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Alexis Brudnicki:Pompey on Pompey
Orioles’ pitchers keep junior bats in check
By Adam Morissette
Score: Baltimore Orioles 14 Canada (18U) 0
Location: Walter Fuller Complex, St. Petersburg, Florida
Weather: 29 Degrees Celsius, Clear
Canada 18U Starting Lineup:
1. Peter Hutzal – 3B
2. Kobe Hyland – SS
3. Demi Orimoloye – RF
4. Josh Naylor – 1B
5. Tristan Pompey – DH
6. JF Garon – CF
7. Miles Gordon CF
8. Andrew Yerzy – DH
9. Isaac Deveaux – DH
10. Ben Komonosky – C
11. Royce Ando – 2B
12. Cooper Lamb – DH
Starting Pitcher: LHP Niall Windeler
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Orioles struck for seven runs in the top of the first with the big blow coming in the form of a three-run homer. Starter Niall Windeler (Toronto, Ont.), making his Junior National Team debut, allowed a leadoff single before a dropped double play ball put runners on first and second base. A walk loaded the bases before a sacrifice fly brought in the first run of the ballgame. Another walk, followed by a two run single put the Orioles up by three before another RBI single set the stage for the three run homer that left the park in left field.
Reliever BJ Moen (Swift Current, Sask.) looked to get out of a jam in the third getting a double play that put a runner on third with two out, but a wild-pitch allowed the runner from third to score
Things didn’t get much better for Moen in the fourth as a double and sac-fly brought in two more runs, while a wild pitch with a runner on third made the score 11-0
A pair of hits in the sixth including an RBI double off Tyler Whitbread (Camlachie, Ont.) made it 12-0 before Austin Shields (Dundas, Ont.) allowed a two-run homer in the eighth that landed over the right field wall.
After seven runs scored in the first, Windeler allowed a leadoff single to start the second but came back to retire three straight on a ground out to second, strikeout and a fly ball to centre field.
Tyler Whitbread pitched a perfect fifth inning out of the bullpen getting a pair of fly-outs followed by a strikeout to keep the Orioles off the scoreboard. After allowing a run on a pair of hits in the sixth, he came back to retire the Orioles in order in the seventh on a pair of fly-outs and a groundout.
JF Garon (Terrebonne, Que.) ended the no-hit bid in the sixth when he lined a single to right field. Up until then, the Orioles had retired 16 batters in a row after Peter Hutzal (Calgary, Alta.) led off the bottom of the first with a walk.
Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, Ont.) legged out an infield single in the bottom of the eighth to pick up the second Junior National Team hit of the ballgame.
Austin Shields came back with a strong performance in the top of the ninth getting a strikeout and groundout to shortstop. After a pair of walks, he escaped any damage by getting a strikeout to end the threat.
Former Junior National Team LHP Travis Seabrooke (2012, 2013) made the trip over to St. Petersburg with the Orioles from their spring training complex in Sarasota. He did not pitch in the game and is coming off knee surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2014 season.
THEY SAID IT
Seabrooke on facing the Junior National Team less than two years after graduating from the program:
“It’s weird. It feels like yesterday I was here (with the team) in 2012, but it’s a lot of fun seeing some of my old coaches and teammates.”
Seabrooke played with current JNT players Josh Naylor and Demi Orimoloye.
Whitbread on his strong three-inning outing:
“I had my fastball and change-up working and was able to keep some of their hitters off-balance.”
On facing professional hitters:
“I knew they we’re going to be aggressive so my mindset was to keep them from being comfortable in the batters box. I’m happy with the way I threw today.”
Hits: 1, Garon (1/3), Orimoloye (1/3)
Strikeouts: 2, Windeler, Moen, Whitbread, Shields.
Spring training kicks into high gear tomorrow as the juniors will play a doubleheader at the Walter Fuller Complex beginning at 1pm ET with a match-up against a group of New York Yankees prospects, while game two will see the juniors take-on Puerto Rico at 4:30pm ET … Matt Jones (Whitby, Ont.) is scheduled to start against the Yankees, while Michael Brettell (Fonthill, Ont.) gets the nod against Puerto Rico … Both games can be heard live online by visiting radiostpete.com and you can also get live updates by following @Team_C_Updates on Twitter.