Cerantola and Abram deal, Astros rally late to defeat juniors

 Great Lake Canadians pitcher Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont.) started and tossed three no-hit innings against a team of Houston Astros prospects on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

Great Lake Canadians pitcher Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont.) started and tossed three no-hit innings against a team of Houston Astros prospects on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

April 25, 2018

JNT EXTENDED: Cerantola and Abram deal, Astros rally late to defeat juniors

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – The Houston Astros prospects struck for three runs in the bottom of the eighth and held on to defeat the Junior National Team, 4-1, as the extended spring training camp continued at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

The juniors opened the scoring in the top of the first and appeared to be heading towards the finish line before the Astros strung together three hits in the eighth, including a decisive two-run triple.

The loss overshadowed a pair of impressive pitching performances from starter Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont.) and reliever Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) who dominated for six innings allowing just two hits, no walks and combining to strikeout six.

SCORING

- Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) kept his hot bat going as he led off the game with a single to right and TJ Schofield-Sam (Brampton, Ont.) followed with a base hit. After Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.) walked, an error brought in Clarke to put the juniors out to a quick, 1-0, lead. 

-After a scoreless seventh, Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.) got into trouble early in the eighth after allowing back-to-back singles to start the frame, a one-out triple to centre plated both runners to give the Astros the lead. An RBI ground out gave them a 3-1 lead. 

-With both squads agreeing to play the bottom of the ninth, the Astros added a run on a two-out RBI single.

QUICK HITS

- Cerantola was a ground ball machine registering eight of his nine outs via the ground out. His only base runner came on a one-out error in the second and he managed a strikeout in the third to cap a three-inning outing where he threw just 39 pitches.

-Ben Abram one-upped Cerantola in the pitches thrown department as it took just 36 to get through his three-inning stint on the mound. He worked around a pair of singles in the fourth retiring the side on three strikeouts, and proceeded to work perfect frames in the fifth and sixth. 

UP NEXT

The Junior National Team will be back at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches tomorrow and face a prospects squad from the Washington Nationals organization at Noon E.T....RHP Theo Millas (Burnaby, B.C.) is scheduled to start on the mound.

Adam Morissette

Adam Morissette was born and raised in Ottawa, Ont. where sports were always a big part of his life whether it be baseball, hockey or football, including playing two seasons as centre for coach Pat Sheahan with the Queen's University Golden Gaels in Kingston -- Canada's first capital. Morissette has always have been passionate about baseball and has fond memories of attending Montreal Expos games with his father, Mike, and listening to his recollection of watching baseball in Montreal at Jarry Park and stories about Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Steve Rodgers. Morissette could often be found in a near empty Lynx Stadium watching Joe Siddall, Bert Heffernan, Curtis Pride and Jamie Carroll soaking in a beautiful summer night at the ballpark. He was a member of the provincial championship Orleans Red Sox Little League teams also played with the Ottawa White Sox for the late Lyle Anderson and Todd Burke in OBA Midget and American Legion play and the Capital City Crushers (NCBL), primarily as a catcher. Has also spent time coaching Little League in Orleans and South Ottawa. He wanted to turn his passion into a career and enrolled in Sport Business Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2007. After working for the Ottawa 67's OHL team as the Ticket Coordinator, Morissette jumped at the opportunity to become the Media and Public Relations Coordinator with Baseball Canada in 2010. He loves watching and reading about pro, college or amateur baseball and is a long-time subscriber to Baseball America. Morissette is thrilled about the idea of writing about baseball and is interested in covering any story that his car -- and time -- will allow him to cover.