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Combined no-nos highlight second day of Tournament 12

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TORONTO -- Tournament 12 continued on Saturday at Rogers Centre, with eight teams seeing action over six contests throughout the longest day of the event.

The five-day showcase hosted by the Blue Jays welcomes more than 160 of the country's top high school baseball players, and it allows them to compete on the big league stage in front of upward of 60 professional scouts and college recruiters in the hopes of helping them get to the next level.

TORONTO -- Tournament 12 continued on Saturday at Rogers Centre, with eight teams seeing action over six contests throughout the longest day of the event.

The five-day showcase hosted by the Blue Jays welcomes more than 160 of the country's top high school baseball players, and it allows them to compete on the big league stage in front of upward of 60 professional scouts and college recruiters in the hopes of helping them get to the next level.

Quebec Blue 5, Atlantic Maroon 1

Saturday's first matchup saw the squad from Quebec spark another late-innings rally, this time backing a combined no-hitter from Blue hurlers William Sierra and Viktor Bergeron, taking down the Atlantic Maroon team, 5-1.

Sierra, a Canadian Junior National Team member from Montreal, lacked command, but he was effective through his 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander allowed one run to Atlantic on seven walks, adding seven strikeouts. Fifteen-year-old Terrebonne, Quebec, native Bergeron threw 2 2/3 scoreless frames, walking one and fanning four.

"Both guys threw hard today," said former Blue Jays hurler Denis Boucher, who is coaching Quebec's squad. "They were up to 88, 89 [mph]. Will's mechanics were off a little bit -- he was rushing toward home plate, and his arm was not in a good position every time. He hasn't pitched in games in a while, so that's probably why. Obviously the stuff is there, so they couldn't adjust and hit him."

After scoring in the opening frame, the Blue team added four in the seventh and final inning of the game, following a comeback on Friday to tie its opening matchup of the tournament.

The club earned its first win of the event with RBIs from shortstop Remi Patry, centre fielder Marc-Antoine Lebreux, first baseman Archer Brookman and pinch-hitter Isaac Mailhot-Berard.

"Their season has been over for a while, and the kids have been off for a couple of weeks," Boucher said. "So they haven't taken batting practice and stuff like that, and here you don't get much time before games. It takes a little while for it to get going, but now we're ready to play."

Alberta Red 0, Ontario Green 0

Pitching dominated the second matchup on Saturday, with Ontario Green using three pitchers to no-hit Alberta Red, and both teams finishing in the second scoreless tie of the tournament, totaling only three hits in the game.

Toronto's Harley Gollert started for the Green squad and went three innings, walking one and striking out six, and was matched by Red hurler William Undershute, who walked four and struck out six. The first hit of the game was a two-out infield single in the bottom of the fourth from second baseman Tye Imeson, who also singled in the sixth.

"It was a combined no-no, and the pitch counts were really low, so they did a great job," said Ontario Green coach Mike Steed. "In 1-1 counts, all you've got to do is throw that first-pitch strike and you're in control. The other team absolutely pitched well, there wasn't a whole lot of offence on both sides. They kept the hitters off balance and changed eye levels. Good pitching."

London, Ontario, native Jake English followed Gollert with two perfect frames and three strikeouts, before Mississauga, Ontario, righty Nathan Holmes finished with two innings, walking two and fanning four to complete the no-hitter.

"They were excited in the dugout, the guys who threw," Steed said. "Harley and then Jake, as soon as they got the last out in the top of the seventh, Harley looked at me and said, 'Hey, combined no-no,' so they know what's going on and it's exciting for them."

Quebec Blue 4, Prairies Purple 2

Quebec continued its successful Saturday run in the third contest of the day with a win over the defending-champion Prairies Purple squad, taking an early lead and never looking back.

After leading Blue's offence on Friday, Canadian Junior National Team infielder Edouard Julien notched a two-run double in the team's third affair. Second baseman Anthony Marcano and third baseman William Perrin each drove in a run. Pierre-Olivier Antoine threw all seven innings for the winning squad, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts.

"We follow the same pattern all year long, and it's been three weeks that we've had off," said Quebec coach Robert Fatal. "At the beginning of the tournament we probably started a little slow, but now the bats have adjusted with the strike zone and we're starting to run, the defence is getting better, so it looks good for the next game."

BC Orange 4, Ontario Black 3

A hard-fought battle and tight game throughout, Saturday's fourth contest saw BC Orange walk off with a win over Ontario Black on a wild pitch.

Rhys Cratty led the BC offence with two singles and two RBIs, while London, Ont., native Adam Hall notched three of his team's five hits -- one to keep the squad alive in the top of the seventh -- also driving in two of Black's three runs, while adding two stolen bases and stellar defence. In three days of Tourament 12, the 17-year-old middle infielder has made it clear why he is at the top of next year's Draft class.

"He brings a level of intensity every day to the field," said Adam Stern, Hall's coach with both Ontario Green and the Great Lake Canadians program. "He hates to lose. That's the biggest thing you have to understand about Adam.

"That was a good game right there because you get to see when the game's on the line what happens, who rises to the occasion, and he's come up with big hits for us. He came up with big hits out here, and when the game's on the line, you want him up there."

Added Hall: "I always bring intensity with me. ... I find myself in these games getting into the game quite a bit."

Ontario Green 12, Futures Navy 1

In its third matchup of the tournament, it seemed as though the Futures Navy squad ran short on pitching, taking a six-inning loss to Ontario Green in which it walked 12 batters and was eliminated early due to a six-run sixth frame from the visitors.

Green hurlers allowed just three hits, all surrendered by starter Corben Peters, who gave up one run with two walks and two strikeouts. Garner Spoljaric came on in relief for two perfect frames before Dallas Hunter retired the side in order to secure the victory for Ontario.

"It was a well-pitched game," said Ontario Green coach Rob Butler. "We swung the bats, and the kids played really well. It was nice for them to go out and do what they did. Obviously there were some walks in there, but that's going to happen, and we put the ball in play."

Ontario first baseman Jameson Hart paced the offence, going 2-for-2 with two walks and driving in three runs. Third baseman Trei Cruz added two hits of his own, also notching two RBIs.

Ontario Black 4, Alberta Red 0

Saturday's final game saw another combined no-hitter and one-sided defence, with Ontario Black taking down Alberta Red and facing just three batters over the minimum.

Black starter Griffin Hassal battled through an early blister for three innings, walking two and striking out five. He was relieved by Mitchell Stemerdink, who walked three and added two strikeouts. Alex Jones finished the game for Ontario, fanning six batters in his two innings. The hurlers were helped by 16-year-old backstop Noah Naylor, who threw out three attempted basestealers, setting the tone behind the plate.

"I told them to trust their stuff," Naylor said of the pitchers. "The fastball was live today, and I just told them to be confident in it, and obviously that's going to help them have a good game.

"I just try to be my best behind the plate, give them that insurance that they can trust me back there. I know when they're throwing, they're comfortable throwing to me, they can trust me with runners on the basepaths, and also with just doing my job."

In his second Tournament 12, Naylor has already shown improvements from last year, and the Ontario Blue Jays and Canadian Junior National Team catcher could continue to be a game changer in the future.

"He's separated himself," said Chris Robinson, the Black team's coach and a former big league catcher. "It's pretty exciting to watch. I don't think I've ever seen a transfer that quick at this level; he gets rid of the ball so quickly. He's got a great arm, too, but that was impressive.

"He just keeps getting better every time I see him, especially behind the plate. It's impressive. In my mind, there's no doubt that he can catch at the next level, even now, and he's still got a couple years to go. He's a really exciting player [and] one of the more exciting catching prospects we've ever had in this country."

Alexis Brudnicki is a contributor to

Toronto Blue Jays