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18U Friendship Series: Canada earns first win of series

BRADENTON, Florida –Tyrus Hall (Victoria, BC) drove in two runs on a second inning triple, Joshua Jones (Blainville, QC) added an eighth inning RBI while four Canadian pitchers combined to limit a powerful USA lineup to just two runs and four hits en route to a 3-2 victory in game five of the Friendship Series.


Alexis Gravel (Repentigny, QC) started things off on the mound working three scoreless frames giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out four and Reece Usselman (Langley, BC) followed with two scoreless innings of his own.

Usselman allowed a leadoff single in the fifth but fanned the next two batters he faced before Colin Cymbalista (Pickering, ON) gunned the runner down trying to steal third to end the inning.

The Americans put their first run on the scoreboard in the sixth taking advantage of a pair of Ty Hamilton (Orleans, ON) walks to cash one on in on an RBI groundout before he tossed a scoreless inning in the seventh striking out two and stranding a pair of runners.

With Canada clinging to a one run lead in the eighth, Joshua Jones lined a two-out single to centre to score Nate Ochoa (Burlington, ON) with a much needed insurance run.

After Elijah Green hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to pull the Americans within one, Jordan Woods (Oakville, ON) earned the save in the bottom of the ninth retiring the side in order.


  • The Junior National Team and the USA 18U National Team are meeting for a seven-game Friendship Series with games in Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Bradenton.
  • The Friendship Series is the first event that Baseball Canada’s Junior National Team has held since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Friendship Series participants that were part of the spring training camp in 2020 include LHP Caleb Clark (Orillia, ON), LHP/OF Alexis Gravel (Repentigny, QC), OF Joshua Jones (Blainville, QC) and INF Nate Ochoa (Burlington, ON).
  • The Junior National Team is holding daily workouts based out of Pirate City, the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • The Friendship Series shifts to Pirate City in Bradenton tomorrow, spring training complex of the Pittsburgh Pirates. First pitch is set for 1PM ET.
  • All seven games of the Friendship Series are being streamed live on USA Baseball’s Facebook page:
  • Stay up-to-date on the Friendship Series by following @BaseballCANJNT on Twitter.