Grills knocked out -- by teammate
By Bob Elliott
Every pitcher, even the Hall of Famers in Cooperstown, has been knocked out of games.
Usually it’s opposing hitters, who deliver the knock out blow.
Once in Montreal we saw New York Mets right-hander Pat Zachary deliver a pitch, a member of the Montreal Expos track team take off first headed for second. Zachary turned to watch the play at second and the throw hit him in the ribs. The next day he was placed on the disabled list with two broken ribs.
Well, Evan Grills (Whitby, Ont.) was knocked out of the game -- when hit in the head with a throw from one of his teammates as the Canadian National Junior Team dropped a 14-4 decision to the Detroit Tigers first and second-year pros making up the extended spring roster at Walt Disney’s World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Canada led 4-2 going into the second inning. The Tigers tied the scored and with one out Grills faced a first-and-third situation. The runner off first was off with the pitch, the throw to second base by C Alexandre Béland (Trois-Rivières, Que.) was cut off by 2B Maxx Tissenbaum (Toronto, Ont.).
Tissenbaum threw home in an attempt to nail the Tiger streaking home but his throw hit Grills in the back of the head. The good news is that Grills, who is expected to be the top Canadian drafted in 2010, walked off the field under his own steam and is fine.
The Tigers scored three in the second on one hit, three walks and a pair of errors.
Grills retired the first two hitter of the series, then gave up a double, followed by a home run, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
In his 1 1/3 inning outing, he was charged with five runs -- three earned -- on three hits and two walks. He had a pair of strikeouts.
Adam Nelubowich (Stoney Plain, Alta.) showed well at the plate for Canada. In the first Wes Darvill (Langley, BC) reached on a one-out walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Nelubowich hit an RBI single and with two outs moved to second on a passed ball,
Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC) hit an RBI single, scoring Nelubowich to tie the game 2-2. After Mike Washburn (Fredericton, NB) walked, Béland drove in Deglan with a single and Johnathan Solazzo (Mississauga, Ont.) followed that up with a single to load the bases for Ryan Johnson (Winnipeg, Man.), who walked to score Washburn and put Canada ahead by two. Johnson had an impressive day.
Steven Inch (Edmonton, Alta.) took over for Grills and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless, giving up three hits and three walks while fanning a pair.
The Tigers would score two in the fifth, three in the seventh and four in ninth to complete the scoring. All told, the Tigers were able to score 14 runs on 14 hits and 15 walks off of Canadian pitching.