By Craig Hagerman
TORONTO – Two late runs in the top of the sixth helped Ontario Black escape with its undefeated Tournament 12 record intact Thursday morning thanks to a comeback 2-2 tie with Quebec-Blue.
Black (1-0-1) entered the game coming off a big 6-2 win over Alberta Red Wednesday, and though they didn’t get the win, right-fielder Eric Senior believes the outcome could have been worse.
“It’s better than a loss because we were down and we just wanted to get some runs,” Senior said. “We got some late runs and good pitching, so it was an all-in-all good game.”
Quebec (0-1-1) came into Thursday’s contest after a disappointing 10-1 shelling at the hands of Prairies Purple, but manager Denis Boucher liked a lot of what he saw from his squad in its second game.
“The kids came out and they were ready for this one, they played well,” Boucher said. “(We got a) good performance from our pitcher who played well, good defence, got a couple runs.
“It’s a tie game, so we came up just a little short.”
Gatineau’s Alexis Lavergne got the start for Quebec Blue and, despite giving up two runs late, enjoyed a very impressive outing.
Sarnia, Ont. native Mat Szabo started for Ontario Black and went four innings, giving up two runs and three walks while striking out an impressive nine batters.
Isaac Anesty entered in the bottom of the fifth and gave Black a chance to win. Anesty didn’t allow a hit while walking two and striking out six.
“He (Anesty) was pumping it really high from 88-89 (miles per hour),” said Senior. “He really got us into the game.”
Quebec opened the scoring in the third when, after Abraham Toro led off with a triple to deep-right, a sacrifice fly by Boisbriand, Que. native Samuel Chaput scored Toro.
After Jean-Francois Garon took a walk, the speedy right-fielder stole second and third base before being cashed in on a Tristan Paris single to right field. Paris reached second on a throwing error by Black outfielder Ryohei Suzuki.
The game remained tied until the top of the sixth.
Ontario’s Zack Fascia and Jacob Sims were both walked with one out, then Senior sent a single up the middle, scoring both runners and knotting the game at two.
Senior finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs, hitting a personal goal he admits he goes into every game with.
“Any game I try to get two hits,” said Senior. “I’m not sure if I’m going to get four bats, but any game I try to get two hits. So if I get two then I try to get more.”
Ontario Black return to the diamond for an evening game Thursday with Prairies Purple at 6 p.m. ET, while Quebec Blue have a quick turnaround as they are back in action at 1 p.m. Thursday when they take on Alberta Red.
– The full Tournament 12 schedule can be found here.