(Memorial Stadium - Boise, ID) - So here it is, one game for all the marbles.
It is no different than last summer back in Vancouver when the C's opened up the Northwest League Championship with a victory followed by a loss. The night after losing was one of the longest in my life, as the excitement was almost unbearable.
That was the way I felt, could you imagine the stomachs of those who actually played in the final game - one that the Canadians won 9-2 over Tri-City.
There are many differences this year from that series, but the one thing that has carried forward remains the one game, winners take all.
On Saturday night, most of the Canadians chose to keep things low key. A post-game meal at a nearby restaurant followed by a few handshakes, head nods and a get 'em tomorrow smile. Fact is, these guys are having the time of their lives.
No one day dreams of grabbing the winning base hit on the second to last day of the season. No one dreams of being the guy on-deck when the big hit happens.
Everyone dreams of being 'that guy'.
The player that steps into the batter's box with all the chips on the table and delivers the knockout blow that helps his team to a Championship.
Today, someone will be that player. Someone will forever be remembered for the base hit, the defensive gem or the curveball that froze someone in his tracks.
This is the beauty of baseball.
Someone is going to be the hero, and someone is going to have to wear the horns.
What baseball has taught both the Canadians and Boise Hawks this summer is that a game can be won or lost on but a few plays. On Saturday night, a slow roller up the first base line gave the home team a second lease on life. A ball off the wall off the bat of Art Charles scored Balbino Fuenmayor and put the Canadians to within six outs of a series sweep.
Baseball also shows us that even the most assured of statistics can go for not as Vancouver's Arik Sikula who had been perfect since he debuted as a closer, finally cracked.
But this is why we watch. This is why we love this game so very much. Because despite a rough night for the Canadians, they still lost by just a lone run.
We got to see Roberto Osuna at just 17-years of age show us what the future of the Jays rotation looks like.
We got to see Wil Browning work his way out of a Championship sized pickle and do it as well as anyone could have asked.
We saw all the hard work that Tucker Frawley has been putting in the batting cage translate once again on the field. And we saw a young manager maintain his composure even when the moment challenged him to unravel.
On Sunday, every moment in the season comes to a dramatic conclusion.
Will it be the young, star-studded Boise Hawks who raise the Bob Freitas Trophy? OR will it be the seasoned, blue collared Canadians who hope to defy the odds and win on the road where the home town crowd will be on their every move.
Some would say the pressure is simply too much. For some players it will be.
For others, it will take those childhood dreams and morph them into a reality. Who will this be? When will this happen? No one knows. The only thing that we know for sure, is that just hours from now, it is one game - for all the marbles.