miranda’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Jacob Walker then drilled a pitch down the third base line, driving in Josh Van Gelder for a 4-0 lead and giving Walker enough time to get to third on a stand-up triple.
“It’s a learning experience for them,” Canada coach Dean Dicenzo said. “They come down to learn, they take it back to our club teams that they play for, and they try to apply it then.
“Back home, some of the mistakes that we make on the field don’t hurt us. But down here, as you can tell, they kill you. So it’s a learning experience for the kids.”
Texas tacked on three more runs in the top of the third, with Dan Priwin drawing a one-out walk and stealing second base. Vera stroked a double to center field for his second hit of the day, driving in Priwin.