BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic – A four-run ninth inning saw the Dominican Summer League Mets claw their way back to tie the Junior National Team in what eventually went down as a 5-5 tie.
The juniors, looking to win their opener of a 13-game tour of the DSL, saw the Mets use two walks, an error and a pair of two-run doubles to score the four runs to draw even.
Prior to that the juniors used five scoreless innings from starter Griffin Hassall (Newmarket, ON) and pounded out thirteen hits to build a 5-0 lead before the Mets scored their first run of the ballgame in the eighth.
-It didn’t take the Junior National Team long to get going in the top of the first as TJ Schofield-Sam (Brampton, ON) doubled to left with one out and moved to third when Noah Naylor (Mississauga, ON) reached on an error to put runners on the corner. LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, AB) then followed with a hard single to left that plated Schofield-Sam with the first run of the ballgame.
-Daniel Carinci (Ajax, ON) dropped a bunt down leading off the top of the fourth and beat the pitcher to the bag for a base hit before TJ Schofield-Sam followed with a single to right to put runners on the corners. Noah Naylor then lifted a fly ball to centre that went for a sac fly and the juniors led by two.
-Just as he did in the fourth, Daniel Carinci got things started in the sixth with a leadoff double down the left field line and scored two batters later on a Noah Naylor triple. LaRon Smith kept his hot bat going as he picked up his second RBI single of the game with a base hit to centre that made it 4-0.
-Three walks and a wild pitch saw Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, ON) cross home plate to give the juniors a 5 run lead in the seventh.
-The Mets broke the shutout in bid in the eighth as a single followed by a pair of wild pitches issued by reliever Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket, ON) put a runner on third before a base hit to centre brought the runner in.
-In the ninth, Pulford-Thorpe walked the leadoff batter before giving way to Viktor Bergeron (Terrebonne, QC) who quickly recorded a strikeout before an error and walk loaded the bases. A one out double to left scored two, before a two out double; just beyond the reach of left fielder Blake Buckle’s (Milton, ON) glove scored the third and fourth runs of the frame.
-Griffin Hassall strung together five impressive innings on the mound and got some fine defence in the fifth to cap his five scoreless frames. Heading into his final inning of work, Hassall hadn’t allowed a base runner since a one out error in the first but walked the first two batters he faced in the fifth before a single loaded the bases. A strikeout, followed by a 4-6-3 double play ended the inning and kept the Mets off the scoreboard.
-The juniors swung the bats in this one recording 13 hits with Daniel Carinci and TJ Schofield-Sam collecting three hits apiece out of the leadoff and two-hole spots in the batting order. LaRon Smith collected two hits as eight different Junior National Team hitters had hits.
The Junior National Team will play a doubleheader tomorrow beginning with a match-up against the DSL Cubs at 10AM ET to be followed by a contest against the DSL Yankees…RHP Eric Cerantola (Oakville, ON) will start on the mound against the Cubs while RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, ON) will get the nod against the Yankees.
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