By Adam Morissette
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida - Some spectacular pitching combined with some timely hitting was the recipe for success as the Junior National Team defeated the Atlanta Braves prospects, 2-1, to pick up their first win of the Fall Instructional League Camp.
Starter Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) was exceptional from the get-go as he fired four perfect innings and struck out four to record the win.
The juniors opened the scoring in the top of the second when Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.) raced home from third on a passed ball to score the first run of the ballgame. Valero led off the frame with an infield single and moved to second on an error before advancing to third when Nicolas Tremblay (Mont St-Hilaire, Que.) was hit by a pitch.
The juniors added another run in the fifth after Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, B.C.) led off with a double to centre and scored when Tremblay followed with a double to left field.
Tate Dearing (White Rock, B.C.) took over for Abram in the fifth and worked around a one-out walk, getting a fly out and pop out to keep the Braves off the scoreboard, and in the sixth left runners on first and second with an inning-ending strikeout.
The Braves took advantage of a Dearing walk in the seventh as they used a single to left that allowed the runner to score all the way from first. Catcher Martin Vincelli-Simard (Boisbriand, Que.) then gunned a runner down trying to steal third before Dearing retired the final batter of the inning of his second of two strikeouts on the afternoon.
From there on out, the ball was in the hands of reliever Viktor Bergeron (Terrebonne, Que.) who left two runners on in the eighth before recording a perfect ninth with one strikeout to record the two-inning save.
Offensively, the juniors outhit the Braves 5-2 with five different players recording hits.
UP NEXT: The juniors will play back-to-back Intersquad games on October 8th and 9th before hitting the road to Dunedin for a match-up with the Toronto Blue Jays’ fall instructs squad (1 p.m. E.T.) on October 10th.