JNT spring: Hull homers, juniors fall to Stars
By Adam Morissette
SAINT PETERSBURG, FL -- After a long winter training indoors, the Junior National Team opened their spring training schedule against the Fort Lauderdale Stars and suffered a 14-2 loss to their professional counterparts.
Noah Hull’s (Toronto, Ont.) solo home run in the sixth stood as a bright spot offensively as the Junior National Team mustered just five hits.
Hull was robbed of another home run in the top of the ninth by a leaping catch, over the wall in right field to end the ballgame.
Jaden Brown (Mississauga, Ont.) gave the juniors a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when he doubled to right field to score Ryan Leitch (Whitby, Ont.) but the tides quickly turned in the bottom of the inning when the Stars struck for three runs.
Canada starting pitcher Ben Adams (Ottawa, Ont.) tossed a scoreless first inning before allowing three hits and a walk in the second that led to three runs crossing the plate.
Adams issued a pair of walks in the third while a three-run double and RBI single put the Junior National Team behind, 7-1.
The Stars added a run off reliever Eli Saul (Vancouver, BC) in the fourth before adding two more runs in the fifth coming on an error and RBI single to make it 10-1.
A bright spot for the Junior National Team came in the top half of the sixth in the form of a Noah Hull solo home run over the wall in right field. Hull drilled an 0-2 offering well over the wall with one out in the inning.
The Stars chased Saul from the game in the bottom of the sixth after he issued three walks. Viktor Bergeron (Terrebonne, Que.) gave up a triple to centre that plated three runs to the first batter he faced before getting a strikeout to end the frame.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Stars used a walk and RBI double to round out the scoring.
The Junior National Team will be back in action tomorrow (1 p.m. E.T.) at the Walter Fuller Complex in St. Petersburg to take on a prospects squad from the Philadelphia Phillies organization...LHP Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket, Ont.), RHP Ryan Scott (Quispamsis, N.B.) and LHP Connor O’Halloran (Mississauga, Ont.) are all scheduled to see action on the mound...Fans can listen to the game on radiostpete.com.