Coral Gables, FL-A six-run sixth inning was the difference in the game as the Junior National Team dropped a 9-3 decision to the University of Miami Hurricanes. The Juniors had taken the lead in the top of the sixth before the Canes came back and held on for the win.
“I was pleased with the effort today,” said JNT Head Coach, Greg Hamilton. “We competed well. We just had a bad inning that went sideways on us.”
Skylar Janisse (Maidstone, ON) gave the Juniors an excellent start on the mound as he went five innings and gave up only one run on four hits and three walks, while fanning seven Hurricanes batters.
“His tempo was great, he had command of three pitches and competed out there,” said Hamilton of Janisse’s start. “He was outstanding as he has been for us all year.”
Down 1-0 in the fifth, the Juniors tied the score when Daniel Pinero (Toronto, ON) hit an RBI single that scored Justin Atkinson (Surrey, BC). Atkinson had led-off the inning with a single and advanced to second base when Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) reached on an infield single.
The Juniors would take the lead in the sixth when Justin Marra (Toronto, ON) singled to right field with runners on second and third base.
The lead was short-lived however, as the Canes retook the lead in the sixth. Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) came on in relief of Janisse and got into trouble with two walks and two wild-pitches that led to runs. The big blow of the inning was a bases clearing double that gave the Canes the lead.
Robson, who took the loss, was replaced by Jake Hansen (Fort Macleod, AB) who threw the seventh and eighth innings as well.
“Unfortunately we weren’t real sharp in that inning,” noted Hamilton. “You give a team like that an opportunity and they’re going to take advantage of it.”
Hansen did manage four strikeouts during his outing that saw him give up two runs on two hits and a walk.
Canada will get their first look at Team USA tomorrow (1pm ET) and once again on Monday to wrap-up their exhibition schedule.
The United States is generally considered the standard at the junior level and Hamilton knows his team will be in for a tough test.
“We’ve got to come out with some energy and compete level (tomorrow),” he said.
Both Canada and the United States will be taking part in the Americas World Junior Qualification Tournament November 17-27 in Cartagena, Colombia.
“I like our ball club,” continued Hamilton. “I think we’ve got an opportunity to be successful in Colombia.”
The only way to follow this one is to follow Baseball Canada on Twitter: www.twitter.com/baseballcanada.
Notes: Brendan Hendriks (Cochrane, AB) played his first game in the exhibition schedule and collected two hits, while Atkinson and Pinero also had two hits apiece…The Juniors were given a tour of the Hurricanes baseball facilities prior to the game by legendary Miami Head Coach, Jim Morris. The Hurricanes have won two of their four College World Series titles under Morris’ guidance (1999, 2001)…The game took place at Alex Rodriguez Park where the Yankees slugger normally works out in the off season…To view the JNT schedule, including the Americas World Junior Qualification Tournament, please click HERE