JNT spring: Rays prospects outslug juniors
March 20, 2019
By Adam Morissette
SAINT PETERSBURG, FL--- The Tampa Bay Rays sent some of their top prospects to play the Junior National Team today in St. Pete and they proved their worth coming away with a 10-1 win at the Walter Fuller Complex, the former spring training home of the big league organization.
Led by MLB.com’s #13 overall prospect Wander Franco who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and triple, the Rays scored ten runs on fifteen hits including home runs from Pedro Diaz and Nick Schnell.
The Rays didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard as a pair of doubles off starting pitcher Simon Lusignan (Varennes, Que.) came around to score on two sacrifice flies to put them out to an early 2-0 lead.
After Pedro Diaz put the Rays up by three with a solo home run in the second, Nick Schnell hit a two-run homer that keyed a three-run third inning to put them up, 6-0.
Canada’s bats emerged in the fourth and it was Austin Gomm (Mississauga, Ont.) who got things going as he drilled a lead off triple to the gap in left-centre before scoring when Dasan Brown (Oakville, Ont.) doubled to left. The runs came off Tampa Bay reliever Matthew Liberatore, a first round pick from the 2018 draft who also played for the United States at the 2017 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay.
The Rays answered back with a run in the fourth off of reliever Loreto Siniscalchi (Burnaby, B.C.) and used back-to-back doubles to plate two more in the fifth before the young right-hander held them off the scoreboard in the sixth with one strikeout.
Gavin Pringle (Duncan, B.C.) took the ball for the seventh inning and worked a scoreless frame before the Rays rounded out their scoring with a run in the eighth on an RBI single with two out in the inning.
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 New York Yankees’ organization...LHP Connor O’Halloran (Mississauga, Ont.) and RHP Eli Saul (Vancouver, B.C.) and Viktor Bergeron (Terrebonne, Que.)...Fans can listen to the contest by visiting radiostpete.com.