Extra Bases - Volume II

By BOB ELLIOTT As we all know a firth is the word used by Lowland Scots to describe coastal waters in Scotland.

Tied 6-6 with one out in the sixth inning 1B Andrew Firth doubled in a pair of runs leaving British Columbia feeling lower than the coastal waters in Scotland. Firth's clutch double gave Ontario an 8-6 win over B.C. to capture the Baseball Canada Cup in Medicine Hat, Alta. Of course, if you were Scandinavian you would use the word fjord. Whatever, it was a gold medal, game winner for Ontario.

Brad Van Pelt, who said no to the OHL's Belleville Bulls and retired the final out of the sixth, struck out the side in the seventh to wrap up the title and gain the win.

Ontario led 2-1 after two, was behind 4-2 in the fifth, before scoring three in the bottom half to re-gain the lead, then B.C. scored a pair in the sixth for a 6-5 lead and that brought us to the bottom of the sixth.

RF Trevor Barton led off with a single,  advanced when CF Andrew Ruck (Whitby, Ont.) reached on an error and LF Tanner Nivins was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With one out Firth doubled in the tying and winning runs. Maxx Tiessenbaum bounced out to knock in another run. Nivins homered for Ontario, while LF Brooklyn Foster hit a solo shot for B.C. and SS Wes Darvill tripled and doubled.

Ontario reached the gold-medal game by edging New Brunswick with a run in the bottom of the seventh for a 3-2 win. With two out and no one on, Donovan Latour and Tiessenbaum each singled. Larry Balkwill then singled -- his third of the game -- home the walk-off run to make a winner out of Jeff Gibbs, who pitched a complete game, allowing two hits and one earned run. Brad Dilks gained the win.

Ontario won despite being without lefties Jake Eliopolous, a top draft consideration for 2009 and Evan Grills, a projected first rounder in 2010.

Ben Sollows took the loss striking out four. RF Matt Clark doubled in one run for New Brunswick.

Barton doubled and singled for Ontario, while 3B Donovan Latour added a pair of hits for manager Jason Chee-Aloy, along with coaches Danny Thompson and Geoff Whent. It was the third Canada Cup gold in three tries in Medicine Hat for Chee-Aloy and Thompson. A year ago, B.C. beat Ontario in the final at Quebec City.

Zak Miller pitched six innings as B.C. knocked off Les Ailes du Quebec 11-3 in the other semi-final. Miller allowed two hits and an unearned run while striking out five.  Wes Darvill doubled and knocked in three runs for BC. Antonio Paolini doubled, singled and knocked in a pair of runs. C Kellin Deglan had a pair of hits, knocking in a run.

3B Jonathan Cyr and LF Sasha Lagarde each doubled for Quebec.

BC's Matt Thornton pitched a complete-game three-hitter beating Ontario 3-1 in the opener of round-robin play. Jeff Gibbs took the loss, allowing a homer to Foster.  Tiessenbaum, Ruck and Firth each doubled.

Ontario evened its record at 1-1 by scoring in the top of the eighth for a 4-3 win against Saskatchewan. 1B Jeff Hunt reached on error, advanced to second on a successful bunt by C Justin Malabanan and scored on a single by 2B Todd Blair. Ruck doubled and singled for Ontario.

Van Pelt pitched 7 2/3 innings allowing eight hits and two earned runs, while striking out 10.

Travis Bondy (six innings) and Jasvir Rakkar combined on a one hitter in a 6-0 win against Quebec. 3B Joel Stubbs, Ruck and Blair each knocked in runs.

Ontario needed 11 innings to edge British Columbia 4-3 and did so as Tiessenbaum singled, was bunted to second by Balkwill. After a Blair single, Barton singled home the game winner.  Van Pelt pitched four scoreless allowing two hits and striking out three for the win. Johnathon Solazzo pitched seven innings giving up three runs. Tiessenbaum doubled and singled, while Barton, Nivins and Blair each had two hits. Darren Kolk tripled for BC.

Jerome Werniuk pitched five innings for the win in an 11-1 romp over Saskatchewan. Nivins homered and knocked in two runs, while Balkwill had a pair of hits and knocked in a pair. Latour also had two hits.

Hunt homered, singled and plated a pair of runs in an 11-6 win against Quebec. Nivins had three hits and drove in a pair. Ruck and Malabanan had two hits apiece.

AWARDS: Tissembaum was named top defensive player, while Nivins, winner of three game MVPs, was named the top hitter for tournament.

BANTAM CHAMPS: British Columbia won the bantam championship edging Ontario 4-3 in Mascouche, Que. Colton Lindsey pitched 5 2/3 innings for the win, striking out eight, while Nicholas Pivetta gained the save, combining on a two-hitter.

3B Ryan Adkins had a pair of doubles, knocking in a run, while C Hiro Imata and 1B Tanner White each doubled and singled for the gold medallists, while SS Jesse Hodges knocked in a pair of runs.

Luke Hawkins allowed four hits and one earned run as British Columbia won it's semi-final game with a 7-2 win over the host Lanaudiere. Hawkins also went 3-for-3, with a double.

Imata doubled, singled and drove in three runs, while 2B Daryl Blaskovitch hit a solo homer.

Jérémy Lanctôt doubled twice for Lanaudiere, while Jérémie Chalifoux and Olivier Casaubon also doubled as well.

Down 3-1, Ontario used a five-run fourth to beat Saskatchewan 8-5 in the other semi-final. With one out, Phillipe Cote reached on error and Scott Lang followed with a singled. Jeremy Newton singled in a run. Jordan Rose singled as well to set the stage for a two-run double by Michael Foster. Wakutz singled in a run and after a walk, Marlon Piedrahita reached on fielder's choice, allowing a run to score.

B.C. scored eight times in the seventh to beat New Brunswick 14-3 as RF Daniel Pealman was 4-for-5, with a double and four RBIs. while Imata had three hits a double and an RBI. White doubled, singled and drove in a run. Lindsey pitched six innings for the win allowing three unearned runs.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Imata singled, stole second and scored the game winner on a Blaskovitch single in a 3-2 win over Saskatchewan. Privetta went the distance allowing five hits and two runs -- one earned -- as he struck out 12.

Hodges knocked in three runs in a 7-2 B.C. win against Alberta as Vaughn Mabone pitched a complete game allowing three hits and two runs -- one earned -- whiffing 13. Imata doubled and singled for B.C. while Hudson Brown and Peakman each had two hits.

B.C. sent 28 men to the plate in the first inning scoring 29 times on the way to a 36-1 win over Newfoundland and Labrador. C Ty Russell had three hits, including a double and five RBIs, while LF Alex Dumais had five hits, with a double and four RBIs. Adkins knocked in four runs with four hits and White homered and drove in three runs.

Clayton Isherwood tossed a two-hit shutout for B.C. in a 4-0 win over the host Lanaudiere. Isherwood walked one and struck out nine. White and Dumais had two hits each and knocked in a run, while Brown doubled.

JUNIOR CHAMPS: Quebec edged British Columbia 3-2 to win the junior championship in Charlottetown. Matthew Langton worked four innings for the win, with Normand Gosselin picking up the save. LF Dany Deschamps, RF Mark Nadler, 2B Alexandre Rivard and 3B Phillippe Delisle each had a pair of hits for Quebec.

2B Alex White and LF Scott Belinski each doubled for B.C. while Eric Brown took the loss.

LHP Guillaume Dupont-Duguay pitched five innings as Quebec reached the final with a 14-2 win over Quebec 2.

DH Jonathan Lussier doubled and knocked in four runs, while C Steve Charbonneau and CF Nicolas Trudeau both doubled.

B.C. edged Ontario 2-1 with Scott Belinski scoring the winning run on a Jordan Tiegs wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th in the other semi-final. Brandon Kaye pitched nine innings for B.C. with Shawn Heatherington pitching 10th for the win. Eric Ventura worked seven innings before turning the ball over to Tiegs.

Corey Smith doubled in a run, while Brian Simone hit a solo homer for Ontario.

Quebec beat Nova Scotia 9-2 in the opener with Hugo Lalonde pitching a complete game, striking out six. 2B Alexandre Rivard had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in two runs. SS Michael Page homered, singled and plated three runs, while Lussier doubled, singled and knocked in a run.

Etienne St-Armand pitched a complete-game shutout as Quebec blanked Newfoundland 12-0. RF Mark Nadler singled, tripled and drove in a run. while Page had three hits, including a double, and knocked in three runs. Deschamps doubled, singled and drove in a run.

B.C. hung a loss on Quebec with a 6-2 decision. Brian Mahon worked six innings allowing two unearned runs.

1B Ben Bradford knocked in three runs, while RF Leighton Marshall had three hits, including a double. 1B Matthew Langton doubled for Quebec, while Page knocked in a run. Jean-Sebastien Pouliot pitched 4 2/3 innings for Quebec and took the loss.

MEDAL STANDINGS: (six champions declared): Ontario 3-1-1, B.C. 2-2-1, Quebec 2-2-1; Alberta 0-0-1, New Brunswick 0-0-1; Saskatchewan 0-0-1.

WEEK III: The peewees are in Vaughan, Ont. and the seniors are in Brandon, Man.

OBSERVATIONS: Usually the Canada Cup is populated by professional scouts and recruiters from colleges south of the border. This year there was an added level of recruiting going on when representatives of the Vauxhall Baseball Academy, the Prairie Baseball Academy and the Langley Blaze of the B.C. Premier League serching for talent for next season.

TEAM CANADA: With Baseball Canada director of National Teams, Greg Hamilton, busy coaching in Bejing, Les McTavish and Andy Boheim were instrumental in selecting the best from the Canada Cup for the Canadian National Junior Team:

From Alberta -- RHP Jordan Wong (Calgary), 1B Joel Lutz (Medicine Hat), SS Mitch Frey (Medicine Hat).

British Columbia -- 2B Keaton Briscoe (North Vancouver), OF Darren Kolk (Cobble Hill), LHP Ethan Stewart, (Campbell River), C Kellin Deglan (Langley), RHP Steve McKinnon (Duncan), SS Wes Darvill (Langley), C Brooklyn Foster (Langley), RHP Jason Gibson (Victoria), RHP Mike Ellis (Surrey), RHP Paul Barton (Qualicum Beach).

Manitoba -- RHP Paul Schaak (Plum Coullee).

New Brunswick -- 1B Mike Washburn (Fredericton)

Ontario -- RHP Jeff Gibbs (Toronto). C Larry Balkwill (Chatham), OF Tanner Nivins (Kitchener), 3B Jonathan Salazzo (Mississauga), SS Maxx Tissenbaum (Toronto), OF Andrew Ruck (Whitby), OF Trevor Barton (London), RHP Donovan Latour (Barrie), RHP Jerome Wernuik (Toronto).

Québec -- C Alexandre Béland (Trois-Rivières), RHP Jonathan Paquet (Ancienne Lorette), OF Brian Bardis (St. Constant), RHP Yan Fortin (Laval).

Saskatchewan -- SS Evan Zerff (Regina), 2B Tyler McWhitter (Regina).

No. 1 IN 2009: Jake Eliopoulos (Newmarket, Ont.) didn't pitch for gold-medal, winning Ontario at the Baseball Canada Cup in Medicine Hat. Instead of being in Alberta, the  lefty was at Chicago's Wrigley Field for the Under Armour all-american game.

In his first inning of work, Eliopoulos allowed three hits including a home run to David Renfroe of Batesville, Miss.

The 6-foot-3, 170 pounder struck out the final batter of the eighth and coming back for the ninth, he threw 13 total pitches and striking out two, including Georgia outfielder Donovan Tate on a breaking ball for the final out of the all-star showcase contest.

Tate is ranked the top hitting prospect by Perfect Game scouting service for the 2009 June draft.

The lone Canadian in the game -- which boasted it had 36 of the best prospects in North America -- recorded the save as The Baseball Factory edged Team One 5-4, his fastball clocked at 86-88 m.p.h.

Perfect Game ranks the Brantford Red Sox pitcher as the 43rd best prospect in North America.

No. 2 IN 2009?: Shane Davis (Belmont, Ont.) who pitches for Mike McRae (Niagara Falls, Ont.) Canisius Golden Griffins is behind Eliopoulous as the top-ranked Canadians (canadianbaseballnetwork.com).

Davis spent the summer pitching for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles and was named New York Collegiate Baseball League pitcher of the year.

He was 5-0 with an 0.33 earned run average. In 54 innings pitched, Davis allowed five runs -- two earned -- 31 hits and eight walks while striking out 31.

He threw three complete games, allowed three extra-base hits and held opposing hitters to a .171 batting average.

Davis pitched a nine-inning no-hitter June 11, walking one and hitting a man, while striking out five as he faced 28 batters. Davis opened the season with 16 scoreless innings and during one stretch went 34 innings without allowing a run.

No. 1 in 2010: Ontario Blue Jays' Evan Grills (Whitby, Ont.) had 14 strikeouts to lead the Ontario Blue Jays to a 6-1 victory win over Oklahoma Navy Blue in the championship of the Heartland all-star classic in Oklahoma.

Grills, 15, allowed three hits and one run in six innings against the team that emerged from 15 squads assembled from a pair of tryouts. Marcus Knecht and Daniel Telford each homered.

COLLEGE STAR: Jeff Cowan (Scarborough, Ont.) earned Northwoods League all-stars honours. Cowan set single season franchise records for runs scored (54), walks (51), and games played (64) playing for the Wisconsin Woodchucks, in the college summer league. Cowan finished second with a .439 on-base percentage and reached base safely in 61 of the 64 games. He hit .299  with three homers, and 28 RBIs. In the final game of the regular season, Cowan became the first Woodchuck ever to play all nine positions in one game. Now he returns to High Point University. INTERESTING ITEMS OR NEWS?: A no-hitter on the prairies? A walk off homer in the Maritimes? Letters of intent to go to college coast to coast? Something you saw that you've never seen before?

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