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B.C. baseball star leads Team Canada to World Baseball Classic record

The 18-8 win for Team Canada is the highest-scoring game in WBC history
Tyler O’Neill previously played for Team Canada at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. (Jeffrey Sze - Baseball Canada/Special to The News)

It only took Team Canada one day to establish themselves as an elite force in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), setting history as the winner of the highest-scoring match in WBC history.

A massive driving force behind this 18-8 victory against Team Great Britain was B.C.’s own Tyler O’Neill, who put on an impressive performance in the March 12 game, going for a perfect four hits on four at-bats.

“That was awesome,” said O’Neill about his team’s performance. “The boys kept the rally going today. A lot of good at-bats out there today, a lot of good walks, not giving anything away – it was really fun to watch.”

Team Canada manager Ernie Whitt was equally proud of the team’s output and the fact that they were a part of making WBC history.

“There was a lot of offence out there,” said Whitt. “We hit the ball extremely well.”

“I’d like to score 18 every game we play.”

Of Team Canada’s 18 runs, O’Neill personally scored four of them – the highest of anyone on the team.

Typically an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, O’Neill talked about what it meant to him to be able to represent his home country in the sport he loves.

“There’s something special about wearing this uniform,” he said.

“I relish the opportunity to put it on every time I can. They come few and far between now. The last WBC was six years ago and now it’s 2023 and I don’t know how many more opportunities I’m going to have to wear Canada across my chest, so I’m just trying to make the most of it every time I can.”

RELATED: Maple Ridge’s O’Neill in the MLB all-star conversation

Unfortunately, Team Canada didn’t experience the same success in their next game against Team USA, which resulted in a 12-1 loss for the Canadians.

But on Tuesday, they rebounded and were able to secure a 5-0 win against Team Colombia, in which O’Neill scored yet another run for his team.

Team Canada will next face Team Mexico on Wednesday at noon PST.

The 2023 WBC will wrap up on March 21.

RELATED: Maple Ridge softball star named to 2023 Women’s National Team

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Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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