Junior National Team trials squad rolls past Canada in exhibition play
Squad erupts for 18 hits in 10-3 victory in final game before 2007 Junior National Team announcement
August 19, 2007
Box Score | Scoreboard/Results
JOPLIN, Mo. - Garrison Lassiter (INF; High Point, NC) and David Freitas (C; Wilton, CA) had three hits apiece to highlight an 18-hit barrage as the USA Baseball Junior National Team Trials squad waltzed past Canada's Junior National Team, 10-3, on Aug. 19 in an exhibition contest played at historic Joe Becker Stadium.
The contest ended a three-game exhibition slate for the JNT Trials team, which is composed of 33 players who are battling for a spot on this year's 20-member Junior National Team for international competition. Following the contest, the JNT's final roster was set to be announced.
Following a three-day training period, which includes a 6 p.m. (Central time) exhibition game Aug. 21 against Canada at Joe Becker Stadium, the squad will depart Aug. 23 for Ixtapa, Mexico, where the JNT will compete in the Confederation of Pan American Baseball Federations "AAA" Pan Am Junior Championships Aug. 24-Sept. 2. The Junior National Team participates in two major events in bi-yearly cycles - the COPABE Pan Am Championships and the International BAseball Federation World Championships. The Pan Ams serve as a qualifier for the ensuing year's World Championships. Team USA earned a silver medal at the 2005 Pan Am Championships held in Villahermosa, Mexico.
Lassiter and Freitas were mid-game replacements against Canada but each still managed to get three base hits, drive in a run and score twice. Lassiter's three-hit day followed a 3 for 4 performance at the plate just one night earlier in the team's 6-3 exhibition loss to Chinese Taipei.
"I thought we responded well (from the setback)," JNT Head Coach Victor Solis said. "We did some of the little things much better against Canada. But the key difference was that when we had big opportunities today, we took advantage of them. Of course, you have to credit Chinese Taipei for not allowing us to do those things last night."
The JNT Trials squad (2-1 in Joplin) raced to a 7-0 cushion and never looked back. The team took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. LJ Hoes (OF; Bowie, MD), who notched two hits and scored two runs, lined a one-out single, stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Robbie Grossman (OF; Cypress, TX). The team added two more runs in the fifth inning. Harold Martinez (INF; Miami, FL) plated one run on a sacrifice fly while Kyle Buchanan (C; Auburn, WA) knocked in the other with a single. The Trials squad broke the game open with a four-run seventh. Kyle Lobstein (OF; Flagstaff, AZ) registered a two-run double in the frame. After Canada answered with a three-run outburst in the bottom of the seventh, Kyle Skipworth (C; Riverside, CA) cracked a two-run opposite field double in the eighth to make it 9-3. Freitas' RBI single ended the scoring in the ninth.
Ten Trials team hurlers combined to limit Canada to just six hits while striking out 13. The staff did record three hit batsmen and issued four walks. Chad Stang drove in two of Canada's runs with a double in the seventh inning.
The USA Baseball Junior National Team is a perennial power on the international baseball scene. Only once in the 22-year history of the IBAF World Junior Championships has the United States failed to capture a medal. During this time, the JNT - the defending silver medalist - has earned five gold medals, 10 silver medals and six bronze medals in World Championship competition.