St. Petersburg, Florida- The St. Petersburg Junior College Titans scored two runs on two balk calls in the 2nd inning and that’s all they would need en route to a 6-0 shutout over the Junior National Team.
“We didn’t get blown out by any means,” said JNT Head Coach Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, ON). “I just think we need to tidy up a few things and that’s why we’re down here (for Spring Training).”
In the second inning with Skylar Janisse (Maidstone, ON) on the mound and runners on second and third, Janisse balked to bring the first run home. On the ensuing pitch another balk was committed and the Titans were quickly ahead 2-0. Janisse threw two inning and only gave up one hit while striking out four batters, but two walks followed by the balks soured an otherwise quality outing.
Some mishaps on the base paths also cost the JNT as a runner was doubled off with none out and two runners on in the first inning while another runner was picked-off first base in the 2nd frame.
“Base running is obviously something we need to work on,” explained Hamilton. “It’s tough to work on, but it’s early in the year and we have plenty of time to clean that up.”
Jake Hansen (Fort Macleod, AB) made his second appearance of the spring and looked solid logging two innings and striking out four batters.
In the 5th, Roberto Suppa (Palgrave, ON) tossed a scoreless inning which included striking out the first batter he faced.
Unfortunately, Suppa struggled with control in the 6th inning where four walks, two hits, a wild pitch and passed ball led to four more runs for the Titans. Tanner Spencer (Craik, SK) took over for Suppa with two outs in the inning and promptly got the next batter to line-out which limited the damage.
Earlier in top half of the 6th, the JNT got two runners aboard with two out but were unable to put any runs across. Jerod Bartnik (Surrey, BC) picked up his second hit of the day when he singled in the inning while Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) was stung by a fastball on the leg.
Spencer was nearly flawless on the evening facing only seven batters in the 7th and 8th innings and allowing one base runner as a result of a base on balls.
Offensively, Joey Hawkins (Toronto, ON) and Bartnik had two hits while Cory Scammell (Edmonton, AB) and Brandon Collins (Toronto, ON) had one hit apiece.
“We’re developing, we’re trying to get people in there,” added Hamilton. “The progression part is very important for us.”
Notes: Former JNT member Brian Bardis (St. Constant, QC) pitched a scoreless inning for the Titans…Bardis is currently in his freshman season…The JNT will have an intra-squad game on March 2nd at the Walter Fuller Complex in St. Petersburg (start time is 1pm ET) before having a practice day on March 3rd…The highlight of the Spring Training trip is on March 4th when the JNT welcomes the Toronto Blue Jays to Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg…Fans interested in tickets can purchase them by visiting: http://www.stpeteinternationalbaseball.com/tickets.htm ... Fans can watch the game LIVE by visiting: http://www.stpeteinternationalbaseball.com/live.htm ...Fans can get also get live updates by following Baseball Canada on twitter (www.twitter.com/baseballcanada )