Slugger O’Neill wins Pan Am gold

Maple Ridge’s Tyler O’Neill was up to bat in the gold medal game, when the bizarre plays unfolded that led to team Canada...

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Maple Ridge’s Tyler O’Neill was up to bat in the gold medal game, when the bizarre plays unfolded that led to team Canada beating Team USA in extra innings at the Pan American Games in Toronto.

A wild pickoff throw to first base, followed by a second errant throw to third base on the play, allowed baserunner Peter Orr to score all the way from first base on two errors.

Canada won 7-6 in what Canada’s manager Ernie Whitt described as a “crazy, crazy finish.”

O’Neill never got the chance to play hero on Sunday in extra innings, but the youngest member of team Canada – having just turned 20 on June 22 – certainly had his moments.

His three-run homer gave Canada a 3-1 win over Cuba. He played left field and batted in the middle of the order, from third to fifth.

Over eight games, he hit just .188, going six-for-32 at the plate, but three of his hits were homers, which tied for the Team Canada lead.

He also had six RBI, five runs scored and a pair of steals.

The Seattle Mariners prospect will now return to his professional career.

This year with the Bakersfield Blaze in the California League (Single A Advanced) he is hitting .238 with 16 home runs and 45 RBI in 256 at bats. He has also stolen 10 bases.

His homer total is tied for fifth in the league.