WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – There were a lot of zeroes on the scoreboard at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches today as the Junior National Team and a prospects squad from the Houston Astros organization played to a 0-0 tie.
Those zeroes were thanks in large part to the efforts of Ben Abram (Georgetown, ON), Eric Cerantola (Oakville, ON) and Tate Dearing (White Rock, BC) who combined to limit Astros’ hitters to just two hits and just nine base runners.
Abram started and worked three hitless innings with his only blemish coming on a hit batter in the first. He struck out four batters and retired seven in a row before a two out error in the third.
Cerantola entered the game in the fourth and quickly got a line out to centre before a batter reached on a dropped third strike. Cerantola then induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
A lead off single in the fifth was erased when Noah Naylor (Mississauga, ON) gunned the runner down trying second before Cerantola got a pop out to second to sit the Astros down.
The Astros threatened in the sixth as Cerantola walked three but picked up his second strikeout of the game to leave the bags full.
Tate Dearing took over on the mound to start the seventh and quickly managed a pair of groundouts before an error and a walk put runners on the corners. A line out to third ended the inning and started a string of string of six consecutive outs for Dearing that included a pair of strikeouts.
He allowed a two out single in the ninth put picked the runner off at first base to end the ballgame.
-The juniors had a chance to score in the first as a hit batter and two walks loaded the bases before the Astros got out of it.
-Walks to Dasan Brown (Oakville, ON) and Denzel Clarke (Pickering, ON) in a between a single off the bat of Jaden Brown (Mississauga, ON) loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but a double play ended the threat.
-Noah Naylor and Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, ON) also recorded hits on the afternoon.
The Junior National Team will play an inter-squad game on Saturday before facing the independent Fort Lauderdale Stars on Sunday at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches with the first pitch scheduled for Noon ET.
(Photo: Amanda Fewer)