*LHP Jack Dennis (Scarborough) earned MVP honours at the NABF 18U World Series, won by the Toronto Mets.
By Bob Elliott
Not a bad trip to McKinney, Tex., for the Ontario Blue Jays 16U.
And an even better visit to Youngston, Ohio for the Toronto Mets 18U.
The Mets won the NABF World Series with a 6-1 victory over the Houston Raiders in Youngstown, Ohio. The Raiders were the were the defending NABF World Series champs.
RHP Jordan Giller (North York) pitched a complete-game six-hitter in the finale, walking two and striking out six.
The Mets managed by Ryan McBride, had six runs on five hits, two by Mitch Lumley (London) and a run-scoring single by Gabe Mark (Etobicoke) and Gareth Morgan (North York).
LHP Jack Dennis (Scarborough) earned MVP, as he pitched the Mets to a 3-2 win over the Brooklyn Cougars in the semi-final. Dennis took a no-hit bid into the ninth when he allowed his first hit. He walked five and struck out seven. OF Adam Raithby (Toronto) squeezed in the game winning run in the top of the ninth.
Earlier in round-robin play Dennis beat the Long Island Titans 4-0 with a complete game allowing five hits and one walk as he struck out nine. In the tourney he was 2-0 working 16 innings allowing three earned runs one six hits and six walks. He had a 1.50 ERA and fanned 16.
On the season, Dennis is 11-0 with a 0.75 ERA, walking 34 and striking out 85 in 75 innings. Dennis pitched for his father Greg Dennis with the Scarborough Stingers before joining the Mets, Greg still coaches his younger son Harry, a minor bantam.
Adam McBride (Etobicoke) pitched 7 1/3 in an 11-7 win over the Youngstown Astros. Andrew Simonetti (Toronto) picked up the save, working the final 1 2/3 innings of relief.
The Mets opened round-robin play with the Dennis gem against, then lost 4-3 to Houston.
Next came a 3-2 over Norwood Blues as Jeremy Newton (Toronto) got the win with a complete-game four hitter, walking a pair and striking out seven.
C Brendan Keys doubled and scored on a walk-off wild pitch to beat Norwood. Mark and Morgan hit back-to-back homers vs. Norwood Blues in the fifth inning to tie the game 2-2.
Phillipe Cote (Pickering) registered the win in an 8-2 decision over the Ohio Diamond Boyz. He pitched a six-game six hitter, walking two and striking out four.
Mark, headed to the British Columbia Thunderbirds, batted .409 with a homer and seven RBIs. Morgan batted .333 with four doubles, a homer and nine RBIs.
Also hitting .333 were Brendan Collins with three doubles and an RBI, Hillier, headed to Sauk Valley Community College, with a double and three RBIs and Keys, with a double and two RBIs.
Collins was added from East York and Lumley from the London Badgers as four Mets unable to attend: Mitch Triolo and John Caputo were in Moncton N.B., winning a gold medal with the Ontario Youth team, Connor Panas was injured while ) and Brodie Jeffery had already left for school.
NABF rules allow up to six pickup as long as they are on an 18U PBLO roster.
Deep in the heart of: Shawn Travers’ Ontario Blue Jays had a tough match up to open the annual Mickey Mantle World Series in McKinney, Tex.
The Jays faced the No. 1 ranked travelling summer team, according to Perfect Game, the Indiana Prospects.
The Prospects gave the Jays a heck of a game ... for two innings.
The Jays led 2-0 after two and put the game away with a 10-run third for a 12-2 win in the opener.
Brodie Harkness, grandson of former major leaguer Tim Harkness, who played with the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, worked a complete game, allowing six hits for the win. Harkness struck out three and 67% of his pitches were for strikes.
Rayvon Barless racked up three RBIs on two hits, including a double.
Joey Guaragna knocked in a run with a ground ball in the first and Daniel Piniero did the same in the second for the 2-0 lead.
Then, the fun started:
With one out, Connor Stevenson was hit by a pitch, Guaragna hit a run-scoring double to centre, Barles singled to left, Malik Collymore hit a run-scoring single, Sean Ratcliffe hit a run-scoring, single to centre, Eric Telford worked a walk, Pinero was hit by a pitch to chase home a run, then Daniel Szpik, Owen Spiwak and Stevenson -- the fourth straight hitter to reach without a hit, walked, each forcing in runs. After an out, Barless doubled to centre clearing the bases.
So, the Jays had 10 runs on five hits, four walks and two hit batters.
Next, Christian Botnick pitched seven innings as the Jays upended the Moline (Ill) Hawks 7-2. It was the first time a Jays entry has registered two wins at the Mickey Mantle World Series.
Bostnick allowed two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and a walk. He fanned four and threw 62.8% of his pitches for strikes.
The game was scoreless until the fourth when Spiwak led off with a towering homer to right. An out later, Guaragna walked, Barless singled. After the second out, hit a run-scoring double to centre, then Justin Barsattie was hit with a pitch and Pinero walked loading the bases. Szpik then had a two-run single to right. Pinero scored on a successful double steal, capping the six-run inning.
An inning later Collymore singled in a run.
Dave Ertl was outstanding in Game 3 as the Jays fell 2-1 to the D-Bat Mustangs from Dallas. Ertl allowed two runs -- one earned -- on six hits and one walk. He fanned two and throwing 67.5% of his pitches for strikes. Ertl allowed a single and a double to the first two hitters of the game, the second run scoring on an error.
Ratcliffe homered to right with two gone in the seventh for the Jays lone run.
Then, the Jays were eliminated in a 6-5 loss to the So Cal Bombers.
Zack Lawrence started for the Jays and was touched for four runs -- three earned in the first.
Pinero walked to open the first and scored on a two-out single by Guaragna.
After the Bombers went up 5-1, the Jays scored three times in the fifth as Mathew Blair-Brown led off with a walk, Stevenson singled an out later, Guaragna hit a run-scoring single and after an out, Ratcliffe walked. Collymore hit a two-run double to right making it 5-4.
Pinero walked to open the sixth, Blair-Brown bunted him to second and Spiwak was walked too. After an out erased Pinero, Guaragna singled home a run tying thee score 5-5 in the sixth.
A lead-off single and a walk led to the Bombs scoring the game-winning run in the seventh.
Alec Beneteau, outstanding in relief in the loss, worked six innings giving up two runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out a pair.
The Mustangs beat the Bombers 5-4 in the final to win the title.
The Jays and Indiana finished tied for third over-all.
Where there is a will there is a way: The Erindale Cardinals defeated the Erindale Alumni 8-6 thanks to four unearned runs in the final inning at Greg Cranker Field in Mississauga.
Aneil Birsa picked up the win, while Dan Gardiner was charged with the loss.
Mike Churcher hit a 493-foot homer for the alumni, while Brian Bileski also went deep for the alumni. Kevin Treichel homered for the Cards.
Ron Cabot was named MVP.
The series now stand 6-4-1 for the alumni, with one one rain out.
Happy birthday: Alfie Payne, former Brantford Red Sox general manager and Red Sox and Maple Leafs stand out shortstop, is now in remission after 77 days in the Princess Margaret Hospital. Payne was discharged a day before his 65th birthday. Payne had a strong support staff and appreciated the many emails (email@example.com) and well wishes from ex teammates, some he had not heard from or seen in years.