ORLANDO- The Houston Astros used eleven hits and took advantage of four errors for a 6-1 win over the Junior National Team in the Spring Training Camp opener.
After JNT starter Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) blanked the Astros in the top of the 1st inning, the Juniors threatened by loading the bases in the bottom of frame only to strand all three runners. Kyle Hann (Oakville, ON) reached on an error, followed by a Justin Atkinson (Surrey, BC) single and Brendan Hendriks (Cochrane, AB) also reached via error, only to see two consecutive strikeouts end the inning.
Robson gave up one run in the top of the 2nd, after a single, stolen base and error were followed by an RBI groundout to open the scoring for the Astros. Robson threw two innings giving up the loan run on two hits and a walk.
Skylar Janisse (Maidstone, ON) tossed a scoreless 3rd inning before the Astros put another run across in the top of the 4th to stake out an early 2-0 lead. The run in the 4th came after a leadoff double was cashed in by a base-hit from the second batter of the inning. Janisse also threw two frames and gave up the one run on three hits while managing to strikeout one batter.
The JNT bats were kept silent for three innings (3rd, 4th and 5th) as they were held hitless by Astros pitching.
The game was broken open in the 5th as the JNT committed two errors and the Astros stole three bases to take a four run lead. Jesen Dygestile-Therrien (Montréal, QC) started the 5th and gave up a single and unleashed a wild-pitch which allowed one of the runs to score.
In the 6th, after a solo homerun gave the Astros a 5-0 cushion, they were able to score another run as a result of a single and another JNT error. Therrien’s afternoon came to an end which saw him give up four runs, with only one being earned and strikeout three batters.
The JNT broke the goose egg in the bottom of the 6th when Joey Hawkins (Whitby, ON) walked, advanced to third base on an error and was singled home by Atkinson, who picked up his second hit of the game.
Atkinson’s two hits combined with a single from Cory Scammell (Edmonton, AB) and Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) gave the JNT four hits on the afternoon.
Both clubs were held scoreless for the rest of the game as Andrew Marra (Windsor, ON) threw two innings while Jake Hansen (Fort Macleod, AB) tossed one. Both pitchers recorded one strikeout.
Notes: The JNT will get right back at it on Saturday (April 23rd) at 10am ET as they take on the Atlanta Braves…Clayton Isherwood (Van Anda, BC) is expected to start for the JNT…The Spring Training Camp is an important step in the process as the JNT will attempt to qualify for the 2012 World Junior Baseball Championship (scheduled for Seoul, South Korea) at the Americas World Junior Qualification Tournament in Cartagena, Colombia from September 23rd - October 2nd, 2011… For more information on the JNT program, please click here.