By Adam Morissette
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida - The Fall Instructional League provides opportunity for instruction and important lessons as athletes are challenged facing competition they will face at the next levels of the game.
Today’s match-up was chock-full of lessons after a 19-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays prospects squad.
The Jays came out swinging and used five first-inning singles off starter Declan Dutton (Vancouver, B.C.) to jump out to a 4-0 lead before the juniors had a chance to bat.
Dutton had one strikeout in a scoreless second before the Jays added three runs in the third to jump in front by seven. A hit-by-pitch and two walks loaded the bases before a fielder’s choice, single and RBI ground out brought in the runs.
Cameron Thickson (Winnipeg, Man.) took over for Dutton to start the fourth and walked two of the first three batters he faced, in between a pair singles that brought in one run before a two-run error put the Jays up by ten.
Thickson got into trouble walking three batters in the fifth with the Jays scoring one run before he came back with a scoreless sixth to conclude his three-inning outing.
Reliever Zack McQuaid (Oshawa, Ont.) entered the game in the seventh and retired the first batter he faced before an error and back-to-back singles loaded the bases while a ground out made it 12-0.
McQuaid gave up leadoff singles in both the eighth and ninth frames and each time erased the runners with a double play. However, the Jays continued to come and scored three runs in each of the frames to add to their insurmountable lead.
Offensively, the juniors recorded just three hits including a Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) RBI single in the seventh.
UP NEXT: The juniors will be back at ESPN Wide World of Sports tomorrow for a 1 p.m. E.T. contest against a visiting prospects squad from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization…RHP Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.), LHP Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket, Ont.), and RHP Olivier Morin-Larocque (Québec City, Que) are all slated to pitch.