Alberta, Quebec win gold at nationals
* 2B Eduardo Sanchez (Okotoks) knocked in three of the four Alberta runs in a 4-1 win over British Columbia to win gold at the junior nationals ….
By Ryan Morissette
Alberta and Québec both took home the Gold medal in their respective tournaments.
Québec captured the Gold after winning Bronze last year at the junior level, while Alberta finished out of the medal round one year ago before winning the midget title.
Junior National Championship
Alberta won six of their seven games en route to capturing the 2012 midget nationals. Winning their semi-final match up earlier in the day, it carried that momentum into the final and came out on top.
Gold Medal Game
Alberta 4 BC 1
Alberta is going home as champions! The prairie province beat their provincial neighbours to take home Gold to complete a spectacular run at the Midget National Championship. They finished the tournament with a 6-1 record losing only to BC in round-robin play, so playing them in the final provided some extra motivation.
BC took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Rees Weninger (Kelowna) scored on a wild pitch, but that was all the offense they would muster as Matt Lloyd (Okotoks) shut the door the rest of the way. Lloyd stepped up in a big way, allowing only three hits and fanning 10 batters in a complete game masterpiece. Second baseman Eduardo Sanchez (Okotoks) stepped up big offensively, driving in three of the four Alberta runs.
After finishing out of medal contention last year, Alberta came into this year’s tournament looking to improve from last year. They did that.
Bronze Medal Game
Ontario 3 Québec City 2
Garen Stevens’ (Thorndale) game winning single scored Quinton Twohey (London) to send Ontario home with the Bronze medal. The game was close the whole way through as the scored stay tied from the fifth inning on until Stevens’ heroics. Pitcher Matthew Smith (London) was brilliant on the mound for Ontario, allowing the two runs on only two hits in a tournament high eight innings pitched. Louis Bedard (Anciénne-Lorette) pitched five solid innings, but still took the tough loss for Québec.
BC 4 Québec City 3
Cole Depner (Penticton) reached base on a walk and then came all the way around to score the eventual winning run to book BC’s spot in the championship final. Relief pitcher Mike Rogers (Chilliwack, BC) pitched the final three innings and performed admirably, allowing only one hit and shutting Québec City down. Leadoff hitter Frédérick D’Amour went 2/3 in a losing cause.
Alberta 6 Ontario 3
Looking to punch their ticket into the final, Alberta got off to a strong start by scoring four first inning runs to set the tone early. Matt Lloyd (Okotoks) was the offensive catalyst, leading the way with two hits, two RBI and one run scored. Pitchers Wyle Cunningham (Red Deer) and Eric Kahl (Calgary) were efficient, giving up six hits and the three runs. Chris McQueen (London) put in a great effort with two hits and two RBI in a losing effort.
New Brunswick 3 PEI 0
Luc Hebert’s (Cogagne) complete game shutout lifted New Brunswick past PEI for the victory. A three run third inning for New Brunswick was the difference in the game.
Nova Scotia 6 Manitoba 2
Tied 2-2 heading into the fifth inning, a three run outburst from Nova Scotia lifted them past Manitoba. Catcher JG Weeks (Dartmout) had two hits and a RBI in the win.
Québec 7 Saskatchewan 2
A six run fifth inning pushed Québec past Saskatchewan to end the tournament on a winning note. Patrick Joe Lanz Sepulveda (Montréal) had one hit and two RBI to help his team win.
Midget National Championship
What a difference a year can make. After losing a heartbreaking semi-final game and winning Bronze one year ago, Québec came out and took care of business with a thrilling victory over Ontario to take home the Junior National Championship.
Gold Medal Game
Québec 6 Ontario (1) 4
After a third place finish one year earlier, Québec took home the Gold medal prize this year with a dramatic 6-4 extra inning win over Ontario. It was sweet victory for Québec, who were defeated 1-0 in last year’s tournament semi-final by an Ontario based team from Mississauga.
Ontario started off the game strong, getting out to a 3-0 lead heading into the fourth inning, but the 2012 version of Québec took advantage of five Ontario errors which allowed Québec to keep some momentum that they maybe shouldn’t have had. The game went back and forth from then on until David Champagne (Québec) drove in what would turn out to be the winning run with a RBI single.
Battling some control issues throughout the game, Guillaume Blanchette (St-Constant) battled through the adversity and pitched all eight innings to help his team win a national championship.
Bronze Medal Game
Trois-Rivières 9 Nova Scotia 3
Coming off a tough loss only an hour earlier, the hosts from Trois-Rivières made sure to still come home with a medal as they defeated Nova Scotia. They spread the offense out smoothly by scoring three runs in an inning three separate times to earn the win. Both Raphaël Gladu (Trois-Rivieres) and Miguel Comtois (Le Gardeur, QC) led the offensive attack with three RBI each. Kolby Turple (Kennetcook) had three hits in the loss.
Ontario (1) 8 Nova Scotia 0
Ryan Zimmer (London) pitched six innings of shutout baseball and Larry Balkwill (Chatham) drove in three runs to lead Ontario past Nova Scotia and into the final. Balkwill hit his tournament leading fourth home run in the sixth inning to solidify the win.
Québec 6 Trois-Rivières 4
Québec came out on top in the battle of both Québec teams and booked their ticket into the final. They made sure not to waste any time as they scored three runs in first inning to take the early lead. Throughout the game they also flexed their muscle power as Cédric Vallières (Roxton Pond) and Joël Sébastien (Gatineau) both hit home runs.
BC 7 Saskatchewan 2
BC rushed out to an early 3-0 lead and never looked back to hang on to the win. Dawson Newman (Panchland) threw a complete game gem allowing only one hit and fanning a remarkable 14 batters.
New Brunswick 12 Newfoundland and Labrador 2
New Brunswick scored 12 runs on 12 hits to defeat Newfoundland and Labrador. Mike Washburn (Fredericton) led the way offensively with two hits and four RBI and finished the tournament with nine in total.
Manitoba 6 Ontario (2) 0
Drew Haight (Cartwright) and Dustin Donald (Rossendale) had two RBI each to lead Manitoba to the shutout victory over Ontario. Their defense was sharp as well as they stranded a total of nine Ontario baserunners.