March 16, 2018
By Adam Morissette
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.
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.
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.
-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.
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.