October 6, 2013, OTTAWA – The annual Fall Instructional League got underway this weekend in Orlando giving 17 newcomers on the 30-player roster a chance to get their feet wet with the Junior National Team program.
On Saturday, the juniors took on the Atlanta Braves prospects featuring a group of players having just completed their first season in professional baseball taking-on the Canadian high schoolers.
Braves 12 JNT 0
The Braves got on the board quickly in the top of the first scoring a pair of runs coming on an error with the bases loaded followed by an RBI groundout.
Things didn’t get much better for starter Mike Soroka (Calgary, AB) in the second inning as two singles and a double to start the inning scored one run and a groundout and sac-fly brought in two more to make it 5-0.
Jonathan Martin (Montréal, QC) registered the first hit of the game for the JNT to lead-off the bottom of the second and moved to third after a pair of groundouts, but was left stranded when a strikeout ended the inning.
One of the bright spots of the day was the pitching performance from reliever Colton Wood (Victoria, BC) who turned in perfect frames in the third and fourth that included two strikeouts.
After fanning the first batter he faced, Wood got a pop-out to third and a groundout to shortstop Charles Leblanc (Laval, QC) to end the third and in the fourth, he managed to get a fly-out to centerfield before getting another groundout to Leblanc and ended the inning with a strikeout.
Ian Wilson (Toronto, ON) picked-up the second JNT hit of the day when he singled with two out in the third, but was left standing on second base.
In the end, the Braves bats were too much as they pounded-out 14 hits and scored seven more runs to go onto a 12-0 win.
Relievers Tristan Clarke (Brampton, ON) and Jackson Wark (St. Albert, AB) allowed two runs each, while Zach Pop (Brampton, ON) gave up three although only two were earned.
Lake Sumter JC 9 JNT 3
Lake Sumter built a three-run lead through seven innings and pulled away with four runs in the eighth as they went on to defeat the Junior National Team 9-3 at Champion Stadium on the grounds of ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Started Matt Ianni (Ottawa, ON) allowed a solo home run in the top of the second to give Lake Sumter a 2-0 lead before reliever Nolan Bumstead (Calgary, AB) came in with the bases loaded and one-out in the third and managed to get a line-out to short and a fly-out to centre to get out of the inning unscathed.
The juniors got on the board in the third when Lucas Zilli (Mississauga, ON) singled with the bases loaded to score Andy Yerzy (Toronto, ON) from third base.
Yerzy was hit by a pitch to lead-off the inning before Darren Shred (Brampton, ON) and Tristan Clarke (Brampton, ON) both singled to load the bases.
Lake Sumter managed to get the run back in the fourth and added one more as a single came home after an error at shortstop, and a double followed to score another and make it 4-1.
JF Garon (Terrebonne, QC) provided a spark for the juniors in the fifth as he drew a two-out walk stole second and third base and scored on an error by the third baseman.
Just as the juniors were inching closer, Lake Sumter widened the gap again, this time with a two-out RBI single in the sixth that came after a lead-off double.
Brad Smith (Vancouver, BC) took over on the mound for Bumstead in the seventh and struck out the side in order to end the inning.
He wasn’t as fortunate in the eighth as Lake Sumter opened the floodgates scoring four runs to take a seven run lead after a walk and four hits including a two-run double.
In the bottom of the inning Mitchell Robinson (Surrey, BC) led-off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball before scoring on an RBI single off the bat of Ian Wilson (Toronto, ON).
Notes: On Monday, the juniors will face the Washington Nationals prospects at Champion Stadium in Orlando at 1pm ET…Kurtis Horne (Sooke, BC) is expected to start.