Fall Instructs: Late charge by juniors falls short against Pirates

 Cesar Valero. Photo Credit: Eddie Michels

Cesar Valero. Photo Credit: Eddie Michels

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida - Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.) belted a two-run double as part of a 2-for-3 day at the plate while TJ Schofield-Sam (Brampton, Ont.) went 2-for-3 with a stolen base but it wasn’t enough as the Junior National Team’s late rally came up short against a team of Pittsburgh Pirates prospects in an 8-3 loss.

Box Score: Pirates 8 JNT 3

Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.) gave the juniors three solid innings on the mound allowing just one run on three hits and two walks. The run came in the form of a solo home run to start the second inning before Sparks recorded three straight outs to end the frame.

Sparks worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the first getting an infield fly and a fly out to right before stranding a one-out single in the third to end his three-inning outing.

Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket, Ont.) took over for Sparks in the fourth and got into walk trouble early, issuing four free passes to the first five he faced that brought in another Pirates’ run.

The Pirates used a two-run single in the fifth and added a two-out RBI single in the sixth to increase their lead to 5-0.

In the seventh, with reliever Griffin Hassall (Newmarket, Ont.) on the mound, the Pirates struck for three more runs coming on three hits, a walk and an error. Two of the runs scored were charged to Hassall.

Offensively, the juniors ended the shutout bid when Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) drilled a two-out double to right that brought in Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) before Valero’s two-run double in the eighth.

The juniors matched the Pirates in the hit department with nine apiece with seven different players recording at least one single.

UP NEXT: The juniors will be back at ESPN Wide World of Sports on Thursday for a 1 p.m. E.T. contest against the Atlanta Braves…RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, Ont.) 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.