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Juniors swept by Cuba in doubleheader

Guines, Cuba- The Junior National Team faced a doubleheader with Cuba one day after the Cubans scolded the Canadians 14-3 in game one of the Cuba Summer Series. In the first game the Canadians kept it close, but Cuba hung on for a 3-1 victory before the second game saw a similar result to yesterday’s game, this time, a 14-5 Cuban victory.

Cuba 3 JNT 1 (7 innings)

Skylar Janisse (Maidstone, ON) took the mound in game one of the double-dip and had a quality outing to keep his team in the game.

“I threw strikes, kept the ball down and tried to keep them off balance,” said Janisse after the game. “It helped me that I was able to chart their hitter’s yesterday and see how their swings were.”

Janisse worked his way out of trouble in the 3rd when he gave up a single with one out that saw the runner steal second and advance to third when Jordan Procyshen (Calgary, AB) sailed his throw from behind the plate into centre field. Janisse then induced two straight ground ball outs to keep Cuba off the scoreboard.

Cuba struck first in the 4th when Janisse issued two consecutive walks, and after an out was recorded, a line drive to left got under the glove of Jacob Robson (Windsor, ON) to score a run.

With runners on second and third, a ball fooled first baseman Bryan Saucedo (Toronto, ON) and rolled into right field which led to two more Cuban runs. Two ground ball outs by third baseman Brandon Collins (Toronto, ON) ended the inning.

Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) drew a walk to open the 5th and beat out a throw to second base off a ball hit but Johnny Caputo (Toronto, ON), giving the JNT two runners on with none out. Collins (Toronto, ON) kept things going when his single loaded the bases, prompting a pitching change from Cuba.

The new pitcher issued a free pass to Daniel Pinero (Toronto, ON), scoring Morgan and the JNT was on the board with their first run of the game.

Canada’s luck changed when Jamar Burnette (Toronto, ON) struck out and Caputo was picked off from third base. Jacob Robson then hit a ball off the third base bag and it looked as though all runners would be safe, but Pinero overran second base and Collins was eventually tagged out near home plate after he was forced to go home.

In the 5th, Janisse recorded a strikeout with a runner on third and ended his day giving up 3 runs (0 earned) on 2 hits, 3 walks and the 1 strikeout through 5 innings.

“I had my curveball going today which helped me through my outing,” explained Janisse. “With the curveball, I was able to get groundballs which also led to some key double plays.”

Jesen Dygestile-Therrien (Montréal, QC) took over for Janisse to start the 6th and gave up a line drive single to centre right away, but was the beneficiary of a nice double play turned by Collins and Kyle Hann (Oakville, ON). Therrien had a strikeout for the final out of inning.

Procyshen (Calgary, AB) picked up his second hit of the day when he lined a double over the centre-fielder’s head to lead-off the 7th. The Cubans would close the door though, recording three straight strikeouts to end the game after 7 innings.

Cuba 14 JNT 5

Cuba continued to roll offensively as they belted out 17 hits only one day after having 18 hits to beat the Junior National team for a third straight game, this time by a 14-5 score.

Cuba opened the scoring when Lazar Hernandez blasted a solo homer over the left field fence off JNT starter Clayton Isherwood (Van Anda, BC).

They would go on to score three more times in the inning thanks to three more hits, two walk and an error.

The Juniors had a chance to score in the bottom of the 4th as Kyle Hann walked and Justin Marra shot yet another single through the right side, for his fifth hit of the series. A passed ball advanced the runners, but two straight pop-outs kept the JNT off the board.

Isherwood gave up another run in the 3rd before Dayton Dawe (London, ON) took over in the 5th.

Dawe gave up two consecutive doubles to put runners on second and third to start the inning. The run from third scored when Brody Hawkins (Delta, BC) couldn’t handle a high fastball that ended up getting to the backstop. With the infield in, Daniel Pinero fielded two ground balls at shortstop and held the runner at third while recording the outs.

Dawe was unable to record the final out as he walked a batter, who then stole second while another run came in when Hawkins threw to second allowing the runner from third to come home.

When the 5th inning was complete the Cubans had a commanding 8-0 lead.

In the 6th, Jamar Burnette (Toronto, ON) collected his first hit as a member of the JNT when he lined an opposite field single to left, while Hann followed it up with a single of his own to centre field. Marra earned a walk and the bases were loaded with two out for Johnny Caputo (Toronto, ON), who delivered a single off the first baseman to bring in two runs.

Dawe got into trouble again in the 7th and Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) entered the game with the bases loaded and one out. Robson was hit on the foot for a single by the first batter he faced which brought home another run. The Cubans would score two more in the inning for a 13-2 lead.

Daniel Pinero (Toronto, ON) led-off the 8th with double down the left field line, advanced to 3rd on a groundout and scored on a Burnette groundout.

In the 9th, with the score 14-3, Chris Shaw (Winnipeg, MB) swatted a two run homer to left field with two out. Marra scored on Shaw’s homer after singling for his second hit of the game.

The Canadians had ten hits in the ballgame, but 17 hits combined with 11 walks given up provided Cuba with more than enough runs to win.

Notes: The JNT will next take on Cuba on Wednesday (July 6th) as the series shifts to Latinoamericano Stadium in Havana, with the game scheduled for 8pm ET…It is expected that this game will be televised on Cuban National TV…Fans can receive live scoring updates by following Baseball Canada on Twitter ( ) ... The Cuba Summer Series 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.