Sandlots: Horsman, Wins for Royals in Wheeling, Majors in Michigan, Balkwill BMOC, Vote for your yard
By Bob Elliott
Vince Horsman looks at right-hander Casey Lawrence, and although the Lansing Lugnut uses a different arm, Horsman sees something familiar.
“He’s going to be a guy who will have to prove himself at every level,” said Horsman, the lansing pitching coach. “he’s a guy ... he’s a guy like me. I was the first guy from my province to make it in 40 years or whatever.”
Horsman (Halifax, N.S.) broke in with the 1991 Blue Jays and pitched 140 more games in four seasons with the Oakland Athletics, the Minnesota Twins and the Jays as a lefty reliever.
Outfielder Rick Lisi (Halifax, N.S.) attended high school in Pittsfield, Mass. played nine games for the 1981 Texas Rangers.
Before that, one has to go back to 1906 to find a Nova Scotian in the majors: Jack (Happy Jack) Cameron (Sydney, N.S.) and the Boston Beaneaters.
Horsman credits four people for him still being in the game all these years later after starting in pro ball in 1985: Vic Doucette, his little league coach; former Blue Jays instructors Mel Queen and Bill Monbouquette, and his father-in-law, former Jays infielder and coach Hector Torres.
“Bill used to say: ‘don’t be afraid to throw inside,’ “ Horsman said. “ ‘and if the guy doesn’t like it, throw it inside again. If the guy still doesn’t like it, throw inside again.
“And if he still doesn’t like it, hit him ... better to hit someone than have it go on your record as a walk.’”
Regal Weekend: The Oakville Royals 16s topped the 42-team field in the Beast of the East tournament in Wheeling, W.V.
Coach Mike Siena’s Royals scored eight runs in the fifth inning to beat the Connecticut Dawgs 12-1 in the final.
In the opener, Barrie’s Jeff Reynolds knocked in the winner with a double off the right-field wall as Oakville edged New Martinsville, W.V., 3-2.
Mississauga’s Sean Alp and Toronto’s Josh Williams each homered in an 8-1 victory over the Burlington Blues.
Mississauga’s Ryan Freemantle hit a solo homer and a grand slam, while Cambridge’s Garrett Jewell homered in a 7-6 win against Martins Ferry, Ohio. Plus, Freemantle made a game-saving catch in right centre to keep the one-run lead in tact.
The Royals then knocked out 15 hits, defeating the Michigan Twisters 10-5, dropped a 3-1 decision to the Central New York Thunder and wrapped up first in its group with a 15-0 romp over Parkersburg, W.V.
Down 4-3 in the sixth of the semifinal against the Ohio Warhawks, Alp hit a two-run, two-out single to lead to a 6-4 win. Bolton’s Tysen Hansen entered in the fourth, taking over for Oakville’s Nathan Hal liday with the bases loaded, one out and induced an inning-ending double play. Hansen shut the Warhawks down in the seventh.
Major win in Michigan: The Mississauga Majors won the All-American Classic 14U in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Coach Ron Szczepanowski’s Majors beat the Grosse Pointe Avengers 7-3 in the final, as Danny Attard gained the win.
Justin Olson was 3-for-3 including the game-winning RBI, while Tyler Greenwood and Jacob Reid also cracked out three hits.
Olson also pitched the win and had two hits in the opener, a 5-4 victory over South Farmington. Chris Caromicole had two hits, knocking in the winning run. Adriano Martinello added a pair of hits.
Next, Chris Lazar beat the Livonia Tarheels 12-2. Greenwood and Martinello had three hits apiece, while Tristan Pompey and Josh Sabino each had a pair and two RBIs.
Pompey and Reid had three hits apiece in an 18-2 romp over Franklin. Greenwood gained the win and helped his own cause with three hits as the Majors moved to the final.
Big Man on Campus: Larry Balkwill of the Watertown (N. Y.) Wizards earned player of the week honours in the Perfect Game Collegiate League.
The Chatham native batted .560 (14-for-25) with two homers and nine RBIs. He scored 10 times, with six doubles and a triple. The Siena College catcher and former Detroit Tigers draft slugged 1.120, registering four multi-hit games. Balkwill reached base at least once in all seven Watertown contests. During the week, he raised his batting average more than 230 points. His best game was going 5-for-6 with four RBIs in a 17-6 Watertown victory.
Balkwill is batting .378 with two home runs and 11 RBIs.
Best yard in Canada? Baseball Canada is conducting a 16-park bracket to determine the country’s best ball diamond. See the Baseball Canada site to vote for your fave.