In Ronchi Dei Legionari, the Canadian Junior National Team failed to get anything going offensively and Italy scored five runs in the sixth inning en route to an 8-2 exhibition baseball win.
The juniors committed four errors on the evening and also walked seven Italian batters.
Starter Jake Marks (Brights Grove, ON) allowed a run in the first inning on a sacrifice-fly after giving up a walk and single. Both runners had advanced on a wild-pitch.
It didn’t take long for the juniors to respond as Jacob Robson (Windsor, ON) led off the bottom of the first with a double down the left field line, moved to third on a wild-pitch and scored when Kyle Hann (Oakville) grounded out to second base.
Marks got into trouble in the second inning as he issued two of his five walks and gave-up two doubles which led to two more Italian runs.
The junior bats went silent for the third, fourth and fifth innings as they couldn’t manage a hit off Italian pitching.
Marks settled in after the second and lasted five innings giving up three runs on four hits and five walks, while striking out five batters.
Myles Vincent (Corner Brook, NL) replaced Marks to start the sixth and after he struck out the first batter he faced, walked two and gave-up an RBI single to give Italy a 4-1 lead.
Vincent did not get much help from his defence as the juniors committed three errors in the inning and when the dust cleared Italy had a commanding 8-1 lead.
Vincent battled back with three consecutive strikeouts in the seventh before giving way to Logan Seifrit (Spruce Grove, AB).
The juniors looked as though they might make their way back into the game in the bottom of the inning as they loaded the bases with only one out.
Josh Naylor (Mississauga) and Mitchell Triolo (Scarborough) singled, while Jesse Hodges (Victoria, B.C.) walked, but two strikeouts ended the threat.
Seifrit fanned two and got a ground out in a perfect eighth frame, while the juniors managed a run in eighth to make the score 8-2.
Owen Spiwak (Mississauga) led the inning off with a double down the right field line and later came around to score on a single from Nathan DeSouza (Milton) who led the juniors with two hits on the evening.
Seifrit continued his strong outing in the ninth with two more strikeouts, but gave up a run without allowing a hit or walk as the Italians scored using the IBAF extra-innings rule (inning begins with runners on first and second) via a Canadian error.