* Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) of the Connors State Cowboys slugged his way to Canadian Baseball Network Player of the year honours.
By Bob Elliott
For someone who only had 12 at-bats in 2009, Marcus Knecht made up for lost time this season.
Transferring from the Oklahoma State Cowboys to Connors State College Cowboys, the North York slugger didn’t look to be attending his first rodeo.
Knecht was voted the 2010 Canadian Baseball Network Player of the Year winning two portions the triple crown of more than 700 Canadians playing south of the border.
The former Ontario Blue Jays outfielder had 23 homers and knocked in 87 runs, while his OPS was 1.456.
Knecht, who played for coach Danny Bleiwas, received 49 of 51 first-place ballots.
Knecht’s OPS of 1.456 was the highest of the more than 700 Canadians playing south of the border in 2010 and led all vote getters in balloting for the 11th annual All-Canadian College Team.
Knecht joins previous leading vote getters who have gone before him:
_ 3B Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in 2009.
_ DH Mike Gosse (Pitt Meadows, BC), of the Oklahoma Sooners in 2008.
_ 1B Kevin Atkinson (Surrey, BC), of the New Mexico Jr. College Thunderbirds in 2007.
_ OF Jon Baksh (Mississauga, Ont.), of the Florida Tech Panthers in 2006.
_ 1B Karl Amonite (Woodslee, Ont.), of the Auburn Tigers, in 2005.
_ OF Charlie MacFarlane (Lantzville, BC), of the Cumberland Bulldogs, in 2004.
_ C Aaron McRae (Delta, BC), of the LSU-Shreveport Pilots, in 2003.
_ OF Ryan Kenning (North Vancouver, BC), of the New Mexico State Aggies and RP-SS Jesse Crain (Toronto, Ont.), of the Houston Cougars, who shared top honours in 2002.
_ LHP Jeff Francis (North Delta, BC), of the British Columbia Thunderbirds, in 2001.
_ And OF Ben Emond (Farnham, Que.), of the Texas Longhorns, in 2000, our inaugural year.
Knecht led all Canucks with 23 homers, four more than Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) and RBIs, with 87, 12 more than Greg Wallace (Nanaimo, BC). He was second in average at .442, 16 points behind the Canuck Sean Bignall (Brampton, Ont), who hit .458.
Knecht outdistanced all other Canadians with a 1.456 OPS, powering the Cowboys a the No. 1 national ranking in May.
Besides the slugging outfielder, other Canadians who played a major role for Connors: C Peter Bako (Mississauga, Ont.), RHP Chris Nagorski (Mississauga, Ont.), INFs Tyler Wheeler (Guelph, Ont.) and James Kottaras (Markham, Ont.), OF Brodie Ross (Markham, Ont.), RHPs Cam Gray (Toronto, Ont.) and Nick DaSilva (Toronto, Ont.) and Jeremy Kral (Prince George, B.C.).
Knecht attended pre-draft worokouts for the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Jays, Florida Marlins and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Knecht ran a 6.54-second clocking in the 60 on scout day, hit .453 with 24 doubles, 23 homers (some of which you can see): and 85 RBIs for Connors which won 29 of its first 31 games to earn a No. 1 ranking south of the border.
A 23rd-round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008, Knecht chose not to sign playing for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. He had 12 at-bats for the Cowboys as a freshman and transferred to Connors for his sophomore season..
A third-round choice of the Toronto Blue Jays scouting director Andrew Tinnish (Ottawa, Ont.) and Canadian scout Jamie Lehman (Brampton, Ont.), Knecht hit .268 with five homers and 34 RBIs in 61 games this summer for Class-A Auburn.
The 11th annual All-Canadian team, features the player of the year from 2009 -- 3B Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) -- plus two national champs:
2B Ivan Hartle (North Vancouver, BC) won MVP honours for the Iowa Western Reivers at Alpine Bank Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Col.
LHP Shawn Schaefer (Pitt Meadows, BC) who went 14-0 and was in on the celebrations as Cumberland won the 54th Annual Avista-NAIA World Series at Harris Field in Lewiston, Id. All Schaefer did was put together the finest season won-loss wise in the 11-year history of our poll. Only RHP Craig Talbot (Victoria, BC), of the Jamestown Jimmies in 2005 and Ryan Astle (St. Albert, Alta.) of the Mary Marauders in 2002 reached double-figure win totals while going undefeated. Both Talbot and Astle were 10-0.
Our voters consisted of 23 elite and college coaches from both sides or the border; 11 scouts from both sides of the border, five executives, five writers, a former major leaguer; an agent, an umpire and four members of our staff.
And now away we go, on with the show as Jackie Gleason used to say:
Left-hander starter: Shawn Schaefer (Pitts Meadows, BC) of the Cumberland Bulldogs.
Schafer earned NAIA All-American First Team honours with a 14-0 record, ranking fourth nationally in strikeouts.
He tossed a complete game, five-hitter against the Oklahoma City Stars in an 8-1 win in the second game of the 54th Annual Avista-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Id.
The lefty allowed a solo homer and fanned 11 in his ninth complete game of the year throwing 124 pitches. He did not walk a batter and allowed more than one base runner an inning just once until the Stars had a pair of singles in the eighth.
He had a 2.47 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 108.2 innings pitched, ranking fourth nationally in strikeouts and in the Top 10 in four categories. By going 14-0 Schaefer set the single-season record for wins, holding opposing hitters to a .227 average.
Schaefer earned NAIA National pitcher of the week honour in the season with four-hitter against No. 6 ranked Embry-Riddle Eagles as he struck out a season-high 12, walked one and worked nine innings in a 3-1 triumph.
He tossed his second one-hitter of the season, allowing a lead-off, single and retiring the next 15 batters in an 11-0, five-inning victory over Davenport.
He beat Oklahoma City in two outings -- for his third and his 14th wins -- and Union twice for his sixth and 12th wins, his second the opener of the Trans South conference tourney.
He also registered victories against North Alabama, Missouri Baptist, Embry-Riddle, Davenport, Bethel, Trevecca Nazarene, Freed-Hardeman, Martin Methodist, Mid-Continent and Campbellsville in the opener of the best-of-three, series to get to Lewiston.
Schaefer threw 138 pitches to beat Campbellsville 6-4 in 10 innings at Joliet, Ill.
Despite all that workload, Schaefer maintained a 3.69 GPA.
Schaefer, who played for coach Bill Green’s Coquitlam Reds in 2004 and shared BC Premier League honours with Michael Saunders (Victoria BC) now with the Seattle Mariners, earned Canadian Baseball Network First Team Honours with the British Columbia Thunderbirds in 2006 and Honorable Mention honours in 2009.
Right-hander: Matt McGovern (Ottawa, Ont.) of the North Carolina-Pembroke Braves.
McGovern went undefeated for Monroe Tribunes on the way to the NJCAA Div. II World Series in 2007 and again in 2008. He went 9-0 at UNC-Pembroke in 2009 and this spring after 26 consecutive career wins he suffered his first loss, 10-8 to North Georgia.
McGovern was 31-2 during his collegiate career, including 18-2 at UNCP. He made 15 appearances in 2010, including 14 starts and finished the campaign with a 9-2 record and a 3.19 ERA, including five wins against league foes and a pair of combined shutouts. McGovern struck out 86 batters in 93 innings of work (8.32 strikeouts per nine innings), holding opponents to a .264 average. He had nine quality starts and pitched seven or more innings in nine of his 15 appearances.
His five league wins came against four of the top seven hitting teams in the conference, including triumphs over Georgia College, Columbus State, Flagler and Armstrong Atlantic State.
McGovern earned North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association All-State, Rawlings/ABCA All-Southeast Region and All-Peach Belt Conference honours.
McGovern, who pitched for coach Don Campbell and the Ottawa-Nepean Canadians, earned Canadian Baseball Network First Team honours in 2009 and Second Team honours in 2008.
Reliever: Nathan Lewis (Burlington, Ont.) of the Tarleton State Texans.
Lewis, in his first season with the Texans, earned All-Lone Star Conference Second Team a dominating season, appearing in a school-record 28 games, posting the second-lowest ERA (1.81) in school history and broke the school record with nine saves. C Mark Jeffery (Whitby, Ont.) also earned Second Team honours.
Lewis was 4-4 allowing nine earned runs, striking out 33 in 40 2/3 innings of work, holding hitters to a .184 average.
Tarleton State lost in the conference final to San Angelo State, at Abilene, Tex.
Lewis picked up his record-breaking, save in the second game of the conference final and he had to work 2 2/3 innings as Tarleton beat the Southeastern Oklahoma Savage Storm 6-2. He had a hitless outing taking over with two out in the seventh and recorded the final eight outs.
A workhorse, Lewis also pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the save as the Texans beat the Abilene Christian Wildcats to qualify for the LSC tourney. He allowed two hits, walked a man and struck out four.
He recorded four wins against, two in the same series against West Texas A@M, plus one each against Colorado Christian and Southeastern Oklahoma.
Lewis transferred from Cisco, where he 4-2 with 14 saves and 70 strikeouts, earning second-team all conference. He was awarded a Distinguished Students award with a GPA of 3.25 or higher.
His nine saves led all Canadians.
Lewis pitched for the Oakville Royals and coach Matt Baird.
Catcher: Peter Bako (Mississauga, Ont.) of the Connors State Cowboys.
Bako hit .413 with 18 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 66 RBIs in 56 games as at Connors State. He also drew 28 walks and was hit by a pitch 15 times to give him a .511 on-base percentage
Over-all, he ranked fourth in NJCAA Region II in hitting, third in runs scored with 81, fifth in doubles, 10th in homers and fourth in RBIs
He had a .679 slugging mark to go with a .511 on-base mark. His OPS was the seventh best amongst the more than 700 Canadians playing the majority of their games south of the border. Bako had a 1.190 mark behind teammate Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) at 1.456. The others ahead of him were Sean Bignall (Brampton, Ont.) 1.304, Scott Peters (Altoona, Man) 1.245, Luke Krobath (Langley, BC) 1.227, Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) 1.200 and Nolan Bracken (Regina, Sask.) 1.200.
In his freshman year, Bako hit .382 (50-for-131) with nine doubles, three home runs, 25 RBIs and a .461 on-base percentage in 36 games at Connors in 2009.
Bako was selected in the 15th round of the 2009 draft by the Pirates but returned to school. He transferred to the North Carolina State Wolf Pack.
Bako, who played for coach Danny Bleiwas and the Ontario Blue Jays, received Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention honours in 2009.
First base: Brian Burton (Kitchener, Ont.) of the Canisius Golden Griffs.
Burton batted .373 with 11 doubles, 17 homers and 68 RBIs in 59 games to earn All-MAAC Second Team honours the second time in his career (2008) as he set career highs in a number of categories on the season.
In conference play, Burton ranked third in average (.453), second in RBIs (39) and third in home runs (nine).
Burton had a pair of hits as the Griffins defeated Manhattan 6-5 in the MAAC tournament, was 2-for-4 with a homer and a RBI in a 10-5 loss to Rider and had two hits and teo RBIs in a 7-5 win over Manhattan at Fiskill, N.Y. Burton joined Sean Jamieson (Simcoe, Ont.) and Shayne Willson (Surrey, BC) on the MAAC All-Tournament Team.
One of Burton’s best came when he had a two-homer game, including a two-run, go-ahead, home run in the top of the ninth giving Canisius, a 3-2 victory over Toledo in the Johnny Gill Memorial at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
His first drive was a one-out, solo homer to right and then one out after a one-out double he followed with a two-run homer down the right-field line giving Canisius a 3-2 lead. He had four hits and three RBIs in a 10-1 win over Appalachian State in Kannapolis, N.C. to get the Griffs off to a 5-0 start.
Burton was tied for third with Greg Appleton (Port Coquitlam, BC) with 17 homers apiece amongst Canadians, behind Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) who had 23 and Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) who had 19. He was fourth in RBIs behind Knecht, 87, Greg Wallace (Nanaimo, BC) 75 and Sawyer with 73.
Burton, who played for coach Danny Thompson and the Ontario Terriers, earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention honours in 2009.
Second base: Ivan Hartle (North Vancouver, BC) of the Iowa Western Reivers.
Hartle hit .369 with 17 doubles, nine homers and 58 RBIs in 57 games for the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series champs.
Leading off Hartle homered off the foul pole on the second pitch as Iowa Western opened the tourney in Grand Junction, Col.
Iowa Western edged top-ranked, San Jacinto-North Gators 5-4 in the final, with Hartle scoring the winning run.
Besides his lead-off homer, Hartle singled in a 12-0 win over the Crowder Roughriders; homered to centre leading off in a 12-7 loss to Bryce Harper and the Southern Nevada Coyotes; singled twice in a 13-3 romp over Crowder; hit a run-scoring, fly ball in a 9-8 win over Southern Nevada, homered leading off and doubled in a 10-4 win against San Jacinto 10-4 and doubled in the finale.
Hartle was named both tournament MVP as well as outstanding defensive player of the tournament. He hit .400 (10-for-25) with six RBIs. He led all players with 21 total bases and tied for the lead in runs scored (10) and home runs (three -- all lead off homers). He posted a 1.000 fielding percentage after 25 chances, including four double-plays.
He earned NJCAA Div. 1 Easton defensive player of the year posting a .980 fielding percentage with 55 putouts, 110 assists and committed three errors during the season primarily playing second.
Hartle had the 10th best OPS at 1.161, amongst Canadians behind Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) 1.456, Sean Bignall (Brampton, Ont.) 1.304, Scott Peters (Altoona, Man) 1.245, Luke Krobath (Langley, BC) 1.227, Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) 1.200, Nolan Bracken (Regina, Sask.) 1.200, Peter Bako (Mississauga, Ont.) 1.190, Ryan Flemming (Whitby, Ont.) 1.172 and Paul LaMantia (Tecumseh, Ont.) 1.170.
Hartle, who played for Bill Green’s Coquitlam Reds, earned Easton NJCAA Div. I defensive player of the year.
Third base; Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.
Sawyer set the Summit League record with 19 homers in 2009 and then in 2010 went out and equalled the same total. He had 17 doubles and 73 RBIs while hitting .359 in 60 games. A two-time all-Summit League performer, Sawyer drew a single-season, school-record 50 bases on balls.
Sawyer won Summit League the honour as the Jackrabbits gained a share of the league regular-season title.
In six games, Sawyer hit .389 (7-for-18) with four home runs and 14 RBIs, recording a 1.111 slugging percentage. In a four-game, Summit series against Western Illinois, Sawyer homered in all four games to up his season total to 18. He walked seven times during the week to set a new Jackrabbit single-season mark of 45 bases on balls.
His homer in a 20-6 over Oakland in the conference final put him in sole possession of third place on the Jackrabbit career home run chart with 38, breaking a tie with Chris Studer (37 homers from 1999-2002).
Earlier in the season, Sawyer homered in a 3-2 upset victory over 14th-ranked Arkansas.
Sawyer hit three home runs -- as did teammate Zach Rhodes (Champion, Alta.) in a 23-8 romp over Dallas Baptist.
He was second in homers to Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) who had 23 and third in RBIs behind Knecht, 87 and Greg Wallace (Nanaimo, BC) 75.
His OPS was 1.200, tied with Nolan Bracken (Regina, Sask.), behind Knecht at 1.456, Sean Bignall (Brampton, Ont.) 1.304, Scott Peters (Altoona, Man) 1.245 and Luke Krobath (Langley, BC) 1.227.
A graduate of Blair Kubicek’s Prairie Baseball Academy, Sawyer was Canadian Baseball Network player of the year and earned First Team All-Canadian honours in 2009. Shortstop: Carl Moniz (Laval, Que.) of the Georgia State Panthers.
Moniz hit .369 with 13 doubles, a team-high four triples and 10 homers knocking in 63 runs, tied for fourth most in school history, in 57 games.
He earned All-CAA conference Third Team honors as a utility player. The versatile Moniz played some outfield, as well as both middle infield positions for the Panthers in 2010.
He bumped both his batting average and on base percentage over 100 points from his junior to senior season and tied for the seventh most total bases in a single season with 131.
Moniz won CAA Player of the Week belting three home runs in four games, while batting .667 (10-for-15) leading the Panthers to a 3-1 week, including a sweep of previously unbeaten in conference play Hofstra. He collected 22 total bases for a 1.467 slugging percentage, while driving in 13 and scoring six runs. He added a pair of walks for a .684 on base percentage and stole two bases, adding three doubles.
Moniz started the week going 2-for-4 at Auburn with a home run and four RBIs, then was 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI in a 9-2 win Hofstra, was 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run, double and five RBIs in an 8-2 win against Hofstra and homered in the seventh which provided the difference in a 4-3 win.
Over the season, Moniz had 80 hits, fourth most in a season, none more important than his walk-off single in the 10th that gave Georgia State a 3-2 win over William & Mary keeping the Panthers hopes alive of winning its first regular season conference championship.
In March, Moniz was named to the Brooks Wallace award Watch List as one of the top shortstops by the College Baseball Foundation.
Moniz, who played for coaches Richard Emond and Joel Landry with the Academie Baseball Canada, earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention in 2008 and 2009.
Outfield: Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) of the Connors State Cowboys; Sean Bignall (Brampton, Ont.) of the Northern Oklahoma-Enid Jets and Greg Wallace (Nanaimo, BC) of the Evansville Purple Aces.
Knecht hit .453 with 24 doubles, one triple, 21 homers and 85 RBIs. He stole 20 bags and had a .540 on-base percentage for Connors, earning NJCAA All-Region II, First Team honours.
Knecht ran (6.54 clocking in the 60), hit for power (grading to 70 power on a 20-to-80), hit for average (.453), fielded and showed a strong arm as the complete package.
Brodie Ross (Markham, Ont.) and Knecht (Toronto, Ont.) each hit two homers as Connors State swept Marshalltown by 29-8 and 18-4 scores at Warner, Oak. Knecht homered twice in a 3-for-4 game with eight RBIs in the opener, while James Kottaras (Markham, Ont.) was 3-for-3 with two singles and a three-run home run. 3B Tyler Wheeler (Guelph, Ont.) homered, missing the cycle by a double. Knecht homered in each game.
Knecht helped the Connors thump Labette by 16-6 and 11-1 scores with a homer, two doubles and five RBIs in the opener. In the nitecap, he hit a two-run homer.
And Knecht had three RBIs, including a home run in a 10-1 win over North Central.
Knecht played for coach Dan Bleiwas and Ontario Blue Jays, Greg Hamilton of the Canadian National Junior Team and Steve Davis of the North York Blues, before heading south, led all Canucks in homers and RBIs and trailed only Bignall in average.
Bignall earned NJCAA Div. II Second-Team All-American honours hitting .458 with 19 doubles, five triples, 12 homers and knocked in 63 runs.
Named Oklahoma Conference player of the year, Bignall set five offensive records this season and ranks first or second in 12 different Jets records.
He smashed the hitting record of Mike Williams, who set the school record of .421 in 2009. Bignall signed with NOC Enid after coach Raydon Leaton saw the player competing in the Sunbelt Games in Norman. His .458 average was high amongst all Canadians.
Bignall ranks as one of the fastest players in NOC Enid history. He has been clocked in 6.4 seconds in the 60-yard dash. Despite that foot speed, Bignall hit in the middle of the order for the No. 2 ranked Jets.
One of his better series came against No. 3-ranked Des Moines, as Bignall was 2-for-2 with a homer and two RBIs in a 14-3 victory. He then homered, singled and knocked in three runs in a 14-4 win. On the series, Bignall was 8-for-14 with two homers and seven RBIs.
Bignall had the highest average of the Canucks south of the border, 16 points better than Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.). Bignall was second in OPS behind Knecht, who had 1.456 mark, compared to Bignall’s 1.304
Bignall, who played for Murray Marshall with Team Ontario and his father Mike Bignall with the Brampton Royals, earned a Canadian Baseball Network Second Team honour in 2009.
Wallace had a season for the books ... the record books. He hit .371 and found a lot of gaps with his line drives finding the gaps: 22 doubles, 13 triples and nine homers. He knocked in 75 runs with a .678 slugging mark. He earned ABCA All-Midwest Region Second Team honors producing one of the best offensive seasons in school history.
Wallace tied UE single-season records for hits: 91, equalled Kasey Wahl’s total in 2006.
Wallace broke school records with 13 triples, four more than the record held by several players; RBIs with 75, the previous high Pat Schulz in 1972, while hitting a team-best .371.
He also set a career record with his 20th homer, beating Pat Schulz’s total of 17 in 1990-93.
Wallace ranked among the Valley’s leaders in batting average (fourth, .371), slugging percentage (second, .678), runs scored (fifth, 55), hits (first, 91), RBI (first, 75), doubles (second, 22), triples (first, 13), home runs (10th, nine), and total bases (first, 166).
He was a first-team, all-Missouri Valley Conference outfielder and MVC All-tournament team selection who started all 59 games for Evansville in centre.
Wallace tied former Jays great Joe Carter’s single-season MVC record for triples with a school-record of 13, fourth-highest single-season total in NCAA Div. I history. He tied a school record with a pair in one game against Southern Illinois.
He was chosen by College Baseball Lineup (formerly Ping!Baseball) as a third-team pre-season All-American for 2011.
Wallace was second in RBIs amongst Canadians behind only Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) who had 87 and tied for fifth in homers by Canadians with 13 -- along with Scott Peters (Altoona, Man.), Kyle Stryker (Mississauga, Ont.), Aaron Dunsmore (Spruce Grove, Alta.), Ryan Fleming (Whitby, Ont.), Paul LaMantia (Tecumseh, Ont.) 13 -- behind Knecht, who had 23, Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) 19, Greg Appelton (Port Coquitlam, BC) and Brian Burton (Kitchener, Ont.) with 17 apiece.
Wallace, who played for the Nanaimo Pirates under coaches Larson Bauck and Brad Weinmeyer, earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention in 2008.
DH: Paul LaMantia (Tecumseh, Ont.) of the Wayne State Warriors.
LaMantia hit .415 with 16 doubles, 13 homers and 60 RBIs in 51 games and was voted Wayne State’s MVP in 2010.
He earned All-Midwest Region First Team honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
He set three single-season, records (home runs, 13; RBIs, 60; and total bases 137) and was a First Team All-Great Lakes Conference, three-time All-Region selection, Daktronics All-Region Second Team and ABCA All-Region Second Team, and CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV Second Team.
LaMantia finished his two-year, WSU career as the program’s all-time leader in slugging percentage (.639), ranks fifth in batting average (.383), eighth in home runs (17) and 10th in extra-base hits (54).
On the season, he finished second in the GLIAC in RBIs, total bases and slugging percentage (.710); third in hits (80); fourth in batting average (.415); sixth in runs (57) and eighth in doubles (16).
LaMantia finished second with 23 multi-hit, games and 16 multi-RBI, games, putting together a season-best, 10-game hitting streak including a 5-for-5 performance with three doubles, four RBIs against Minnesota-Duluth and the first of two, two-homer games. He had four home runs in a three-game, span including his second two-homer, game at Hillsdale and hit for the cycle in a 5-for-5 performance against Ashland in the GLIAC tourney.
He was tied for fifth in homers by Canadians with 13 -- along with Scott Peters (Altoona, Man.), Kyle Stryker (Mississauga, Ont.), Aaron Dunsmore (Spruce Grove, Alta.), Ryan Fleming (Whitby, Ont.), Greg Wallace (Nanaimo, BC) 13 -- behind Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) who had 23, Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) 19, Greg Appelton (Port Coquitlam, BC) and Brian Burton (Kitchener, Ont.) with 17 apiece.
And he was ninth in OPS at 1.170 behind Knecht at 1.456, Sean Bignall (Brampton, Ont.) 1.304, Scott Peters (Altoona, Man) 1.245, Luke Krobath (Langley, BC) 1.227, Sawyer and Nolan Bracken (Regina, Sask.), who each checked in at 1.200, Peter Bako (Mississauga, Ont.) 1.190 and Flemming 1.172.
LaMantia went out in style with three hits in his final collegiate game at Southern Indiana in the NCAA Regional.
LaMantia, who played for the Windsor Selects and Al Bernacki, earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention in 2009.
Left-handed starter: Sheldon McDonald (Spruce Grove, Alta.) of the UBC Thunderbirds.
McDonald was 9-2 with a 2.92 ERA for the T-Birds, walking only 16 and striking out 65 in 70 1/3 innings in 14 appearances, as he made 12 starts.
McDonald earned California Pacific Conference/Cascade Collegiate First Team honours.
McDonald gained the win, giving up three runs and six hits over six innings while striking out seven as the top-seeded Thunderbirds beat the fourth-seeded Houston-Victoria Jaguars 9-3 to earn a spot in the championship game in their 2010 NAIA championship putting UBC two wins away from the Avista-NAIA World Series.
A transfer from the Northeastern Huskies, McDonald beat Concordia-Oregon (six scoreless; one earned run in six innings), and Simpson twice apiece (one earned run in four innings; one earned run in six outings), Concordia-California (pitching six innings, allowing one run), Corban (one earned run in four innings), Seattle (one scoreless inning of relief), Oregon Tech (one earned run in five innings) and Houston-Victoria.
McDonald, who pitched for the Spruce Grove White Sox and coach Steve Sullivan, earned Canadian Baseball Network First Team honours as a reliever in 2008.
Right-handed starter (tie): Jeff Gibbs (East York, Ont.) of the Maine Black Bears and Matthew Whidden (Hamilton, Ont.) of the Niagara County Trailblazers.
Gibbs was 5-4 in 14 starts as a rookie for Maine, walking 39 and striking out 72 in 75 1/3 innings, leading the team in both innings pitched and strikeouts.
He earned honours to the America East Second Team, as well as being named to the America East All-Rookie team.
Gibbs a pair of complete games on the season and picked up his first career win over No. 11th ranked North Carolina striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings and he struck out a season-high nine against Oregon State.
He was named America East Pitcher of the Week once this year and America East Rookie of the Week on two occasions. Gibbs won Rookie of the Week with a complete seven-inning, win as Maine beat Lehigh 8-1, allowing one hit in seven innings on the mound. The lone hit of the game against him was a solo home run. Gibbs fanned five batters.
His Pitcher of the Week award came after he pitched 5 2/3 innings in his collegiate debut against Lamar, allowing one earned run, one walk, striking out six and scattering six hits. Gibbs did not get a decision as the Black Bears lost in the 17th inning. Then, Gibbs struck out seven Tar Heels in 5 1/3 innings for his first collegiate win against No. 11 North Carolina, allowing three hits and two earned runs.
Gibbs pitched for Murray Marshall and Team Ontario when he was drafted in 2009 in the 48th room by the Jays.
Widden had the lowest ERA of the starters named on our ballot. He registered a 1.94 ERA in 10 games for Niagara County, making eight starts. He was also unbeaten going 8-0.
He walked 24 and struck out 71 in 51 innings, while holding opposing hitters to a .195 average.
Coach Matt Clingersmith brought Whidden south the border to pitch for the Trailblazers, who went unbeaten at the regional championship tournament -- where he earned pitcher of the tournament and the all-tournament team -- which qualified for the junior college World Series in 2009.
Whidden was a force as NCCC was ranked 10th in the country among Division III junior colleges, entering regional play against Hudson Valley College. Whidden earned the NCCC MVP in 2010.
He’s transferred to NAIA school Point Park for the spring of 2011.
Whidden, who pitched for Tex Montgomery’s Niagara Rebels, earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention in 2009.
Reliever: Dan Britton-Foster (Ladysmith, BC) of the UBC Thunderbirds.
Shawn Hetherington (Tsawwassen, BC) had six saves for UBC, while Taylor King (Nanaimo, BC) had five.
Yet when it came time to cast ballots, voters liked Britton-Foster’s final line better. He had a 2.02 ERA in 15 games, 14 in relief. He walked three and struck out 23 in 35 2/3 innings holding opposing hitters to a .239 average.
He picked up a win in his lone start against the Redlands, allowing two runs in five innings, and four wins in relief: pitching 2 2/3 innings giving up a run in a win against Simpson; working three scoreless in a win over Corban; working four scoreless in a win over Concordia-Oregon and working 3 2/3 scoreless against Oregon Tech.
Britton-Foster is a 6-foot-3, 180-pounder who impressed during summer ball with the Okotoks Dawgs in the WMBL. In the summer he worked 44 1/3 innings, going 4-3. He walked five and struck out 28 in 44 1/3 innings.
Birtton-Foster, pitched for the Nanaimo Pirates and coach Mike Chewpoy.
Catcher: Scott Peters (Altoona, Man.) of the Minot State Beavers.
Peters hit .411 with 11 doubles, 13 homers and 43 RBIs, while batting .411 in 49 games.
Peters was Minot State’s single season homer leader and was also second on the team in average on his way to winning Dakota Conference Second Team honours.
Peters went 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBIs to power the Beavers to a DAC sweep of the Valley City State Vikings breaking former MSU standout Brian Hornecker’s total of 11 home runs in 1985. He went deep in the opener, a 13-3 romp and in the nitecap, an 11-1 decision.
Peters had the third-best OPS amongst Canadians with a 1.245 mark, behind only Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) at 1.456 and Sean Bignall (Brampton, Ont.) at 1.304.
He was tied for fifth in homers by Canadians with 13 -- along with Paul LaMantia (Tecumseh, Ont.), Kyle Stryker (Mississauga, Ont.), Aaron Dunsmore (Spruce Grove, Alta.), Ryan Fleming (Whitby, Ont.), Greg Wallace (Nanaimo, BC) behind Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) who had 23. Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) had 19, while Greg Appelton (Port Coquitlam, BC) and Brian Burton (Kitchener, Ont.) had 17 apiece.
Peters was with Team Manitoba at the 2007 Canada Cup and also in the 2009 Canada Games. First base: Greg Appleton (Port Coquitlam, BC) of the Cumberland Bulldogs.
Appleton batted .361 with 13 doubles, 17 homers and 57 RBIs, scoring 67 runs in 60 games, as the Bulldogs celebrated on the mound with Canadian Baseball Network First Teamer and teammate Shawn Schaefer (Pitt Meadows, BC) and the rest of the Bulldogs after winning the 54th Annual Avista-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Id.
Appleton earned TranSouth Conference First Team and earned All-Tournament honours at the World Series, hitting .391 (9-for-23)
To reach the final, Cumberland thumped Point Loma Nazarene 13-7 as Appleton had three hits with a single to lead off the game, singled home a run for a 6-1 CU advantage in the fourth and singled again in the seventh.
Appleton had two hits in an 11-9 win over the Lee Flames, as he led off the game with a single and hit a solo homer in the second.
He had a pair of hits behind Schaefer in an 8-1 win over the Oklahoma City Stars, beating out an infield single and tripling on a high drive down the right-field line that landed on the warning track about five feet fair.
Appelton had an infield hit in the World Series opener a 9-1 victory against the Embry-Riddle Eagles.
What’s so amazing about his numbers is that he began the season with four hits in 21 at-bats (.190) over 14 games.
Appelton hit solo homer against St. Francis, a two-run shot against Viterbo, was 3-for-4 with a double, homer and three RBIs at Southern Nazarene, hit a solo homer at Oklahoma Baptist, added a two-run shot against Shawnee State, had solo homer against Campbellsville, was 2-for-4 with home run, two RBIs against Lambuth, had five hits in series against Bethel with a double and homer, doubled twice and homered, driving in four against Lee, had a three-run homer against Bryan, homered in both ends of a doubleheader against Milligan, doubled, homered and drove in two against Lyon, had two home runs and drove in four at Mid-Continent, singled and homered, with three RBIs at MCU and was 3-for-5 with a solo homer in opener of TranSouth championships against Freed-Hardeman.
He lead off the final 33 contests, scoring 45 runs with 17 extra-base hits and 34 RBIs.
After transferring from the Panola Ponies, he ranked fourth in home runs, his 17 tied with Brian Burton (Kitchener, Ont.) amongst Canadians as they sit third behind Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) who had 23 and Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) with 19 homers.
Appelton started at Douglas College under coach Gehrig Merritt and played in BC for coach John Haar.
Second base: Chris Bisson (Orleans, Ont.) University of Kentucky Wildcats.
Bisson batted .329 with 12 doubles, five homers and 35 RBIs in 51 games scoring 43 games. A two-time, second-team, All-SEC second-base selection by the league coaches, Bisson had a successful career at Kentucky, functioning as an everyday starter for the two seasons. During his three-year UK career, Bisson emerged as one of the top middle infielders in college baseball, becoming the first UK player to earn back-to-back All-SEC honors in over 10 years, dating back to catcher John Wilson earned All-SEC accolades in 1999-2000.
In 2009 and 2010, Bisson was selected second-team All-SEC at second base by the league coaches. In 2010, Bisson stole a conference-best 32 bases in 39 attempts. Bisson became the first UK player to steal 30 or more bases since Chad Green stole a school-record 55 bags in 1995.
As a true freshman playing in the SEC, Bisson was forced into action with injuries striking third baseman Chris McClendon in 2008. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder played 27 games with 13 starts, batting .157 (8-for-51) with three doubles, four RBIs and three stolen bases.
Bisson was a pre-season All-America selection by Baseball America and ran up two, 12-or-more-game hitting streaks in 2010, reached base safely in 49 of 51 games played.
Bisson was hit by a 1-2 fastball against Monmouth in San Diego, breaking his nose and requiring surgery. Bisson showed toughness to return after a five-game period for a pinch-hit, RBI-single in the ninth inning of a game with Murray State. Before the injury, Bisson was batting .378 (14-for-37) with 10 runs, two doubles, one triple, two homers and 10 RBIs.
After the injury and while playing with a facemask at the plate and a face shield at second for 15 games, Bisson batted .317 (19-for-60) with two doubles, no triples or homers and eight RBI.
In the season-opening win over Virginia Tech, posted a season-high four hits, with two RBI and two doubles, hit homers in back-to-back games, at Louisville and at Tennessee.
Bisson, who played for coach Don Campbell’s Ottawa-Nepean Canadians, earned Canadian Baseball Network Second Team honours in 2009.
Third base: Jordan Castaldo (Toronto, Ont.) of the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
Castaldo hit .363, the second highest mark on the team, with 20 doubles, two homers and 39 RBIs in 57 games.
Castaldo homered in a 12-2 win over the Troy Trojans in the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Murfreeboro, Tenn. He singled and knocked in a run in an 8-6 win over the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns in the opening round. He also singled as the Troy Trojans eliminated the Red Wolves 12-8 in 11 innings and singled in a run in a 12-5 loss to Troy.
Castaldo had four hit in a 17-8 win against the Murray State Racers, including a season-high three doubles.
The Connors State Cowboys transfer finished fourth in the conference in doubles, was seventh in walks and was fifth in on-base percentage (74 hits, 39 walks, three hit by pitches) for a .464 mark.
Castaldo, who played for coach Danny Bleiwas and the Ontario Blue Jays, was a Third Team All-Canadian in 2009.
Shortstop: Sean Jamieson (Simcoe, Ont.) of the Canisius Golden Griffs.
Jamieson batted .371 for coach Mike McRae (Niagara Falls, Ont.) with 66 hits, including 15 doubles, seven homers and 52 RBIs in 57 games.
He earned MAAC First Team honours, along with DH Ian Choy (Mississauga, Ont.) and lefty Shane Davis (Belmont, Ont.), while coach McRae, who was named the 2010 Anaconda Sports MAAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his career (2008 at Canisius and 2003 at Niagara).
Jamieson led the MAAC with a .568 on-base percentage and 39 runs scored. The shortstop had a .989 fielding percentage in 24 games and takes an errorless streak of 20 consecutive games to the championship.
In his first year at Canisius, the transfer from Niagara County, Jamieson singled as the Rider Broncs eliminated the Griffs 4-2; had three singles and knocked in a run in a 6-5 win against the Manhattan Jaspers; was 2-for-2 with an RBI in a 10-5 loss to Rider and singled twice in an opening-round win against Manhattan.
Jamieson, who played for coach Jeff Amos of the Brantford Braves, earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention honours in 2009.
Outfield: Ryan Fleming (Whitby, Ont.) of the Georgia State Panthers; Ryan LaPensee (LaSalle, Ont.) of the Wayne State Warriors and Nolan Bracken (Regina, Sask.) of the Dickinson State Blue Hawks.
Fleming hit .375 with 12 doubles, 13 homers and 58 RBIs in 56 games.
Fleming earned All-CAA Second Team honors leading Panthers team with 13 home runs, tied for the ninth most in a single season in school history. He also led the team with a .688 slugging percentage, sixth best in school history.
His 58 RBIs and 59 runs scored were both among the top 10 most productive seasons in program history.
Fleming had grand slams in back-to-back games against North Carolina Central as he tied the school record with eight RBIs, Three times he hit two home runs in a game and went through a stretch of games in which he collected at least one RBI in seven straight games and 13-of-14 contests.
He finished the year with 18 multi-hit games and 14 multi-RBI contests.
He was tied for fifth in homers by Canadians with 13 -- along with Paul LaMantia (Tecumseh, Ont.), Kyle Stryker (Mississauga, Ont.), Aaron Dunsmore (Spruce Grove, Alta.), Scott Peters (Altoona, Man.), Greg Wallace (Nanaimo, BC) behind Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) who had 23.
Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) had 19, while Greg Appelton (Port Coquitlam, BC) and Brian Burton (Kitchener, Ont.) had 17 apiece.
Fleming was eighth with a 1.172 OPS behind Knecht at 1.456, Sean Bignall (Brampton, Ont.) 1.304, Peters 1.245, Luke Krobath (Langley, BC) 1.227, Sawyer and Nolan Bracken (Regina, Sask.) at 1.200 each and Peter Bako (Mississauga, Ont.) 1.190.
Fleming, who played for coach Danny Bleiwas and the Ontario Blue Jays, played at Iowa Western in 2009 and Evansville before that.
LaPensee batted .424 with 19 doubles, seven homers and 48 RBIs while going 15-for-18 stealing bases. His average was fourth highest amongst Canadians, behind leader Sean Bignall (Brampton, Ont) .458, Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) .442 and Luke Krobath (Langley, BC) at .425.
He ended his collegiate career as Wayne State’s all-time, leader in hits (279), runs scored (195), doubles (50), total bases (386), games played (200) and at bats (696). He also finished his senior year ranked second all-time in RBIs (145) and extra-base hits (72), third in stolen bases (71), fourth in sacrifice flies (10), tied for eighth in triples (9) and tied for ninth in sacrifice bunts (15).
For his career, LaPensee posted a .401 average, second to Hall of Famer Ronald Teasley (1945, 1947) who had a .415 average as he became the only player in Wayne State history to hit .400 or better three times in a career.
He was honoured as a Pre-season All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association NCAA Div. II All-America Committee, finishing second in the Great Lakes Conference in hits (87); third in average (.424), runs scored (63), doubles (19) and total bases (131); fifth in slugging (.639); tied for sixth in stolen bases (15); tied for seventh in RBIs (48) and 10th in on-base percentage (.465).
He joined Paul LaMantia as the seventh set of teammates in WSU history to hit .400 the same season, posting the highest single-season average since Bob Inman in 1961 (.474). He earned First Team All-GLIAC and ABCA All-Region First Team honours and was also chosen to the Daktronics and NCBWA All-Region Second Teams
LaPensee finished strong raising his season average nearly 100 points from March 31 to the end of the year, aided by a 10-game hit streak.
LaPensee, who played for coach Al Bernacki and the Windsor Selects, earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention in 2009, won Third Team honours in 2008 and 2007. Bracken hit .385 with 14 doubles, 10 homers and 38 RBIs in 48 games.
Bracken doubled in his final college game, a 14-4 loss to the Jamestown Jimmies in the in the DAC tourney, Bracken was 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs an 11-5 win to Minot State. Bracken also singled in the opener of the tourney, a 17-6 loss to the Mayville State Comets.
His best game was a 3-for-4 day with two homers and four RBIs in an 11-8 win against Minot State. He also homered and drove in four runs in a 17-4 romp over Valley City State, had three hits, including a homer in a 12-1 win against Northern, hit a solo shot in a 12-2 win against Minot, homered and knocked in four runs in another 12-2 win against Minot, hit a solo homer in a 6-5 loss to Minot, had a pair of hits, including a homer and knocked in two in an 8-6 win against Minot, has two hits, including a homer in a 6-4 triumph over Dakota State and again went deep against Minot in the DAC.
Bracken earned DAC All-Conference First Team honours and was voted the DAC’s Most Valuable Senior. Bracken earned Dakota Conference Gold Glove honours. Bracken had 78 chances with two errors for a .974 fielding percentage.
Bracken was tied with Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) 1.200 for the fifth highest OPS amongst Canadians, behind Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) 1.456, Sean Bignall (Brampton, Ont.) 1.304, Scott Peters (Altoona, Man) 1.245 and Luke Krobath (Langley, BC) 1.227
Bracken, who played for Regina Pacers under coaches Mark Bracken, Steven Houle and Derek Houle, earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention in 2008.
DH: Ian Choy (Mississauga, Ont.) of the Canisius Golden Griffs.
Choy hit .377 with 13 doubles, seven homers and 57 RBIs in 60 RBIs.
He earned MAAC First Team honours along with Sean Jamieson (Simcoe, Ont.) and lefty Shane Davis (Belmont, Ont.), while coach Mike McRae (Niagara Falls, Ont.) was named the 2010 Anaconda MAAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his career (2008 at Canisius and 2003 at Niagara).
For Choy, who also named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, he was also named ECAC Div. I Baseball First-Team All-Star. He was one of 30 players on the on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS candidate list prior to the start of the 2010 season.
it was the third All-MAAC First-Team honors in his career (2007 and 2009). The 2007 MAAC Rookie of the Year and 2010 pre-season all-MAAC selection, he hit a career-high .377. He tied career-highs in runs scored (58), RBIs (55), hits (77), hit by pitch (24) and on-base percentage (.504).
Choy currently holds the single-season Canisius records in HBPs and on-base percentage.
Choy was also named to the MAAC All-Academic team awarded to a student-athlete who must complete two semesters at his institution and hold a cumulative GPA of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale.
He went 4-for-5 with four singles, and his base hit up the middle in the eighth inning of a 6-4 win over the Manhattan Jaspers was the 255th hit of his career, giving him the school’s career hit record, previously held by Kevin Mahoney.
Choy, who played for Danny Thompson with Team Ontario and the Ontario Terriers, earned Canadian Baseball Network Second Team honours in 2009 and was a Third Team All-Canadian honour in 2007.
Left-hander: Ryan Kennedy (Calgary, Alta.) of St. Petersburg Titans.
Kennedy registered a 9-1 record with a 3.01 ERA in 16 games for the Titans, walking 22 hitters while fanning 69 in 71 2/3 innings. He allowed 24 earned runs.
He earned Suncoast Conference First Team honours and FCCAA All-State Second Team honours.
The 6-foot-5, 215 pound Kennedy was selected by NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association to pitch for the NJCAA All-Star team to the United States at the 2010 Honkbal tournament in Haarlem, Netherlands to play against Cuba, Japan, Netherlands, Chinese Taipei, Venezuela in July. Then, the NJCAA discovered that Kennedy was a Canadian, so he didn’t make the trip.
Kennedy has transferred to the Tampa Spartans.
Kennedy, who pitched for the Calgary Cubs and Langley Blaze coach Doug Mathieson respectively,
Right-hander: Brandon Kaye (Langely, BC) of the UBC Thunderbirds.
Kaye was 7-3 with a 3.42 ERA in 13 starts for the T-Birds. He walked 31 and fanned 51 in 73 2/3 innings.
Kaye pitched a complete-game, shutout in a 3-0,
UBC win over the Concordia Cavaliers, as he scattered three hits over nine innings and had five strikeouts to improve to 5-0 on the year.
He also pitched UBC to an 8-1 win over Corban, flirting with a shutout until allowing a triple down the right-field line in the eighth. The runner was cashed in on a sac fly to get the Warriors on the board. Kaye allowed one run on two hits over eight innings of work. He also struck out three and had no walks.
Kaye also had wins against The Master’s, a 4-3 decision (one run in seven innings); a 9-4 win over Idaho (two runs in seven innings), a 9-4 win over No. 9 ranked Washington State (four runs in five innings), a 2-1 win against Oregon Tech (one run, eight innings with 11 strikeouts) and an 11-3 win against Oregon Tech (zero earned runs, five innings).
Kaye pitched for the North Shore Twins and coach John Haar.
Reliever: Christian Kowalchuk (Saskatoon, Sask.) Arkansas Razorbacks.
One of the few Canucks to advance down the trail to the NCAA World Series, Kowalchuck pitched 21 1/3 innings in 13 games with a 2.11 ERA. He walked three and struck out 21, while going 3-0.
Kowalchuk came on in the third inning and pitched an inning in which he allowed one run for the win over McNeese State, 7-6 win, worked three scoreless in an 18-2 win over the Centenary Gents and for his third win, had likely his best outing, pitching 3 2/3 scoreless in a 5-4 win over New Mexico.
This summer he pitched for the Liberal Bee Jays who won the National Baseball Congress title in Wichita. He was 3-2 with a 4.36 ERA and on save in seven games as Liberal won its fifth national championship.
Kowalchuk pitched for coach Galen McSpadden’s Seward County Saints at the first-ever NJCAA Freshman All-Star Series at USA Baseball Stadium in Millington, Tenn. on 2007. McSpadden helped coach the West to a 2-1 record, winning the best-of-three series over the East. In the series’ victory, Kowalchuk, named to the NJCAA All-Star team following the season, pitched.
Kowalchuk pitched for the Saskatoon Cubs and Jesse Renneberg and Grant Hanson.
Catcher (tie): Aaron Johnson (Sussex Corner, N.B.) of the Illinois Fighting Illini and Dan Welch (Victoria, BC) of the Dayton Flyers.
Johnson hit .291 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 47 games for Illinois.
Johnson was named to the watch list for the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench award, given annually to the nation’s top catcher. A total of 53 catchers were nominated for the initial list. It was the second-straight, season Johnson has been named to the list, also earning the honor in 2009, when Johnson hit .333 a year ago.
The Johnny Bench award is given to a catcher, who plays the position in at least 75% of his team’s games. Finalists were named June 2.
Johnson had a .966 fielding percentage (163 put outs, 33 assists and seven errors).
His brother Jay Johnson was 3-4 with an 8.26 ERA and three saves for Texas Tech and was drafted by the Jays, walking 50 and striking out 49 in 56 2.3 innings.
Johnson, a graduate of Blair Kubicek’s Prairie Baseball Academy, earned Canadian Baseball Network Third Team honours in 2009.
Welch batted .292 with four homers and 23 RBI in 43 games for Dayton.
Welch had two RBIs on the game-tying home run on senior’s day against the Saint Joseph’s Hawks. Aaron Dunsmore (Spruce Grove, Alta.) followed with a walk-off, double for a 9-8 win to cap his four-RBI day.
Welch has two hits in a 17-3 thumping over Canisius, had an eighth-inning, RBI double as Dayton rallied late to edge Wofford 11-9 in 11 innings in the Courtyard by Marriott Classic in Spartansburg, S.C. and singled in what proved to be the lead run in a 4-3 win against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
He threw out 21 runners this season and picked off five. After catching one base runner stealing and picking off another, the George Washington Colonials elected to not attempt a steal in the next two games. Welch had a .977 fielding percentage (273 outs, 66 assists and eight errors).
Welch played for Central Arizona in the spring of 2009, hitting .337 for the Vaqueros, posting 10 doubles and 18 RBIs, while backstopping the team to their eighth NJCAA Region I championship in 11 years. Welch also represented Team Canada in the Enbridge Northern Gateway World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, BC, hitting .297 through four games with four RBI and one double. Before Central Arizona, he played for Treasure Valley.
Welch, who played for the Victoria Mariners and coach Mike Chewpoy, earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention honours in 2009.
First base: Joel Blake (Langley, BC) of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.
Blake led all Canadians in hits with 99 hits, batting .391 with a single-season, school record of 33 doubles, eight homers and 66 RBIs in 60 games.
Blake batted .500 (7-for-14) with five RBIs and five runs scored as SDSU defeated Oral Roberts in three of four games to win Summit League Player of the Week honours. Five of Blake’s hits were doubles.
Blake singled as Oral Roberts beat South Dakota 12-2 in the Summit championship. In the other tourney games, Blake hit a two-run, single in a 20-6 win over Oakland, had two hits in a 21-6 loss to Oral Roberts, had two hits and an RBI in a 6-5 win over Oakland in 10 innings in the opener.
Blake earned Summitt League First Team honours after earning second-team, accolades as an outfielder in 2009.
Blake received the Dave Lane gold glove and Dean Krogman Captains award from South Dakota. In taking over first-base duties, he posted a .996 fielding percentage, committing only two errors in more than 450 defensive chances during his junior season.
SDSU’s Jim Langer freshman of the year award went to Daniel Telford (Newmarket, Ont.) as he batted .311 with five home runs and 40 RBI in 53 games, including 36 starts.
He was fifth in RBIs amongst Canadians with 66, behind Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) who had 87, Greg Wallace (Nanaimo, BC) 75, Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) 73 and Brian Burton (Kitchener, Ont.) 68.
Blake, a product of the Prairie Baseball Academy and coach Blair Kubicek after playing for the Abbotsford Cardinals. earned Canadian Baseball Network Third Team honours in 2009.
Second baseman: Jon Cotter (Moose Jaw, Sask.) of the Colby Trojans.
Cotter hit .410 with 11 doubles, two homers and 30 RBIs in 34 games, stealing 21 bases in 23 attempts.
He earned All-Conference Honourable Mention in 2010.
Cotter was 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs in a 10-5 win over the Garden City Broncbusters, had three hits in a 7-3 win against McCook and was 5-for-5 in a 9-5 win against Barton.
Cotter didn’t start until the eighth game of the season, but once in the lineup was a hard man to move.
Central Missouri State was so impressed they gave Cotter a scholarship for the fall of 2011.
“Our coaching staff is extremely happy for Jon to commit to such an outstanding school,” head coach Ryan Carter said in a release. “We are proud of what Jon has accomplished and know that he will continue his success as he moves on to Central Missouri State. We have a lot of respect for Coach Myers and his program, and believe it’s a perfect fit for Jon.”
Cotter’s final year before heading south was with the Moose Jaw Cardinals under coaches Roger Anholt and Charlie Meacher.
Third base: Michael Page (L’Épiphanie, Que.) of the Northeastern Oklahoma A@M Golden Norse.
Page hit .373 with 14 doubles, four homers and 46 RBIs in 54 games for the Golden Norse.
Page scored 52 runs and earned All-Region II Second Team honours.
Page led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk and scored the winning run as A@M beat Arkansas Baptist of Little Rock 5-4 at Fort Smith, Ark. Northeastern Oklahoma beat Seminole 3-2, then dropped a 2-1 decision to Eastern State before being eliminated by Connors State 10-7.
He had three RBIs in a doubleheader sweep over Rose State, going 3-for-5 with one double.
In the third game of the season, Page hit a grand slam in a 16-1 win over North Central in the opener. Page had a couple of run-scoring singles behind left-hander Jean Francois Ricard (St. Eustache, Que.) threw a no-hitter in the Golden Norsemen 6-0 win over Arkansas Baptist.
Page played for who played for coach Joel Landry at the Academie Baseball Canada,
Shortstop: Sammie Starr (Toronto, Ont.) of UBC Thunderbirds.
Starr batted .368 with 15 doubles, three homers and 41 RBIs in 53 games, going 17-for-17 stealing bases.
Jim Fanning used to call the play the butcher boy ... where the hitter would act as if he was going to bunt and then slash the ball through the infield. Terry McKaig called it a momentum changer.
Starr’s butcher boy/momentum changer came in the bottom of the fifth against the Houston-Victoria Jaguars. Alex White had led off the with a single and UBC took their first lead when Starr faked a bunt and slashed a single through a drawn in Jaguar infield to score White from second.
UBC was on the way to a seven-run, inning, a 9-3 win and a berth in the championship game in the NAIA opening round grouping hosted by Fresno Pacific.
Starr earned California Pacific Conference/Cascade Collegiate First Team honours. Starr hit .368 with 15 doubles, four triples, three homers and 41 RBIs in 53 games and also Pacific/Cascade gold glove honours.
Starr had 240 chances and a .954 fielding percentage, committing 30 errors and was involved in 30 double plays.
Starr, who played for the Toronto Mets and coach Jason Chee-Aloy, earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention honours in 2009.
Outfield: Shayne Willson (Surrey, BC) of the Canisius Golden Griffs; Aaron Dunsmore (Spruce Grove, Alta.) of the Dayton Flyers and Blake Carruthers (Calgary, Alta.) of the UBC Thunderbirds.
Willson batted .338 with 12 doubles, 10 homers and 56 RBIs in 56 games, while going 12-for-14 stealing bases.
Willson was named to the all-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Second Team, duplicating his honour from a year ago. Willson was also 2-0 with five saves and a 3.60 ERA in 14 relief appearances. Willson was named pre-season all-MAAC team in the utility spot.
Willson was named MAAC Player of the Week, as in four games he hit .600 (9-for-15) with four runs scored, seven RBIs, two doubles, a home run and five stolen bases. The closer also earned his first win of the season by pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in a 7-6, 11-inning win over Rider. Willson had three, multi-hit games and hit his second grand slam in a 13-2 win over Rider. He also set a career-high with three stolen bases on Sunday.
A pre-season, all-MAAC selection, has four home runs, 16 RBIs and a .786 slugging percentage in conference play.
Willson, who played for Doug Mathieson and the Langley Blaze and was a 20th round selection of the Minnesota Twins in 2006. earned Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention honours in 2009 and Third Team honours in 2008, both as an outfielder.
Dunsmore batted .307 with 19 doubles, 13 homers and 54 RBIs in 54 games as he was 11-for-13 swiping bases.
Dunsmore was tied for fifth in homers by Canadians with 13 -- along with Paul LaMantia (Tecumseh, Ont.), Kyle Stryker (Mississauga, Ont.), Scott Peters (Altoona, Man.), Ryan Fleming (Whitby, Ont.), Greg Wallace (Nanaimo, BC) behind leader Marcus Knecht (North York, Ont.) who had 23. Jesse Sawyer (Calgary, Alta.) had 19. Greg Appelton (Port Coquitlam, BC) and Brian Burton (Kitchener, Ont.) had 17 apiece.
Dunsmore knocked in two runs in a 5-1 win over Saint Joseph’s to keep the Flyers chances alive of winning the Atlantic 10 championship.
He had three doubles and knocked in four runs as Dayton edged UMass Minutemen 17-16 in a walk-off, win.
Dunsmore was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week hitting .643 with one double, one home run and five stolen bases. Dunsmore had three stolen bases, three walks and batted 1.000 in a 22-4 win over the Wittenberg Tigers and followed that with a 3-for-4 performance in the series opener against George Washington. Dunsmore also added two RBIs, three runs and a home run. He batted .500 in his final two games against the Colonials and also tallied a stolen base. He helped hand the Colonials their first loss in conference play, as the Flyer offense combined to outscore their opponents 51-16 last week.
Dunsmore, who the Sherwood Park Dukes, earned Canadian Baseball Network Second Team honours in 2008 and Honourable Mention in 2009.,
Carruthers finished with a .337 average, hitting nine doubles, seven homers -- tying for the team home run lead -- and knocking in 35 runs as he was 11-for-12 stealing bases.
Carruthers earned the Rawlings-NAIA Gold Glove award and won California Pacific Conference/Cascade Collegiate gold glove honours. He was the only players honoured by the NAIA who is a Canuck.
Carruthers enjoyed an outstanding freshman campaign with the T-Birds after red-shirting in 2009 at Central Washington (NCAA) as he started 51 of the T-Birds 54 games and notching a perfect fielding percentage (1.000) with 92 putouts and three assists.
The play of Carruthers was a reason UBC finished second overall in the NAIA with a team fielding percentage of .975. Possessing an impressive combination of speed and vision in the field,
Carruthers anchored a UBC outfield that for the most part featured three new starters. Despite his first-year status, he took over the centre from four-year standout Jon Syrnyk without missing a step. His on-base percentage (.443) and walks (26) both ranked second on the team.
Carruthers played for the Calgary Dodgers under Brian Hanes.
DH: Nic Lendvoy (Langley, BC) of the UBC Thunderbirds.
Lendvoy hit .371 with 18 doubles, six homers and 50 RBIs in 53 games.
Lendvoy was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs as UBC won the NAIA West tournament for the second straight year on home soil, capping off a 3-0 showing at the tournament with an 11-3 victory over Oregon Tech Hustlin’ Owls in the final at Vancouver.
Lendvoy knocked in four runs on five hits in a doubleheader weep of the Oregon Tech winning by 2-1 and 11-1 scores.
Lendvoy had the offence in the opener with RBI singles in the first and sixth innings. In the second half of the doubleheader, Lendvoy capped off a six-run outburst in the second with a two-run home run.
Against the Corban Warriors, Lendvoy was a reason UBC won by scores of 18-1.
Lendvoy drove in leadoff man with a sac fly in the first and hit a bases-clearing double in the second. Lendvoy finished the day with five RBIs.
In the season opener, Lendvoy hit a two-run home run over the Simpson Redhawks.
Lendvoy player for the Whalley Chiefs and coach Dennis Springenatic.
Left-handed starters: Shane Davis (Belmont, Ont.) Canisius; Mark Hardy (Campbell River, BC) UBC, Ali Simpson (Campbell River, BC), Bethune-Cookman.
Voting (first-place votes in brackets): Schaefer (42) 215, McDonald (2) 74, Kennedy (3) 51, Davis (3) 34, Hardy 17, Simpson (1) 14.
Right-handed starters: Luis Castillo (Burlington, Ont.) Bellevue, Paul Barton (Qualicum Beach, BC) Panola, Chris Nagorski (Mississauga, Ont.) Connors State, Cory Boutilier (Halifax, N.S.) Panola, Robert Nixon (Welland, Ont.) Adelphi, Zach Breault (Amherstburg, Ont.) Bryan, Erik Brown (Thunder Bay, Ont.) UBC, Corey Pappell (Mississauga, Ont.) Cornell, Kyle Bolton (Burlington, Ont.) Madonna, Tyler Varva (Calgary, Alta.) Southern Idaho, Les Williams (Toronto, Ont.) Northeastern, Lucas Waddel (Ladner, BC) Harding.
Voting (first-place votes in brackets): McGovern (25) 152, Whidden (3) 53, Gibbs (5) 53, Kaye (3) 35, Castillo (2) 31, Barton (2) 28, Nagorski (2) 27, Boutilier (2) 24, Nixon 26, Breault (1) 20, Brown (1) 16, Pappell (2) 14, Bolton (1) 14, Varva 12, Williams (1) 11, Waddel (1) 8.
Relievers: David Walking (Nanaimo, BC) Midland, Shayne Wilson (Surrey, BC) Canisius, JR Robinson (Burnaby, BC) Okalahoma, Shawn Hetherington (Tsawwassen, C) UBC, Andrew Van’tWout (Guelph, Ont.) Canisius, Dustin Nortcott (Rocky Mountain House, Alta.) Northwestern State.
Voting (first-place votes in brackets): Lewis (23) 137, Britton-Foster (11) 120, Kowalchuck (9) 80, Walking (2) 22, Wilson (2) 22, Robinson (1) 19, Hetherington (1) 14, Van’tWout (1) 13, Nortcott (1) 9.
Catchers: Brad Cochrane (Burlington, Ont.) Buffalo, Luke Krobath (Langley, BC), University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma, Kyle DeGrace (Toronto, Ont.) Arkansas State.
Voting (first-place votes in brackets): Bako (35) 207, Peters (10) 117, Johnson (2) 35, Dan Welch (5) 35, Cochrane 32, Krobath 18, DeGrace (1) 8.
First basemen: Tyler Tamayose (Lethbridge, Alta.), Dave VanOstrand (Richmond, BC) Cal Poly University-San Luis Obispo, Brendan Miller (Taber, Alta.) Colby, Kyle Stryker (Mississauga, Ont.) Indiana University-Pennsylvania, Mark Ellis (Maple Ridge, BC) Southern Mississippi). Andrew Firth (London, Ont.) UBC.
Voting (first-place votes in brackets): Burton (22) 158, Appleton (8) 96, Blake (8) 63, Tamayose (1) 26, VanOstrand (2) 22, Miller (3) 21, Stryker (2) 24, Ellis (3) 22. Firth (2) 12,
Second basemen: James Kottaras (Markham, Ont.) Connors State, Trentt Copeland (Guelph, Ont.) Evansville, Maxx Tissenbaum (Toronto, Ont.) Stoney Brook, Chad Marshall (Paris, Ont.) Stoney Brook.
Voting (first-place votes in brackets): Hartle (22) 167, Bisson (20) 149, Cotter (7) 67, Kottaras (1) 24, Copeland 20, Tissenbaum 17, Marshall (1) 14.
Third basemen: Tyler Wheeler (Guelph, Ont.) Conors State, Colin McKeen (Orangeville,) West Alabama, Keaton Briscoe (North Vancouver, BC) UBC, James Lavinskas (Montreal, Que.) Marshall, Drew Pettit (Pelham, Ont.) Canisius, Jared Chatwood (Red Deer, Alta.) Montana at Billings.
Voting (first-place votes in brackets): Sawyer (43) 227, Castaldo (3) 72, Page 52, Wheeler (1) 45, McKeen (1) 20, Briscoe (2) 17, Lavinskas 11, Pettitte (1) 6, Chatwood 6.
Shortstops: Steve Wickens (Whtby, Ont.) Florida Gulf Coast), Argenis Paz (Scarborough, Ont.) Northeastern Oklahoma A & M.
Voting (first-place votes in brackets): Moniz (36) 211, Jamieson (5) 118, Starr (7) 75, Wickens (2) 30, Argenis Paz 21.
Outfielders: Kyle O’Brien (Kanata, Ont.) Erie, Danny Deschamps (Montreal, Que.) Northeastern Oklahoma A & M, Brady Rak (Vancouver, BC), Northwood, Brodie Ross (Markham, Ont.) Connors State, Boston Langley (Edmonton, Alta.) Colby, Tanner Nivins (Kitchener, Ont.) Stoney Brook, Skyle Irvwin (Toronto, Ont.) Southeastern, Kerry Boon (Red Deer, Alta.) Minot State, Perry Silverman (Montreal, Que.) Canisius, Jonathan Gilbert (St-Georges, Que.), Chipola, Curtis Beaudoin (Lethbridge, Alta.) LSU-Shreveport, Alex Ponich (Kamloops, BC) Campbellsville, Damon Loewen (Abbosford, BC) Clarendon, Jordan Gilmour (Gatineau, Que.) Minot State, Marc Bougeois (Montreal, Que.) Southern Mississippi, Austin Voros (Surrey, BC) El Paso, Kevin Lum (Langley, BC) Vernon, Cody Pifer (Montreal, Que.) Bacone.
Voting (first-place votes in brackets): Knecht (49) 248, Bignall (28) 189, Wallace (24) 171, Flemming (14) 144, Lapensee (9) 120, Bracken (8) 84, Willson (8) 82, Dunsmore (2) 68, Carruthers (4) 41, O’Brien (1) 37, Deschamps (1) 32, Rak 24, Ross 16, Langley 15, Nivins (2) 15, Irvwin 15, Boon (1) 14, Silverman 14, Gilbert (1) 12, Beaudoin (1) 9, Ponich 10, Loewen 10, Gilmour 6, Bougeois (1) 5, Voros (1) 5, Lum 5, Pifer 5.
DH: Zach Rhodes (Champion, Alta.) South Dakota State, Gabriel Thibodeau (Laval, Que.) Clarendon, Tyler Patzalek (Burlington, Ont.) Maine, Brian Simone (Toronto, Ont.) West Alabama,
Voting (first-place votes in brackets): LaMantia (46) 233, Choy (3) 114, Lendvoy (1) 54, Rhodes (1) 26, Thibodeau 19, Patzalek 8, Brian Simone (1) 6.