SAINT PETERSBURG, FL--- Fresh off of a winter working out indoors, the Junior National Team program kicked-off their 2020 schedule facing some familiar faces on a Toronto Blue Jays prospects squad and held a brief lead before the Jays rallied to come away with a 7-4 victory.
Junior National Team grad Dasan Brown (Oakville, ON), a 2019 third round pick of the club, paced the Jays’ offence with a 2-for-5 day at the plate that included an RBI triple in the eighth to tie the score.
The Jays took the lead later in the frame on a wild pitch before adding a pair of insurance runs in the ninth.
National Team alums J-C Masson (Lévis, QC), Demi Orimoloye (Orleans, ON) and Otto Lopez (Montréal, QC) appeared in the game for the Blue Jays along with Canadians Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, AB) and Alex Nolan (Burlington, ON).
A lead off single by Brown off of former teammate Theo Millas (Burnaby, BC), followed by a triple to centerfield staked the Jays out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first before they added runs in the second and third to lead by three after three innings.
Millas allowed two runs over an inning and two-thirds of work that included three hits, four walks and three strikeouts.
Connor O’Halloran (Mississauga, ON) took over in the third frame and allowed a run before setting in for two scoreless innings. O’Halloran gave up two hits and issued four walks while striking out three batters.
The juniors got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the fourth and it was Elijha Hammill (Oakville, ON) who knocked in Brando Leroux (Markham, ON) from third base before coming around to score when Max Grant (Fredericton, NB) reached on an error.
Grant was in the mix again in the seventh when his single to right field scored David Calabrese (Maple, ON) to tie the score while Drew Lawrence (London, ON) followed with a solid single to right that brought in Hammill to give the juniors the lead.
The Jays answered back in the eighth when Brown’s triple off reliever Justin Thorsteinson (Langley, BC) tied the score and they went ahead when he scampered home from third on a wild pitch.
Alexis Gravel (Repentigny, QC) tossed the final two frames and was on the mound for two unearned runs allowing one hit, one walk and striking out one batter.
The Junior National Team will be back in action tomorrow (1PM ET) at Baseball City in St. Petersburg to face the Fort Lauderdale Stars in the first of two consecutive games against the independent club…Pitchers Willy Watson (Brampton, ON), Maddux Mateychuk (Dominion City, MB) and Giordano Mezzomo (Coquitlam, BC) are all expected to see action on the mound.
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