ORLANDO, FL – The Detroit Tigers took no time to put points on the board against the Junior National Team in Spring Training action, including a four-run fifth inning to put the game out of reach and give the Canadians a 9-2 loss.
The Tigers got the offence rolling immediately in the top of the first inning when a walk and back-to-back singles, all with two outs, put them up 1-0.
The Juniors would respond in kind in the bottom half of the inning on a Marcus Knecht (Toronto, ON) single to score Ivan Hartle (North Vancouver, BC), who was 2-for-3 in the game, and tie the game at one run apiece.
The Tigers would take the lead back in the second inning on a two-run double to make it 3-1.
The score would be 4-1 in the fourth inning when Canada would reduce the lead to two after Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) doubled, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly from Luke Willson (Windsor, ON).
From there, the Tigers put the Juniors behind the eight ball when they would score four runs in the fifth inning on four straight hits (single, double, single, home run) to increase the lead to 8-2. They would add another run in the sixth to complete the scoring.
On the mound, Andrew Ledger (Toronto, ON) started for the Canadians and went two innings, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks while punching out three.
François Lafrenière (St-Bruno, QC) came in relief of Ledger and threw two innings, giving up one run on two hits with a pair of strikeouts in his outing.
Nick Fogarty (Thornhill, ON) threw the next two innings and allowed five runs on six hits while striking out two
Nick Bucci (Sarnia, ON) and Jean-Christophe Paquin (St-Augustin, QC) combined to shutout the Tigers for the final three innings. Bucci allowed two hits and a walk with one strikeout in two innings of work. Paquin threw one inning and allowed one hit and a walk with two strikeouts.
The next Spring Training game for the Junior National Team will be on Tuesday, April 15th at 1 pm versus the Cleveland Indians.