By: George Redak
Canadian Baseball Network
Behind strong outings from Vincent Beauregard and Oscar Rodriguez Quebec Blue shut out Alberta Red 4-0 in the first semifinal at Tournament 12.
Left-hander Beauregard started the game for Quebec, going 4 innings allowing only two hits and one walk.
The 18-year-old came into the game having pitched three hitless innings on Tuesday while striking out five.
“It was a big game,” said Beauregard. “I pitched two days ago, I was confident and ready when it came to do my job tonight. I wanted to go up there and just throw strikes and get the job done, so I think I did that pretty well.”
The Laval native showcased his confidence by locating his two most effective pitches. The fastball set up a very nasty curveball, a combination that was very effective on Thursday night.
“I think the curveball was pretty good today,” said the thrilled Beauregard. “My fastball was a bit slow (82 mph) normally I throw harder. Today was all about going up there and throwing strikes, I wanted the win.”
Beauregard hopes that Quebec’s pitching success is carried over to the final when William Sierra will take the mound.
“I think we have a pretty good pitching staff,” he said. “We have a very good guy on the mound for the finals tomorrow so I think we are in a good position.”
Coming in relief for the southpaw was Oscar Rodriguez who continued to dominate Alberta’s bats. Quebec’s pitching performance was something that impressed coach Denis Boucher.
“Pitching is the name of the game,” said coach Boucher, the former starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Montreal Expos. “We had it set up this way, hopefully those guys (Rodriguez and Boucher) were able to pitch in the semis and now we will try to win the final.”
Alberta’s starter Nikolas Cardinal was very efficient through the first three innings, setting down all nine batters in order on only 16 pitches.
Although Cardinal allowed two base runners in the fourth, it was only in the sixth when Quebec broke the deadlock by scoring two runs. Pierre-Olivier Avoine smacked an RBI single and would come around to score when Marcel Maxime Lacasse drove a double to right field.
“The guys gave us some better at-bats,” said coach Boucher. “We were staying on the ball a little more and making harder contact, got some good hits with men on base.”
Quebec added to their lead in the seventh inning when outfielder Isaac Deveaux and catcher Matthew Chiz-Majeur both hit RBI singles.
Beauregard, a veteran of this Tournament 12 who made his third appearance earned the win. His final thoughts on his successful outing displayed the significance of this event for many of the players.
“This is a huge event for me,” said Beauregard. “Its my third year here at T12 and obviously there is a lot of attention on me because I played on the national team. It’s a big event, I like it, but it is probably my last year here, so I’m just enjoying it and I’m really happy with what I’ve done here.”