*RHP Ethan Elias (Entwistle, Alta.) pitched five innings, giving up two unearned runs on four hits, while striking out four as Team Canada battled the Marlins to a tie./Edmonton Prospects Academy photo.
By Adam Morissette
BOCA CHICA- After playing to a tie yesterday, the Junior National Team kept the trend going by tying the Florida Marlins rooki-eclass Dominican Summer League prospects 3-3 and the Dominican Academy 2-2.
JNT 2, Florida Marlins 2
In the first game, the Juniors held a 3-2 lead before the Marlins pushed across the tying run in the bottom of the eighth and the game ended in a 3-3 tie
The Marlins opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when the two-hole hitter singled, advanced to second on an error and was later singled home. The run came off JNT starter Ethan Elias (Entwistle, Alta.) who struck out two batters in the first.
The lead was short-lived as the Juniors took advantage of two Marlins errors to take a 2-1 lead in the second. Dustin Houle (Penticton, BC) led-off the inning with a walk and advanced to second base when Damion Smith (Windsor, Ont.) walked with two out. Brandon Collins (Toronto, Ont.) and Jerod Bartnik (Surrey, BC) both reached on errors which Houle and Smith each scored separately.
Elias cruised until the fifth when the Marlins tied the game on a two-out double that scored a runner from third base.
In total, Elias pitched five innings, giving up two runs (neither earned) on four hits and one walk, while striking out four.
Jacob Robson (Windsor, Ont.) walked in the sixth, stole second and was singled home by Brendan Hendriks (Cochrane, Alta.) to put the Juniors back ahead by one.
Ryan Kellogg (Whitby, Ont.) took the ball for the sixth and seventh innings and proceeded to sit the Marlins down in order in both innings which included two strikeouts.
In the eighth, Michael Clouthier (Guelph, Ont.) allowed a lead-off double. An error and single allowed the Marlins to tie the score.
The Juniors loaded the bases in the ninth, thanks to singles from Chris Shaw (Winnipeg, Man.), Hendriks and Houle, but were unable to cash in any of them.
Clouthier retired the Marlins in order in the bottom of the ninth, including two via strikeout, to end the game.
JNT - 2 Dominican Academy - 2
The Juniors did not do themselves any favours two start game two, as starter Jesen Dygestile-Therrien (Montréal, Que.) unleashed a wild-pitch on strike-three allowing the batter to reach. The runner stole second and third base and scored on a JNT error.
The run in the first would be the only blemish on Therrien's day as he worked four innings without giving up a hit, walking three and striking out three as well.
Offensively, the Juniors were far superior to the Academy, as they smashed out eleven hits to the Academy's one. The story of the day however, was the Juniors inability to cash in runners as they left ten stranded throughout the course of the game.
The Academy went up by two runs in the fifth when they recorded their lone hit of the game, a double off Steven Dressler (Burlington, Ont.) where the batter took third on a wild-pitch and scored on a sac-fly.
Smith and Bartnik each singled stole second and scored to tie the score in the sixth. Smith scored on a wild-pitch while Bartnik reached home safely off a sac-fly from Hendriks.
Andrew Marra (Windsor, Ont.) and Dayton Dawe (London, Ont.) shutdown the Academy the rest of the way with Marra throwing one inning and picking up one strikeout, while Dawe threw the final two innings and recorded two strikeouts.
Hendriks along with Justin Marra (Toronto, Ont.) and Justin Atkinson (Surrey, BC) had two hits apiece for the JNT.
Notes: The Juniors will travel to San Pedro de Macoris Sunday to face both the Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton Isherwood (Van Anda, BC) will start against the Braves at 10:30 am ET, while Jake Hansen (Fort Macleod, AB) takes the ball against the Jays at 2:30 pm ET. The Dominican Summer Camp will help prepare the JNT in its attempt to qualify for the 2012 World Junior Championship (scheduled for Seoul, South Korea) at the Americas World Junior Qualification Tournament in Cartagena, Colombia from September 23rd - October 2nd, 2011. For more information on the JNT program, please click here.