By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network
*Originally published in the official Tournament 12 program that was printed before the tournament began.
No matter who steps into the box when Viktor Bergeron (Terrebonne, Que.) is on the mound, he won’t be intimidated.
“No hitter distracts me or scares me,” Bergeron said. “No matter who he is, I will fight, and win. I always step on the mound to win.”
Bergeron returns to Tournament 12 after participating in the event in 2016 for Quebec Blue. He was invited back to the 2017 edition while in Toronto, meaning he didn't have to take part in a tryout in Montreal.
Bergeron threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout in his first appearance at T12 in 2016, an 8-8 tie with Futures Navy. He came back the next day to pickup the win against Atlantic Maroon, working 2 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings. He walked just one and struck out four. His third and final appearance came on championship Monday when he worked a scoreless 2/3 of an inning, surrendering a hit and a walk in a 5-1 loss to Ontario Black.
The winter of 2017 was a pivotal one for the Terrebonne, Que. native. He hit 90 miles per hour on the radar gun. Many great moments have come his way but seeing 90 on the radar gun was special. It was something that he took great pride in and hopes to build off of going forward.
“There have been many very beautiful moments already in my young career,” he said. “The moment I'm mostly proud of was when the radar indicated for the first time 90 mph, in February 2017 when I threw on a practice mound inside. I think reaching 90 mph is an important step in the life of a pitcher.”
He will certainly look to use a strong fastball and a tenacious attitude to be successful on the mound at Rogers Centre and beyond. His fastball, however, is not the only weapon in his repertoire.
“I have great confidence in my fastball, in any score. I will never hesitate to use it,” he said. “But, I have the same confidence for my changeup, which I think is as effective as my fastball.”
The strapping right-hander began his baseball journey at the age of five. He had the opportunity to play in the Canadian championships in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 in various age categories, so he is no stranger to big games and having eyes on him.
He was also a member of the ABC U17 team from the age of 15. Although he was once a pitcher and a hitter he realized at the age of 12 that his future was on the mound.
With all that he has accomplished, Bergeron continues to set goals. He would love a call and invitation to participate with the Canadian Junior National Team. The competition that T12 provides is a great opportunity to show off what these players have to offer. He plans on showcasing all his hard work that has led him to this point in his career. He should know what to expect after participating in the event a year ago.
“I am aware that the competition is fierce between the players,” he said. “I must continue to work hard.”
Watching big league baseball games on television is all the inspiration Bergeron needs. He hopes to one day be on the grandest stage plying his trade for a living. The road to the Major Leagues is no doubt a long and winding one. Bergeron doesn't want to rule out any options and already knows what he wants to study if the college or university route comes his way. He also has interests away from the diamond, which can be important to stay grounded and level headed.
“I’m a fan of music (jazz, folk, country, rock),” he said. “I would like to study communication later in college and university.”
The hope is with another successful showing at T12, Bergeron will be able to garner some of the attention that he has hoped for. He knows that the hitters he will be facing are some of the best this country has to offer, something he isn't taking lightly heading into the 2017 tournament. He is looking forward to facing good hitters and showing off what he can do while hopefully impressing people along the way.
“I hope to draw attention of the scouts in preparation for the 2018 MLB Draft,” he said. “I know that my main goal is to be a pitcher and that my objective is to reach Major League Baseball.”