Canada falls 5-3 to Italy in tourney opener
* Canada struggled in losing its tourney opener to Italy, a 5-3 loss, but Brock Dykxhoorn (Goderich, Ont.) did not, pitching 4 1/3 innings without giving up an earned run, as he struck out four ….
By Adam Morissette
Ronchi Dei Legionari, Italy — The Junior National Team dropped their second consecutive contest to Italy in as many days, this time, by a score of 5-3 in the opening game of the Italian Baseball Week Tournament featuring National Teams from Italy and the Czech Republic, while a USA Select team rounds out the field.
The juniors committed four errors in the contest and also flew out nine times during the game.
Jacob Robson (Windsor, Ont.) got things started on the right foot as he lined a triple to left field to lead-off the contest and scored when Jesse Hodges (Victoria, BC) grounded out to second base.
Italy didn’t waste any time getting back into the game as they went ahead in the bottom of the first with three runs off JNT starter Brandon Radmacher (White City, Sask.).
Radmacher walked the first batter he faced before an error and three singles put the Italians up by two.
Radmacher looked as though he would get out the second inning after a lead-off walk was followed by a double-play, but after a walk, a line drive popped out of Gareth Morgan’s (Toronto, Ont.) glove in right field which left runners on the corners.
The very next batter singled to centre field and all of a sudden Italy led 4-1.
Radmacher was removed from the game with two out in the third inning and replaced by Brock Dykxhoorn (Goderich, Ont.) who struck out the final batter of the inning.
In the fourth the juniors cut the lead to one with a two run inning that saw them load the bases on an error, walk and single.
Owen Spiwak (Mississauga, Ont.) hit a scoring fly to deep right field that scored Nathan DeSouza (Milton, Ont.) and Mitchell Triolo (Scarborough, Ont.) laced a single to left field to score Daniel Pinero (Toronto, Ont.).
The juniors didn’t do themselves any favours as a sure ground ball out with two-outs was dropped at first base allowing a run to score from third to give Italy a 5-3 lead.
Dykxhoorn was one of lone bright spots for the JNT on the evening as he went 4 1/3 innings without giving up an earned run, allowing two hits and a walk, while striking out four.
The rest of the game was frustrating for the JNT offence as they failed to get anything going for the rest of the game.
Christian Botnick (Brampton, Ont.) came on for the bottom of the eighth and allowed a hit and walk in a scoreless frame.
The juniors managed nine hits on the evening with two apiece coming from Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.), Hodges and Triolo.
Notes: The juniors will face the USA Selects tomorrow in game two of the Italian Baseball Week Tournament at 10am ET … The four team, round-robin tournament will see the top two records playing for gold and bottom two records playing for bronze on Sunday … Following the tournament, the Junior National Team will name its 20-player roster that will travel to Seoul, South Korea for the IBAF 18U World Championships Aug. 30-Sept. 8 … Canada will open the tournament on Aug. 30 when they take on Panama at 5am ET … For LIVE, in-game updates, please follow Baseball Canada Games (@Team_C_Updates) on Twitter and while you’re at it, please follow Baseball Canada on Twitter (www.twitter.com/baseballcanada).