July 9, 2013, New Bedford, MA (ISN) – They say that pitching is ‘the name of the game’ and that certainly rang true as four Junior National Team pitchers combined to strikeout 16 New Bedford Bay Sox batters as the visitors survived a late scare to hang-on for a 2-1 victory.
The win improves the Junior National Team’s record to 4-2 with one game left to play on the New England Summer Tour.
Starter JP Stevenson (Hunter River, PEI) made his first start as a member of the Junior National Team and looked like a seasoned veteran as he worked three innings giving up only a lead-off single in the second and a two-out single in the third.
Stevenson walked two batters and struck out five including a stretch of four consecutive punch-outs for the last two-outs of the second inning and the first two outs of the third.
Before he threw his first pitch of the game, Stevenson’s offence gave him a 1-0 lead by virtue of a Josh Naylor (Mississauga, ON) RBI ground out in the top of the first inning.
Chris Thibideau (Dartmouth, NS) had led-off the game with a walk and moved to second when Jake Lumley (Windsor, ON) followed with a single.
After a wild-pitch allowed both runners to advance, Naylor’s grounder to second base scored Thibideau easily from third.
Connor Noble (Vancouver, BC) took over for Stevenson in the fourth and, perhaps, turned in the finest pitching performance of the game with two perfect innings including striking out the side to end the fourth inning.
Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, MB) picked-up right where Noble left off as he retired the first two batters he faced in the sixth, before allowing a walk, but came back with his second strikeout of the inning to keep the Bay Sox off the board.
In the seventh with one out, JD Osborne (Whitby, ON) ripped a single up the middle and moved to second base when Jordan Schulz (Strasbourg, SK) walked.
After both runners moved up a base on a wild-pitch, Chris Thibideau singled to centre bringing in Osborne with the second run of the game.
Onyshko cruised through the bottom of the seventh, matching Noble’s performance in the fourth, as he fanned all three batters he faced.
Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) picked-up his second hit of the game when he doubled down the left field line to lead-off the eighth, but was left on base after two strikeouts and a fly-out.
New Bedford made things interesting in the bottom of the inning, cutting the lead to one and breaking the shutout with a run off of reliever Dylan Brooks (Dorchester, ON).
After a single and fielder’s choice, Brooks walked a batter and hit a batter to load the bases before walking in a run with only one out.
Perhaps the play of the game followed when Jake Lumley, Chris Thibideau and Josh Naylor combined on a perfectly executed 6-4-3 double-play to limit the damage.
Brooks got into trouble again in the ninth loading the bases on three walks with one out, but he recovered nicely getting two strikeouts to end the game and give the juniors the win.
In addition to Morgan, Thibideau collected two hits to lead the offence, while Osborne, Lumley and Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, ON) collected singles.
New Bedford managed just four singles off JNT pitching.
Notes: The juniors will wrap-up the New England Summer tour tomorrow when they travel to Cape Cod to take-on the Chatham Selects at 6pm ET at historic Veterans Field in Chatham, MA….Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, ON) is scheduled to start on the mound…Please follow @baseballcanada and @team_c_updates on Twitter to stay up-to-date on all the news and in game updates with the Junior National Team while in New England.