Smith and Palmegiani homer, juniors fall in doubleheader

 LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) homered for the Junior National Team on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Baseball Canada

LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) homered for the Junior National Team on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Baseball Canada

May 23, 2018

JNT DSL: Smith and Palmegiani homer, juniors fall in doubleheader

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

BOCA CHICA/GUERRA, Dominican Republic – The Junior National Team dropped both ends of a doubleheader on Wednesday in the Dominican Republic as day six of the nine-day tour concluded.

A close contest in the morning saw the Seattle Mariners Dominican prospects score a pair of runs in the eighth that gave them an eventual 6-4 win.

LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) and Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, B.C.) each homered against the Mariners for the first long balls of the Dominican Summer League tour.

The juniors managed just one hit in the afternoon contest as the Houston Astros’ Dominican prospects scored a 7-1 win.

BOX SCORE: DSL MARINERS 6, JNT 4

SCORING

-After three scoreless innings, the Mariners opened the scoring in the fourth and it was a single and error that put to runners aboard before a double to the gap in left made it 2-0.

-LaRon Smith’s home run in the fifth came on a 3-2 count and left the park in a hurry over the wall in left field.

-Just one inning later, Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont.) reached on a hit by pitch before Damiano Palmegiani drilled the first pitch he saw way over the fence in left to put the Junior National Team in front, 3-2.

-The Mariners regained the lead in the sixth and it was almost a reenactment of the fourth as a walk and error put two runners on before a one-out double to left cashed two runs in.

-The Mariners lent the Junior National Team a pitcher in the eighth and after a lead off walk, a triple that got by a diving Damiano Palmegiani in right scored one run before a wild pitch plated the other.

- TJ Schofield-Sam (Brampton, Ont.) put the finishing touches on a 3-for-4 game at the plate with a RBI single in the top of the ninth that scored Nicolas Tremblay (Mont St-Hilaire, Que.).

QUICK HITS

-The home runs from Smith and Palmegiani were the first Junior National Team home runs of the Dominican Summer League tour.

-None of the four runs scored during starter Griffin Hassall’s (Newmarket, Ont.) six and two-third innings were earned. The right-hander allowed six hits and two walks while striking out six batters.

BOX SCORE: DSL ASTROS 7, JNT 1

SCORING

-A lead off walked issued by starter Olivier Morin-Larocque (L'Ancienne-Lorette, Que.) advanced to third on a failed pick off before an error in centre field by Dasan Brown (Oakville, Ont.) resulted in the game’s first run. The Astros added another and an infield single and fielder’s choice for a 2-0 lead after one inning.

-The juniors answered back in the top of the second as Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Damiano Palmegiani’s double down the left field line. Justin Thorsteinson (Langley, B.C.) grounded out to the right side of the infield allowing Naylor to score from third.

-A lead off walk came back to haunt Morin-Larocque and the Junior National Team again in the fourth as a stolen base and throwing error by Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, Ont.) advanced the runner to third before a wild pitch allowed the runner to score.

-Tate Dearing (White Rock, B.C.) took over from Morin-Larocque in the fifth and fired two perfect frames before allowing a lead off single in the seventh. After a walk and ground out put runners on second and third, a base hit to second plated two runs and the Astros led, 5-1.

-The Astros rounded out the scoring in the eighth using a two-out single to right that scored runners from second and third.

QUICK HITS

-The juniors displayed a well-executed relay in the fourth that saw right fielder Jaden Brown (Mississauga, Ont.) fire to second baseman Daniel Carinci who fed third baseman Noah Naylor a perfect throw to nab an Astros runner attempting to go first-to-third on a single.

-Just one earned run was charged to Morin-Larocque during his four-inning outing that included four strikeouts.

-Palmegiani’s double in the second accounted for the only Junior National Team hit of the ballgame.

UP NEXT

The Junior National Team will play the DSL Minnesota Twins tomorrow beginning at 10:30 am E.T. in Boca Chica...LHP Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket, Ont.) and LHP Jaden Griffin (Lower Sackville, N.S.) are both expected to pitch.

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.