By Mike Alessandrini
Canadian Baseball Network
TORONTO – Jaden Brown had the game in his hands on Saturday morning in the bottom of the seventh inning at Tournament 12, and knew exactly what to look for.
The Mississauga, Ont., native saw exactly that from Prairies Purple reliever Cameron Thickson (Winnipeg, Man.), smacking a line drive past a diving outfielder Benjamin Pelechaty (Saskatoon, Sask.) for a triple.
Brown came home on a passed ball by Prairies catcher Brandon Logan (Regina, Sask.) that broke a tie and gave Futures Navy the walk-off victory.
Although the count was in the pitcher’s favour at 1-2, Brown had no doubt what the next pitch would be.
“I was always thinking away,” he said afterwards. “So when I got my pitch I just tried to drive the ball.”
After contact, the 15-year-old was aiming for an aggressive play whether or not Pelechaty caught it.
“When I hit it, I was trying to get two (bases) regardless,” said Brown. “But the ball went by the right-fielder and I was able to grab an extra base for the next batter.”
The infielder finished 2-for-3 with one walk and a stolen base. With his strong effort, Futures Navy (2-1) will advance to the Tournament 12 semi-finals.
This Pool B matchup featured a pitcher's duel through five innings. Futures starter Stephen Kinal (Terra Cotta, Ont.) threw three scoreless innings, collecting four strikeouts and allowing just one hit.
He found himself in a bases-loaded jam in the second with no out, but the righty struck out Pelechaty and got Logan (Regina) to line into a double play.
For the Prairies, Connor Sparks (Saskatoon, Sask.) pitched five strong innings, allowing three hits and one run. Sparks struck out 12 batters.
Futures Navy wraps up their round robin Saturday evening against Ontario Green (1-1). They will claim first place in Pool B with a win.
The Prairies’ (1-2) will face off against Alberta Red (2-0) on Sunday morning in their final round robin contest.