Melbourne, Florida – The iCASE Baseball Academy had its tying run at the plate in the final inning, but the Ontario Blue Jays staved off the late rally, enabling them to preserve a 9-5 win over the Huskies in the final game action of their Spring Break trip to the Sunshine State.
In the bottom of the sixth, Colton Gill broke the shutout when he lined to left, swiped both second and third (his sixth and seventh stolen bases of the week!), and scored on Jack O’Neill’s grounder to second.
After Jenna Hillman pitched a scoreless top of the seventh, Stephen Gade, Ryan Wood, Hillman, and Yanik Leroux all reached base and scored. After a Blue Jays pitching change, Aaron Spina, Cameron McDougall and Ricardo Suarez loaded the bases, but a pop out to shortstop followed by a fly out to left thwarted the iCASE rally.
“I was glad to see us fight to the finish, as it showed character and demonstrated that this week of development really sunk in,” said iCASE field manager/GM Tom Valcke.
Leroux, Chris Iltshishin, O’Neill, Suarez and Hillman shared the mound duties for iCASE. O’Neill threw a 1-2-3 third inning, and Suarez entered the game in the top of the fourth with one out and the bases juiced, and the lefty promptly struck out the next two batters with his devastating breaking ball.
The 15-man iCASE roster, based out of Stratford Northwestern Secondary School in partnership with the Avon Maitland District School Board, now heads from the ocean side to the gulf side of Florida, with plans to visit the Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training facility in Dunedin, followed by watching Team Canada 18u take on the Detroit Tigers in St. Petersburg.