ORLANDO – A five-run fourth inning by the Houston Astros put the game away as the Junior National Team was defeated by a score of 12-3 at the Disney Spring Training Camp.
Canada opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when Andrew Ruck (Whitby, ON) came in to score on an error after leading off the frame with a single, putting the Canadians ahead 1-0.
The Astros responded in the top of the second as a leadoff single later translated into a run on a passed ball, tying the game 1-1.
Jake Eliopoulos (Newmarket, ON) was the starter for the Juniors and was effective in his two innings of work, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk with one strikeout.
But then Houston broke the game open in the fourth when they would score five runs on five hits, including one run on a double steal, to take a commanding 6-1 lead.
The Canadians replied in the bottom half of the inning on a single and three walks. Ryan Johnson (Winnipeg, MB) drew the walk that drove in Brooklyn Foster (Langley, BC) and make it 6-2.
The game remained that way through the seventh due in large part to Rory Young (Langley, BC) who threw three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and a walk during that stretch. He would also strikeout four Astros hitters during his outing.
The Astros however would add to their lead in the eighth and again in the ninth, scoring three runs in each frame to put a stranglehold on this game with a 12-2 lead.
The Juniors would score one run in the bottom of the ninth as Jeff Hunt (Cambridge, ON) scored on an error to complete the game’s scoring. Hunt, along with Adam Nelubowich (Stoney Plain, AB) both went 2-for-4 in this contest.
The Junior National Team will not have to wait very long for another crack at the Houston Astros as the two teams will meet again on Thursday, April 23rd at 1 PM.