The Junior National Team showed the effects of a long winter off the baseball field as they suffered a 17-5 defeat to the reigning World Cup senior champions from the Netherlands.
The older and more experienced Dutch squad scored eight runs in the third inning and never looked back as they cruised to victory.
Opening day jitters combined with the first time outdoors for many players since last fall also played a role in the outcome as the Dutch recorded 15 hits including three homeruns and benefitted from eight walks and three hit batters.
Ryan Kellogg (Whitby), the 2011 junior team’s Most Valuable Player, started on the mound and looked terrific in the first inning, recording three straight strikeouts after surrendering a lead-off triple. He came back out for the top of the second and put up another scoreless frame with one strikeout.
Cal Quantrill (Port Hope) came on for the third inning and allowed a single and hit a batter before a three-run homerun opened the scoring. Quantrill’s struggles continued as he allowed two more hits and hit another batter before being removed from the game in favour of Steven Dressler (Burlington).
When the dust settled after the third inning, the Juniors were trailing, 8-0.
They got a run back in the top of the fourth when Daniel Pinero (Toronto) scored on a fielder’s choice from Gareth Morgan (Toronto). Pinero had reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on a single from Brett Siddall (Windsor).
Siddall went 2-for-4 on the evening with two singles, while Jacob Robson (Windsor) and Kyle Hann (Oakville) collected singles.
The Dutch would go on to score three times in both the fourth and fifth innings before scoring another run in the sixth to go in front, 15-1.
Dayton Dawe (London) was touched-up for three runs, while striking out two batters before giving way to Michael Clouthier (Guelph) who allowed only one run in two innings of work.
The Juniors did not go down quietly as they scored four runs in the top of the seventh as Michael Belliveau (Calgary) hit a two-run single in his national team debut, while Bryan Saucedo (Toronto) had an RBI single. Jordan Schulz (Strasbourg, SK) scored the fourth run of the inning on a wild-pitch.
Netherlands hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to round out the scoring.