* Ontario Green opened the second annual Tournament 12 with a 7-3 win over Futures Navy on Wednesday morning at Rogers Centre. Ian Wilson (left) led the charge, as the former JNT member had an RBI double, two runs, and a pair of stolen bases.
By Nick Ashbourne
TORONTO — Futures Navy entered Tournament 12 with a team significantly younger than their competition and in the Wednesday opener at the Rogers Centre, it showed.
With four errors, including three leading to runs, Futures Navy showed that their inexperience (most are a year or two younger than their 17-18 year old counterparts) could make them vulnerable in their 7-3 loss to Ontario Green.
Ontario coach Tanner Watson felt that nerves could have been a factor for the younger opposition.
“Obviously the younger guys are going to be a lot more anxious coming into the game than we are,” he said.
Tournament 12 brings together the top young players in Canada for a five-day event run by the Toronto Blue Jays and Baseball Canada.
Defence was the story of the game, and something that Futures catcher Reese O’Farrell identified as a point of emphasis for the team’s next game at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
“We need to play better defence and cut our mistakes,” he said. “The older guys are going to take advantage of them.”
Ontario Green (1-0-0) took advantage of them in a big way scoring three unearned runs in the victory off three two-out errors by the Futures Navy (0-1-0) squad. In the first, they tacked on an extra run off an Adam Hall error and they added two insurance runs in the third off consecutive errors by Hall and Isaac Deveaux.
The offence was driven by Ian Wilson’s efforts, as the clean-up man delivered one of the only extra-base hits in the game with an RBI double, scored two runs, and stole two bases.
“It’s a good warm-up for me to get some work in,” he said. “Work on what I’ve been doing all off-season and come in here and show what I can do.”
In a tournament that in its first year (2013) was dominated by pitchers, Wilson thinks that the seven-run showing from Ontario Green could be a sign of how dangerous his club can be offensively.
“I’m proud of my team,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of good hitters on our team that can get the ball in play, do a lot of damage, and score a lot of runs.”
On the pitching side, Nicholas Virdo delivered an excellent performance for Ontario Green. The Toronto Mets pitcher tossed three innings giving up only a single hit, walking two and striking out four.
Dalton Harvey had a hard luck start for Futures Navy. The 17-year-old allowed only one earned run in three innings of work, with three strikeouts and only one walk, but took the loss due to three unearned runs and a lack of run support.
Futures Navy picked up base hits from Deveaux and Cooper Davis, but rarely looked dangerous. Their best rally came in the seventh when they loaded the bases with no outs and managed to bring all three runs, aided by a Malik James error.
Ontario opened the scoring in the first inning with an RBI double by Wilson. Tristan Pompey started a two-out rally with an infield single and scored on the Wilson’s double. Wilson would then come around to score on an error by Hall giving Ontario Green the early two-run lead.
They added to their lead in the fourth with two runs from Royce Ando and Wilson. Ando led off with a walk and scored on a delayed steal of home. Wilson reached on the first error of the inning and came around to score on the second.
Ontario put the game out of reach with three runs in its last four trips to the plate. Miles Gordon collected two RBI’s with a sac fly in the fourth and a single in the sixth and Matt Warkentin drove in Pompey later that inning.