The Ontario Blue Jays and the DBacks Langley Blaze battled to a 2-2 tie in their annual cross-Canada match before pool play began in the 17th annual WWBA World Championship.
The 80-team tournament of the best high schoolers from across North America took place in Jupiter, Fla. at the spring training fields of the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins.
Three Canadian teams were entered: the Ontario Blue Jays, DBacks Langley Blaze and the Canada PG Gold.
For the Ontario Blue Jays, RF Tanner Zeggil (Stayner) and LF Kurt Hawkins (Ajax) had two hits each, while C Tyler Silva (Cambridge) doubled in a run.
LHP Jack Berczi (Oakville) pitched three innings allowing one run.
Taylor Lepard (Toronto, Ont.) fanned four.
RHP Jake Polancic (Langley, BC) started and worked four innings allowing two runs, while RHP James Hardy (Langley, BC) pitched three scoreless.
CF Clayton Keyes (Calgary, Alta.) and DH Michael Stovman (Maple Ridge, BC) had hits for the Blaze, while 1B Matthew Skingle (Nanaimo, BC) drove in a run.
RHP Jordan Balazovic (Mississauga, Ont.) was impressive for the Ontario Blue Jays in a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Pirates/Elite Baseball Training. Balazovic pitched a complete game allowing six hits and two walks, while fanning five.
Balazovic’s fastball was clocked at 91 mph.
Nick Howie (Oakville, Ont.) tripled in a run in the first for one of his two hits in the two-run first. The Blue Jays scored a pair in the second as well as Reese O’Farrell (Burlington, Ont.) and Cooper Lamb (Burlington, Ont.) each singled. Tanner Zeggil knocked in a run as did Cooper Davis (Mississauga, Ont.) who singled in a run.
Max Wright (Toronto, Ont.) had two hits for the St. Louis Pirates.
Next, DBacks Langley Blaze edged the Chicago Scouts Association 2-1 with Nick Trogrlic-Iverson (Oakville, Ont.) and Mitch Neuborn (Perth, Wash.) on the mound.
Canada PG Gold beat Iowa Select 12-4 with Dustin Crocker (Millgrove, Ont.) getting the victory.
Then, PG Gold knocked off Rawlings Hitters 6-1 as Brady Cappe (Brantford, Ont.) was impressive, fanning five.
Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) went 3-for-4), Ryan Kula (Toronto, Ont.) doubled and singled, while Andres Gonzalez (Toronto, Ont.) had a pair of hits.
Jonathan Liu (Mississauga, Ont.) and Jakob Newton (Oakville, Ont.) each had doubles.
Alex Jones (Bowmanville, Ont.) had a day knocking in four runs.
Andrew Yerzy (Toronto, Ont.) doubled as the Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team beat the Texas Drillers 5-2.
Gaining strong reviews ...
Jakob Newton (2016, Oakville, Ontario) throughout day one there were some very impressive swings and at-bats, and Newton was right up there with a lot of the bigger names thanks to his compact and smooth lefthanded stroke. Newton gets loaded and drops the barrel into the zone very efficiently and keeps it there until contact. He displayed advanced bat speed and very quick hands which he uses well to keep the bat inside the ball. Newton showcased the ability to be short to the ball and turn and drive inside fastballs.
_ Chris King, Perfect Game
Nick Troglic-Iverson (2016, Oakville, Ontario) pitched very well against a quality Chicago Scouts Association lineup, and the uncommitted righthander has a lean build with very long limbs that bodes well for future projection in his 6-foot-1, 165-pound frame. While he’s a bit narrow, he should have room to continue filling out. He ran his fastball up to 89 mph in the first inning before settling in the 85-87 mph range. He also flashed some feel for a low-70s curveball, mid-70s slider, and upper-70s changeup, all of which could use further refinement but were located for strikes at various times throughout his outing. He’ll be an interesting arm to monitor in the coming months.
_ Chris King
Drake Fellows (Joliet Catholic Academy, Plainfield, Ill.) took the bump against the Ontario Blue Jays and projectable righthander Jordan Balazovic (St. Martin’s, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada). Fellows pitched at 88-91 with sink and he showed feel for his changeup. Fellows’ breaking ball was effective when he was on top of it. Balazovic has room to fill in his 6-foot-4 frame. He pitched at 86-89 and bumped 90, showing an impressive changeup at times and a short slider that he had some feel for down and to his glove side. Balazovic appeared to have lost velocity from the stretch, though he was quick to the plate, getting the ball to the catcher’s glove approximately 1.15 seconds after starting his motion.
_ Hudson Belinsky, Baseball America