On Tuesday, Brock Lundquist and the Class A Short Season Canadians moved one victory away from the Northwest League title, and they can feel exactly how close they are.
"We're ready to get the ring," Toronto's 2017 sixth-round pick said. "Every guy on the team had an effort with defense or pitching, getting us out of tough situations. We were excited to come away with the win."
Lundquist's fourth-inning roundtripper spotted Vancouver to a 2-1 lead over visiting Eugene, and the score held as the Canadians won Game 3 to seize the advantage in the best-of-5 Finals at Nat Bailey Stadium.
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The native of Fountain Valley, California went 1-for-3 and is 7-for-19 with a circuit-best two homers over five playoff games.
"I'm just here playing my game. I'm not letting the emotions get to me," Lundquist said. "I'm being myself and looking for pitches to drive. I'm not getting nervous. I have one goal and so does the team and that's to get a ring."
The visitors tagged eighth-ranked Blue Jays prospect Nate Pearson for a run in the first inning, and Cubs second-rounder Cory Abbott, Chicago's No. 23 prospect, limited the Canadians to a hit and two walks while striking out three over the first three frames.
Vancouver's Chavez Young broke through against righty Rollie Lacy in the fourth, reaching on a fielding error by shortstop Jhonny Bethencourt and advancing to third on a throwing error by third baseman Austin Filiere. He scored on a groundout by Kacy Clemens with Lundquist in the on-deck circle, and the left-handed hitter then took Lacy deep to right-center field.
"We were all pumped up once [Young] crossed the plate. He was full of excitement and I was too. Then I was just looking for something to get on base and get us some more runs," the 21-year-old outfielder said. "He threw a fastball that I fouled off, and he slowed down on me, but he left it up. Once I hit it, I had a pretty good feeling it was going over. It's such a huge field and the air is so heavy there, it's tough to tell is something is going out, but once it went over, I was pretty stoked."
Graham Spraker pitched a 1-2-3 fifth to pick up his second win of the playoffs. William Ouellette notched the save with 1 1/3 innings, perfect but for Gustavo Polanco reaching on a wild pitch for the third strike in the ninth.
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"This team that we're playing, they're a really good team," Lundquist admitted. "They're not going to back down and neither are we. When somebody jabs at us, we jab right back. We didn't have as much of a crowd as we usually do, but the fans really help. They're the loudest in the league and it gets the team pumped up. We could be down, 9-1, but it keeps that energy going the whole game -- 5,000 people screaming, yelling."
The Canadians will play in front of that crowd with a chance to claim the championship in Game 4 on Tuesday.