Big-league dreams for Quebec’s Scalzo, 1 of 6 players from 6 provinces
* Team Alberta starting pitcher, Nick Vickers, faces British Columbia DH, Griffin Andreychuk, who went 4-for-4 with three RBIs in a 13-7 Alberta win.Photo: April Whitzman ….
By April Whitzman
LONDON, Ont. — After rain, rain, and more rain on Friday, the Baseball Canada Cup continued to tip toe through the puddles early Saturday morning. A total of 10 games were played, all of which featured strong pitching, clutch hitting, and close scores, with tough losses and some outstanding wins.
One of such games was between Quebec and Alberta. While Alberta grabbed a 4-0 lead early, Quebec never gave up and fought back, tying the game in the fifth inning and scoring two more in the sixth to win 6-4.
“It was an amazing win and a win that we needed,” said Sebastiano Scalzo, Team Quebec’s pitcher/first baseman. “Hopefully we can keep it going. We played great as a team. We fought hard and didn’t give up when we were down 4-0. It was a great team effort.”
The ability to compete was also displayed as Newfoundland and Labrador battled Manitoba game as both team’s showed consistent team play and kept it a back-and-forth game until the very end. Manitoba ended up winning by a score of 6-4.
After the game, Rob Myrden, Newfoundland and Labrador’s head coach, spoke specificity to the importance of playing as a team.
“Baseball is a team game,” Myrden said. “If you ever play the game merely for individuality, you are sunk. As individualistic as the game can be, you still have to be a team and play well as a team.
“We came to this tournament to perform as a team and act as a team. That’s how we played. Everybody was in everybody’s corner. When a game is tight like this, it’s a lot easier to win a game when you play as a team than if you play as a team of individuals.”
The same philosophy was witnessed by both Alberta and British Columbia when they faced each other Saturday afternoon. While British Columbia trailed 8-1 in the third, Alberta fought back scoring one in the first, one in the third, and five in the fourth to make it a one-run game. Alberta, however, was not willing to give in, scoring five of their own in the fifth, later winning by a 13-7 score.
After the game, Allen Cox, one of Alberta’s coaches, stated that the team mentality is what got them the win, in addition to the fact that they received some really big hits from guys who hadn’t been producing.
“We are a young team; we have a lot of first year midgets, so the team is starting to get used to playing together. But now that they are getting comfortable with each other, they are finding success as they are playing as a team. This has been crucial in games such as these. It proves that a team mentality is really important. You need to have the team comradely.”
Despite the fact than all of the players in the Canada Cup are playing with a team mentality, there is no denying that they also have individual goals and aspirations.
Corey Kavanagh, Team New Brunswick’s catcher, who went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in his teams loss to Saskatchewan.
“My goal is to be able to go play out West and play hard so I can hopefully get drafted or chosen to play for a university or college team,” said Kavanagh. “I love baseball too much to give up now.”
Across Kavanah on the field was Saskatchewan’s shortshop, Bryce Crosbie, who was also successful in that game, going 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. Crosbie’s career goals were comparable to those of the Fredericton-native.
“I’d really like the opportunity to go school somewhere and play ball and see where that takes me,” Crosbie said.
British Columbia’s shortstop/catcher, Tyler O’Nell went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs in his team’s loss to Alberta with high expectations for himself.
“In the future, I’m hoping that if I keep playing hard, I’ll make the National Team, and also be on my way to play pro ball,” O’Nell said.
Quebec’s Scalzo, however, had the biggest aspirations.
“In the future,” said Scalzo, “my goal is to make it to the majors and hit the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 of the World Series!”