By: Jose Colorado
Canadian Baseball Network
As William Sierra took a knee and tilted his head upwards to hear the words of manager Denis Boucher following Quebec Blue's 1-0 championship loss to the Prairies Purple at the Tournament 12, he was caught off guard.
“He was happy actually,” he said. “It’s a showcase so it’s a big part of our development and he wasn’t mad or anything. He understands we’re developing still.”
Bouchard’s postgame reaction was one of the few things that threw Sierra for a loop at this past week’s Tournament 12 event at the Rogers Centre.
Sierra, who hails from Montreal, Que., was given two starts – both against the Prairies – for his club as the French-speaking province attempted to repeat as T12 champions.
In his first outing, the right-hander went three complete innings and recorded three strikeouts allowing one unearned run.
In the finals, Sierra lasted longer and was more impressive. The 16-year-old went five complete innings allowing three hits and one run with five strikeouts.
He finished with a 1.13 ERA against the best team of the week at Canada’s most prestigious event for young prospects.
“I remembered some guys so I knew what to throw at some of them – my catcher helped me out a lot too,” said Sierra, who plays club ball for the Ailes du Quebec.
The youngster made up just one piece of a very solid pitching rotation for Quebec that included Vincent Beauregard - a U18 national team member.
Beauregard, along with Oscar Rodriguez, both put together a solid effort on the mound in the semi-finals against the Alberta Red to give Sierra the chance to pitch in the finals against a notably larger crowd of scouts and media members.
“I woke up a little sick today but I still went through it and I had to pitch like I always do,” he said. “I came up with it so I’m pretty happy.”
Yet despite his solid effort, Sierra’s counterpart, Zach Demchenko, was on another level for the Prairies. Demchenko went the complete game and allowed only three hits while striking out 8 en route to the Prairies first T12 championship.
Sierra was neither bitter nor disappointed following the loss in spite of putting together his best performance of the week.
“It was an amazing experience first of all,” he said. “I just want to get back here next year and have the same experience and keep on moving up.”