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Canada routs Germany to earn spot in Classic

REGENSBURG, Germany -- Jimmy Van Ostrand's roller-coaster season finished on a smashing high, hitting his fourth home run of the World Baseball Classic qualifier to guide Canada to an 11-1 victory over Germany on Monday and a spot in the 2013 Classic.

Canada's first baseman reached base four times with a homer and double to go along with four runs and two RBIs to lead the Canada attack, which scored 38 runs over the three games in Germany.

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Van Ostrand went from Houston Astros training camp to the Sugar Land Skeeters -- best known as the independent-ball home of Roger Clemens' recent attempt to return to the game. The 28-year-old was then signed by the Washington Nationals and had a strong season for their Double-A Harrisburg team.

In Germany, Van Ostrand hit .538 with four home runs to go along with nine runs and 10 RBIs.

"I haven't seen a guy locked in like that for a while. But it wasn't a surprise. He's a gamer. Jimmy's a classic grinder. He will hit at every level. Hopefully an eye saw him here. That was an impressive run," said Canada catcher Chris Robinson about his roommate.

Canadian lefty starter Andrew Albers dominated the German offense, allowing one run on just two hits with three strikeouts in six innings to get the victory.

"We accomplished our goal. We came in knowing we needed to win three games. You can't say enough about this team. They are gamers who played with pride and passion. We are just happy that we are going on," said Canada manager Ernie Whitt.

"This is our team. This is where we come together and play with the guys. Most of the guys on this team will not be on the team next year, but we knew how important it was for this team," said Robinson, who slugged a home run and drove in two runs.

Adam Loewen went 2-for-4 with a homer, two runs and three RBIs as every Canada player got a hit.

Germany bowed out with wins over Czech Republic and Great Britain and two losses to Canada.

"While I am disappointed, I will have my head high. We are still learning a lot and we are still in transition," said German manager Greg Frady.

"Everything about this tournament has been positive except for the two losses against Canada. We need to play more tournaments of this caliber. And we will get even better."

German starter Andre Hughes, who took the loss, could not find the strike zone early, walking the leadoff hitter before Robinson hammered the first pitch he saw over the left-field wall for a 2-0 lead.

Hughes walked the next two batters and wild-pitched them to second and third, allowing for Tim Smith to score on a groundout. Shawn Bowman reached on first baseman Donald Lutz's error -- plating Van Ostrand for a 4-0 lead.

Hughes got the first two batters of the second inning before back-to-back doubles by Smith and Van Ostrand. Eugen Heilmann came on for Hughes and Loewen welcomed him by depositing his first pitch over the left-field wall for a two-run homer and a 7-0 cushion.

Germany finally got a hit to lead off the fourth inning as Albers could not field a squibbler up the third-base line by German leadoff hitter Eric Suttle.

Canada tacked on another run in the fourth as Van Ostrand lined a homer to left-center off Luke Sommer for an 8-0 lead.

Germany got on the scoreboard for the first time in the fifth inning, using the long ball as Aaron Altherr homered to left-center to start the inning. But Albers shut down the next six batters before handing it over to the bullpen.

The Germans didn't fare much better against the Canadian relievers with just one hit the rest of the way.

And Canada finished off the qualifying tournament with three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Bowman doubled in two runs and then scored the final run on a fielding error.