Sparks excels in juniors' loss to Phillies

 Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.) allowed just two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings for the Canadian Junior National Team against the Philadelphia Phillies Dominican Summer League squad on Sunday. Photo Credit: Baseball Canada

Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.) allowed just two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings for the Canadian Junior National Team against the Philadelphia Phillies Dominican Summer League squad on Sunday. Photo Credit: Baseball Canada

May 20, 2018

JNT DSL: Sparks delivers in loss to Phillies

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic – Saskatoon’s Connor Sparks provided a solid start on the mound, but the Junior National Team could not muster any offence as the Philadelphia Phillies Dominican prospects came away with a 5-0 win.

BOX SCORE

With nine games remaining on the tour, Sparks ate up some innings going 6 2/3 and allowing two earned runs on four hits while managing two strikeouts.

A Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) base hit in the first and a LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) lead off single in the eighth provided the only two Junior National Team hits of the contest.

SCORING

-After cruising through his first three innings on the mound, starter Sparks hit the first batter he faced in the fourth before allowing a single, followed by a triple to centre that staked the Phillies out to a 2-0 advantage.

-The Phillies loaded the bases in the sixth on an error, walk and base hit before a fielder’s choice brought in a run. After a hit batter, an error from shortstop Jaden Brown (Mississauga, Ont.) plated another run and the Phillies led, 4-0.

-Reliever Olivier Morin-Larocque (L'Ancienne-Lorette, Que.) was working to escape a two-out jam in the eighth that saw the Phillies have runners on the corners but a base hit to centre brought in a run and the Phillies made it 5-0.

QUICK HITS

-Sparks retired the first seven batters he faced before an error in the third gave the Phillies their first base runner.

-After a fielder’s choice, catcher Noah Naylor showed off his arm from behind the playing nabbing a would be base stealer at second base to end the inning.

-The juniors made three errors but did receive some fine plays defensively from Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) in centre field, Daniel Carinci (Ajax, Ont.) at second base and Jaden Brown at shortstop.

UP NEXT

The Junior National Team will play a doubleheader tomorrow beginning with a match-up against the DSL Tigers at 10:30 a.m. E.T. to be followed by a contest against the DSL Brewers...RHP Declan Dutton (North Vancouver, B.C.) will start on the mound against the Tigers while RHP Evan Elliott (Toronto, Ont.) will get the nod against the Brewers.

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.