On Sunday at Noon (August 11), Team Nova Scotia, winner of Pool B at the 2019 Baseball Canada Cup, took on the powerhouse Quebec team, winner of Pool A. While most of Nova Scotia players joined the 17U Selects from club teams in the province, Quebec was represented by the 17U team from Academie Baseball Canada, an elite baseball academy established in Montreal 1990 through a joint venture by Baseball Canada, Baseball Quebec, and the Montreal Expos.
Looking back at tournament history, in the 30 previous years of Baseball Canada Cup competition Quebec had taken home a total of 20 medals, including 6 Gold. In that same time, Nova Scotia had won 2 medals, both Bronze – one in 1995 and one in 2018. This game was clearly a David and Goliath type of battle.
Quebec sent Yohan Dessurault to the mound and he was locked in. He threw three 3-up-3-down innings in a row to start the game including 4 strikeouts, striking out the side in the 3rd inning. In the 4th he got two fly outs to right in a row before Noah Boutilier walked and Camden Rendell singled to get a two out rally started. He then induced a third flyout to right to end the inning without any damage done. In the 5th inning, Dessurault kept things rolling with his 4th 3-up-3-down inning of the game.
Nova Scotia sent their ace Tyler Boudreau to the mound in this must-win game. In each of the first 4 innings Quebec was able to get a runner on – a Single in the 1st, an Error in the 2nd, and a Hit By Pitch in both the 3rd and the 4th. Despite that, Boudreau was able to work out of it every time. It was 0 to 0 in the bottom of the 5th when things got a little messy for Nova Scotia. Robin Villeneuve reached on an Error and Benjamin Sauvin-Gebhardt laid down a Sacrifice Bunt to move him to second. Robin Gervais then reached on the second Error of the inning and Villeneuve moved to 3rd on the play. Nathan Laliberte then executed a squeeze play scoring Villeneuve for the first run of the game. Boudreau still had a runner on base to deal with and got right back to work, inducing a popout and groundout to end the 5th.
Nova Scotia didn’t get down but instead got right to work to get some runs of their own. With one out Layton Cuvilier hit a line drive Single to get things started. Cuvilier then moved to 2nd on a Wild Pitch and scored on a line drive Single by Nick Gravel to tie the game at 1. Noah Boutilier then hit a grounder for a Single. At that point Dominic Teoli was brought in to replace Dessurault. Camden Rendell then came to the plate with runners on 1st and 2nd. On a 1 and 1 count Rendell ripped a hard line drive over the Center Fielder’s head for a double that scored both Gravel and Boutilier. Breton Sibley then worked a Walk and Louis-Phillipe Langevin came in to replace Teoli on the mound. Langevin struck out the next two batters to end the rally but the damage was done. Nova Scotia was in the lead 3 to 1.
In the bottom if the 6th Boudreau kept things rolling. He got Cedric DeGranpre to ground out to short, and then struck out Alexis Gravel looking. Boudreau then issued a Walk to Pinch Hitter Joshua Jones but once again worked out of it, inducing another groundout to Shortstop Nick Gravel to end the inning.
In the top of the 7th Nova Scotia managed to get one runner on base when Langevin issued a Walk to Cuvilier but that was it. In the bottom of the inning Tyler Boudreau came back to the mound to get as many outs as he could with his few remaining pitches before hitting his daily maximum. Sauvin-Gebhardt stroked a double to lead off the inning and Layton Cuvilier then took the mound to close things out for NS. Cuvilier kept the Quebec batters off balance by mixing up hits pitches. He induced a Popup by Jason Begin to Second Baseman Noah Boutilier, then a Flyout by Nathan Laliberte to Left Fielder Ryan Fitzgerald, and finally struck out Emilien Pitre swinging to end the game and send Nova Scotia to their first Gold Medal game in history of the Baseball Canada Cup, going back to 1989.
Tyler Boudreau got the Win for Nova Scotia with his second outstanding pitching performance of the tournament. He pitched 6 innings giving up 0 Earned Runs while giving up 3 hits, striking out 4 batters and walking 1. Boudreau earned his second Player of the Game award of the tournament for this fantastic outing.
Cuvilier earned the Save by sitting down all three of the batters he faced in the 7th.
The top hitter in this game was Camden Rendell with two Hits including a 2-RBI double to drive in the winning Run.
Noah Boutilier, Layton Cuvilier, and Nick Gravel each chipped in with with a Hit and a Run Scored.
So well written! It was like witnessing the game all over again!
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