TORONTO -- Brayden Cust and James Paxton don't just share a Canadian passport, they're now the only pitchers to throw a no-hitter at Rogers Centre this year.In a must-win playoff game at the Tournament 12 showcase, Cust threw just the fourth no-hitter in tournament history to lift Alberta to a
TORONTO -- Brayden Cust and James Paxton don't just share a Canadian passport, they're now the only pitchers to throw a no-hitter at Rogers Centre this year.
In a must-win playoff game at the Tournament 12 showcase, Cust threw just the fourth no-hitter in tournament history to lift Alberta to a 2-1 victory over the favoured Quebec team on Monday afternoon.
"It feels good," Cust said. "I was up there just trying to get ahead, throw strikes and get outs for my team to get them a chance to win."
The 18-year-old from Cold Lake, Alberta, needed to be at his best. His counterpart, Christopher Pouliot of Boischatel, Quebec, threw four innings of no-hit baseball before he was pulled after surrendering a walk to open the fifth inning.
It was Cust's second no-hitter of his young career, but his last one doesn't compare to pitching at Rogers Centre.
"This is by far the best one," Cust said.
It wasn't until the seventh and final inning of the game that Cust realized he was throwing a no-hitter. Once he noticed, he says his adrenaline took over.
After two strikeouts to open the frame, he walked the next two batters before an error by third baseman Michael Bisson allowed Quebec to get on the board.
With the tying run at third, Cust froze Alexis Gravel to get a called third strike and capture the win.
Cust's performance caught the attention of former Blue Jays All-Star reliever Duane Ward.
"He got ahead of the hitters in most counts all day long," Ward said. "When he got behind the hitters, he'd come back with a strike. … He'd get ahead of the hitters, keep them off balance throwing his breaking ball, fastballs up, fastballs down -- he's out there pitching his butt off."
Five years ago, a 20-year-old named Andrew Case threw a no-hitter for the Maritimes team. Within a week of his incredible start, the Blue Jays scooped up the undrafted pitcher and signed him to a Minor League contract. Case just finished his fifth year in the Blue Jays' system, winning the Eastern League championship with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Cust -- who is currently uncommitted for college -- is hoping his no-hitter will attract the attention of the scouts who were in attendance. But regardless of what the future holds, it was a game he won't soon forget.
Aaron Rose is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.