March 11th, 2016
JNT Spring Training: Juniors rally to win spring opener
By Adam Morissette
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – The Canadian Junior National Team (U-18) opened their spring training schedule at the Walter Fuller Baseball Complex against a Major League Baseball sponsored prospect squad from Puerto Rico and came away with a come from behind 9-5 win.
Down 5-1 going into the eighth inning, the juniors rallied for eight runs as they took advantage of some erratic Puerto Rican pitching and were on the receiving end of some timely hitting. Brad Aldred (Whitby, Ont.) came up with an RBI triple that scored Jason Willow (Victoria, BC) before Michael Stovman (Maple Ridge, BC) cashed in Aldred on a groundout.
Later in the frame with the bases loaded, Adam Hall (London, Ont.) drew a walk that brought in a run to bring the juniors within one before Andrew Yerzy (Toronto, Ont.) hit a bases clearing triple.
The juniors rounded out the scoring in the eighth when Yerzy crossed home plate on a wild pitch before Isaac Deveuax (Montréal, Que.) moved to third base on a single from Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and scored on a wild pitch.
Manager Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) sent four pitchers to the mound including Jaden Griffin (Lower Sackville, NS) who started and went two and one-thirds innings followed by three pitchers who made their Junior National Team debuts. Tim Walters (Roberts Creek, BC) went 2 1/3 innings before giving way to Landon Leach (Pickering, Ont.) who tossed two scoreless innings. Wesley Moore (Surrey, BC) took the mound for the ninth inning and shut Puerto Rico down to preserve the win.
Offensively, the juniors mustered five hits, four of which were of the extra base variety with Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) and Aldred coming up with triples, while Yerzy and Luke Van Rycheghem (Kent Bridge, Ont.) each collected a double. Naylor had a single in the eight run eighth.
UP NEXT: Connor Angel (Lachine, Que.) will take the mound tomorrow (1:05pm ET) as the juniors and Puerto Rico will meet for the second time in as many days at the Walter Fuller Complex … The game can be heard live at radiostpete.com.