Fort Lauderdale, FL-Brett Siddall’s (Windsor, ON) two-run homer in the eighth highlighted a five-run inning as the Junior National Team went on to defeat Archbishop McCarthy High School 9-5. The win is the first of five exhibition contests the Juniors will play prior to travelling to Cartagena, Colombia next week for the Americas World Junior Qualification Tournament.
“It wasn’t pretty, but sometimes you have to win ugly,” said Head Coach Greg Hamilton. “Full marks for getting the win, but we have to clean up a lot of things.”
Archbishop McCarthy, the #1 ranked High School baseball program in the United States and two-time defending Florida 4A state champs, scored a run in each of the first, second and third innings to take a 3-0 lead.
JNT starter Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, ON) made his JNT debut and threw two innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk, while striking out three.
Quantrill was relieved by Michael Clouthier (Guelph, ON) who walked the first two batters he faced before a double-steal ensued where Justin Marra’s (Toronto, ON) throw from behind the plate sailed into centerfield allowing the third run to score.
Clouthier settled-in from there and tossed two innings, giving up one run without giving up a hit, while fanning three batters.
Canada struck for two runs in the fifth when Chris Shaw (Winnipeg, MB) double to the gap in right field to bring home Johnny Caputo (Toronto, ON) and Siddall.
In the sixth Caputo delivered an RBI single to score Marra with the tying run.
Dayton Dawe (London, ON) threw a scoreless fifth inning before giving up a lead-off homer in the sixth to put Archbishop McCarthy back in front by one.
Three pitchers, Jake Hansen (Fort Macleod, AB), Skylar Janisse (Maidstone, ON) and Ryan Kellogg (Whitby, ON), each threw scoreless frames with Janisse and Kellogg recording three strikeouts each.
“I think we threw the ball okay tonight,” said Hamilton. “We were behind a little bit more than we can afford to be, but overall, I think we threw the ball pretty well.
The five-run eighth inning began when Dustin Houle (Penticton, BC) hit a two-run single to tie the game and came around to score the go ahead run on a fielder’s choice from Caputo.
Caputo crossed home plate on Siddall’s homerun that cleared the fence in right field.
Canada added a run in the top of the ninth as Kyle Hann’s (Oakville, ON) RBI single scored Damion Smith (Windsor, ON).
“Offensively we need to get our reps and see pitching,” explained Hamilton. “A lot of guys have been off for nearly a month and their timings off which showed tonight.”
“It was a game tonight where it didn’t look like we were going to win,” continued Hamilton. “We weren’t able to generate much offensively (for most of the game) and weren’t sharp defensively, but we found a way to get a win out of it, so we’ll take some solace in the win.”
Canada will face a quick turnaround as they will take-on Florida Atlantic University tomorrow at 1pm ET on the campus of FAU.
Notes: Canada outhit Archbishop McCarthy eleven to three…The six Canadian pitchers combined for fourteen strikeouts…It is expected that Jesen Dygestile-Therrien (Montréal, QC) will start tomorrow…The only way to follow tomorrow’s game is by following Baseball Canada on Twitter (www.twitter.com/baseballcanada).