BMOC XVI: Ackerman, Pilat, Pompey, Schulz, Steinke, Suzuki

BMOC Week 16
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network

It’s that in-between stage in college baseball where some divisions are in postseason and others are wrapping up their regular season. No matter where the teams are at it is always an exciting time of year. Canadians are right in the thick of the action right across all levels. Let’s take a look at who were the Big Men on Campus in college baseball this week.

Pompey pops 2 against Ole Miss    
One of the top programs in the country sure didn’t intimidate Tristan Pompey (Toronto, Ont.) over the weekend. After collecting a hit and drawing a walk in a 3-2 midweek loss to Indiana, Pompey would do his best to spark the offense in Game 1 versus Ole Miss. Pompey would launch a solo shot in the top of the third to knot the score at 1-1. Unfortunately for the Wildcats that would be all the offence they could come up with en route to a 3-1 loss. Game 2 was straight up ugly as Ole Miss dropped UK 14-2. Pompey would go 2-for-3 with a walk in a Game 3 loss. One of those hits was another home run, this time a two-run shot giving him seven on the year.

Suzuki gets call in conference tournament final
With the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship up for grabs Concordia University St. Paul would hand the ball to Yuji Suzuki (Toronto, Ont.). Making his 12th appearance but just second start Suzuki would keep his team in it by tossing four innings, giving up three hits and two runs. He would walk three and strikeout three. It wouldn’t be enough though as St. Cloud State would edge out the Golden Bears 6-4 to take the title. Suzuki holds a 1-0 record with four saves, a 5.55 ERA and 20 K’s.

How about those Boll Weevils?
As if Corey Wood (Fredricton, NB) wasn’t having a good enough season, you can now add conference champion and Great American Conference All-Tournament team honours to his resume. In Game 1 of the second round of the GAC tournament this past week Wood stroked a double, walked and collected a pair of RBIs in a 8-1 win over Southeastern Oklahoma State. He would then walk twice, drive in a run and steal a base in their Game 2 victory over Arkansas Tech. The GAC championship game wasn’t even close as Arkansas Monticello steamrolled Henderson State 14-2 to take the crown. Wood went 2-for-6 in the game including a grand slam. He would also double and knock in seven in total. They now ready for Missouri Western State in Game 1 of the Central Regional in St. Cloud, Minn.

Comeau coming up clutch
It’s hard to beat the week Evan Comeau (Halifax, NS) had in round two of the conference tournament for the University of Arkansas Monticello. In their Game 1 win he went 3-for-6 with a RBI. If you think that’s pretty good he followed it up with a 4-for-4 performance with another RBI in Game 2. In the final he would reach base five times by collecting a pair of hits and working three free passes. He also collected four hits in the opening two games of round one against Harding. He was also named to the GAC All-Tournament team.

 

Another All-Tournament Team selection
Coming off three hits in round one versus Harding Travis Steinke (Red Deer, Alta.) continued his pace in round two. In the opener against Southeastern Oklahoma State he went 3-for-5 with a double and a RBI. He would collect a hit in UAM’s 4-3 Game 2 win over Arkansas Tech and then go 3-for 5 again in the final. He was also hit by a pitch, drove in a run and stole a base in the clinching game. Steinke was the third Canadian from UAM to be named to the GAC All-Tournament team.

 

Don’t forget about Dornblut
Mitchell Dornblut (Surrey, BC) also had himself a nice GAC Tournament for Arkansas Monticello. In the three games in the second round he collected a pair of hits, one of which was a double, a walk and a RBI. One of the hits and the walk came in the deciding game. He also chipped in with three hits in the opening round.

 

Plenty of honours for UBC
With the season that the University of British Columbia is having it should be no surprise that plenty of honours were recently given to a number of T-Bird Players.    
Alex Webb (Surrey, BC) was named NAIA West Pitcher of the Year and was an All-Conference selection. He is currently 9-1 with a 1.36 ERA. He has struck out 111 compared to just 13 walks. He has made 14 starts for the T-Birds
Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, BC) was an All-Conference selection as well. He is currently 9-3 with a 1.80 ERA. He has struck out 101 against 18 walks in 14 starts.
Connor Noble (Vancouver, BC) was also named an All-Conference selection. His record currently stands at 9-4 to go along with a 2.29 ERA with 79 punch outs. He has walked 22 in 16 starts.
Tyler Gillies (London, Ont.) was the fourth UBC pitcher to garner All-Conference honours. He has been spectacular in 2016 serving primarily as the closer. He is currently 3-0 with six saves and a minuscule 1.14 ERA. He has struck out 31 compared to seven walks in 31 1/3 innings. He has made 19 appearances, all in relief.
Bruce Yari (Waterloo, Ont.) earned All-Conference honours as well as being named a Gold Glove recipient. He is currently hitting .373 with five home runs and 44 RBIs. He holds a .454 OBP and a .550 SLG. His fielding percentage currently stands at .985.
Tyler Enns (East St. Paul, Man.) rounds it out for the Thunderbirds. He was named a Gold Glove selection this past week for his .990 fielding percentage. On the year he is also hitting .262 with 24 RBIs and is 9-for-12 in stolen base attempts. He has appeared in 39 games, making 38 starts.
UBC now heads to Lawrenceville, GA. for the opening round of the NAIA National Championship tournament. They open up against Olivet Nazarene (Ill.).

 

Ackerman named to All-Conference team
Nathan Ackerman (Langley, BC) was named to the NSIC All-Tournament second team this past week for Wayne State. He finished the year hitting .324 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs. He also had a .415 OBP and a .703 SLG to go along with 10 stolen bases. In conference play he hit .400 with nine of his 12 home runs and 22 of his RBIs coming in league play. Last season he was an All-NSIC first team selection as he hit 14 home runs and drove in 48. He was also a NCBWA first team All-Central Region selection and NCBWA All-American Honourable mention in 2015.

 

Brand finishes up strong
It wasn’t the ending Cleveland State Community College was hoping for by bowing out of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association tournament in two games but it was a solid finish to the year statistically for Billy Brand (Burlington, Ont.). In their first game against Jackson State, a 11-3 loss, Brand went 2-for-3 with a walk. He would do the same in what would be his final college game of the year against Motlow. On the year he hit .316 with seven home runs, 24 RBIs and 28 runs scored in 46 games.

 

Wilson, Panthers host opening round
It was a 2-2 showing for Zac Wilson (New Lowell, Ont.) and the Davenport University Panthers at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament. In their opener they would take a loss against Concordia. Wilson would get things going in Game 2, an 11-2 win over Cornerstone. He would go 3-for-5 with a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored. They would build off that success in Game 3 to stay alive, beating Concordia 10-6. Wilson exploded in that game going 5-for-6 with a triple and two RBIs. Their tournament would come to an end in Game 4 as they were defeated 5-2 by Indiana Tech. It isn’t all bad news for Wilson and Davenport though, they are currently hosting the NAIA National Championship opening round after a 42-15 season. As for Wilson he currently holds a .303 average with 20 RBIs and eleven stolen bases.

Schulz named to second team
It was another All-Conference selection for a Canadian. This time it was Jordan Schulz (Strasbourg, Sask.) getting the honours. He had a phenomenal season compiling a .385 average to go along with nine home runs, 46 RBIs, 48 runs scored and 11 stolen bases for Minot State. He ranked fourth in the NSIC in walks with 29, eighth in OPS (.490), ninth is stolen bases (11), 11th in batting average (.385), 13th in RBIs (46), 14th in runs (48), 15th in slugging percentage (.654), 17th in home runs (9) and 20th in total bases (101). He also led his team in average, hits (60), doubles (11) and triples (2).

 

Pilat and Carlow are honourable mentions
It was a very solid year for a pair of Winnipeg Wesmen players. Sophomore Drake Pilat (Winnipeg, Man.) and senior Colton Carlow (Winnipeg Man.) were named All-Conference honourable mentions.
Pilat appeared in all 23 conference games and hit .463. He finished the year with seven home runs, 85 hits, 40 RBIs, 41 runs scored  and 22 multi-hit games. Wesmen Coach Morgan De Pena had this to say about Pilat.
“Drake was our most consistent hitter all year and our best power threat.”
Colton Carlow also appeared in all 23 conference games compiling a .331 average with 57 hits, 16 RBIs and 21 runs scored. De Pena said this about Carlow.
“Colton’s leadership will be missed next year but we were happy to have him with the Wesmen for the past four years.”

 

Maroche named to Tino Martinez watch
The honours just keep rolling in for Tanner Maroche (Vancouver, BC) of the Dixie State University Trailblazers. He was recently named to the All-PacWest Conference first team after hitting .401 with three home runs, 38 RBIs, 52 runs scored, a .458 OBP, a .570 SLG and 11 stolen bases in 50 games.He was also a preseason All-PacWest selection and was twice named the player of the week this season. He hit safely in 45-of-50 games, with both a 16 and 18 game hitting streak. The 18 game streak saw him have five straight two-hit games and 12 multi-hit games in all. He was also named to the Tino Martinez watch list for the Division 2 player of the year.

 

Osborne, Spartans set to host
It was the final regular season series for the University of Tampa Spartans. With no conference tournament it was the final tune up for the regional and a chance to solidify their spot as hosts. The Rollins Tars would bring the opposition and the Spartans took Game 1 handily, 12-3. J.D. Osborne (Whitby, Ont.) would go 4-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs. In Game 2, a 8-4 win, he would go 2-for-5 with a RBI. The Tars would take the season finale 5-3 but Osborne still fuelled with offence with a 2-for-5 game with another RBI. Tampa finishes the regular season at 41-8 and 20-4 in Sunshine State Conference play, good enough for the conference crown. They were also named the host for the South Regional. Osborne was named to the All-SSC second team for his play this season. He currently is hitting .367 with 13 home runs and 57 RBIs. He also crossed the plate 51 times and had a .424 OBP as well as a .689 SLG. He leads the team in home runs and RBIs.

 

Madonna wins WHAC crown
There were a bunch of happy Canadians on the Madonna baseball team as they took home the Wisconsin-Hoosier Athletic Conference championship this past week. Bobby St. Pierre (Windsor, Ont.) would pick up the save in their second game, a 5-1 win over Northwestern Ohio. He would toss 1 2/3, surrendering just one hit and no runs with a walk and four strikeouts. Matt Deneau (Amherstburg, Ont.) would collect four hits, two walks and two RBIs in the tournament. Mitch Hudvagner had a big day picking up two hits in the championship game against Indiana Institute of Technology. Madonna would win the final 4-2. Madonna now heads to the campus of Westmount College to play at Russ Carr Field in Santa Barbara, Calif. for the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament. The Madonna baseball team featured six other Canadian members. Senior infielder Chase Dobbie (Mississauga, Ont.), senior infielder Levi Larmour (Oakville, Ont.), freshman outfielder Jeremy Orton (Essex, Ont.), junior outfielder Ryan Freemantle (Georgetown, Ont.), senior right handed pitcher Adam Prashad (Mississauga, Ont.) and sophomore right handed pitcher Jack Zimmerman (Tecumseh, Ont.) also don the Crusader blue and yellow.

 

Lumley continues solid season
Despite losing 2-of-3 to Quinnipiac over the weekend Jake Lumley (Windsor, Ont.) had himself a nice weekend. In Game 1, a 5-1 loss, he would collect a hit. The Griffs would drop Game 2 as well, this time by a score of 7-4. Lumley would again collect a hit and this time also draw a walk. He would save his best performance for the 13-5 Game 3 Canisius win. In that one he tallied a 3-for-4 day with two walks and two RBIs. On the season he is first on the team in average hitting at a .335 clip. He also has three home runs to go along with 34 RBIs, a .433 OBP, .435 SLG and has 10 stolen bases in 52 games, 51 starts. Canisius closes out their regular season with a three games at Niagara.

 

Wilson whacks the opposition
When Jake Lumley is hitting it means Liam Wilson (Ayr, Ont.) usually isn’t far behind him. Wilson got his series going in Game 2 against Quinnipiac with a pair of RBIs. In the finale he had a monster day going 4-for-6 with two RBIs. On the year he is hitting .292 with a home run, 29 RBIs, 34 runs scored, a .364 OBP, .373 SLG and is 7-for-9 in stolen base attempts in 52 games, 51 starts.

 

Remillard with another save
Iannick Remillard (Valleyfield, Que.) would pick up his 15th save of the season in Cansius’ Game 3 win over Quinnipiac. He would throw two innings, allowing no hits, an unearned run to go along with two walks and four strikeouts. He is 1-1 on the year with a 2.25 ERA along with his 15 saves. He has thrown 28 innings, allowed 8 runs (seven earned) with 26 strikeouts and eight walks. He has thrown 28 innings in 21 appearances, all in relief.

 

Dimitroff is locked in
It seems like every time you look at Connor State’s boxscore Bryce Dimitroff is right in the middle of it, or on top since he typically leads off for the Cowboys. This past week he went 2-for-6 to kick things off in Connor State’s 16-3 drubbing of Eastern Oklahoma State. He would also drive in a  run in that one. He would get back at it against Seminole State (OK) with a 4-for-4 game with two RBIs in the 9-1 win. He would finish up his week with another hit against Seminole State (OK).

 

Szpik takes home All-Conference honours
Like J.D. Osborne, Daniel Szpik was also named to the All-Sunshine State Conference second team. He rounded out his season this past weekend when his Florida Tech Panthers took on Eckerd. In Game 1, an 8-7 loss, he had a hit and a pair of RBIs. Florida Tech would pick up the win in Game 2, 7-2. He would go 2-for-3 with a walk. In the finale, a 6-2 win, he went 2-for-4. He finished the year hitting .379 with 78 hits, five home runs, 49 RBIs and 48 runs. He also added a .424 OBP, .568 SLG and six stolen bases. 

 

Beaton is one of the best for Eastern Michigan
A couple of stellar relief appearances against Michigan State and Northern Illinois lands Matthew Beaton (Guelph, Ont.) in this weeks BMOC. Against Michigan State, a 3-2 loss, he would go 1 1/3 innings, giving up no hits, runs or walks with two punch outs. He would follow that up with three innings of two-hit ball against Northern Illinois. He wouldn’t allow a run or walk and would strikeout four. Eastern Michigan lost the game 2-1. He is currently 2-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 20 appearances, all relief with 28 strikeouts, 11 walks and has held opponents to a .217 average. His ERA ranks second on the team and he is tied for the team lead in appearances.


    
A lot of Canadians have garnered honours over the past week while some teams have also won championships. Canadians are having fantastic seasons and there is no reason it shouldn’t continue. The postseason is heating up for a lot of teams and Division 1 heads into the final stretch so it continues to be exciting. Canadians are sure to have an impact with their teams from here on out. Check back next week to read about the top Canadians who are leading their schools.

If you know of someone who is deserving of a mention in this weekly blog, 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.