Adam Morissette – Baseball Canada
July 6, 2013, HOLYOKE, MA (ISN) – A five-run fourth inning opened the floodgates as the Junior National Team banged out 13 hits and took advantage of ten walks to defeat the Holyoke Blue Sox 11-4 at McKenzie Stadium.
With the win, the JNT improves its record to three wins to only one loss with four games left to play on the tour.
The juniors failed to score in the second inning leaving the bases loaded, but made up for it in a big way in the fourth when they scored five runs to take control of the game.
Three straight walks to begin the inning set the table for JD Osborne (Whitby, ON) who delivered an RBI single to make the score 1-0 and Mitchell Bigras (Sarnia, ON) later scampered home on a wild pitch giving the juniors a two run lead.
After Jordan Schulz (Strasbourg, SK) walked with the bases loaded to bring in the third run, Chris Thibideau (Dartmouth, NS) reached on error and Toby Handley (Whitby, ON) walked with the bases loaded giving the visitors a five run cushion.
JNT starter Daniel Procopio (Toronto, ON) was solid during his four inning outing giving up only one hit and walking three, while fanning two batters.
Procopio did not allow a hit until the fourth inning when he gave up a two-out single.
In the sixth, Charles Leblanc (Laval, QC) hit a one-out single and Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, AB) moved him to third when he doubled to right on a ball that made it all the way to the fence.
Leblanc later scored to make it 6-0 when Chris Thibideau grounded out.
Kurtis Horne (Sooke, BC) made his first appearance of the trip in the fifth and retired six straight on two ground outs, two fly-outs and two strikeouts to keep the Holyoke offence off the board.
The juniors gave Horne an even bigger lead to work with in the seventh as they put up another four runs to go up by ten.
Toby Handley led-off with a double to right and scored on a wild pitch after Josh Naylor (Mississauga, ON) grounded out. With the bases loaded coming on two walks and an error, Charles Leblanc came up with the big blow of the inning when he smoked a bases clearing double off the wall in left.
Leblanc led the way offensively with a 3-for-5 day at the plate and three RBI, while Toby Handley and Matt Lloyd each collected two hits.
With Horne back on the mound for the seventh, the Blue Sox ruined the shutout bid with a three run frame.
Horne got into trouble early allowing a double and single, and with one-out, walked a batter to load the bases only to see two runs score on an RBI double.
Horne managed to get a fly-out to end the frame and finished his three inning outing with giving up three runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
After Josh Naylor made it 11-3 with an RBI single in the eighth, Daniel Marquez (Cambridge, ON) tossed a scoreless eighth getting two fly-outs and a strikeout after giving up a single and a walk.
JP Stevenson (Hunter River, PEI) made his JNT debut in the ninth and gave up a single and an unearned run that scored on an error.
Stevenson managed one strikeout and got a pop-out to end the game.
Notes: The juniors will travel to Danbury, CT tomorrow morning and take on the Danbury Westerners at 5:30pm ET. Brodie Harkness (Bowmanville, ON) is scheduled to start… JNT alum Brendan Hendriks (Cochrane, AB) from 2011 was a member of the Holyoke Blue Sox and played second base tonight…Brendan just completed his Sophomore season at the University of San Francisco…Please follow @baseballcanada and @