BMOC X: Granton, Kirwer, Leblanc, Osterer, Pilat, Webb, Wood

OF Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) earned National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Hitter of the Week. The Niagara Purple Eagles hit .714 with a 1.286 slugging mark as well as winning MAAC Player of the Week honors.

OF Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) earned National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Hitter of the Week. The Niagara Purple Eagles hit .714 with a 1.286 slugging mark as well as winning MAAC Player of the Week honors.

BMOC Week 10
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network

This weeks edition of the Big Man on Campus features a National Hitter of the Week and a conference player of the week to kick things off. Don’t stop reading there though, as many other Canadian players played big roles during their teams games. The following is this weeks roundup of the top performances by Canadians in college baseball.

Kirwer claims NCBWA honour
It was quite the weekend for Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) He wasted little time helping his Niagara Purple Eagles put it to the St. Peter’s Peacocks. The Purple Eagles would roll to a 21-2 win in Game 1. Kirwer would go 3-for-4 with a home run, double, a pair of walks to go along with five RBIs and four runs scored. As if that wasn’t enough, he also stole two bases. He would follow it up with a 2-for-4 Game 2 that included two more doubles, another stolen base, four RBIs and a run scored. Niagara would take that one 13-0. Many players would be happy with that type of performance but Kirwer wasn’t done there. He would go 5-for-6 with another pair of doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored as Niagara would secure the sweep with a 11-0 Game 3 win. Kirwer’s week was good enough to gain him national attention. He was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Hitter of the Week. Overall he hit .714 with a .750 on-base percentage and a 1.286 slugging percentage. He also was perfect in the field with a 1.000 fielding percentage. He was also named MAAC Player of the Week and College Sports Madness’ MAAC Player of the Week.

Leblanc is ACC’s best
It’s hard to top National Hitter of the Week but Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week would be considered a close second. That is the honour Charles Leblanc (Laval, Que.) garnered for his performance in four games over the last week for the Pittsburgh Panthers. It all got started with a 13-5 Pitt midweek win over Kent State. Leblanc would power his team to victory with a 2-for-4 game. He would stroke a double, walk, knock in three runs and score one as well. Next up was a four game set at powerhouse Clemson. Leblanc sure didn’t shy away from the bright lights, going 3-for-4 in Game 1. He would also record two RBIs and a run scored in the 14-6 loss. He would have his best game during Pitt’s only win of the series in Game 2. Leblanc would pound out four hits with six RBIs and a run scored in his teams 15-5 win. It would then be a 2-for-4 game with a RBI and a run scored in a Game 3, 4-3 loss. Clemson would win Game 4, 7-0. Leblanc’s performance earned him ACC Player of the Week honours as he hit .647.

Good week to be a T-Bird
The University of British Columbia would pick up a four game sweep against Simpson over the weekend and there were plenty of standout performances.
It seemed like last year it was safe to pencil in Jeff Degano (Surrey, BC) into the weekly BMOC as he pitched his Indiana State Sycamores to victory. Well, this year it’s another Surrey boy who barely misses a week. Alex Webb (Surrey, BC) was back at it again against Simpson. He would toss a complete game shutout for the T-Birds, giving up just three hits with no walks and a whopping 12 punch outs in the 6-0 win. He would improve his record to 9-1.
Game 2 would see the T-Birds waltz to a 10-2 win. Griffey Goyer (Burnaby, BC) would have himself a nice day going 2-for-4 with a double and four RBIs. Bruce Yari (Waterloo, Ont.) would work three walks and cross the plate twice. Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, BC) was stellar by going six innings, scattering three hits, allowing a run with no walks and 11 strikeouts. He would pick up the win and moved to 6-3 on the year. Owen Kelly (Nanaimo, BC) would work the final three frames giving up three hits, a run with a pair of walks and strikeouts.
It was the bat instead of the eyes that Yari would use in his teams 5-3, Game 3 win. He would go 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored. Connor Noble would jump in on the pitching fun by going six innings with seven hits, three runs, a walk and three strikeouts. It would be Ethan Skujia (Victoria, BC) picking up his first win in this one. He would throw a clean inning. Tyler Gillies (London, Ont.) would pick up his fourth save of the campaign by going the final two innings without allowing a hit or a run. He would walk one and strikeout one.
It was a nice ending to a productive weekend for UBC as they won Game 4, 9-0 and finished off the sweep. Yari would help out with a hit, a RBI and three runs scored. Goyer would get back into things with a double and two RBIs. Not to be outdone, Jeremy Newton levelled his season record to 3-3 on the bump for UBC. He went seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits with a walk and five strikeouts.

Diewert doing his thing for Polk State
Seven hits in three games is a solid week and Zach Diewert found this out first hand. He would go 2-for-4 with a walk, RBI, run and a stolen base in Polk State’s 12-11 win over the State College of Florida. How about another multi-hit game? Sure, why not. How about a home run? That was Diewert’s Game 2 performance. He would also walk, score another run and steal another bag. He would round out his week in a 4-2 win over St. Petersburg College. In that one he would go 3-for-4 with a double and a triple. He would also cross the plate twice.

Pop gets call against in-state opponent
Zach Pop (Brampton, Ont.) would make the midweek start for the University of Kentucky as they welcomed the University of North Kentucky to Lexington. Pop would go four innings, allow four hits, two runs, with no walks and four strikeouts. Northern Kentucky would upset the Wildcats 5-4.

Mailloux gets win
It was a grind it out kind of day for Connor Mailloux (Windsor, Ont.) and the University of Indianapolis in an 11-6 win over Lewis University. Mailloux would work five innings, giving up nine hits, five runs (three earned) with two walks and five strikeouts on route to his second win of the season.

Wood, Comeau big for Boll Weevils
Make sure you read that headline carefully. Cory Wood (Fredericton, NB) and Evan Comeau (Halifax, NS) were big for the University of Arkansas Monticello Boll Weevils, with the key word being FOR. They aren’t big boll weevils, as that would simply be terrifying. A boll weevil is a beetle that feeds on cotton buds and flowers for those that are still wondering.
Anyway, enough of the crazy talk. First up for the two Canadians and UAM was Central Baptist. Wood would collect a hit and a walk while Comeau would also have a hit while walking three times, knocking in a pair, scoring once and stealing a base in the 6-3 win. It was then a series with Arkansas Tech on the weekend and the Canadians would continue their solid play. In the opener, Wood hit a two run shot, walked twice and scored an additional run. Comeau would get a knock himself while also walking and scoring in the 7-5 victory. Game 2 would see Wood go 2-for-4 with both hits being home runs. One was a solo blast and the other was a grand slam. He would also walk and finish the day with five RBIs and two runs scored. It was a hit and a stolen base for Comeau in the 6-2 win. They would drop their only game of the week in Game 3 by the score of 8-1. Wood had a hit while Comeau had two. 

Bigelow backs SUNY Canton to win
It was a complete game on the mound for Travis Bigelow (Ottawa, Ont.) as he led his SUNY Canton Kangaroos to a 16-3 win over Houghton. He would allow six hits over the seven innings with only two of the runs being earned. He would walk one and strikeout three.

Osterer also outstanding for the Roos
It was another pitcher from the nations capital that pitched SUNY Canton to victory over Houghton. Robbie Osterer (Ottawa, Ont.) went six innings, scattering four hits, allowing a run with three walks and five strikeouts. It was his first win of the season.

Wesmen pick up win in double dip
The doubleheader with Valley City State didn’t start as planned but it certainly ended that way for the University of Winnipeg. Game 1 would go the way of VCS by the score of 19-9. Zac Comeault (Pitt Meadows, BC) would have a hit, a walk with two RBIs and two runs scored. It was a 3-for-4 game with a RBI and two runs scored for Drake Pilat (Winnipeg, Man.) Aiden Brook would also go 3-for-4 but with one run scored.
Game 2 would see the Wesmen take a 7-6 decision. Colton Carlow (Winnipeg, Man.) was big in the win, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Pilat was back at it with a 4-for-4 day with two more RBIs and two more runs scored. Christian Peters (Winnipeg, Man.) would jump in on the multi-hit parade with two hits, three RBIs and a pair of runs.  Alain Andre (Winnipeg, Man.) would earn the win. He would go 2 1/3 innings of relief, allowing a hit and a run. He would walk four and strikeout four along the way.

Ferguson fires up Freed Hardeman
The week got off kind of slow for Garrett Ferguson (Brampton, Ont.) as he would only draw a walk in a 5-3 win over Bethel University. That was not a sign of things to come, however. He would collect a hit, be hit and score two runs in his teams Game 1 win over Lyon College. He would then crank it up even more with a 2-for-4 day with a run scored and a stolen base in the Game 2 loss. He would save his best game for last, going 3-for-4. Those three hits all happened to be home runs. He would finish the day with a walk to go along with the seven RBIs and three runs scored.

Zazulak finds home with University of Texas Permian Basin
The opposition was Hardin-Simmons in the first game of the week for the Falcons of the University if Texas Permian Basin. Jordan Zazulak (Coquitlam, BC) would have a hit, a walk and a RBI in that one. It was then a weekend set with St. Mary’s for UTPB. In Game 1, a 6-5 loss, Zazulak hit a triple and scored a run. Game 2 would see him go 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and a stolen base in the 9-5 loss. He would round out his weekend by swatting a two run shot. He would also walk and finish with two RBIs and two runs scored in the 10-7 win. Currently on the season he is hitting .284 with three home runs, 17 RBIs, 19 runs scored and is 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts through 30 games, all starts.

Blackwell bashes for Crowder
Kyle Blackwell (Waterdown, Ont.) is doing just what is asked of him as a hitter, he’s hitting the baseball. He would collect a hit and score a run in Crowder College’s first game of the week against Seminole State (OK), which they lost 13-3. It was four games against Mineral Area  next up. In the first game Blackwell would go 3-for-5 with two doubles, a RBI and a run scored. He would hit another double in the second game while crossing the plate twice. The third game would be his best, as he would go 4-for-6 with yet another double, a RBI and a run scored. He would finish his week with a two hit game, with you guessed it, two doubles. He also collected four RBIs and a run.
 
Colby becoming Canadian
It’s time to buckle up as I get set to go through Colby Community College’s weekend, as there are plenty of Canadians to get to.
Colby’s week got started with a 17-7 win over McCook. Brian Granton (Calgary, Alta.) would launch a home run and finish with three RBIs and two runs scored. Garett Kirkwood (Calgary, Alta.) would chip in with a hit and a stolen base. Eddie Chassell (Hespeler, Ont.) would do his best to outdo his fellow Canadian teammates. He went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored in the win.
Seward County was the next victim of the Canadian attack as Colby downed them 12-3. Granton would be right back at it with two hits, one of which was a double and two runs scored. Kirkwood would join in the fun with a 2-for-3 game with a RBI and a run. Chessell would rope a double with two RBIs and a run. Some new Canadian faces appeared in this game as Cole Schneider (Ft. Saskatchewan, Alta.) would have a hit, a walk and score a run. Another Cole, this time it was Cole McLaren (Morell, PEI) who had a double, a walk, a RBI and a run.
Seward County would get their revenge by downing Colby 16-6 in the next contest. It was Granton with a 2-for-4 game with a run scored and a pair of stolen bases. Kirkwood would score two of the six runs while also stealing a pair. McLaren was 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI.
Game 2 was proven to be no fluke as Seward County would take Game 3, 14-0. McLaren would get a hit, Chessell would walk and that would be about it in that one.
It would end well for Colby as they would take the finale 21-10. Granton would rear his offensive head again in this one going 3-for-6 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. After just a walk, Chessell would hit a home run, add another hit and a walk. He would finish with two RBIs and would cross the plate four times himself. Granton’s performance must have inspired Kirkwood as he also went 3-for-6 with a double but he would also add five RBIs, a run scored and two stolen bases. It was a hit, RBI and run for McLaren to close out his week while Schneider would double and score.

Canadians doing damage for Douglas
How about another team chalked full of Canadians. Look no further than the Douglas College Royals. It was a quiet opener against Skagit Valley as they dropped the contest 10-0. Jacob Robazza (Surrey, BC) would have a hit in the thumping. 
Game 2 would be a lot closer as Skagit Valley would sneak out a 3-2 win. Robazza would have two hits and two runs scored in that one. Another multi-hit game went to Rodney Gilbert (Vancouver, BC) as he went 2-for-4 with a double. It was Scott Doucet (White Rock, BC) who would get the start and go four innings, allowing just three hits, two runs with three walks and two punch outs. Liam Kano-McGregor (Langley, BC) would take the loss going 4 1/3 innings, giving up two hits, a run with two walks and two strikeouts.
The third game would see Skagit Valley win again, this time by a 5-2 margin. Robazza would go 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI. Gilbert would have a hit behind starter Zach Campagne (Surrey, BC). He would go 6 2/3 innings, giving up six hits, three runs with two walks and six strikeouts. He would take the loss in that one.
It was better times for Douglas in Game 4 as they would take a 5-3 win. Robazza would again be in the middle of things with two hits and a run scored. It was Cole Russell (Victoria, BC) who would earn the win on the mound. He went 6 2/3 innings, giving up five hits, three runs (two earned) with two walks and seven strikeouts. The save would go to Matt Courneya (Edmonton, Alta.) as he tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
Next up for Douglas College is two games at Bellevue Community College followed by two games at home to Bellevue.
    
Brophy reaches six times in two games
Catching can be a tough position and with a three game set, sometimes they only get into two games. Well, Joel Brophy (Burlington, Ont.) made the most of his two games. He would reach base six times via two hits, three walks and a hit by pitch in Niagara’s three game sweep of St. Peter’s. He would also record two RBIs and three runs scored along the way.

Seto helps Niagara seal the deal
Former Ontario Terrier Geoff Seto (Richmond Hill, Ont.) would have himself a fine weekend for the Niagara Purple Eagles. In Game 1 of their series with St. Peter’s he would have a hit, a walk and a RBI. He would then go 2-for-3 with two doubles, a hit by pitch, a RBI and two runs score in Game 2. It was a double, a walk and a RBI in the finale for Seto to put the finishing touches on a solid weekend

Procopio picks up first win
It was the first win of the year for Daniel Procopio (Toronto, Ont.) as his Niagara Purple Eagles downed St. Peter’s 13-0 in Game 2 of their series. Procopio would go five scoreless innings, giving up a single hit with three walks and eight strikeouts.

MacDonald crushes for Crowder
Kyle McDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) would reach base in every game against Mineral Area for Crowder College. In the first game he would go an impressive 3-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the 10-4 win. Game 2 would see another two hits with five RBIs and two runs scored. The third game he would go 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and a walk. He would end up with two RBIs and a run scored. In the fourth and final game he would walk twice and score. On the year he is hitting .303 with five home runs, 32 RBIs, 31 runs scored and two stolen bases.

It is always nice to see Canadians getting national and conference recognition as they compete for their respective schools. This week was yet again jam packed with outstanding performances. Always remember to check back each week to see who cracks the list of top performers in college baseball.

If you know someone who is deserving of a mention in the BMOC please email Matt Betts @ mattbetts41@gmail.com.

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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.