Pioneer U16 baseball team showcases potential against national softball squad

By Sports Desk November 09, 2023

On a bright and beautiful Sunday afternoon, November 4, 2023, the No. 1 Softball Diamond at Up Park Camp headquarters of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) witnessed a delightful exhibition baseball game that would be remembered for years to come. The home field of the Jamaica National Softball team served as the backdrop for this unique event, where the Pioneer Select U16 baseball team faced off against Jamaica's formidable softball team.

The Pioneer Select U16 team, comprising talented individuals such as Damion Robinson, Joel Scott, Javier Grant, Francisco Williams, Odeen Afflick, Kira Cooper, Jayshaun Campbell, Noel-Lee McKen, as well as Jasmine Benjamin and Caleb Dixon, took the field with enthusiasm, setting the stage for an exciting showdown. From the very first inning, it was evident that these young athletes meant business.

Robinson, leading off the batting order, showcased his skills by scoring the first of three runs for his team. Team Captain Grant and U12 substitute player Dixon followed suit, crossing home plate and narrowing the score to 3-8 in favour of the seasoned National Softball team.

The exhibition match posed a unique challenge for the U16 team as they had to adapt swiftly to the different rules, ball, and bat sizes of softball. Despite the unfamiliar territory, the young athletes embraced the experience with determination and resilience.

Grant, holding down first base, displayed his defensive prowess with swift tags on National Team runners, keeping the pressure on the opposition and thrilling the spectators in attendance.

On the pitcher's mound, McKen, exhibited remarkable composure, leading her team's offensive efforts. Despite her softball debut, she adapted quickly to the underhand throw, demonstrating her potential to excel in the world of softball.

Behind the plate, female catcher Cooper showcased exceptional skills in handling the larger-sized softball. Her swift and accurate tags on unsuccessful runners attempting to score added an extra layer of defense for the Pioneer Select team.

In the outfield, Campbell, making his U16 debut after advancing from U12, admirably held his own. His presence in the outfield testified to his dedication and commitment to his athletic development.

National Team Technical Director Troy McCaw, who attended the exhibition match, was visibly impressed by the talent displayed by the U16 team. He identified four standout players from the Pioneer Select U16 team, acknowledging their potential for success in the sport.

This remarkable opportunity for the Pioneer Select U16 team reflects their dedication and hard work, with many of their members training in St. Thomas, Jamaica, under the guidance of Coach Kerry Ann Cooper.

Under her guidance, the team actively seeks opportunities to scrimmage and attend clinics with other teams, such as the upcoming clinic in August Town on Sunday, November 12, 2023, all in preparation for the 2024 tournaments.


Related items

  • Schmidt shuts down Twins as red-hot Yankees complete sweep Schmidt shuts down Twins as red-hot Yankees complete sweep

    New York Yankees lead-off hitter Anthony Volpe started off Thursday's game against the Minnesota Twins with a home run.

    That was all the run support Clarke Schmidt would need.

    Schmidt pitched a career-high eight innings and the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Twins with a 5-0 win.

    Schmidt permitted three hits without a walk while striking out eight as New York won for the 10th time in 12 games to become the first AL club to 30 wins.

    The Yankees (30-15) posted back-to-back shutouts at Minnesota and extended their scoreless streak to 26 innings dating to the first inning of Tuesday's series opener.

    Volpe's homer sparked a three-run first inning for New York, which outscored Minnesota 14-1 in the three games.

    Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres each hit two doubles, while Anthony Rizzo, Austin Wells and Alex Verdugo all drove in one run.

    The Twins (24-19) entered this series with only three losses in their previous 20 games before promptly being swept for the first time since April 15-17, at Baltimore.

    Mets score two in 11th to edge Phillies

    J.D. Martinez hit a go-ahead single in the 11th and later scored on a wild pitch to provide the final margin as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies to avoid a four-game sweep in the home-and-home series.

    The Phillies sent the game into extras after Bryson Stott tied the game with a single off Mets closer Edwin Díaz in the 9th.

    It marked the second straight blown save for Díaz and his third in four opportunities since May 5.

    Pete Alonso opened the scoring with a first-inning homer for the Mets (20-23), who had lost to the Phillies at home on Monday and Tuesday and then lost the opener of the two-game series in Phildelphia on Wednesday.

    In a scheduling quirk, these teams played four consecutive games split between New York and Philadelphia, as part of the arrangement with the teams playing a two-game set in London on June 8-9.

    Kyle Schwarber and Alec Bohm each had run-scoring doubles for the NL East-leading Phillies (31-14), who lost for only the fourth time in 20 games.

    De La Cruz runs wild as Reds blank Dodgers

    Elly De La Cruz had four hits, three runs and four stolen bases as the visiting Cincinnati Reds beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-2 in their series opener.

    De La Cruz now has a major league-leading 30 steals - 13 more than the next-closest player (Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Jose Caballero).

    Playing in Cincinnati's 44th game, he is the fastest player to 30 steals since 1996, when Kenny Lofton reached 30 steals in Cleveland's 41st game.

    De La Cruz had has many hits as the Dodgers (29-17), who have now totalled one run in their last two games to lose consecutive games for the first time since April 19-20.

    The Reds (19-25), who ended up using seven pitchers during a bullpen day, won for the second time in three games after going just 1-11 in their previous 12.

  • MLB: Phillies' Suarez beats Mets to become first in majors to 8 wins MLB: Phillies' Suarez beats Mets to become first in majors to 8 wins

    Ranger Suarez became the first eight-game winner in the majors and Bryce Harper homered, doubled and drove in three runs to lead the red-hot Philadelphia Phillies to a 10-5 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday.

    Suarez limited New York to two unearned runs and four hits in five innings with three strikeouts and two walks. He lowered his ERA to 1.37.

    Cristian Pache added two RBIs for the major league-leading Phillies, who have won three straight against the Mets and 16 of 19 overall.

    Harper returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with a migraine. He hit a solo homer in the first inning and added a two-run double to cap a four-run fifth.

    The Mets have lost eight of 11 to fall four games under .500 (19-23) for the first time since they were 2-6 in early April.


    Gomber leads streaking Rockies

    Austin Gomber pitched two-hit ball over six innings and rookie Jordan Beck homered and drove in a career-high five runs as the Colorado Rockies won their seventh straight game, 8-0 over the San Diego Padres.

    Gomber struck out five and walked two before a trio of relievers finished a four-hitter.

    The Rockies, who hadn’t won seven straight since an eight-game run in 2019, swept a three-game series in San Diego for the first time since 2013.

    Beck entered with just one extra-base hit in 14 games but had a two-run double in the second inning, his first career homer in the sixth and an RBI single in the eighth.

    Michael King was tagged for six runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings. He surrendered Brenton Doyle’s solo homer in the second – his major league-high 11th allowed this season.

    The Padres were shut out for the third time this season and second time on their six-game homestand.


    Rutschman gives Orioles walk-off win

    Adley Rutschman hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Baltimore Orioles to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

    With a split of the rain-shortened two-game set, the Orioles have gone 105 straight regular-season series of at least two decisions without being swept. That is tied for the third-longest run in major league history.

    They were swept by Texas in last year’s AL Division Series but haven’t been swept in the regular season since May 13-15, 2022, at Detroit.

    The streak was in danger of ending almost exactly two years later, but Jordan Westburg, who homered in the first inning, led off the ninth with an infield single before Rutschman’s high drive off Jordan Romano just barely cleared the wall in right field.

    The Orioles also extended their streak of 17 consecutive non-losing series against AL East opponents, and they remained one of three teams without a three-game skid this season (Cubs and Phillies).

  • MLB: Astros pitcher Blanco ejected following glove inspection MLB: Astros pitcher Blanco ejected following glove inspection

    Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco was ejected following a foreign substance check before Victor Caratini singled home a run in the bottom of the 10th inning in a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.

    Blanco was tossed by third base umpire Laz Diaz after a check of his glove before the start of the fourth inning. The umpires, Blanco and Astros manager Joe Espada stood at the mound for a couple of minutes discussing the issue before the right-hander was thrown out.

    Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut, allowed four hits over three scoreless innings.

    Blanco denied using an illegal substance.

    “Just probably rosin I put on my left arm,” he said in Spanish through a translator. “Maybe because of the sweat, it got into the glove and that’s maybe what they found.”

    MLB began cracking down on foreign substances in June 2021, and Blanco will likely face a 10-game suspension.

    Houston’s Alex Bregman homered after he went deep twice on Monday. He also doubled in the fourth to become the first player in franchise history with an extra-base hit in five straight at-bats.


    Nola goes distance for surging Phillies

    Aaron Nola pitched a four-hitter for his fourth major league shutout and the major league-leading Philadelphia Phillies beat the slumping New York Mets, 4-0.

    Nola struck out eight without a walk and threw 73 of his 109 pitches for strikes. He notched his sixth career complete game and first since a two-hit shutout against Cincinnati in August 2022.

    Philadelphia improved the majors’ best record to 30-13 and earned its first sweep at Citi Field since a three-game series in April 2013. The Phillies have won or tied all 12 of their series since April 5, their best such streak since August 1994 to June 1995 (13 series).

    The Mets completed a 1-4 homestand against two NL East rivals and dropped to 10-14 at home.

    The Phillies scored twice in the third inning off Jose Butto on a bases-loaded hit by pitch and Brandon Marsh’s bases-loaded walk.

    Bryson Stott had a run-scoring single in the ninth and Alec Bohm doubled home a run.          

    Butto needed 97 pitches to get through five innings – including 41 in the third. He gave up just one hit but walked four.


    Sale sharp again as Braves roll

    Chris Sale pitched two-hit ball over seven stellar innings to win his fifth straight start and Matt Olson hit a three-run homer to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 7-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs for their second straight shutout.

    Sale (6-1) struck out nine and did not issue a walk to match his win total from all last season. The veteran left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.41 ERA over his last five starts with 41 strikeouts in 32 innings.

    Starter Jameson Taillon’s error on Orlando Arcia’s grounder helped set up Atlanta’s six-run fourth inning, including Olson’s blast that made it 7-0. Michael Harris homered to lead off that inning.

    The Braves, who have won six of seven, have outscored the Cubs 9-0 in the first two games of the series.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.