ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was not friendly to the Junior National Team as the squad fell to the United Sates, 15-1, in game four of the Friendship Series.
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Canada broke up USA’s no-hit bid when Alexis Gravel (Repentigny, QC) singled to right field to lead off the bottom of the ninth while Jacob Miller (Oshawa, ON) followed with a single to centre and later ended the shutout when Ty Hamilton (Orleans, ON) knocked in Gravel from third on a groundout.
Three first inning errors put the US up by two runs in the top of the first before they added another in the third on a pair of hits coming with two out and they rolled from there.
Starting pitcher Carson Hindmarsh (Saskatoon, SK) was charged with just one earned run over his three inning outing that saw him give up four hits while he struck out three batters.
Hindmarsh was replaced by Parker Burgess (Douro-Dummer, ON) who was greeted by an Elijah Green solo home run in the fourth for his third long ball in his last two games.
Canada was challenged offensively failing to record a hit as three American pitchers combined to strikeout eleven batters with just seven Canadians reaching base on five walks and two hit batters.
Jérémy Pilon (Valleyfield, QC) provided a highlight in the sixth when he struck out the side in order while making his first appearance in the Friendship Series before running into control issues in the next frame where he walked four.
- 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.
- Today’s game at Tropicana Field marked the second time in the history of the Junior National Team program that the squad played at the big league home of the Tampa Bay Rays. On March 22nd, 2015, Calgary’s Mike Soroka started for the Junior National Team against a prospects squad from the Rays’ organization. Soroka worked two scoreless innings allowing just one hit with one strikeout and was taken in the first round of the MLB Draft later that year by the Atlanta Braves where he had an All-Star season in 2019. Josh Naylor, brother of Myles Naylor, and fellow 2015 first round pick, was also a member of the 2015 Junior National Team squad.
- The Friendship Series shifts to Bradenton tomorrow and LECOM Park, spring training stadium of the Pittsburgh Pirates. First pitch is set for 2PM ET.
- All seven games of the Friendship Series are being streamed live on USA Baseball’s Facebook page: facebook.com/usabaseball.
- Stay up-to-date on the Friendship Series by following @BaseballCANJNT on Twitter.
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