*RP Billy Hurley (Mississauga, Ont.) is one of three Canucks still in the running for the Tino Martinez NCAA Div. II Player of the Year award.
By Bob Elliott
Every pitcher’s goal is to be a starter, whether it’s the first game of a weekend series or a mid-week game.
Mississauga right-hander Billy Hurley has found a spot in the bullpen and he has been so successful pitching for the Wayne State Warriors he likely won’t be leaving the bullpen this season.
Hurley was named one of the semi-finalists for the Tino Martinez Award as top player in NCAA Division II. He allowed one earned run in his first 15 relief appearances covering 28 innings.
On the season Hurley is 4-0, with seven saves, second-most in the Great Lakes conference and a find-it-if-you-can ERA of 0.86. He’s held opposing hitters to a .173 average, walking 10 and striking out 29 in 31 1/3 innings. He earned first team conference honours.
On local sandlots Hurley pitched for Murray Marshall’s Team Ontario and Remo Cardinale’s Mississauga North Tigers.
Two others Canadians were nominated: Chase Larsson (Vancouver, BC) of the Cameron Aggies and Ryan Thompson (Fort McMurray, Alta.) of the Franklin Pierce Ravens.
Larsson was the Lone Star conference player of the year hitting .432 with 29 homers and 84 RBIs in 49 games and a 1.530 OPS. Thompson, Northeast-10 pitcher of the year, was 10-1 with a 1.05 ERA, walking 12 and striking out 113 in 86 innings.
MLB Bureau camp: Right-handers Roberto Suppa of Connor, Ont., and Skylar Janisse of Maidstone, Ont., along with Toronto catcher Justin Marra, impressed 21 scouts and evaluators Wednesday at the Major League Scouting Bureau invitation-only camp at Etobicoke’s Connorvale Park. The annual draft of high schoolers and collegians takes place June 6-8.
Looking ahead to next year, Dayton Dawe (London, Ont.), Michael Clouthier (Guelph, Ont.) and LHP Adam Anderson (Georgetown, Ont.) all impressed from the mound, as did outfielder Jacob Robson (Windsor, Ont.), who ran a 6.7 second 60-yard dash.
Honours: Sean Jamieson (Simcoe, Ont.) was one of 25 shortstops named to the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Watch List. Jamieson leads the Canisius Griffs in a number of offensive categories with a .346 average, 12 doubles, 11 home runs, and 47 RBIs. He’s scored 52 runs and is 21-for-23 stealing bases.
Premier matchup: The Ontario Blue Jays took three of four games from the Ontario Terriers in a Premier League series, winning games started by three members of the Canadian Junior National Team. Kyle Hann hit a walk-off triple in the opener, after C.J. Machete threw seven scoreless in a 1-0, extra-inning win ... Phil Diedrick hit a two-run homer in a 6-1 win as J.D. Moore worked five scoreless ... Hann had three hits and Brad Bedford two in a 6-4 win with Daniel Veres picking up the victory ... Terriers lefty Adam Anderson salvaged a win, pitching six innings in an 8-1 win as Cole Peragine had three hits, including a pair of doubles ... Hann led the Jays with six hits and four RBIs, as Peragine topped the Terriers with eight hits while Nathan DeSouza had seven on the weekend.
More honours: RHP Robert Nixon (Welland, Ont.) of the Adelphi Panthers earned Northeast-10 All-Conference First Team honours, after going 9-1, with a 1.24 ERA, plus 80 strikeouts in 87 innings ... 3B Tyler Wheeler (Guelph, Ont.) of Connors State Cowboys grabbed All-Region II First Team and Gold Glove honours ... Ottawa-born Paul Snieder of the Northwestern Wildcats was named a finalist for the John Olerud Two-Way player of the year award. The first baseman-DH is hitting .350 with 12 doubles, five homers and 36 RBIs. As a closer for Northwestern he’s 2-2 with a 3.338 ERA and four saves. He’s struck out 16 in 21 1/3 innings. Snieder and his family moved to Hawaii when he was five ... Thomas Fearon (Ajax, Ont.), plus Evan Hammond (Ottawa) and Josh Soffer (Ottawa), of SUNY-Canton earned all-conference Sunrise conference first team honours. Jeff Lake (Battersea, Ont.), Phil Tsiaras (Toronto) and Dillon James (Ottawa) won Gold Glove honours.
Pro-motions: Besides RP Trystan Magnuson (Vancouver, BC) being promoted to the Oakland A’s this week, RP Scott Mathieson (Langley, BC), was recalled by the Philadelphia Phillies bringing the number of Canucks in the majors to 21.
Movements: RP Chris Leroux (Mississauga, Ont.) was demoted to double-A Altoona (Pirates), Toronto-born Jonathan Fernandez, son of Tony Fernandez, signed with Rio Grand Valley of the independent North American League and Sebastian Boucher (Ottawa) signed with the Quebec Capitales.
Indy releases: Paul Lamantia (Tecumseh, Ont.) by River City, John Mariotti (Toronto) by Winnipeg and Chris Cullen (Tecumseh, Ont.) by Lincoln.
Northern Light: Outfielder Adam Loewen of Surrey, B.C., was the best of 60 Canadians in the minors this week.
Loewen hit .333 (9-for-27) with three homers and five RBIs at triple-A Las Vegas (Jays) as he continues adjusting to the batter’s box after two arm surgeries.
Runners-up: Lars Davis, Grand Prairie, Alta., .400, one homer, three RBIs at double-A Tulsa (Rockies); Mike Blanke, Granby, Que., .381, three RBIs at class-A Kanapolis (White Sox), Canadian citizen Jameson Taillon, Woodlands, Tex. one run, five strikeouts in five innings for class-A West Virginia (Pirates); Regina’s Dustin Molleken three innings, one run, a win and a save at Tulsa; North York’s Marcus Knecht, .323 with a homer and four RBIs at class-A Lansing (Jays)