OTTAWA – It was a rainy day in St. Louis on Sunday, but did not dampen the spirits of the four Canadians in the XM All-Star Futures Game.
Led by game MVP Rene Tosoni (Toronto, ON), the Canadians chipped in to help lead the World Team on route to a 7-5 comeback win over Team USA in the 11th annual showcase.
With the win, the World Team takes the lead in the all-time standings of the Futures Game, winning their sixth of 11 events.
“It’s awesome,” says Tosoni in an interview with MLB.com. “It's a thrill. We were told this morning that the U.S. and World were 5-5 [all-time]. We wanted to get on top.”
The Word Team was down 5-3 in the top of the seventh, which was designated the final inning after an over four hour rain delay. Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC), who was 1-for-3 in the game, led off with a double and advanced on an infield single. He later scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-4.
After the World Team tied the game 5-5, Tosoni was summoned to pinch-hit with the go-ahead run in scoring position on second base.
Tosoni would come thru in the clutch when he drove a double in the right field gap to drive in the go ahead run for the World Team and he would later score the insurance run when Danyan Viciedo hit a double of his own to make it 7-5.
“It was really special,”says Tosoni. “I was hoping we would tie it up. I got an at-bat, and I wanted to make it special.”
“Canadian MVP standing over there right now,”says Tyson Gillies, pointing to Tosoni in an interview with the Canadian Press. “These guys are really talented players and it's a good thing to be out here and expose yourself because it only makes it better for the players in Canada right now.”
The two other Canadians in the game contributed as well. Gillies (Vancouver, BC) hit a bunt single in the third inning, followed that up by stealing both second and third and then came in to score on a double-play. He was 1-for-3 in the game.
Nick Weglarz (Stevensville, ON) was the only Canadian not to get a hit in the contest, going 0-for-2, but he did reach base when he was hit by a pitch.
Now it is time for the big leaguers to shine as the 80th MLB All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, July 14 at 8 PM Eastern time. Jason Bay (Trail, BC) and Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC) are the two Canadians featured in the 2009 edition of the star-studded event.