JNT Spring: Tigers tame juniors in spring opener

 Jaden Griffin (Lower Sackville, N.S.) tossed two scoreless innings and struck out four against a team of Detroit Tigers prospects at the Walter Fuller Complex in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Friday. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

Jaden Griffin (Lower Sackville, N.S.) tossed two scoreless innings and struck out four against a team of Detroit Tigers prospects at the Walter Fuller Complex in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Friday. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

March 16, 2018

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

St. Petersburg, Florida – A prospects squad from the Detroit Tigers organization was too much for the Junior National Team as they used 12 hits including a home run to defeat the Junior National Team, 10-1, as the spring training camp schedule began at the Walter Fuller Complex.

Box Score

Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) enjoyed a 2-for-3 day at the plate including a double to the gap in left-centre that drove in a run in the first, before hitting a rocket to centre in the fifth that went for a triple. The juniors also picked up a double from Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.) while Martin Vincelli-Simard (Boisbriand, Que.) added a single.

SCORING

Bottom 1 – With two out, Cesar Valero (Calgary, Alta.) reached on a throwing error before scoring on Noah Naylor’s (Mississauga, Ont.) double on a ball that landed in the gap in left-centre.

Top 2 – After blanking the Tigers in the first, starter Griffin Hassall (Newmarket, Ont.) got into some trouble in the second issuing a one out walk before a double to right tied the score. Back-to-back errors brought in the go ahead run before a single to right put the Tigers in front by two.

Top 7 – Reliever Viktor Bergeron (Terrebonne, Que.) gave up a lead off homer to left to start the seventh inning as the Tigers increased their lead to three before adding a run later in the frame on an RBI single to centre.

Top 8 – Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.) entered the game in the eighth and found himself in a bases loaded jam with nobody out before a pair of runs scored on a fielder’s choice. A single and double later, and the Tigers were all of a sudden in front, 10-1.

QUICK HITS

-Jaden Griffin (Lower Sackville, N.S.) came out firing when he took over for Hassall to start the fourth and retired the first four batters he faced via the strikeout. Griffin allowed a one out single in the fifth but got a fly out to centre and a force out at second base to end his two-inning outing.

-Naylor’s impressive day at the plate saw him record the first hit, extra base hit and drive in the first run of Junior National Team spring training. His triple in the fifth came on a 0-2 count.

-The juniors walked just two Tigers’ batters and combined to strikeout eight of their hitters including four from Jaden Griffin.

UP NEXT

The Junior National Team will hit the road tomorrow and travel to Dunedin to take on a split-squad version of the Toronto Blue Jays with the first pitch coming at 1:07 p.m. E.T...It will be Georgetown, Ontario’s Ben Abram taking on Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman who is seeing his first action of the spring... Fans can listen to the contest across the Sportsnet Radio Network and watch on Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet NOW.

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.