April 12, 2014, LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida (ISN) – Four weeks after departing the Sunshine State, the Junior National Team has reconvened in Florida for the annual Spring Training Camp where they will play an eight game exhibition schedule.
They got right down to work today with a pair of games on the grounds of ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World.
In the morning, the juniors faced the Atlanta Braves extended spring training squad who took advantage of a pair of errors and used the long ball to earn a 6-0 win.
In the afternoon, the juniors split into two sides for an inter-squad game with the visitors cruising to a 5-1 win a six-inning contest.
Against the Braves, starter Mike Soroka (Calgary, AB) was impressive in three innings of work holding the group of first and second year pros off the scoreboard through two before an unearned run scored in the third.
Soroka struck out the first batter of the game before picking off a runner at first after giving up a single. He got a fly-out to end the inning to face the minimum three batters.
In the second, he got a groundout and strikeout before giving up a single, but a fielder’s choice ended the frame.
After an error allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in the third, a stolen base and single gave the Braves two runners on with nobody out. A single brought one run in with the juniors cutting the second runner off at home plate to limit the damage.
Soroka ended his three-inning outing giving up four hits, while striking out three.
Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, ON) led-off the bottom of the inning with a single to record the first hit of the ballgame for the juniors, and he advanced to second on a groundout, but was left stranded after a pair of strikeouts.
Zach Pop (Brampton, ON) came out to pitch the fourth and made quick work of the Braves getting a fly-out and two strikeouts to end the inning.
His luck changed in the fifth as a lead-off single, followed by a stolen base and single put the Braves up by two before an error and another RBI single made it 3-0.
In the bottom of the inning, Mitch Robinson (Surrey, BC) picked up his teams second hit of the game when he laced a two-out double, but he was left on base after a strikeout ended the inning.
Pop didn’t let the fifth inning faze him as he settled in during the sixth getting two groundouts and a fly-out for a perfect inning of work.
His three-inning outing saw him allow only one earned run and three hits, while he struck out four batters.
Colton Wood (Victoria, BC) took over for Pop to start the seventh and looked good early on facing the minimum in the seventh before he gave up back-to-back solo home runs to leadoff the eighth, and allowed another solo shot in the ninth.
Wood managed three strikeouts and did not allow a walk in three innings of work.
Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) picked up the juniors’ third hit of the game when he singled with one out in the eighth before being forced out at second base.
In the inter-squad game, JP Stevenson (Hunter River, PE) worked three scoreless innings and struck out seven, while Nolan Bumstead (Calgary, AB) went 2-for-3 and knocked in two runs to lead the visiting side to a 5-1 win.
Stevenson allowed only one hit as did Jackson Wark (St. Albert, AB) who also tossed three innings and gave up only one run, while striking out one batter.
Both hits came off the bat of LP Pelletier (Montréal, QC).
Other highlights included Robert Byckowski (Etobicoke, ON) hitting two doubles and scoring a run, and Charles Leblanc (Laval, QC) doubling and coming in to score on two occasions.
Up Next: The juniors will face Lake Sumter Junior College tomorrow at 1pm ET with Kurtis Horne (Sooke, BC) expected to start.