JNT Spring Training: Keys stars in tie with Rays

Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) had a three-hit day including a triple and two stolen bases.

Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) had a three-hit day including a triple and two stolen bases.

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Back-to-back RBI doubles brought in a pair of Tampa Bay Rays runs in the top of the ninth as they fought back to tie the Junior National Team as the teams played to a 4-4 draw.

Clayton Keyes (Calgary, AB) went 3-for-5 with a triple, RBI and two stolen bases to pace the Junior National Team offence.

GAME INFORMATION

Score:  Canada (U-18) 4 Tampa Bay Rays 4
Location: Walter Fuller Complex (Field 5) – St. Petersburg, Florida
Weather: 25 degrees Celsius, Sunny

Canada 18U Starting Lineup:

1. Cooper Davis - CF
2. Adam Hall - SS
3. Noah Naylor - C
4. Clayton Keyes - RF
5. Edouard Julien – 2B
6. Jason Willow – 3B
7. Dondrae Bremner – 1B
8. Rhys Cratty - DH
9. Lucas Parente - LF

Starting Pitcher: LHP Jack DeCooman

HOW IT HAPPENED

-The Rays opened the scoring plating an unearned run in the fourth. An error and a catcher’s interference call put runners on first and second before a two-out single to right field off reliever Cade Smith (Abbotsford, BC) brought in a Rays runner from second.

-The juniors responded in the bottom of the inning as Clayton Keyes ripped a triple to centre and beat the throw home when Edouard Julien (Québec, QC) grounded to second with a pulled in infield. With Julien on second, after the throw home went to the backstop, a two-out double to left from Dondrae Bremner (Toronto, ON) brought him in to give the juniors a 2-1 lead.

-Clayton Keyes picked up his third hit of the game in the fifth as he lined a single to left to score a run a put the juniors up by two.

-Garrett Nicholson (Sydney Mines, NS) took over on the mound in the seventh and ran into some trouble after an error and walk before a pair of wild pitches brought Rays to within one.

-The juniors restored the two run lead in the seventh as Victor Cerny lined an opposite field double to right that scored Adam Hall (London, ON) from.

-A ball that handcuffed first baseman Michael Stovman (Maple Ridge, BC) put the Rays’ lead off runner on in the top of the ninth before a pair of back-to-back double tied things up.

JNT HIGHLIGHTS

-JNT starter Jack DeCooman (North Vancouver, BC) was stellar over three innings of work as he faced just ten batters and retired the first eight he faced before allowing a two out single in the third. He struck out two in the second and fanned one in the third.

-Keyes was offensive star with a 3-for-5 performance and also made noise on the base paths as he stole both second and third base after singling to lead off the bottom of the second.

-Victor Cerny (Winnipeg, MB) collected hits in both of his plate appearances including an RBI double in the seventh.

-Cade Smith did not allow an earned run in his three innings of work and worked his way out of trouble in the fifth getting a double play after a single and error put runners on first and second with just one out.

TEAM LEADERS

Hits: 3, Keyes; 2, Cerny; 1, Davis, Hall, Bremner, Cratty, Parente
Runs: 2, Hall; 1, Keyes, Julien
RBIs: 1, Cerny, Keyes, Julien, Bremner
Doubles: 1, Bremner, Parente, Cerny
Triples: 1, Keyes
Stolen Bases: 2, Keyes
Strikeouts: 3, DeCooman; 2, Nicholson

UP NEXT

The Junior National Team will travel to Dunedin tomorrow to take on a split-squad version of the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium with the first pitch set for 1:07pm ET…LHP Wesley Moore will start on the mound for Canada…Fans can watch the game in Canada on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, Sportsnet NOW or listen on Sportsnet 590 The FAN!

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