By Matt Teague
Canadian Baseball Network
TORONTO-- Alberta Red’s Jack Marlin saved his best for last, coming through when his team needed him the most on opening day of Tournament 12.
After going hitless in his first three at-bats of the game, and with two runners on in the top of the seventh and final inning, Marlin smacked a double to left field scoring both runners and breaking the tie to give Alberta the 6-4 victory over Ontario Green.
Although the Okotoks, Alta., native had struggled throughout the game, he was seeing the ball well and knew that with a little bit of patience, his time would come.
“It kind of felt like it was my time because I’ve been feeling good coming up to this tournament and going 0-for-3 before that at bat wasn’t making me very happy,” said Marlin, after the game at Rogers Centre on Thursday afternoon. “So I figured it was time.”
Marlin is no stranger to Tournament 12 action having represented Alberta at the event one year ago. The 17-year-old understands he is privileged to be in this position and knows there is a great deal of responsibility that comes with being one of the more senior players.
“There are a couple kids that have never even been to Toronto before and they’ve been asking me what to think when you’re up there because it’s so big and quiet and everyone’s watching,” Marlin said. “It’s nice to have been here before and be able to help them out.”
It was a relatively slow start to the contest as Ontario Green’s Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont.) provided the game’s only run over the first four innings with an RBI single in the first.
Lukas Barry (Mississauga, Ont.) got the starting nod for Ontario Green and dominated the first three innings, throwing just 22 pitches and surrendering just two hits while striking out two in the process.
After Alberta Red’s Cooper Jones (Ponoka, Alta.) walked to open the fifth inning, Gavin Logan (Oyen, Alta.) knocked a clutch triple to centre field off Andrew Giorono (Etobicoke, Ont.) scoring Jones from first and tying the game 1-1.
“It was a 3-1 count so I just tried to stay aggressive there and stay through it, hit it up the middle and it felt really good actually,” Logan said with a smile, after the game.
Logan followed his clutch triple with a heads-up play.
While teammate Noah Matsubara (Okotoks, Alta.) stole second base, Logan dashed to the plate, stealing home to put his team up 2-1 and officially igniting an Alberta offence that had been stagnant up to this point.
“I took off as soon as he threw it and I slipped a little bit so that made it a little bit closer at the plate so I had to kind of go around him to get home there,” said Logan.
Branden Woods (Red Deer, Alta.) picked up the win for Alberta pitching 1 2/3 innings and surrendering three hits while striking out one and Adam Parker (Scarborough, Ont.) took the loss for Ontario.