Tournament 12 title matchups take shape at Rogers Centre

TORONTO -- The stage has been set for the most talented teams to fight for the Tournament 12 championship.

Quebec-Blue (3-1-1) locked down the No. 1 spot of Group B by winning twice Friday, while Ontario-Black (2-1-1), which has one game remaining, captured second place.

The teams advancing from Group A play, meanwhile, have been finalized but the seeding will be determined by the outcome of British Columbia-Orange and Ontario-Green's Saturday morning matchup. Both will go through, but British Columbia needs a win to finish in the top spot. A tie would favour Ontario-Green because the team has allowed fewer runs.

Saturday afternoon's playoffs will see Quebec play the second seed from Group A, while Ontario-Black will get the bracket's top finisher.

Quebec will look back to a dramatic victory over Ontario-Black on Friday as the turning point.

In the seventh and final inning, 14-year-old Conor Angel, the tournament's youngest player, was faced with a first-and-third, two-out situation with the country's best amateur hitter stepping to the plate. Quebec could have intentionally walked Josh Naylor to load the bases, but waiting on deck was another elite amateur prospect in Demi Orimoloye.

Angel was tasked with getting Naylor, a member of the Canadian Junior National Team and potential first-round talent in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.

Before attacking Naylor, Quebec coach Denis Boucher -- a former Major League pitcher -- paid Angel a mound visit.

"I went there and he had a big smile on his face, he wasn't scared," Boucher said. "He wasn't afraid and he wanted to face him."

Angel challenged Naylor and retired him on strikes to end the contest.

"Josh was good enough that he didn't want to take a walk and wanted to swing, so we thank him for that," Boucher joked. "It was great for [Conor] to be out there in that situation and face a guy like that. This is an experience that will make him a better pitcher."

Quebec also received a big effort from starter Hugo Brochu, who struck out a tournament-high 12 batters over six innings.

A 7-3 win over Alberta-Red later in the day ensured Quebec advanced past group play. 

The play of the day, and perhaps the tournament, was provided by Alberta right fielder Clayton Keyes in his team's loss. Keyes tracked down a hard-hit ball by fully extending to make a sensational grab and prevent extra bases.

Alberta won its other Friday contest, 5-0, over Prairies-Purple to start the day. A pair of the better arms in the tournament got the starts, in Alberta's Mike Soroka -- who helped the Canadian Junior National Team clinch bronze at the Pan American Championship in Mexico -- and B.J. Moen of the Prairies.

Soroka, widely considered to be the top amateur pitcher in the country, struck out three over four scoreless innings to get the better of Moen's Prairies team. Moen punched out six over four innings, but walked five, and Alberta took advantage of his control issues.

Ontario-Green, meanwhile, stole six bases in a 5-0 win over Atlantic-Grey.

Ontario-Green coach Adam Stern, a former Major Leaguer, doesn't remember the players being this good when he went through Canada's amateur program.

"It's leaps and bounds better, it's exponential," he said. "Some of these players are so good so early, and are so big."

In other action, British Columbia dropped Futures-Navy, 8-7, in a thrilling matchup.

The Futures escaped the day with a win after beating Atlantic, 9-1. 

Chris Toman is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.