LA GINA/GUERRA, Dominican Republic –-- The annual Dominican Summer League tour has been kind to the Junior National Team thus far as the club swept a doubleheader today to move to 3-0 after two days on the island.
Some timely hitting and a pair of stellar performances on the mound gave the juniors a 3-1 win over the DSL Cubs in the morning affair while Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, ON) drilled a two-run homer in the matinée en route to an 8-3 win over the DSL Royals.
JNT 3, Cubs 1 (Box Score)
The juniors came out swinging in the top half of the first as Elijha Hammill (Oakville, ON) doubled to right and came around to score on Ryan Leitch’s (Whitby, ON) single to centre before Owen Diodati drove in a run on an RBI double in the third for a 2-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC) turned in five scoreless innings on the mound, scattering six hits and a walk with two strikeouts to earn the win working his way out of trouble in the first by getting an inning-ending double play after back-to-back two out singles, and tossed a perfect frame in the fourth.
Reliever Justin Thorsteinson (Langley, BC) picked up right where Millas left off when he came in to pitch in the sixth proceeding to retire the first six batters he faced and after a lead off single and walk in the eighth, he went to work getting a pop out, strikeout and force out at second base to get out of trouble.
After the juniors took the lead in the ninth courtesy two errors, the Cubs used a lead off triple and an RBI ground out in the bottom of the inning to break the shutout bid.
JNT 8, DSL Royals 3 (Box Score)
It didn’t take long for Dasan Brown (Oakville, ON) to show the Royals what he could do on the base paths as he reached in the top of the first on an infield single, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored when TJ Schofield-Sam (Brampton, ON) grounded out to second base.
The juniors kept coming in the second inning plating four runs with Brown knocking in one on an RBI single while Micah McDowell (Coldbrook, NS) drove in two on a single to centre.
In the third, with Noah Hull (Toronto, ON) on first base, Diodati took a 3-1 offering over the wall in right field to put the juniors up, 7-0, after two and a half innings.
Josh Walker (Victoria, BC) added an RBI single in the eighth to round out the scoring for the juniors.
Starting pitcher Eli Saul (Vancouver, BC) shut the Royals down for two innings before allowing a pair of singles with two out and the bases loaded in the third as the Royals cut into the lead with three runs.
Saul kept the Royals off the scoreboard in the fourth and fifth before giving way to Adam Maier (North Vancouver, BC) who came out to the mound for his Junior National Team debut.
Maier needed just nine pitches to get through his first inning of work and ended up tossing four innings of scoreless and hitless ball while registering four strikeouts.
The Junior National Team will be back in action tomorrow with a scheduled contest against the DSL Mariners at 10AM ET.
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