Sandlots: Catch Hibbert if you can, Snieder, Hurley, Lawrie

*OF Tyler Hibbert (Unionville, Ont.), shown here playing with the Ontario Blue Jays against the Academy Baseball Canada in March, earned Region XVI National Junior College Athletic Association player of the year. Hibbert hit .465, scoring 50 runs.  

2011 Canadians in the Minors



By Bob Elliott

Tyler Hibbert stands 5-foot-9.

Usually though the Unionville centre fielder stands three or four inches taller — after he steals a base and stands atop the second-base bag.

Hibbert was 34-for-39 in stealing bases, helping the Jefferson College Vikings, located near Hillsboro, Mo., win the Region XVI National Junior College Athletic Association title.

And for his efforts both on the bases and at the plate, Hibbert was selected the region’s player of the year.

Batting leadoff, Hibbert had nine doubles, 11 triples, a home run and 20 RBIs. He hit .465, scoring 50 runs.

The speedstser was clocked at a Perfect Game Showcase running a 6.64, 60-yard dash and a 6.45 on the Viking scout day.

Jefferson started the Region XVI tournament at Farmington, Mo., beating the Three Rivers Raiders 15-0 as Hibbert doubled in a run; blanked the St.

Charles Cougars 13-0 with Hibbert doubling in two runs and defeated the Crowder Rough Riders 9-3, Hibbert singling and swiping his 33rd base.

After a 12-4 loss to Crowder, Hibbert singled and stole his 34th in a 2-0 win to send the Vikings off to the south central NJCAA tourney in New Orleans this weekend.

A former Ontario Blue Jay, Hibbert this summer will play in the Walter Johnson League with the Hutchison Monarchs in Hutchison, Kan.

The Lindsborg Knights, Newton Rebels, Salina Zephyrs, Kansas Canons, Park City Rangers, Valley Center Diamond Dawgs, Wichita Wheatkings and Hutchison form the eight-team, college summer league.


Ottawa-born Paul Snieder of the Northwestern Wildcats earned Big Ten player-of-the-week honours. Snieder led Northwestern to a two-game sweep against the hated Michigan Wolverines. The first baseman hit .750, slugged 1.250, drove in five runs and scored three.

Snieder had three hits in each game including his sixth home run, a grand slam. He recorded hits in each of Northwestern’s non-conference wins, improving his average to .370, third in the Big Ten. Snieder ranks among the conference’s top five in slugging (.558) and on-base percentage (.456).

Snieder’s dad, Tony, is a former member of the Canadian armed forces and lives in Moose Jaw.


Canisius Golden Griffins coach Mike McRae of Niagara Falls, Ont., won his 250th career game in the 1-0 win over Fairfield on Monday as Guelph’s NathanLinseman contributed 1 2/3 scoreless innings and Kitchener’s Brian Burton scored the only run. McRae in his seventh season at Canisius, which needs a sweep over Niagara to advance to the conference tourney ... Peterborough catcher Mike Reeves drove in a career-high six runs, thanks to a grand slam, triple and single as Florida Gulf Coast Eagles beat Belmont Bruins 10-7.


Rene Tosoni, of Coquitlam, B.C., was demoted by the Twins to the triple-A Rochester Red Wings; Mississauga’s Chris Leroux was promoted to triple-A Indianapolis (Pirates) from double-A Altoona; Ryan LaPensee, of LaSalle, Ont., was activated by at class-A Visalia (Diamondbacks); Burlington’s Tom Boleskawas released by Altoona (Pirates).

Indy moves: Toronto’s John Mariotti was signed by the Quebec Capitales; Burlington’s Luis Castillo and Sault Ste. Marie’s Kai Tuomi were released by Southern Illinois and Jeff Helps of Wyoming, Ont., was given a non-roster invite to Quebec’s camp.


Both Perfect Game and the Canadian Baseball Network rate Surrey, B.C. right-hander Zak Miller as the top collegian heading into the draft, which is 15 days away. Canisius College infielder Sean Jamieson of Simcoe is the top Ontario player. Right-hander Tom Robson of Ladner, B.C., and Skylar Janisse are the top rated Canadian and Ontario high schoolers, respectively.


This weekend marks the third anniversary of Brett Lawrie’s memorable final trip to the Dominican Republic with the Canadian juniors. Against rookie-class Dominican Summer League teams, he hit five home runs — all off 90-m.p.h. fastballs — in a doubleheader. The worst part for Brewers scout Tom McNamara was that he couldn’t get any cell service to phone Milwaukee.

Team Canada continued its tour Friday as Skylar Janisse of Maidstone, Ont., and Andrew Marra of LaSalle faced the Seattle Mariners in the first game of the doubleheader.

Burlington lefty Steven Dressler and London’s Dayton Dawe went against the Milwaukee Brewers in the nitecap.


The fifth annual Michael Kim bantam, 16-team tournament goes this weekend in Mississauga with the final Sunday afternoon at Rivergrove. Kim was the former Mississauga North Tigers who excelled on the mound, in centre and hit an inside-the-park homer at the peewee nationals in Windsor in 2003 ... Former Negro League catcher Stanley (Doc) Glenn, who passed away at age 84 last month, won back-to-back Intercounty titles with the St. Thomas Elgins. Glenn hit a two-run homer in 1954 in the series-clinching game against the Galt Terriers. The next year, the Elgins beat the Oshawa Merchants.