James Fischer saved the day for the Fort Saskatchewan Athletics last night, leading them to a national title.

The Athletics’ closer came on in the fourth inning of the gold-medal game at the Canadian senior baseball championship at Beazley Field and shut the door on a surging Team Quebec, earning his team an 8-4 victory.

The Alberta-based club appeared to be coming unhinged after Quebec scored four straight runs in the fourth to grab a 4-3 lead, but Fischer calmed things down by surrendering just one hit and striking out four the rest of the way.

“That’s been my role all year,” Fischer said. “I got the boys going and the offence took over from there.”

The Athletics tied the game 4-4 in the fourth. Fischer then delivered three quick outs— including a pair of strikeouts — and his team, fired up and vocal in the dugout, clinched the win with four more runs in the fifth inning.

“We knew James was going to be our guy in any close game at the end of a game,” said catcher Ben Herman, who made the game’s key offensive play with a two-run double that put the Athletics ahead by an insurmountable 8-4 margin.

“We knew we had him in the pen and he was going to be fresh and we knew he could get the job done. He did it again.”

It was the Athletics’ first national title.

“It’s going to be great to bring this back to Alberta,” Fischer said.

Fort Saskatchewan’s Lance Romanchuk was named the tournament’s top offensive player and MVP. He batted .600 with 12 hits, 10 RBI and two home runs.

“Lance has hit all year. He’s hit every game I’ve ever played with him and he rose to the occasion,” Fischer said.

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