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Juniors bounce-back with win over Nationals

ORLANDO-The Junior National Team picked up their second victory of Spring Training, with a 7-4 win over the Washington Nationals. The win is a bit of redemption for the Juniors, as they were beaten 9-1 by the National the previous day.

Both teams exchanged runs in the 1st inning with the JNT scoring their run when a wild-pitch allowed Damion Smith (Windsor, ON) to score from third base. Smith had reached on an error and advanced to second on another error as the Nationals proceeded to commit six of them on the day.

Andrew Marra (LaSalle, ON), who started for the JNT, was the beneficiary of some fine defence in the 2nd, when an inning ending double play came with runners on first and second.

Bryan Saucedo (Toronto, ON) and Brendan Hendriks (Cochrane, AB) led off the bottom of the 2nd with singles and quickly advanced one base when Justin Marra (Toronto, ON) grounded out. Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) then gave the JNT the lead when he hit a sac-fly, scoring Saucedo.

After a Dustin Houle (Penticton, BC) single put runners on first and third, Jerod Bartnik (Surrey, BC) delivered a double that cashed in both runs, putting the JNT up by three.

Marra worked a three-up, three-down 3rd as his outing lasted three innings where he gave up the one run on four hits and also recorded a strikeout.

The JNT took advantage of four Nationals errors in the 3rd as Smith scored his second run of the game to give the Juniors a 5-1 lead.

The Nationals continued to struggle in the 4th and the JNT once again capitalized, scoring two more runs to go ahead by six. Jordan Procyshen (Calgary, AB) had an RBI groundout in the inning.

Jake Hansen (Fort Macleod, AB) took the mound in the 4th and turned in an impressive performance as he pitched three shutout innings. Hansen did not allow a runner by first base and gave up only three hits while striking out one batter.

The Nationals were able to chip away at the lead by scoring one run in the 7th and two more in the 9th, but that’s as close as they would get.

Roberto Suppa (Connor, ON) tossed the final three innings and gave up the three runs on four hits and walk. The final three outs of the 9th included one strikeout from Suppa.

The JNT finished the game with seven hits, of which Bartnik had two, to go along with his two RBI.

Notes: The JNT play the Detroit Tigers on Thursday (April 28th) at 1pm ET in Orlando…Michael Foster (Pickering, ON) is scheduled to start and throw two innings… 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