BMOC IV: Blanchette, Borden, Handley, Holgate, Graham, Pompey

BMOC Week 4
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network

The NCAA Division 1 slate kicked off this weekend and plenty of Canadians factored in their teams outcomes. This weeks edition of the BMOC features a couple of player of the week honours and a no-no as well. Here is the week that was for Canadians in college baseball.

Pompey SEC Freshman of the Week
Tristan Pompey (Milton, Ont.) is already making a name for himself at the University of Kentucky. After an at bat in the Wildcats opening loss against Wofford that a did not result in a anything, Pompey got his first hit out of the way in style. He would go 1-for-4 with a walk, a pair of RBIs and a run scored. That first college hit would leave the yard for his first home run of his college career as well. Kentucky beat George Mason 8-6. Pompey wasn’t done there however, going an impressive 4-for-5 with four RBIs and three more runs scored. Included in those four hits were another two home runs, a double and a triple. All of this led him to be named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week. It seems Pompey is fitting in quite nicely in the bluegrass state.

Handley named Player of the Week
Toby Handley was named America East Player of the Week for his performance in three games for the Stony Brook Seawolves over the weekend. In Game 1, a 11-6 win over Dayton, Handley had a hit, four walks, and scored three runs. In Game 2 against Wofford, he would notch a pair of hits, drive in a run and score another. The Seawolves would drop that game 9-8. Game 3 saw Stony Brook take on USC Upstate. Handley would go 2-for-4 with a walk and one more run scored in the 8-6 loss.

North Dakota stuns #12 USC
A RBI double from Brett Harrison (Winnipeg, Ont.) would be all the scoring the University of North Dakota would need to upset the #12 USC Trojans to open the season. Game 2 would prove game 1 was no fluke as UND again dropped USC, this time by a score of 5-4. In that one Harrison would go 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run. Brandon Radmacher (White City, Sask.) would earn the save going two innings, giving up two hits and no runs. A 7-6 Game 3 loss would close out the weekend for UND but would see Harrison record another hit and a RBI. Radmacher would get back on the mound throwing 1 2/3 innings, surrendering two hits, an unearned run while walking two and striking out two. 

Trio of Purple Eagles fly high for Niagara
The Niagara Purple Eagles found themselves in a offensive fans’ dream and a pitching coaches’ nightmare in their 19-11 opening game loss to the University of Pittsburgh in Vero Beach, Fla. The Purple Eagles were lead at the plate by Joel Brophy (Burlington, Ont.) as he went 2-for-5 with a pair of home runs, four RBIs and two runs scored. Sophomore Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) would chip in a hit, a walk and score a run while Greg Rodgers (Surrey, BC) would work a walk, be hit by a pitch and drive in a run. 

Game 2 would see Niagara drop a decision to the Buckeyes of Ohio State. Kirwer would again record a hit but it was Rodgers who would have the big game. He would go 3-for-4 with a walk, two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored. 

The third game of the trip would see Niagara pick up their first win, a 4-3 final against Toledo. Kirwer would go 3-for-5 with a run and would swipe a base. Rodgers would contribute another multi-hit game while also reaching two more times via free passes. He would also record an RBI. Brophy would get back into the action with a hit, a walk and a RBI.

Niagara ran into Pitt again in the final game of the weekend and fell 5-4. The trio would record two hits in this one, a double from Kirwer and a knock from Brophy. Kirwer would also score a run, Brophy would walk and Rodgers would be hit by two pitches and score a run.

The Purple Eagles head to Durham, NC this weekend to clash with North Carolina Central University.

UBC bounces back
After a less than impressive stretch that saw them drop 3-of-4 the weekend before, the University of British Columbia came back strong this past weekend taking 3-of-4. Game 1 would be the only blip for the T-Birds as they dropped that game 14-3 to California State San Bernardino. Lichel Hirakawa-Kao (Vancouver, BC) had two hits, one of which was a double, a RBI and a run scored. Kelly Owen (Naniamo, BC) was strong on the mound as he would throw 3 1/3 innings in relief, allowing three hits, no runs, no walks while striking out three. 

Game 2 would see UBC get back on their feet as they downed California State Los Angeles 12-4. Hirakawa-Kao would reach base another three times, once by a hit, once by being hit and once by a walk. He would also steal two bases for UBC. Anthony Olson (Edmonton, Alta.) would get in on the fun going 2-for-5 with an RBI and would also steal a base. Lucas Soper (Vancouver, BC) also found himself frequently on the base paths. He was 2-for-2 with two walks, was hit by a pitch, would score three runs and also steal a base. Catcher Braeden Allemann (Surrey, BC) would hit a double, walk twice, drive in two runs and score another three. Alex Webb (Surrey, BC) was solid yet again on the mound going six innings, surrendering three hits, no runs, four walks and he would strikeout four. He improved his record this season to 4-0.

The T-Birds would get their revenge on Cal State San Bernadino in Game 3 with an 8-2 victory. Hirakawa-Kao would chip in with two hits and a RBI. It was a pair of hits and a run scored for Olson. Allemann swatted a double as one of his two hits in the game. He would also add two RBIs and a run scored. Bruce Yari (Waterloo, Ont.) would hit a home run, a double and add one more hit while walking and driving in two runs. He would also score a pair in the game. Right hander Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, BC) would improve his record to 2-1 on the mound going six innings, scattering eight hits, two runs with a walk with four punch outs. 

A 5-4 win over Cal State Los Angeles would close out the weekend for the T-Birds. Olson would go 3-for-5 with an RBI while Soper would go a tidy 4-for-4 at the dish with a walk and two RBIs. Connor Noble (Vancouver, BC) picked up his fourth win against no losses as he tossed 5 2/3 innings, giving up just three hits, two runs, a pair of walks and he struck out a hitter. Tyler Gillies (London, Ont.) picked up his third save of the season going 1 2/3 innings, allowing a hit, no runs with no walks and one strikeout.

RHP Phillipe Graham (St. Chrysostome, Que.) pitched a no hitter in a 1-0 MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers win.

RHP Phillipe Graham (St. Chrysostome, Que.) pitched a no hitter in a 1-0 MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers win.

Graham Tosses Hitter 
Some no hitters at 7-0 romps. Others are in doubt until the final pitch. Such was the case with RHP Phillipe Graham (St. Chrysostome, Que.) who pitched the MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers to a no-hit 1-0 win over the Southwestern Assemblies of God Lions. 

The junior pre-season All-American allowed two base runners and faced the minimum while striking out 10. The Pioneers scored in the top of the sixth when SAGU committed two errors and a passed ball to bring home a run and Graham did the rest.

Graham threw just 82 pitches in seven innings, walking one and hitting a base runner. The first base runner was erased on a double play in the first, and the second was caught stealing to end the fifth. 

Stevenson solid against Wolverines, Wilson gets first knock
J.P. Stevenson (New Glasgow, PEI) threw 5 1/3 innings against the Michigan Wolverines over the weekend as the Canisius College Golden Griffins travelled to Port St. Lucie, Fla. He would give up seven hits, just one earned run while walking three and striking out four.

Liam Wilson (Ayr, Ont.) would record his first college hit in the Griffs Game 2 loss.

Garon gathers a first
Liam Wilson was not the only Canadian to get their first college hit this past weekend. J.F. Garon (Terrebonne, Que.) would also record his first hit in Bradley’s 7-1 loss to Austin Peay. After being held quiet in Game 2, Garon would add to his hit total by going 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI in his team’s 9-7 victory.

Andreychuk gets stronger as series goes on
After drawing a walk in each Seattle University’s first two games, Griffin Andreychuk (Nanaimo, BC) would pound out two hits in both Games 3 and 4 of their series with Saint Mary’s. He would also score a run in Game 3 and knock in a run in game 4.

First collegiate appearance for Tanfield
Austin Tanfield (Toronto, Ont.) would see his first collegiate appearance in a 20-11 Notre Dame Falcons loss to the University of Indianapolis. He would throw an innings, give up two hits but would not surrender a run. 

G as in Grrrr-eat
LHP Guillaume Blanchette (St-Constant, Que.) has been hotter than a Texas road bed at noon for the Lubbock Christian Chaparrals. He pitched a one hitter as No. 10 Lubbock beat he No. 9 ranked Angelo State Rams 6-1. How how? Well, the LCU lefty has worked 19 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. 

Blanchette lost his no-hit bid in the sixth on a lead-off single, but he wasn’t in a jam for long, picking off Angelo State runner, retiring the final 11 batters form his second consecutive complete game. The Rams scored an unearned run in the fifth. 

Blanchette faced 31 batters in the complete game striking out six. He is now 2-0 after getting 17 ground-outs from ASU hitters. The last Chaps pitcher to toss a complete game one-hitter was Levi Westerlund (Oyen, Alta.) Mar. 8, 2014 against Oklahoma Panhandle State. 
 
He has thrown consecutive complete game outings after being without a complete game prior to this season.

Egert earns save
Josh Egert (Burlington, Ont.) would pick up a save in Southeastern University’s 10-6 Game 2 win over Thomas. Egert tossed 1 1/3, gave up no hits or runs and struck out one.

Dennis, Webb big for Cal U of Pennsylvania
Jack Dennis (Toronto, Ont.) picked up his first win of the season in California University of Pennsylvania’s win over Walsh. Dennis threw six innings, giving up four hits, one unearned run, walked one and struck out five Walsh batters.

Kristian Webb (Whitby, Ont.) would record his first college hit in Game 2 and would finish the contest 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Game 3 and the back end of a doubleheader saw Webb double. He would close out his weekend with a 2-for-3 game with an RBI.

Holgate stays hot, UWA struggles
The University of West Alabama would drop 3-of-4, including 2-of-3 to open conference play last week. Despite the disappointing results senior Mitch Holgate (Windsor, Ont.) continued his strong campaign. In a midweek game against Stillman to open things up Holgate doubled and scored two runs. UWA would then take their conference opener 13-11 over Delta State University. Holgate would chip in with two hits, one of which was a three run blast. He would also score a run in the win. After contributing a hit in his teams 1-0 walk loss in Game two, Holgate would again smash a three run shot in West Alabama’s game 3 loss. He would finish the game with four RBIs and a run scored.

Sims sizzling for Roane State
Roane State would take both games of a two game set versus in-state rival Walters State. In Game 1 Jake Sims (Guelph, Ont.) went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. He would only muster one hit and a walk in game 2 but was it ever a big hit. Sims blasted a three run shot in the 8-5 win. 

Beauregard, Gosselin provide relief for NEO
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M would drop their game to Crowder over the weekend but it was not because of a lack of performance from two Canadians. Vincent Beauregard (Laval, Que.) would come in from the bullpen first and would go 4 innings, giving up just two hits while allowing one earned run. He would walk two and strikeout six. Next up it was Daniel Gosselin (Vancouver, BC) who would be called upon. He would throw two innings, allowing a hit, no runs, a walk and he would also strikeout one.

Borden earns win, save
Jesse Borden (Dartmouth, NS) would pick up his first win in Midland’s 4-3 win over Colby. He would pitch an inning, give up two hits, a run and fan two. He would then earn his first save of the season by throwing two innings, allowing three hits, no runs, no walks and he would strikeout one in a game against Seward County.

Moxham tough luck loser
Brady Moxham (Oakville, Man.) would see his record fall to 0-2 on the season in a loss to Seward County. He would throw six innings, allowing four hits, two runs while walking two and striking out three. Not a bad outing, just not a good result.

Canadians huge for Seminole State
It was a huge weekend for three Canadians on the Seminole State (OK). In their Game 1 win versus Carl Albert State, Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Montreal, Que.) went 3-for-6 with two home runs, three RBIs and two runs scored. Abraham Toro (Longueuil, Que.), recently named as a top incoming player by the NJCAA, would also launch a home run and walk. Philippe Berthiaume (Lac St.-Charles, Que.) would go 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, four RBIs and three runs scored. Yes, that’s right, they all homered in the same game.

They didn’t slow down against MCC Maple-Woods. Pelletier had another home run, a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored. Toro would add another two hits, one of which was another home run, two walks, two RBIs and four runs scored. Berthiuame had a multi-hit game that included a double, a RBI and two runs scored. By the way Seminole State would win the game 22-9.

Seminole State would again clash with MCC-Maple Woods, this time taking the game 14-9. Although Pelletier was somehow held quiet, Toro and Berthiuame were not. Toro went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run while Berthiuame went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

The group would close out their week with a 22-4 thrashing of Redlands. In that one Pelletier would hit another home run, a double and would add a third hit. He would finish the game with six RBIs and three runs scored. Toro would also again hit a home run to go along with a double, four RBIs and two runs scored. Berthiuame would go 3-for-3 with two runs scored.

Check out these stats so far this season:
Pelletier: 10 GP, .488 avg, six home runs, 19 RBIs, 13 runs, and five stolen bases

Toro: 11 GP, .318 avg, five home runs, 14 RBIs, 18 runs, two stolen bases

Berthiuame: 11 GP, .541 avg, two home runs, 11 RBIs, 18 runs, five stolen bases

Impressive.

Make sure to keep checking back each week for the best performances by Canadians in college baseball.

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Matt Betts

Matt Betts was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1992. From a very young age, he loved all things baseball ... but even more, all things Canadian. His baseball career began with the Brantford Junior Red Sox, followed by three years (2008 thru 2010) with the Ontario Terriers program of the PBLO - twice winning the Most Proficient Pitcher award. The past four years he pitched at the University of West Alabama of the Gulf South Conference – twice earning Most Dedicated Player honours. Summer baseball experience includes pitching for the Hamilton Cardinals, and the Licking County Settlers (2013 Great Lakes League champs) and again this summer the Hamilton Cardinals. As an Integrated Marketing Major at UWA, he wrote extensively for the university newspaper, with a focus on baseball. His lifelong dedication and love for the game is indisputable, but his passion for sports writing and broadcasting/analysis has grown with each passing year. There is something very satisfying about “digging a little deeper” to reveal the “story within the story.” After four years of life in the United States, he is thrilled to be back home in Canada, ready to cover and promote Canadian sports and players.