WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – Jaden Brown (Mississauga, ON) hit led off the bottom of the seventh with an inside the park home run that turned out to be the eventual game-winning run as the Junior National Team went on to defeat the independent Fort Lauderdale Stars, 7-2.
Brown drove a 2-and-0 pitch to centre and circled the bases touching home to put the juniors up by three. The Stars replied with two in the top of the eighth before the juniors salted the win away with four runs in the bottom of the inning.
Starter Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Pickering, ON) worked three scoreless innings allowing just one hit and fanned five, while Declan Dutton (North Vancouver, BC) followed with three scoreless innings of his own giving up just a pair of walks with two strikeouts.
-The juniors opened the scoring in the fourth as Jaden Brown drew a leadoff walk and came around to score when Kendall Keller (Pilot Butte, SK) followed with a double to right field. Keller then moved to third on a Denzel Clarke (Pickering, ON) ground out and scored on a wild pitch.
-Brown’s inside-the-park home run put the juniors up by three in the seventh.
-Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC) gave up back-to-back doubles to start the eighth that put the Stars on the scoreboard before a wild pitch and RBI groundout brought them to within one run of the lead.
-The juniors answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning, all-scoring with two out. Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC) got things going with a single to centre and Jaden Knight (Langley, BC) followed with a walk before TJ Schofield-Sam (Brampton, ON) doubled to right to bring in both runners. LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, AB) added an RBI single and scored on a bases loaded walk.
-The juniors outhit the Stars, 6-4, with six different players recording hits including Keller, Schofield-Sam and Noah Naylor (Mississauga, ON) with doubles.
-Jaden Brown also added a stolen base to his stat line while Nicolas Tremblay (Mont St-Hilaire, QC) had two.
The Junior National Team will play face a prospects squad from the Houston Astros organization tomorrow at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches with the first pitch set for Noon ET…RHP Griffin Hassall (Newmarket, ON) is the scheduled starter.
(Photo: Eddie Michels)