EL TORO, Dominican Republic –-- Eric Martin (Kitchener, ON) and Cesar Valero (Calgary, AB) each knocked in a pair of runs as the Junior National Team hung on to defeat the Dominican Summer League (DSL) Mariners, 6-5, and keep their perfect record intact through three days of the Dominican Summer League tour at 4-0.
The juniors opened the scoring in the top half of the first inning as Dasan Brown (Oakville, ON) tripled and scored on a Micah McDowell (Coldbrook, NS) single while Cesar Valero knocked McDowell in later in the inning to make it 2-0.
The score would stay that way until the fifth when the Mariners finally got to Junior National Team starting pitcher Antoine Jean (Montréal, QC) on an RBI triple.
Jean toed the rubber for five innings and struck out nine while allowing three hits and one walk. The run scored was unearned as a result of an error earlier in the inning.
Jean helped his own cause in the fourth fielding a groundball with two out and runners on second and third by outhustling the runner and diving to tag first base to end the threat.
The juniors regained their two-run lead in the sixth when Valero drove in his second run of the game on an RBI groundout while Eric Martin came up with a clutch, two-out single to centre in the seventh to plate two runs.
With the juniors winning 6-4 in the ninth, the Mariners made things interesting pulling to within one run of the lead but reliever Mitch Bratt (Newmarket, ON) dug deep to get a ground out to end the game.
Bratt grinded out four innings on the mound and had three of his outs come via the strikeout.
The Junior National Team will be back in action tomorrow with a scheduled doubleheader against the DSL Pirates followed by the DSL Blue Jays beginning at 10:30 AM ET.
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