Connor O’Halloran struck out seven batters in a dazzling start, propelling Team Orange to a 9-0 victory over Team Black in the third game of the Blue Jays’ Tournament 12, Wednesday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.
The native of Mississauga showed why Prep Baseball Report ranked him as the number one prospect in Ontario, by spinning three shutout innings and allowing just one hit and a walk.
C.J. Maury, of Brampton, Ont., gave Orange a 1-0 lead in the second inning, smacking an RBI single to centre field following a pair of walks from Team Black starter Conor Pote.
Pote, of Okotoks, Alta., uncorked his third wild pitch of the game two batters later, allowing Nanaimo, B.C.’s, Aaron Marsh to score from third, giving Orange a 2-0 cushion.
Pote’s second inning control issues continued to cost his team. Following another walk, the towering 6-foot-6 starter threw his third wild pitch of the inning, fourth overall, allowing Maury to score Orange’s third run of the game.
Marsh extended the Orange lead to 4-0 with an RBI single in the third following a single and a stolen base from Team Orange catcher Nickolas Thibodeau, of Burlington, Ont.
Orange continued the offensive onslaught in the fourth inning.
After reliever Micah Bucknam, of Abbotsford, B.C., induced two groundouts to start the inning, Orange loaded the bases before Swift Current Saskatchewan’s Brody Alexandre lined a double to centre field, clearing the bases and giving his team a 7-0 lead.
Alejandro Cazorla Granados, also from Okotoks, drove in the final two runs for Orange, knocking a single to centre in the fourth and a sacrifice fly in the sixth to extend the Orange lead to 9-0.
Burnaby, B.C.’s Theo Milas was excellent in relief of O’Halloran, pitching two shutout innings of his own. The pair earned co-Player of the Game honours.