Photographer Amanda Fewer captured some wonderful images from the Canadian Junior Nattional Team's visit to Dunedin.Read More
‘Birds sweep doubleheader with 16-inning thriller
By Jeff Sargeant
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds (19-8, 9-5 NAIA West) earned a double-header sweep of the visiting College of Idaho Coyotes (14-18, 7-8) including a 6-5 16-inning thriller Saturday at Thunderbird Park.
After a tightly fought 4-2 win to kick-start the day at a sunny Point Grey campus, the T-Birds rallied from behind twice in extra innings with Griffy Goyer driving home the winning run in the bottom of the 16th capping off the second-longest game in UBC history. The school record dates back to April 2, 2011, when the T-Birds lost an 18-inning affair to Corban by a score of 4-3 in the first game of a twinbill.
“It was a couple of fluky plays and they were able to get ahead but our guys never quit,” said UBC head coach Chris Pritchett after a marathon 25-inning day.
“Guys were tired, it was a long day, it was cold, but they didn’t back down and I was really proud of how they kept putting pressure on that team and responded. It was a great game.”
The wins improve the T-Birds to 6-1 at home in conference play with a chance to earn their first NAIA West series sweep on Sunday.
In the first game of the double header the T-Birds bettered the Yotes in a low-scoring affair while getting a solid start from Tyler Gillies.
The fourth-year right-hander went six innings strong allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out four for his second conference win of the season.
Tyler Yorko got UBC’s offence rolling right off the hop with a lead-off double in the bottom of the first and proceeded to advance to third on the throw. A wild pitch by Yotes starter Anthony Martine allowed Yorko to score as the ‘Birds took a 1-0 lead into the second inning. Martine took the loss allowing four runs, three of them earned, on seven UBC hits with five strike outs through six and two thirds innings.
Down by a run after the second inning, the T-Birds tied up the game in the bottom of the third when Mitch Robinson singled to right field scoring Brendan Rose who served as UBC’s DH. Robinson finished the game three-for-four and a pair of RBI.
The ‘Birds re-took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth. Mackenzie Parlow hit a sacrifice fly to right field allowing Robinson to score the go-ahead run. Robinson hit another single in the seventh to give the ‘Birds a bit more breathing room.
Patrick van den Brink was sent to the mound for UBC in the seventh pitching two full innings allowing a hit and striking out three. Christian Botnick came in to close and retired three straight batters picking up his second save of the season.
Runs were a little harder to come by early on in the second game of the double-header. The ‘Yotes got on the board in the top of the fifth when Ryan Murkle hit a ball to deep right field scoring Nathan Hundley from second who had reached base on a walk. C of I then took the lead as Sam Grise doubled down the left field line sending Murkle across the plate.
Then in the seventh with two out, Braeden Allemann doubled spelling the end of Yotes’ starter Niall Manning’s day after 6 2/3 innings, with Riley O’Brien coming in from the bullpen. Austen Butler pinch ran for Allemann and promptly scored on a Rose single to tie the game at two.
With the game headed to extras tied at two, it would take until the 13th before another runner crossed the plate. With two outs and a man on second, C of I’s Bobby Wright singled to right field scoring Sam Grise as the Yotes took the 3-2 lead heading to the bottom half of the inning.
But the T-Birds refused to give in and tied the game at three when Allemann hit a sacrifice fly to left field allowing Vinny Martin to score. The bases remained loaded for the T-Birds but they weren’t able to cash in any more runs as the game headed to the 14th.
The Yotes scored two runs in the top of the inning to take a 5-3 lead but once again the T-Birds battled back to extend the game. With runners on second and third, Robinson came through yet again singling to right field scoring both Yorko and Kyle McComb. The Yotes got Martin to hit into the inning ending double play as the game headed to the top of the 15th tied at five.
Brad Smith got the win for the T-Birds pitching the final four and two thirds innings and faced the minimum number of batters in both the 15th and 16th setting the stage for the T-Birds’ bats.
Yorko had a lead-off single and was advanced to second base on a Nick Spillman sacrifice bunt. The Yotes intentionally walked Robinson and a base hit by Martin loaded the bases. Goyer then hit a perfect single to left field scoring Yorko and ending UBC’s longest game of the season.
Martin had a school-record eight at-bats in Game 2.
There were impressive pitching performances on both sides in the second contest.
O’Brien struck out nine batters in 6 1/3 innings of relief, while giving up just a pair of runs.
Niall Windeler got the start for UBC, allowing a couple of runs in 7. 1/3 innings, while Liam Stroud got the next 12 outs without allowing C of I to score.
“Everybody contributed, everyone was backing people up on the bench,” said Pritchett.
“It was a long day and it would’ve been easy to pack it in and go at it the next day but they wouldn’t let that happen.”
Canadian big leaguer and Junior National Team graduate Russell Martin led a Blue Jays big league contingent that was in the lineup as the Junior National Team played their annual spring training contest against the Toronto Blue Jays.Read More
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Back-to-back RBI doubles brought in a pair of Tampa Bay Rays runs in the top of the ninth as they fought back to tie the Junior National Team as the teams played to a 4-4 draw.
Clayton Keyes (Calgary, AB) went 3-for-5 with a triple, RBI and two stolen bases to pace the Junior National Team offence.
Score: Canada (U-18) 4 Tampa Bay Rays 4
Location: Walter Fuller Complex (Field 5) – St. Petersburg, Florida
Weather: 25 degrees Celsius, Sunny
Canada 18U Starting Lineup:
1. Cooper Davis - CF
2. Adam Hall - SS
3. Noah Naylor - C
4. Clayton Keyes - RF
5. Edouard Julien – 2B
6. Jason Willow – 3B
7. Dondrae Bremner – 1B
8. Rhys Cratty - DH
9. Lucas Parente - LF
Starting Pitcher: LHP Jack DeCooman
HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Rays opened the scoring plating an unearned run in the fourth. An error and a catcher’s interference call put runners on first and second before a two-out single to right field off reliever Cade Smith (Abbotsford, BC) brought in a Rays runner from second.
-The juniors responded in the bottom of the inning as Clayton Keyes ripped a triple to centre and beat the throw home when Edouard Julien (Québec, QC) grounded to second with a pulled in infield. With Julien on second, after the throw home went to the backstop, a two-out double to left from Dondrae Bremner (Toronto, ON) brought him in to give the juniors a 2-1 lead.
-Clayton Keyes picked up his third hit of the game in the fifth as he lined a single to left to score a run a put the juniors up by two.
-Garrett Nicholson (Sydney Mines, NS) took over on the mound in the seventh and ran into some trouble after an error and walk before a pair of wild pitches brought Rays to within one.
-The juniors restored the two run lead in the seventh as Victor Cerny lined an opposite field double to right that scored Adam Hall (London, ON) from.
-A ball that handcuffed first baseman Michael Stovman (Maple Ridge, BC) put the Rays’ lead off runner on in the top of the ninth before a pair of back-to-back double tied things up.
-JNT starter Jack DeCooman (North Vancouver, BC) was stellar over three innings of work as he faced just ten batters and retired the first eight he faced before allowing a two out single in the third. He struck out two in the second and fanned one in the third.
-Keyes was offensive star with a 3-for-5 performance and also made noise on the base paths as he stole both second and third base after singling to lead off the bottom of the second.
-Victor Cerny (Winnipeg, MB) collected hits in both of his plate appearances including an RBI double in the seventh.
-Cade Smith did not allow an earned run in his three innings of work and worked his way out of trouble in the fifth getting a double play after a single and error put runners on first and second with just one out.
Hits: 3, Keyes; 2, Cerny; 1, Davis, Hall, Bremner, Cratty, Parente
Runs: 2, Hall; 1, Keyes, Julien
RBIs: 1, Cerny, Keyes, Julien, Bremner
Doubles: 1, Bremner, Parente, Cerny
Triples: 1, Keyes
Stolen Bases: 2, Keyes
Strikeouts: 3, DeCooman; 2, Nicholson
The Junior National Team will travel to Dunedin tomorrow to take on a split-squad version of the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium with the first pitch set for 1:07pm ET…LHP Wesley Moore will start on the mound for Canada…Fans can watch the game in Canada on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, Sportsnet NOW or listen on Sportsnet 590 The FAN!
Follow Junior National Team Spring Training
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