Big Innings Prove Costly for Canadian Juniors
Baseball Canada’s National Junior Team prospects lost two games in a row, Tuesday and Wednesday, to the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays, moving to 3-4 on their 2006 Dominican Republic Tour.
The Canadians’ best chance at a victory over the two-game stretch came in a 12-11 loss to the Indians on Tuesday, a contest which they led 5-0 after the first inning. Tyson Gillies (Langley, B.C.) scored from third on a single from the bat of Brett Lawrie (Langley, B.C.), while a double by Shayne Willson (Surrey, B.C.) and singles from Steve Anderson (Markham, Ont.) and Ricky Alvernaz (White Rock, B.C.) gave Canada the early lead.
However, Cleveland quickly got back into the game, taking Canadian starter Sheldon McDonald (Spruce Grove, Alta.) for four runs in the bottom of the second thanks to three singles, a double and a walk.
Canada bounced back to take a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the sixth, where the Indians came up with a five-run inning with only a pair of hits as Colin Buckborough (Niagara Falls, Ont.) walked two batters, hit another two and gave up a grand-slam homerun to bring the count to 10-7 in Cleveland’s favour.
A resilient group of Canadians, however, refused, to let the grand-slam get the better of them, clawing back to take an 11-10 lead in the slugfest mid-way through the seventh inning. Gillies kicked off the inning with a triple, which was followed by singles from Kyle Gilligan (Toronto, Ont.), Willson, and Mark Ellis (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and a walk to Lawrie.
The see-saw battle continued in the bottom half of the seventh where the Indians were able to draw a walk from Buckborough before slapping back-to-back doubles to score the final two-runs of the game and seal a 12-11 win.
Right-handers Corey Hall (Regina, Saskatchewan) and Leslie Williams (Scarborough, Ont.) merit credit for shutting down a potent Indians offence. Hall, who threw 2.2 inning allowed only one hit and one run while Williams threw the final 1.2 innings, giving up only one hit while striking out one.
Despite the loss, Canada had an impressive team effort offensively as six players had a multi-hit game:
Tyson Gillies: 2-for-3, 2 runs, triple
Brett Lawrie: 2-for-4, 1 walk, 3 runs, 1 RBI
Shayne Willson: 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBI, double
Mark Ellis: 2-for-4, 1 walk, 1 run, 1 RBI
Steve Anderson: 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBI, homerun
Ricky Alvernaz: 2-for-3, 1BB, 1 RBI
A big inning cost the Canadians again during a 12-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, Wednesday, a game that was much closer than the final score indicates.
Leading by a slim 4-3 margin and with the Canadians pressing, the Blue Jays exploded for an eight-run seventh inning to seal the win. Five singles, a hit batsman, a walk, and a double off of right-handed reliever Ryan Jenson (Langley, B.C.) accounted for damage.
Canada scored first in the game as Jordan Wideman (Mississauga, Ont.) cashed in Matt McCarney (Kanata, Ont.) with a base hit in top of the third inning.
The lead was short lived as Toronto scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. Canada clawed back to within one as Chris Dennis (Windsor, Ont.) scored on a double-play ball in the fifth and cashed in Brett Lawrie in the seventh to make it 4-3, setting up the eight-run Blue Jays' seventh.
Canadian starter Mehdi Djebbar (Montréal, Qué.) did his part to get the Canadians off to a good start, striking out a pair while allowing two hits, two walks and no runs in the first two innings. Pierre Miville-Deschenes (Candiac, Qué.) threw the next two innings, allowing the four-run Blue Jays fourth.
Before handing the ball over to Jenson, Justin Robinson (Langley, B.C.) threw a pair of innings, striking out one batter and allowing one hit. David Francis (Mississauga, Ont.) pitched the final 1.2 innings without a hit and struck out one.
Dennis went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Ellis went 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead Canada’s offence. Lawrie and Wideman both had one hit each, Willson and McCarney both score a run each and Gilligan chipped in with an RBI.
Canada’s final game on the 2006 Dominican Republic Tour comes against the Philadelphia Phillies, Thursday, in Guanuma, D.R.
May 25 – Canada 9 Seattle 6
May 26 – Canada 3 Seattle 8
May 27 – Canada 3 Minnesota 6
May 28 – Canada 5 Anaheim 4
May 29 – Canada 17 Cleveland 5
May 30 – Canada 11 Cleveland 12
May 31 – Canada 3 Toronto 12
June 1 – Canada vs. Philadelphia Phillies; 11 a.m. EST - Guanuma, D.R.