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Adam Morissette: A tie with Tigers …. Shred, Shields lead way …. Soroka handles pros …. Jrs beat Puerto Rico, lose to Yanks …. O’s handcuff Jrs …. Jays, Jrs made memories ….Brettell impresses …. 8 in 8th beats Puerto Rico.
Lamb flexes muscle as juniors tie Pirates
By Adam Morissette
Score: Canada (18U) 5 Pittsburgh Pirates 5
Location: Walter Fuller Complex, St. Petersburg, Florida
Weather: 25 Degrees Celsius, A few clouds
Canada 18U Starting Lineup:
1. Miles Gordon – CF
2. Kobe Hyland – SS
3. Demi Orimoloye – RF
4. Tristan Pompey – DH
5. Peter Hutzal – 3B
6. JF Garon – DH
7. Royce Ando – 2B
8. Isaac Deveaux – LF
9. Darren Shred – DH
10. Ben Komonosky – C
11. Cooper Lamb – 1B
Starting Pitcher: RHP Michael Brettell.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The juniors opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Peter Hutzal (Calgary, Alta.) and Royce Ando (Mississauga, Ont.) singled and scored in the inning after a balk call followed by an error at second base brought in Hutzal, while Ando came in when Darren Shred (Brampton, Ont.) lined a single to right field.
With one out in the third and Miles Gordon (Oakville, Ont.) on third, Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, Ont.) chopped a ball over the pitcher’s head that the shortstop snared and threw to first for the out, while Gordon scampered home to score.
With one out in the fourth, reliever Niall Windeler (Toronto, Ont.) allowed a solo home run that landed beyond the right field wall.
The Pirates closed the gap to one run in the bottom of the seventh when a run came in on a wild pitch unleashed by reliever BJ Moen (Swift Current, Sask). Moen allowed a lead off double before hitting a batter. The runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt.
Cooper Lamb (Burlington, Ont.) jumped on the first pitch he saw in the ninth drilling a fastball over the wall in left for a solo home run. Gordon then legged out a double and scored when Kobe Hyland’s (Spruce Grove, Alta.) single was combined with a throwing error on the play
In the bottom of the ninth with RJ Freure (Burlington, Ont.) looking to close things out, the Pirates put across a pair of runs on a two-run single. Freure issued two walks before a passed ball got by catcher Ben Komonosky (Regina, Sask).
Coach Shawn Bowman (Port Moody, BC) entered the game with two-out and a runner on first, and gave up a double to the gap in left centre that brought in the tying run.
With one out and runner on first base in the bottom of the second, catcher Komonosky fired a laser to shortstop Hyland to easily nab the Pirates runner trying to steal second base.
JNT starter Michael Brettell (Fonthill, Ont.) has had two strong outings to date this week in St. Petersburg and today was no different as he worked three scoreless innings and scattered two hits.
In the fifth, reliever Moen came into the game and formed an all-Saskatchewan battery as Komonosky was behind the plate.
With runners on first and second and one out in the eighth, Lamb made a great diving play at first base and threw to second base for the force out. Freure then got a force out (5 to 4) to end the inning.
Hits: 3, Hutzal (3/4)
Runs: 2, Gordon
Doubles: 1, Gordon
Home Runs: 1, Lamb
RBIs: 1, Orimoloye, Lamb, Shred
Stolen Bases: 1, Gordon, Orimoloye
Strikeouts: 1, Windeler, Freure, Bowman.
THEY SAID IT
Cooper Lamb on his home run in the ninth:
“It felt great – there’s no feeling like (hitting a home run) it. I was thinking (going) the opposite plate, but he threw a fastball that caught too much of the plate and I was able to put a good swing on it.”
Lamb on his diving play at first base in the eighth:
“I haven’t played much first base before so that play was completely reactionary. I’m starting to feel more comfortable out there.”
The Pirates have one Canadian, Eric Wood (Oshawa, Ont.), in their organization, but he did not make the trip to St. Petersburg from their spring training complex in Bradenton, FL. Jameson Taillon, who pitched for Canada at the 2013 World Baseball Classic, is a Canadian citizen, a member of the Pirates organization and almost recovered from Tommy John surgery.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED FEATURE
Take a look at a read by Jeff Bradley on SI.com on JNT OF Demi Orimoloye possibly becoming the first African-born player to play in the big leagues.
The juniors will wrap up the Spring Training/Alumni Week Camp tomorrow with a match-up against a group of prospects from the Tampa Bay Rays organization (1pm ET) at the home of the big league club, Tropicana Field … RHP Mike Soroka (Calgary, Alta.) is scheduled to start on the mound … The game can be heard live online by visiting radiostpete.com and you can also get live updates by following @Team_C_Updates on Twitter.