Canucks set roster for 18U World Cup

Coach Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) and his staff have selected Canada's roster for the 18U World Cup which begins in Japan this week.

Coach Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) and his staff have selected Canada's roster for the 18U World Cup which begins in Japan this week.

By Adam Morissette
Baseball Canada
GOLD COAST, Australia - Baseball Canada set it 20-player Junior National Team roster that will represent Canada at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Osaka, Japan from Aug. 28-Sept. 6.

The roster was announced following the team’s selection camp that saw Canada play seven games against the Australian U-18 side. The teams will meet once more Monday for a final tune-up game before departing for Japan on Tuesday.

In Osaka, Canada will be joined by Cuba, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Italy and South Africa in Group B, while Group A will feature two-time defending champion USA along with host Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and the Czech Republic.

Each group will play a round robin with the top three records in each pool playing each other in crossover games in what is being called the “super round”.

Following the super round, the top two records will meet for gold, while the third and fourth best records will play to decide the bronze medal.

Canada will open the tournament on August 28th against Chinese Taipei at Nanko Chuo Stadium (12:30pm JST/11:30pm EDT - 08/27).

Canada qualified for the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup after winning a bronze medal at the COPABE 18U Pan American Championship last September in La Paz, Mexico.

Historically, Canada has won four medals at the U-18 World Cup including gold in 1991 (Brandon, Man.), silver in 2012 (Seoul, Korea) and bronze in 1997 (Moncton, NB) and 2006 (Sancti Spiritus, Cuba). Canada is coming off a seventh place finish at the most recent U-18 Baseball World Cup that was held in Taichung, Taiwan in 2013.

Roster notes:

- The roster features two players (Josh Naylor and Demi Orimoloye) that took part in the 2014 COPABE 18U Pan American Championship in La Paz, Mexico. Naylor and Orimoloye are holdovers from the 2013 Junior National Team that finished seventh at the IBAF 18U World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan. Naylor also participated in the 2012 IBAF 18U World Cup in Seoul, Korea where he helped Canada win a silver medal. He is set to become the first Canadian ever to participate in three baseball world championships at the U-18 level.

- Naylor (1st round) and Orimoloye (4th round) were selected in June’s MLB First-Year Player draft and are on loan to Team Canada from the Miami Marlins and Milwaukee Brewers, respectively. Other players named to the roster that were selected in the draft include Will McAffer (Reds) and Tristan Pompey (Twins).

_ OF Cooper Davis (Mississauga, Ont.) and RHP Matteo Vincelli (Burnaby, BC) are the only rookies on the roster.

_ RHP Nicholas Virdo (Brampton, Ont.) injured his elbow, was unable to pitch and did not make the Japan roster. OF JF Garon (Terbonne, Que.), INF Brad Alfred (Whitby, Ont.) and RHP William Sierra (Montréal Que.) didn’t make the final roster.

_ The coaching staff features Manager Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.) along with Pitching Coach Chris Reitsma (Calgary, Alta.) and Coaches Shawn Bowman (Port Moody, BC) and Mike Johnson (Sherwood Park, Alta.)

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Adam Morissette

Adam Morissette was born and raised in Ottawa, Ont. where sports were always a big part of his life whether it be baseball, hockey or football, including playing two seasons as centre for coach Pat Sheahan with the Queen's University Golden Gaels in Kingston -- Canada's first capital. Morissette has always have been passionate about baseball and has fond memories of attending Montreal Expos games with his father, Mike, and listening to his recollection of watching baseball in Montreal at Jarry Park and stories about Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Steve Rodgers. Morissette could often be found in a near empty Lynx Stadium watching Joe Siddall, Bert Heffernan, Curtis Pride and Jamie Carroll soaking in a beautiful summer night at the ballpark. He was a member of the provincial championship Orleans Red Sox Little League teams also played with the Ottawa White Sox for the late Lyle Anderson and Todd Burke in OBA Midget and American Legion play and the Capital City Crushers (NCBL), primarily as a catcher. Has also spent time coaching Little League in Orleans and South Ottawa. He wanted to turn his passion into a career and enrolled in Sport Business Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2007. After working for the Ottawa 67's OHL team as the Ticket Coordinator, Morissette jumped at the opportunity to become the Media and Public Relations Coordinator with Baseball Canada in 2010. He loves watching and reading about pro, college or amateur baseball and is a long-time subscriber to Baseball America. Morissette is thrilled about the idea of writing about baseball and is interested in covering any story that his car -- and time -- will allow him to cover.