St. Petersburg, Florida- Beach State Independent scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning thanks to 2-out bases loaded double that scored all three runs. Beach State would add another run and shutdown the Junior National Team in the bottom of the 9th for a 7-4 win.
The JNT broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 8th when Bryan Saucedo (Toronto, ON) singled home Kyle Hann (Oakville, ON) who had previously reached on a fielder’s choice and proceeded to steal second. The RBI was Saucedo’s second of the game as he doubled home Hann in the first inning to give Canada a 1-0 lead.
“It was kind of a sloppy game,” said JNT Head Coach Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, ON). “You’re going to get that at this time of the year while running out different combinations of players. You’re not playing to win; you’re playing to figure things out.”
Ethan Elias (Entwistle, AB) started on the mound against Beach State, who is primarily made up of former college players. Elias tossed two scoreless innings and struck out three while only walking one batter.
Beach State took the lead in the 3rd inning off reliever Matt Trimble (Coquitlam, BC) who was making his Junior National Team debut. Trimble fanned two in the inning, but also gave up two hits while Beach State took advantage of a Canadian error to go ahead 2-1.
The Canadians would get the run back in the 5th when Christopher Shaw (Winnipeg, MB) laced a two-out single to left field that brought home Cory Scammell (Edmonton, AB). Scammell had led the inning off with a double to right field.
Dayton Dawe (London, ON) tossed three up-three down 5th inning before giving up a run in the sixth.
A bright spot on the mound for the JNT was Jesen Dygestile-Therrien (Montréal, QC) who worked two scoreless innings that saw him allow only one base runner. Therrien also recorded three consecutive strikeouts in the 7th inning.
“He did a pretty good job out there today,” said Hamilton. “He’s got an easy arm and when he finishes his pitches he is very effective.”
With one out in the 7th, Jean-Philippe Rousseau (Blainville, QC) reached on an error and advanced to second when Shaw was hit by a pitch. With two out Brandon Collins (Toronto, ON) squeaked a single through the infield which allowed Rousseau to score from second. Shaw was thrown out trying to reach third base which ended the frame.
After Saucedo’s single in the 8th gave the JNT the lead Tanner Spencer (Craik, SK) came on for the 9th inning and got into trouble early. After giving up a walk, a single and sac-bunt to advance the runners, Spencer gave up another walk to load the bases. Beach State then hit a bases clearing double that ultimately would be enough for them to stay ahead for good.
“I think the lesson for today is you need to come to prepared to play no matter who you are playing,” added Hamilton. “I think in many ways we weren’t ready (for today) and when that happens you usually get beat.”
Notes: The JNT will be in action on February 28th at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg to take on the Seoul Nexen Heroes, first pitch at 1pm ET…Fans can watch the game LIVE by visiting: http://www.stpeteinternationalbaseball.com/live.htm ...Clayton Isherwood (Van Anda, BC) will start on the mound…The game against Beach State took 2 hours and 45 minutes to play and the JNT were wearing their home white uniforms…Fans can get also get live updates by following Baseball Canada on twitter (www.twitter.com/baseballcanada )...Attendance for the game was almost 1,000 people… Fans in the St. Petersburg area can purchase tickets by visiting: http://www.stpeteinternationalbaseball.com/tickets.htm , including the March 4th game against the Toronto Blue Jays.