WEST PALM BEACH, FL--- A solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning pulled the Houston Astros prospects even with the Junior National Team as both squads played to a 5-5 tie in a well-pitched ballgame.
The juniors held the lead two times throughout the game but the pesky Astros fought back both times.
Mitch Bratt (Newmarket, ON) didn’t allow an earned run over two and two-thirds innings on the mound while Justin Thorsteinson (Langley, BC) fanned three batters over three innings of one-run ball.
Ryan Leitch (Whitby, ON), Dasan Brown (Oakville, ON) and J-C Masson (Lévis, QC) each had a hit and drove in a run.
-A walk and an error led to an Astros run in the bot tom of the first inning but the juniors quickly responded with a pair in the top of the second. With two out and the bases loaded, Raphaël Pelletier (Montréal, QC) drew a walk to score Ryan Leitch before TJ Schofield-Sam (Brampton, ON) scored on a wild pitch.
-Ryan Scott (Quispamsis, NB) took over on the mound for Bratt in the fourth and found himself with runners on second and third with nobody out after a lead off single, walk and wild pitch before an error allowed the tying run to score.
-The Astros took the lead on the second JNT error of the inning and led, 3-2, after four innings of play.
-Eric Martin (Kitchener, ON) got things going for the juniors in the sixth as he belted a leadoff double to centre and scored from third when Dasan Brown drilled a base hit to right field.
-The Astros regained the lead with a run in the sixth before Ryan Leitch singled home Austin Gomm (Mississauga, ON) in the seventh while J-C Masson came through with an RBI single in the eighth to give the juniors a one run lead.
-The lead was short-lived however as a lead off homer in the bottom of the eighth tied the score, 5-5.
The juniors will wrap up their extended spring training schedule tomorrow with a match-up against a prospects squad from the Washington Nationals organization with the first pitch set for 10 AM ET.