LISMORE, Australia – The Junior National Team is in Australia preparing for the upcoming World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U18 Baseball World Cup with a six-game series against the Australian U18 side.
Twenty-two athletes are vying for one of 20 available roster spots for the U18 world cup that will take place from August 30 – September 8 in Gijang, South Korea.
GAME 1 – Canada 12, Australia 6 (Box Score & Play-by-Play)
The Junior National Team belted out 13 hits en route to a 12-6 win over Australia to open the series with a victory.
Trailing 1-0 after three innings, the juniors struck for two runs in the fourth and proceeded to score runs in each of the next six frames including a four-run eighth inning.
Micah McDowell (Coldbrook, NS) paced the offence with a three hit game and three stolen bases while Dasan Brown (Oakville, ON) and Elijha Hammill (Oakville, ON) picked up two hits apiece as nine different players recorded hits. Hammill added two RBI with Brown, Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, ON) and TJ Schofield-Sam (Brampton, ON) each driving in one run.
On the mound, starting pitcher Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC) worked two scoreless innings scattering four hits with two strikeouts while Evan O’Toole (Bridgewater, NS) fanned three over two innings of relief work. Antoine Jean (Montréal, QC), Calvin Ziegler (Heidelberg, ON) and Mitch Bratt (Newmarket, ON) also saw work on the mound.
GAME 2 – Canada 1, Australia 4 (Box Score & Play-by-Play)
After dropping game one of the series, Australia used nine hits and took advantage of three Canada errors to come away with a 4-1 victory.
A fielding error by Austin Gomm (Mississauga, ON) on the first batter of the ballgame, followed by a triple off starting pitcher Connor O’Halloran (Mississauga, ON) gave Australia an early lead before Canada had their first turn at the plate.
O’Halloran was literally unhittable over the remainder of his three-inning outing and finished with three strikeouts.
Australia added to their lead with runs in each of the fifth and sixth frames coming with reliever Carter Morris (Vernon, BC) on the mound before Canada scored their lone run of the game in the bottom of the sixth when Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, ON) plated Elijha Hammill (Oakville, ON) with a sacrifice fly to centrefield.
Canada was limited to just four hits on the afternoon with Cesar Valero (Calgary, AB), Joshua Walker (Victoria, BC) Raphaël Pelletier (Montréal, QC) and Micah McDowell (Coldbrook, NS) picking up base hits.
Eli Saul (Vancouver, BC) was on the mound for an unearned run in the ninth and had five strikeouts over three innings of work.
GAME 3 – Canada 10, Australia 12 (Box Score & Play-by-Play)
An eight-run third inning that saw Canada commit three errors and let a three-run lead slip away aided Australia in an eventual 12-10 victory as they picked up their second consecutive win of the exhibition series.
Canada struggled defensively committing seven errors in the contest while 10 walks issued added to the woes.
Canada had jumped out to a three-run lead after two and a half frames thanks to a sacrifice fly from Elijha Hammill (Oakville, ON) in the second before scoring two runs in the third including an Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, ON) RBI single.
Australia chased Canada starting pitcher Adam Maier (North Vancouver, BC) from the game after scoring five runs on five hits, a walk and error in the third before they plated three more runs on a walk issued by reliever Justin Thorsteinson (Langley, BC) before the third error of the frame made it 8-3.
Trailing by seven in the top of the seventh, Canada took advantage of a Hammill single, four walks and a sac-fly from Ryan Leitch (Whitby, ON) to cut into Australia’s lead before making things interesting in the ninth scoring two runs highlighted by a run-scoring triple to centre off the bat of Leitch.
GAME 4 – Canada 11, Australia 2 (Box Score & Play-by-Play)
Dasan Brown (Oakville, ON) belted a solo home run in the first inning while Austin Gomm (Mississauga, ON) went 4-for-4 and knocked in four runs to lead Canada to an 11-2 win over Australia.
Starting pitcher Mitch Bratt (Newmarket, ON) turned in a stellar performance on the mound working six innings allowing just one run while striking out seven batters before turning things over to Evan O’Toole (Bridgewater, NS) who gave up one run and fanned four over two innings of work, while Connor O’Halloran (Mississauga, ON) tossed a scoreless ninth inning.
Micah McDowell (Coldbrook, NS) contributed a triple and drove in two runs as part of a 2-for-4 game at the plate as Canada recorded 11 hits on the game.
GAME 5 – Canada 3, Australia 4 (Box Score & Play-by-Play)
Australia scored four times in the bottom of the sixth to erase a three-run deficit to earn a come-from-behind win in game two of the doubleheader.
With reliever Calvin Ziegler (Heidelberg, ON) on the mound and the bases loaded, a double that got past a diving Micah McDowell in left scored two runs before an RBI ground out and single to centre brought in the tying and go ahead runs.
Antoine Jean had put on a pitching clinic for four innings allowing just one hit with five strikeouts over four innings of work in an outing that required just 52 pitches.
In the first, Dasan Brown belted a double to left that scored Micah McDowell with the game’s first run before the duo connected in the fifth on back-to-back singles with two scoring on Brown’s to increase Canada’s lead to 3-0.
GAME 6 – Canada 6, Australia 11 (Box Score & Play-by-Play)
Australia clinched the series win with an 11-6 victory using 15 hits and taking advantage of four Canada errors along the way.
Down 3-0 in the third, Canada got on the scoreboard when Joshua Walker (Victoria, BC) crossed home plate on an error before Micah McDowell’s sac-fly to left scored Raphaël Pelletier (Montréal, QC) to cut the lead to one.
Noah Hull (Toronto, ON) then cashed in two on a double to left field in the fourth before Micah McDowell’s RBI ground out in the fifth scored Canada’s sixth run of the game.
Reliever Eli Saul (Vancouver, BC) worked two scoreless innings and struck out three batters.
Baseball Australia is providing live scoring for all games of the series that can be accessed here…For up-to-date information on the Junior National Team, please follow @BaseballCANJNT on Twitter.