Fort McMurray’s Justin Breen has been electrifying the competition at the 2017 Canada Summer Games.
Team Alberta baseball has cruised through round robin play with a 5-and-1 record with a lot of credit going to Breen’s play.
While Breen stars as a pitcher for the Midget Triple-A Oil Giants, he’s made a name for himself with his versatility playing first, second and third base intermittently through the tournament to go along with his stellar hitting.
He tells Mix News competing at the national level is improving his skills.
“I’m getting to see some better pitching, guys are throwing a little harder but I’m putting some good swings on balls which is making my offense a little bit better.”
A look at the stat sheet shows his offense has been instrumental in Alberta’s success through the round-robin. Through 21 at-bats in round-robin play Breen has led the tournament with 11 hits and his .524 batting average is good for fourth.
As strong as his individual play has been, Breen feels pitching has really been the team’s strong point.
“Our pitchers have been phenomenal,” Breen said. “Our first starter threw a complete game against B.C., the next starter no-hit Saskatchewan. From there, everyone has pitched well and everyone has hit well. We’re putting the ball in play and driving in runs.”
Overall, the Fort McMurray native says the games have been an unforgettable experience and he’s enjoying the success despite facing stronger competition than he’s used to.
“A lot more scouts, radar guns are pointing everywhere,” Breen said. “Sometimes, you can find holes in the lineup when you’re facing guys in Fort McMurray or from Edmonton but here, you know you’re going to face nine good guys in the lineup at any given point.”
The only thing standing in the way of a berth into the gold medal game is the undefeated team from Manitoba.
Alberta will battle the host Manitobans in the semifinal game on Thursday with first pitch after 3 p.m.
You can watch the livestream at sportscanada.tv/canadagames.