18U Arizona Tour 2013 - Game 5
Tour Game 5 – Ontario Nationals (Canada)
AZ Fall Classic Game 1
Sean Akroyd started the first game of the day in the main stadium at Peoria Sports Complex . Akroyd started well, facing only four batters in the first inning and economically throwing only nine pitches. Over three innings of work Akroyd gave up three hits, two runs and walked two. Offensively, New Zealand got off to a quick start with Kohei Ueha walking and promptly stealing 2nd and 3rd base. Dewald de Klerk hit a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield, scoring Ueha with NZL’s first run.
In the third inning Luke Hansen led off with a single and took second on a throwing error. Hansen moved to third on a wild pitch. Khalid Gilbert picked up the RBI (run batted in) when he flied out to deep centre scoring Hansen to give NZL a 2-1 lead. Ueha walked, stole second and de Klerk picked up another RBI with a single up the middle, driving in Ueha for the second time of the night to give NZ a 3-1 lead. Slugging corner infielder Jerome Raemaki kept it going with another base hit, but Scott Drinkwater’s hard groundball turned into an inning ending force out.
In the top of the 4th inning, Tailah Love got the Junior Diamondblacks going with a walk. Nick Koh was then hit by a pitch, and Khalid Gilbert drove them both home with a double to the wall in left center, which he stretched into a triple and gave the team all the runs they would eventually need, and a 5-2 lead. Reede Fowler then came on in relief of Sean in the bottom of the 4th, pitching two strong innings, giving up 3 hits, 2 runs and only one walk. NZL added runs in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings with veteran catcher de Klerk scorching a double in the 5th inning and then eventually scoring on a wild pitch. In the 6th, Cooper Hutchinson continued his hot hitting with a hard double and RBI, and in the 7th. Three straight hits by Drinkwater, Callum Elson, and another by Cooper Hutchinson led to the team’s final run.
Talented righty Ben Thompson came on in the 6th inning and got three straight outs, including two strikeouts, and WBC veteran Joe Boyce was called upon to close the game out in the 7th, giving up a hit and a walk before striking out two to end the game on a high note. New Zealand finished with eight runs on nine hits, and the Ontario Nationals had seven hits and 4 runs.
The team’s offense was firing on all cylinders, and the young pitching staff held down a tough Canadian side, bring the team’s record to the tour to 3-1. A 4-all tie with an Arizona Diamondbacks scout team was another solid result, with coaches from both sides ensuring their players got their work in and agreeing to finish the long day of baseball with no winner. If we receive individual statistics for top performing players, we’ll post these stats as they are sent back.