* Ontario Black prized prospect Demi Orimoloye, left, helped lead a nine-run third inning against Prairies Purple on Friday evening in Tournament 12 action at the Rogers Centre. (Photo: Nick Ashbourne). ….
By Matt Defalco
A nine-run outburst in the third inning kept the Ontario Black (2-0-1) unbeaten in Tournament 12 action after an 11-6 win over the Prairies Purple Thursday night at the Rogers Centre.
The barrage began on a throwing error by Prairies third baseman Brett Esau, and came suddenly after starter Zack Demchenko had looked solid through the first two innings.
Down by four runs to Prairies (1-2-0), six consecutive Ontario batters scored to lead off the bottom of the inning, capped by a two RBI single by top prospect Josh Naylor, who says he’s just starting to feel comfortable in the tournament.
“I started to get my swing back a little this morning,” said the Ontario Black first baseman, who went 2-3 in the game. “A little jet-lagged, a little tired, but I felt pretty good.”
Ontario’s comeback also included a two RBI single by prized outfield prospect Demi Orimoloye.
Prairies starter Zack Demchenko was relatively unscathed through his first two innings, allowing three base runners but he didn’t give up a run.
A solo home run by designated hitter Troy Blad gave Prairies a 3-0 lead in the top of the third before a bases-loaded walk increased the advantage to four runs.
Ontario starter Matt Ianni struggled through his three innings, giving up four runs on five hits and five walks, while striking out seven. But after that brief rough patch, the Black showed why they remained undefeated in the tournament.
An error, a hit by pitch, and a walk started the rally for Ontario in the third.
Orimoloye cut the deficit to 4-2 with a two RBI single up the middle.
Andrew Yerzy followed that up with an RBI single to bring the Black to within one run. Orimoloye then stole third and scored on a balk to tie the game.
Ontario tacked on five more runs in the third – two coming off the bat of Naylor.
Brett Stenger relieved Ianni in the fourth and limited the Purple to only two runs over three innings, earning the win in the process.
Ontario Black will take on Quebec Blue (1-1-1) Friday at 1 p.m. ET, while the Prairies Purple squad will face Alberta Red (1-2) at 8 a.m. ET.
– The full Tournament 12 schedule can be found here.