Buckle hits first homer of T12 to lead Ontario Green to win over B.C.
By Yoram Kerbel
Canadian Baseball Network
TORONTO – Ontario Green may not be well known outside of Tournament 12, but they’re making a good name for themselves here.
The young Ontarians came back from five runs down to outlast B.C. Orange 10-8, on Saturday afternoon at the Rogers Centre. Last night they had come from behind to beat Ontario Black 5-3, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh inning.
An offensive outburst in the bottom of Saturday’s fifth propelled them to victory as Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont.) put the bats in motion hitting a home run over the right field wall into the bullpen.
“Two strikes, just looking to battle pitches off and then he left a change-up up in the zone,” he said, confidently, of his most recent accomplishment. “Luckily, I was able to drive it.”
Buckle’s home run is his first as well as the first of the tournament.
For B.C., starter Travis McDougall (Abbotsford, B.C.) pitched four innings, walking four and striking out seven, exiting the game with his team leading in position to earn the win.
B.C. Orange’s Tyson McInnis (Surrey, B.C.) replaced McDougall and it was all downhill from there. After giving up the home run, McInnis and Taisei Yahiro (Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.) combined to walk the next three batters to load the bases.
Tyler Black (Stouffville, Ont.) evened the game with a line drive to right field, bringing home the runners from second and third for an 8-8 score, but the Green squad wasn’t done there. With two runners still on base, Ben Mitchell (Greenwood, Ont.) hit a hard line-drive to right field.
“I had some time to read the pitcher and I was in the dugout paying attention to him,” said Mitchell, on how he prepared for his first at bat of the game. “I saw a fastball, connected with it and shot it the other way.”
The ball was hit so hard that B.C.’s right fielder Daniel Gernon (Surrey, B.C.) bobbled it, allowing both runners to score, giving Ontario Green a two-run lead with two innings left to play.
“You know, you just never give up,” said Buckle, the young designated hitter. “It’s not over until the last out and we know that we can always come back no matter the score, and that’s what we did today.”