Juniors lose to Braves in spring finale

Baseball Canada

Adam Morissette

April 20, 2013, Orlando (ISN) -The Junior National Team committed seven errors and the Atlanta Braves prospects had 18 hits to defeat the juniors 15-6 as spring training concluded at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

The juniors had their finest offensive showing of the week as they combined for eight hits and six runs, but failed to keep the Braves offence at bay.

After the Braves took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first off a triple and double, the juniors fought back with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) kept his hitting streak alive when he hit a one-out double that scored Jake Lumley (Windsor, ON) from second base.

O’Neill then scored when Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) picked up an RBI single to make the score 2-1.

The lead didn’t last long as a single, error and a double resulted in two runs for the Braves which came off JNT starter Daniel Procopio (Toronto, ON).

Procopio’s outing lasted two innings where he managed three strikeouts, while giving up three runs – two of which were earned – on four hits.

Kurtis Horne (Sooke, BC) took over for Procopio in the third and didn’t get much help from his defence as a double, two errors and two RBI singles gave the Braves a three-run inning and a 6-2 lead.

Horne managed to keep the Braves off the scoreboard in the fourth with two fly-outs and a groundout.

In the fifth, with Morgan Lofstrom (Kelowna, BC) now pitching, the Braves piled on with four runs coming off three hits and two errors. None of the runs that Loftsrom gave-up were earned.

In the sixth it was Connor Noble’s (Vancouver, BC) turn to take the mound and he gave-up a one-out double, but managed a groundout and strikeout to leave the runner stranded.

Noble’s luck didn’t last long as he allowed a two-run triple and a sac-fly in the seventh as the Braves scored three runs and added another in the top of the eighth off reliever Sean Ratcliffe (Ajax, ON).

The juniors managed to get one of the runs back in the eighth when Malik Collymore (Mississauga, ON) walked, advanced to second on a wild-pitch and scored on a Kurtis Kostuk (Abbotsford, BC) single.

In the ninth, with the bases loaded and nobody out, Lachlan Fontaine (North Vancouver, BC) delivered a sacrifice-fly for one run before Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, ON) doubled to bring in two more runs.

Orimoloye advanced to third on a wild-pitch with one out, but was left on base after two pop-outs ended the game.

Gareth Morgan was 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI, while Orimoloye had two RBI.

Notes: Players, coaches and staff will return home tomorrow and the team will reassemble May 22nd-31st in the Dominican Republic for a twelve game tour of the Dominican Summer League.