Skuija, B.C. bats too much for young Futures


 * B.C. Orange (2-0-0) pitcher Ethan Skuija was strong against Futures Navy on Thursday, working three scoreless innings while giving up just one hit and tallying five strikeouts in a 10-0 B.C. win at Rogers Centre. (Photo: Robert Cerjanec). ….

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Full Tournament 12 coverage

By Robert Cerjanec

TORONTO – A monster second inning from British Columbia’s hitters led the Orange to a convincing 10-0 victory over the Futures Navy squad on Thursday in Tournament 12 action at the Rogers Centre.

The game ended after only 5 1/2 innings once the mercy rule came into effect.

Futures Navy players are on average one-to-two years younger than their competitors, and it showed on this day, as B.C. Orange stormed out to an early 9-0 lead.

Navy pitcher Hunter Spoljaric struggled throughout the contest, giving up two runs in the first inning (including a run-scoring balk), before surrendering six more runs in the second.

“I’m not sure exactly what happened,” said B.C. Orange outfielder Jordan Dray, who scored from third on the balk. “But I think he (Spoljaric) didn’t get fully set and came up.”

Spoljaric was relieved by teammate Sam Turcotte in the bottom of the second inning, after giving up a triple and two RBIs to Trevor Lofstrom.

Ethan Skuija was strong in his three innings, allowing just one hit and no runs, with five strikeouts.

Toronto Blue Jays alumni Paul Quantrill, a special ambassador at the tournament, stressed that the importance is on player development and getting better.

“Spoly (Spoljaric) understands that he is a gifted kid and is going to do good things, but we all have bad days,” said Quantrill.

“That’s OK, because having a bad day and bouncing back from it is what makes you good. Spoly will be fine, he’s a special kid.”

With the win, B.C. Orange saw its record improve to 2-0-0, while Futures Navy dropped to 1-2-0.

“It feels great to be 2-0,” said Dray. “We have a great team atmosphere, a lot of us are close friends and have played together before, so this feels great both personally and for the team.”

Dray said it was not difficult for him or his teammates to remain focused when the game was getting out of hand, given where they were playing.

“Playing where the Toronto Blue Jays play is always inspiring.”

Next up for B.C. Orange is a match Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m. against Ontario Green.

Futures Navy is back in action against the defending champion Atlantic Grey side on Friday at 8:30 p.m.

– The full Tournament 12 schedule can be found here.

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