by Adam Morissette
March 15, 2014, ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (ISN) – The Detroit Tigers prospects stormed into Al Lang Field today, took an early lead on the Junior National Team and didn’t look back as they cruised to a 10-0 win.
The Tigers outhit the juniors 16-2 and received some quality performances on the mound as their pitchers struck out ten, while their defence played error-free baseball.
JNT starter Zach Pop (Brampton, ON) hit the first batter of the game which may have been a sign of things to come as the Tigers went on to score two runs in the top of the first after a pair of singles and a sacrifice-fly.
Things didn’t get much better in the second as Pop gave up a pair of walks and a single to load the bases before Royce Ando (Mississauga, ON) dropped a sure-fire double play ball at second that brought in a run.
The Tigers would score three more in the frame as a sac-fly plated one, a wild-pitch brought in another before a groundout to third allowed the fourth run of the inning to score.
Josh Naylor (Mississauga, ON) led-off the bottom of the second with a base-hit to centre, but was forced out at second base on the front half of a double play before the Tigers managed a ground out to end the inning.
Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, MB) did an admirable job coming out the bullpen in the third as he tossed two scoreless innings with one strikeout and recorded seven consecutive outs at one point.
His luck would change in the fifth when he gave-up a two-run double and with two out, and allowed a pair singles that brought in two more runs for the Tigers.
Onyshko gave-up one more run in the sixth before Colton Wood (Victoria, BC) came out of the bullpen with the bases loaded and two out, and struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning.
Wood’s outing lasted 2 1/3 innings and saw him give up one run on five hits, while striking out two batters.
In the seventh, JF Garon (Terrebonne, QC) led-off with a double to right field and the juniors loaded the bases after Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, ON) walked and LP Pelletier (Montréal, QC) reached on a dropped third strike, but two consecutive strikeouts ended the threat.
Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, AB) took the mound for the ninth inning and walked one batter, while getting one strikeout.
Up next: The Junior National Team will play their final game of spring training tomorrow when a group of Pittsburgh Pirates prospects travels to Al Lang Field for a 1:05pm ET contest…JP Stevenson (Hunter, River, PEI) is expected to start.