Begin propels Quebec to finals with walk-off single
By Tyler Partridge
Canadian Baseball Network
TORONTO – Quebec Blue advanced to the T12 finals on Sunday with a walk-off win against Alberta thanks to a single by one of the team’s youngest players, Jason Begin.
The bottom of the seventh started off with a leadoff single by second baseman Anthony Gilbert (Quebec City, Que.).
After he advanced to third on a pass ball and a sacrifice fly, Begin stepped to the plate and punched a single, and the ticket to the championship game.
“It’s an incredible feeling for me to go to the final,” said the 15 year-old, after being mobbed by his teammates. “To help my team win, it’s a great feeling.”
It was a back and forth game as Quebec got on the board in the top of the first with a sac fly by DH Dannick Roussel (Gatineau, Que.). Later that inning Nicolas Tremblay (Mont St. Hilaire, Que.) hit a bloop single knocking in the second run of the inning.
But Alberta starter Brandon Woods (Red Deer, Alta.) locked in after that, pitching four scoreless innings of two-hit ball.
Laron Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) made a stellar defensive play in the bottom of the fourth, to rob Phillipe Breton (Repentigny, Que.) of a base hit.
In the top of the fifth, Alberta’s bats came alive when Smith broke up the Quebec staff’s combined no-hitter.
After a Ty Penner (Lethbridge, Alta.) double, Kye Seitz (Calgary, Alta.) hit a sac fly cutting the lead to 2-1. During the next at bat a throwing error by Quebec catcher Breton, allowed the runner to score from third, tying the game.
Ayden Makarus (Airdrie, Alta.) put Alberta ahead with a triple to the right field gap.
In the top of the sixth, Raphael-Xavier Pelletier (Repentigny, Que.) made a diving play at short, but Noah Matsabura (Okotoks, Alta.) legged it out for an infield single. Stealing second, he was driven home by a Cooper Jones (Ponoka, Alta.) single, to put Alberta ahead 4-2.
Quebec got to Woods in the bottom of the sixth, when Tremblay hit a single and came around to score on a passed ball, cutting the deficit to 4-3. Next batter was Martin Vincell-Simard (Boisbriand, Que.), who knocked in the tying run, driving Woods from the game.
Begin finished the dramatic comeback with his first hit of the game against Alberta relief pitcher Adam Macko (Stony Plain, Alta.). Alfonso Villalobos (Kirkland, Que.) earned the win for Quebec.
It was a quick turnaround for the Quebecois team as they were set to start the championship game just a half hour after their walk off victory.