Sept 1,2014(ISN) – HOUSTON, Texas-In what had the makings of a special night, playing in a big-league
stadium, was anything but for the Junior National Team (18U) as Team USA was full
credit for an 11-1 win at Minute Maid Park.
The game, the second in a four-game exhibition series between Canada and the United
States, lasted only seven innings due to a time limit at Minute Maid, the home of
the Houston Astros.
Canada had little answer for a United States team that smashed out 11 hits and took
advantage of four Canadian errors.
“The effort was there, we just didn’t execute,” said Head Coach Greg Hamilton. “We
didn’t throw enough strikes and weren’t sharp on the mound.
“When you’re walking guys and pitching in hitters’ counts all night, against good
clubs, you’re going to pay a price for it.”
Team USA took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Mitchell Hansen doubled in a
run with two out and they added three more runs in the second to jump out to a quick
four run lead.
Canadian starter Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, MB) got himself into trouble early in the
second issuing a one-out walk followed by a single before he unleashed a wild-pitch
that led to both runs coming in on a single from Team USA’s Xavier Legrant.
Onyshko managed to keep the United States off the scoreboard in the third, but that
was only temporary as an error and walk issued by reliever Zach Pop (Brampton, ON)
led to two runs coming in on a single before the US added another in the inning to
go up 7-0.
“Both guys that pitched tonight are better than they showed and are capable of
competing at this level,” said Hamilton. “They haven’t pitched competitively against
hitters for a few weeks and were rusty tonight. That’s why we’re here, to get some
of the rust off and make sure we’re ready when we need to be ready.”
Offensively, Canada was limited to only three hits with Charles Leblanc (Laval, QC)
picking up a pair of singles, while Josh Naylor (Mississauga, ON) doubled in
Canada’s only run in the sixth.
Brad Smith (Vancouver, BC) pitched the seventh inning and looked sharp striking out
two and getting a nice running grab from Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) in centre after
issuing a leadoff single.
Canada faces a quick turnaround as they still have two more tune-up contests against
the United States prior to departing for Mexico on Wednesday for the 18U Pan
American Championship/World Cup Qualifier.
“As I said to the guys, you let days like today go,” explained Hamilton. “There’s
only one game we’re concerned about (against USA) and that’s three games into the
tournament next week.
“These games (today) happen at the highest levels, but you have to bounce back and
be ready for tomorrow.”
Notes: The series shifts to Cougar Field tomorrow on the campus of the University of
Houston with a 2:05pm ET first pitch…LHP JP Stevenson (Hunter River, PE) is expected
to start on the mound for Canada…You can follow this game pitch-by-pitch with live
scoring courtesy ofUSABaseball.com and by following @Team_C_Updates…Following the
exhibition series against Team USA that wraps-up on Tuesday, Canada will participate
in the 18U Pan American Championship/World Cup Qualifier from September 5th – 14th
in La Paz/Los Cabos, Mexico where the top four teams will qualify for the 2015 IBAF
18U World Cup in Koshien, Japan.