ORLANDO – It was a tightly contested matchup between the Junior National Team and the Washington Nationals at the Fall Instructional League camp as it took a late rally in the ninth inning for the Nationals to top the Canadians by a score of 3-2.
It was a pitcher’s duel throughout as after three innings, the game would remain tied at 1-1 until the top of the ninth when Washington scored a pair of runs on a double and two singles to take a 3-1 lead.
The Canadians would reply in the bottom of the ninth when Keaton Briscoe (North Vancouver, BC) came in to score on an error to make it 3-2, but that was as close as they would get.
The Nationals opened the scoring in the top of the third inning when a leadoff single, an error allowing the runner to advance to third and a steal of home plate gave Washington the 1-0 lead.
That would be the only blemish on Evan Grills (Whitby, ON) line. In three innings pitched, Grills allowed an unearned run along with one hit while striking out two.
Johnathan Solazzo (Mississauga, ON) kick started the Canadian offence in the bottom half of the third, leading off with a single. After Andrew Ruck (Whitby, ON) was hit by a pitch and both runners advanced on an error, Tanner Nivins (Kitchener, ON) hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Solazzo and tie the game at one. Wes Darvill (Langley, BC) added a pair of hits in this game. He went 2-for-3.
Paul Barton (Qualicum Beach, BC) and Jeff Gibbs (Toronto, ON) were outstanding on the mound for the Canadians. Barton allowed three hits and one walk with two strikeouts in two innings of work, while Gibbs threw two shutout innings as well, allowing only one hit in his outing.
Jonathan Paquet (Ancienne Lorette, QC) closed things out on the mound for the Juniors. He gave up a pair of runs on four hits and a walk in two innings pitched.
Next up for the Junior National Team at the Fall Instructional League camp is a matchup with the Houston Astros on Tuesday, October 7 at 1 pm.
Bob Elliott article