9/22/2013 11:23 P.M. ET
Maritimes-Grey reaches semis at Tournament 12
By Chris Toman / Special to MLB.com
TORONTO -- Maritimes-Grey became the first team to clinch a spot in the Tournament 12 semifinals by winning both of their games Sunday at Rogers Centre to improve to 3-0.
The Maritimes-Grey squad only managed three hits in their first game of the day, but drew 13 walks and took advantage of control problems from the Quebec-Blue pitchers to win, 9-7. Four players on the Maritimes scored twice, including Evan Comeau, who also added a double. Maritimes starting pitcher Myles Vincent battled control issues himself, walking five over three innings, but also struck out five and his fastball reached 87 mph.
Quebec's Sebastiano Scalzo had a triple and drove in three runs in the losing effort.
Maritimes later improved to 3-0 in the tournament with a 5-4 win over Ontario-Green. A number of players hit the ball hard for the Maritimes, including Comeau (2-for-3, two runs scored), Colby Turple -- who rocked an opposite-field triple -- and Codey Shrider. The 21-year-old Shrider smashed an RBI double and came up with the play of the game when he made a perfect throw to the plate from right field to nail Ontario's Austen Swift in the seventh inning.
Shrider's toss ended up being a pivotal play in the game and helped the Maritimes remain undefeated, as Ontario plated three runs in the frame, finally showing signs of life after a quiet start to the contest. Top prospect Gareth Morgan made things interesting by driving in a pair of runs on a hard-hit RBI single to left to make it a 5-4 game, but Ontario was unable to strike again.
It's a good thing that Reid Fritzke (Prairies-Brown) intends to ditch hockey and fully commit himself to baseball. Touted as a sleeper entering the tournament, he has put together a strong showing.
"I have felt pretty good. I have come in here and relaxed," said Fritzke, who went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI in a 9-4 loss to Alberta-Red.
Fritzke, who's eligible for the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and should garner consideration from American colleges, plays in Saskatchewan -- not a hotbed for baseball -- throughout the summer, so participating in a high-profile showcase such as the Tournament 12 is not something he's used to. But the 6-foot-2, 190-pound third baseman has more than held his own.
"I have been impressed," said a scout from an American League club. "It's one thing to have the physicality that he has, but to come into a tournament out of where he comes from and perform, it speaks even more to his ability and it has been very interesting."
Alberta's Alexander Bishop went 1-for-3 with four RBIs in the win, while Brady Porter was 1-for-3 with a triple and drove in two runs.
The Prairies fell to 0-3 in the tournament after losing to Ontario-Maroon, 5-2, in the final game of the day.
Ontario-Maroon starter Jake Conway allowed one run on two hits while walking two and striking out five. There were seven players for Ontario who recorded a hit, including Tristan Clarke, who just missed hitting a home run. Clarke's ball landed just short of the wall in left field and he settled for a double on the play.
Cole Warken went 2-for-3 with a double and a pair of RBIs in the losing effort, which eliminated the Prairies from the next round.
The biggest hit of the day came from top prospect Josh Naylor (Ontario-Black), who crushed a two-run homer to right field in a 9-6 victory over British Columbia-Orange.
"I'm just trying to stay relaxed and be me," said Naylor, who later added a single and scored twice. "I have quick hands so I use that to my advantage."
Demi Orimoloye went 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the win, while Austin Guzzo-Foliaro rocked a bases-clearing triple off British Columbia starter Colton Wood.
Wood threw three innings of three-run ball for British Columbia. He walked four, struck out four and hit 87 mph on the gun. Luke Horanski went 2-for-4 in the losing effort and Tosh Semlacher (1-for-2) ripped a triple, scored a run and walked twice. Semlacher, who hit a team-leading seven homers at Willamette University in Oregon last school year, is one of the older players in the tournament at 21, but still someone scouts are keeping tabs on.
"Tools are tools," said a scout for a Major League team. "When a guy has the Major League tools like Tosh does, that's something that creates the interest for us."
The first tie in the tournament occurred when Futures-Navy and Quebec-White finished squared up at 2. The Futures team outhit Quebec, 8-3, and were led by 14-year-old Cooper Davis, who went 2-for-4 and drove in one run. Quebec's Jonathan Martin, 16, hit a solo homer -- the third of the tournament -- in the second inning off Futures starter Nathan Arruda.
Futures-Navy will face Alberta-Red in the first of six games Monday at 8 a.m. ET.
Chris Toman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.