By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network
It is the most exciting time of the year, for college baseball fans at least. Division I conference champions have been crowned and Division II, II, NAIA and NJCAA are all in their respective World Series. With the high stakes have come some impressive Canadian performances. Lets take a look around the world of college baseball through a Canadian perspective.
Tourney play (Past and Upcoming)
Robinson leading Morehead State:
It has been a monstrous year for Chris Robinson (Uxbridge, Ont.) and not one he will soon forget. The senior catcher for the Morehead State Eagles was named to the 17 player First Team All-American team by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. This after being names Ohio Valley conference player of the year. He is currently second in the nation in hits with 98, runs with 77 and total bases with 160. He is fourth in RBIs with 69 and fifth in average, hitting at a 412 clip. He also stakes claim to a .480 OBP and a .672 SLG. To go along with his individual success, his Eagles are also set to kick off regional action against #3 ranked Louisville. They did this by winning three straight games, including a 16-3 victory over Southeast Missouri in the final of the OVC tournament championship game to punch their ticket. Robinson was nominated for the Johnny Bench Award (college baseball’s top catcher) and is on the Dick Howser list (college baseball’s best player.) Morehead will rely heavily on Robinson as they also share a regional with Michigan and Bradley.
McEachern, Trinity finish #3:
It wasn’t a bad season to be a Trinity University Tiger. Carter McEachern (Thunder Bay, Ont.) and his Tiger teammates roared all the way to the Division III College World Series where they would finish a respectable third. After taking home the regional in Tyler, Tex, it was off to Appleton, Wisc. In Game 1 against Emory, a 9-7 loss, McEachern pounded a pair of hits while driving in a run. From their Trinity would go on a run, starting with a 9-1 win over Salisbury where McEachern again went 2-for-4 but this time he scored two runs. The Tigers would then get revenge on Emory by topping them 10-1. This time it would be a 2-for-5 game for McEachern with a run scored and an RBI. After having a hit in a 16-6 drubbing of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Trinity would see their season come to an end against them. McEachern would go 2-for-5 again with another run scored and another RBI. On the season, McEachern hit .328 with a home run and 25 RBIs. Liam Rihela (Surrey, BC) is also a member of the Trinity Tigers and pitched in with a pinch hit in the 16-6 victory.
Pinero paces Cavs:
The Virginia Cavaliers are off to Lake Elsinore, Calif. This despite going 1-3 in the ACC tournament and finishing 15-15 in conference play. The Cavs did finish 34-22 overall and that was in large part due to shortstop Daniel Pinero (Toronto, Ont.) Pinero is second on the team in average with a .311 mark to go along with six home runs and 28 RBIs. He has played in and started 55 of his teams 56 games. Pine and his Cavaliers will take on USC for the first time in Game 1 of their regional. Virginia may also see San Diego State and UC Santa Barbara while in Lake Elsinore.
Forcier a force for Golden Eagles:
How about the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, 41-14, not bad at all. They also swept their way to the Summit League crown. Emmanuel Forcier (St-Hyacinthe, Que.) was a part of the team and used as a pinch hitter and a late defensive substitution during the conference tournament. On the year he hit .221 with 10 RBIs while scoring 17 runs in 47 games. Oral Roberts will take on Arkansas, St. John’s host Oklahoma State in the Stillwater Regional.
Cougars look to advance to College World Series:
After a heartbreaking loss in the American Athletic Conference championship game to East Carolina, Robert Grilli (Toronto, Ont.) and his Cougar teammates will look to rebound in the regional. Houston will host the regional that will see Rice, Louisiana Lafayette and Houston Baptist. Girl is hitting .348 with a pair of RBIs in 20 games, making six starts.
TCU stayin’ in Fort Worth:
Not winning a game in the Big 12 tournament didn’t stop the TCU Horned Frogs from being able to host a regional. Jeremie Fagnan (Calgary, Alta.) walked in the Big 12 tournament opener against Baylor, a game TCU lost 6-5. He would walk again in a disappointing 8-1 loss to Texas Tech, eliminating the Horned Frogs. They will take on Sacred Heart, some fellow Canadians at Stony Brook (more on them later) and NC State. Fangs hit .278 on the year with three home runs and 18 RBIs.
How bout those Seawolves?
It would be a clean three wins for the Stony Brook Seawolves to win the America East title and they were helped by a handful of Canadians. After going hitless in Game 1 against Hartford, Cole Peragine (Belle Ewart, Ont.) would knock a hit and drive in a pair of runs in a Game 2 win over UMBC. In the clinching game, a 16-11 win over UMBC, Peragine exploded for a 3-for-5 game with a pair of walks, a pair of runs scored and three RBIs.
Toby Handley (Whitby, Ont.) cashed an RBI while also working a walk in a Game 2 Stony Brook win. In the final he went 4-for-7 with a pair of run and three RBIs.
Johnny Caputo (Toronto, Ont.) is also a member of the Seawolves.
Springfield Regional boasts Canadians:
Springfield Regional? more like Canadian Regional. The regional hosted by Missouri State will feature 16 Canadians. Now take a deep breath and here we go …
The Canisius Golden Griffins field the most Canadians in the regional with 13. They are, in no particular order Brett Siddall (Windsor, Ont.), Mike Krische (Langley, BC), Jake Lumley (Windsor, Ont.), Cyrus Senior (Montreal, Que.), Zachary Sloan (Brampton, Ont.), Devon Stewart (Maple Ridge, BC), Josh Shepley (Windsor, Ont.), Connor Panas (Toronto, Ont.), J.P. Stevenson (New Glasgow, PEI), Tyler Vavra (Calgary Alta.), Nick Capitano (Bolton, Ont.), Iannick Remillard (Valleyfield, Que.), Blake Weston (Oakville, Ont.) and head coach Mike McCrae (Niagara Falls, Ont.).
Of that list there are a few who put up some impressive numbers and garnered recognitions. First off, Siddall was named a Third-Team All American this past week. This is after he won the MAAC Player of the Year. Canisius took down the Siena Saints twice in the final to take home the championship. In the final game it was Sloan who got the ball and he would toss five innings, giving up four hits, two runs, four walks while striking out six. Panas lead off and went 3-for-5 with a run scored and six RBIs in the 11-2 win. He was followed in the order by Lumley who notched a hit and a pair of runs scored. Then came Siddall, going 2-for-4 with a walk. Krische was the DH, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored while Senior had quite a day in centrefield, going 2-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs. Stevenson, who beat Siena for his second win of the weekend, pick up the win in Griffs first win of the double knock out final. Other highlights for the Griffs include Panas’ four run, four RBI game against Quinnipiac in a 12-2 win, getting revenge for a Game 1 loss. Panas and Siddall would have three hits apiece against Rider while Stewart earned the win.
The Iowa Hawkeyes team is where Austin Guzzo (Brooklin, Ont.) calls home. Although he didn’t see action in the Big Ten tournament he hit .217 on the season with seven RBIs over 26 games, 15 starts. Iowa takes on Oregon in game 1 of the regional.
Joey Hawkins (Whitby, Ont.) and the Missouri State Bears took home the Missouri Valley Conference championship and were given the nod to host the regional. Hawkins went 1-for-3 with a run scored in Game 1 of the conference tournament against Southern Illinois. He would collect another hit in Game 2 versus Wichita State but this time added a pair of walks and runs scored while knocking in one. The final against Bradley would go the way of the Bears by a 5-2 decision. Hawkins would go 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Hawkins is currently hitting .272 with two home runs and 27 RBIs. Missouri State is 45-10 and will face the Canisius Golden Griffins in their opener of the regional.
Phil Craig-St.Louis (Gatineau, Que.) and the Oregon Ducks are hoping to leave build off of their final series against UCLA. After dropping Game 1 they rebounded to take games 2 and 3 of the Pac 12 conference series. On the year Craig-St. Louis is hitting .294 with two home runs and 37 RBIs.
Kellogg ends regular season with loss:
It was not the ending to the regular season Ryan Kellogg (Whitby, Ont.) was hoping for. He took the loss going 6 1/3 innings, surrendering nine hits, five runs with two walks and eight strikeouts against the Trojans of USC. The Sun Devils now prepare for the Fullerton Regional and Game 1 against Clemson. Kellogg is 8-2 with a 3.67 ERA.
Norris-Jones set for Regional at home:
How about the season the Illinois Fighting Illini are having. They carry a 47-8-1 record into the regional and went 21-1 in Conference. However, they did not take home the Big Ten tournament title. Dropping games to Maryland and Michigan would eliminate the regional hosts. Kelly Norris-Jones (Victoria, BC) is a member of Illinois.
FIU surprise entry to Regional:
It is safe to say 29-29 is not good enough to get an at-large bid into the field of 64. However, Mitch Robinson (Surrey, BC) and the FIU Panthers entered through the from the door by running the table and winning the Conference USA tournament. They defeated Rice, UTSA, Middle Tennessee and UAB to claim the tournament crown and book their ticket to the Coral Gables regional. Robinson has hit .220 with eight RBIs thus far.
Ohio wins MAC:
The Ohio Bobcats claimed the MAC Championship this past week and will take on #6 Illinois in game 1 of the regional. Christian Botter (Toronto, Ont.) was a big part of the run all year long going 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA.
SUNY Cortland wins National Title:
Travis Laiter and the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons won their first NCAA Division III National Championship. They trailed 2-1 in the ninth facing a winner-take-all second game if they lost. They scored five runs to take the game 6-2. Laiter was 0-0 with a 1.86 ERA over 14 appearances this year.
RPs J.D. Moore (Mississauga, Ont.) and Chad Hodges (Medicine Hat, Alta.) each had a scoreless outing in the top of the ninth as the second-seeded South Dakota Jackrabbits scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but fell short with a 6-5 loss to the Fort Wayne Mastodons in the Summit League tourney at Sioux Falls, S.D. Hodges allowed a hit and struck out a man, while Moore retired the only man he faced. The Jacks won the opener of the tourney beating Fort Wayne 7-3 and then lost 9-3 to Oral Roberts as Moore worked a scoreless 1/3 of an inning.
On the season ... Moore was 2-2 with a 2.89 ERA and six saves, walking three and striking out 19 in 18 2/3 innings. Hodges was 4-1 with a 5.01 ERA, walking 16 and striking out 49 in 41 1/3 innings.
Season ends for ex-Terrier
Jordan Mountford (Guelph, Ont.) singled in the opener of the Northeast tourney for the Bryant Bullogs, a 7-2 loss to 4th-ranked Fairleigh Dickinson. Mountford had one at-bat in the next game and was replaced in a 4-2 win over Wagner. Then, Bryant blanked Fairleigh Dickinson 7-0 and beat Sacred Heart 5-2 before losing the championship game to Sacred Heart 5-4. On the season for the Bulldogs he hit .304 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs.
Western Oklahoma State headed to NJCAA Division II World Series:
Right handed pitcher Jason Tarapasky (Pierrefond, Que.) and outfielder Christopher Acosta-Tapas (Laval, Que.) and their Western Oklahoma State College Pioneers are off to the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Oklahoma. Acosta-Tapia batted .408 with 10 doubles, two triples, 10 homers, 36 RBIs and a 1,207 OPS. Tarapasky was 3-3 with a 4.68 ERA in 14 games, walking 13 and striking out 43 in 32 2/3 innings.
Filipek solid for Roadrunners:
Jeremy Filipek (Langley, BC) did what he could for the University of Texas San Antonio Roadrunners in the conference tournament. He threw a scoreless 2/3 of an inning, allowing no hits and striking out one against Middle Tennessee State in a 9-7 win. He finished his season going 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA and four saves over 22 appearances.
Ontario Blue Jays round up:
Phil Diedrick (Ajax, Ont.) finished his senior season hitting .291 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs.
Brodie Harkness (Bowmanville, Ont.) finished up his freshman campaign on the mound with a 6-4 record and a 5.07 ERA
Jacob Robson (Windsor, Ont.) finished his season hitting .324 (first on the team) with a home run and 9 RBIs to go along with 41 runs scored.
Terriers round up:
Mattingly Romanin (Burlington, Ont.) was named second-team all-WAC, his third straight year being named all-conference. He finished his final season hitting .318 with seven home runs and 39 RBIs. He is the all-time hits leader at Chicago State. Romanin managed to finish off his collegiate career in grand fashion by earning his third consecutive all-conference honor after garnering Second Team All-WAC accolades for the second year in a row. He batted .313 on the year while leading the Green and White in several categories, including hits (61), home runs (seven), RBIs (39), slugging percentage (.492), and defensive assists (145) which also ranked him among the WAC individual leaders. He recorded his best game of the season against Roosevelt at home on April 21st in which he went a perfect 3-for-3 with career highs of three home runs and seven RBIs.
“Mattingly set the school’s all-time hits record this year and led us in nearly every offensive category. He is a leader on and off the field for us,” said coach Steve Joslyn. “It is very impressive to be a repeat All-WAC selection in a group of extraordinary gifted players. He is a true competitor and the result of hard work and dedication.”
Toronto Mets round up:
Brent Cleland (Toronto, Ont.) finished his season with a 3-7 record with a 4.79 ERA.
David Marcus (Whitby, Ont.) finished his first year at California University of Pennsylvania hitting .391 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs.
Jack Dennis (Toronto, Ont.) finished his season with a 5-1 record and a 4.06 ERA with the California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans.
Week 14 _ Degano, Dionne, Hawkins, Rogers
Week 13 _ Clarkson, Kellogg, Williams, Wood
Week 12 _ Bowie, Webb, Wilson, Wood
Week 11 _ Berube, Black, Grahm, Romanin
Week 10 _ Bouchey, Holgate, Kirwer, Romanin
Week 9 _ Berube, Dennis, Goodall, Robinson
Week 8 _ Bridgen, Filipeck, Mountford, Reichstein
Week 7 _ Dressler, Fagnan, Marks, Wilson
Week 6 — Degano, Filipek, Kellogg, Siddall
Week 5 — Berube, Degano, Quantrill, Stewart
Week 4 — Bauml, Lillis-White, Panas, Shaw
Week 3 — Black, Dressler, Foster, Romanin
Week 2 — Doran, Germaine, Martin, Robson, Quantrill
Week 1 — Baksh, Gapp, Harkness, Kellogg, Sardellitti
Do you know a Big Man on Campus … Maybe a grandson? A son? A nephew or a former player? Email Matt Betts (email@example.com) with the info or a link for next week’s edition.
Follow Matt Betts @Bettsy41