Nineteen Canadians, two coaches make NCAA field of 64
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network
The NCAA Division I college tournament field is set. On the 64 teams, nine teams will have Canadian rooting interests: 19 Canadian players and two coaches.
That number of players is up from 13 in 2017 and 11 in 2016. Below is a closer look at all those involved.
10 Canadians headed to Minneapolis
When the NCAA Division I Regionals open on Friday, June 1, no team will have more Canadians on their roster than the Canisius Golden Griffins. The Griffs have 10 Canadians and earned their way to the regional by sweeping their way through the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament. They are lead on the mound by senior left handed pitcher J.P. Stevenson (New Glasgow, PEI) who has posted a 10-1 record with a 2.54 ERA over 95 2/3 innings pitched so far in 2018. He has also held opponents to a minuscule .182 average.
On the offensive side Canisius will rely heavily on utility man Liam Wilson (Ayr, Ont.). Wilson leads the team in average at .360, has popped nine home runs and driven in 48. He comes into the regional with a .440 on-base percentage and a .640 slugging percentage.
Junior Conner Morro (Cheltenham, Ont.), sophomore pitcher Carson Perkins (Bienfait, Sask.), senior outfielder Cyrus Senior (Montreal, Que.), freshman infielder Jacob Martins (Richmond Hill, Ont.), junior pitcher Jared Kennedy (Calgary, Alta.), freshman outfielder Michael Ssemanda (Hamilton, Ont.), OF Canice Ejoh, (Brampton, Ont.) and senior catcher Nick Capitano (Bolton, Ont.) round out the Canadians on the roster. The Griffs will take on the host Minnesota Golden Gophers in Game 1 of the regional that also features UCLA and Gonzaga.
Morro batted .347 with 11 doubles, three triples, a homer and 30 RBIs, with .915 OPS in 50 games. Marins batted .316 with a homer and eight RBIs, while copiling a .777 OPS in 26 games.
Kennedy was 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA in 13 gammes, including two starts. He walked 29 and struck out 39 in 35 2/3 innings. Perkins was 2-0 with a 4.02 ERA in nine games, making one staart. He walked five and fannedd 16 in 15 2/3 innings.
Ejoh batted .238 with five doubles and 22 RBIs with a .645 OPS in 47 games. Senior hit .211 with a double, three triples and six homers. He had a ,588 OPS in 34 games. Capitano hit .171 in 33 games with five RBIs and an a .505 OPS in 33 games.
Huskies have two Canadians
The Washington Huskies are headed to the home of the 2016 national champion Coastal Carolina Chanticleers and the Conway Regional with two Canadian pitchers. Josh Burgmann (Nanaimo, BC) holds a record of 1-2 with a 2.55 ERA over 13 appearances, including one start.
Lefty Jack DeCooman (North Vancouverr, BC) has made seven appearances and three starts for the Huskies this season. He is 0-1 with a 3.71 ERA. They will take on the University of Connecticut to open things up on June 1. The host Chanticleers and Long Island University Brooklyn fill out the remaining two spots.
Billikens ready for the big stage
The Oxford Regional features both a Canadian player and coach. Jackson Wark (St. Albert, Alta.) has been a key cog in the St. Louis University rotation all year posting a 9-2 record with a 3.40 ERA over 15 starts.
The Billikens will certainly lean on the experience of assistant coach Joey Hawkins (Oshawa, Ont.). Hawkins made it as high as AA with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Before embarking on his pro career he was a member of the Missouri State Bears that hosted and won a regional before losing to Arkansas 2-1 in the super regional.
Onyshko, Stetson set to host
The Stetson Hatters will welcome Hartford, South Florida and Oklahoma State to Deland, Fla. for regional action. Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, Man.) has be steady for the Hatters, going 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA over 20 games. He has struck out 37 in 31 1/3 innings pitched. The Hatters currently own a 41-11 record and won all four of their games in the Atlantic Sun Tournament on the way to the title. They kick things off against Hartford.
Lloyd looks to pitch, hit through Texas
The Indiana Hoosiers will be surrounded by Texas schools when they head to Austin, Tex. For their regional tournament. Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, Alta.) will try and help his team both on the mound and in the box against the University of Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Southern. Lloyd is 4-2 with a 1.23 ERA and six saves on the mound, while hitting .275 with 13 doubles, a triple, eighht homers and 38 RBIs. His OPS was .909 in 55 games.
Gauthier ready for Raleigh Regional
Mathieu Gauthier (Candiac, Que.) and the North Carolina State Wolfpack will welcome Auburn, Northeastern and Army West Point to Raleigh, NC this week. Gauthier has made 16 appearances, which includes four starts for the Wolfpack this year. His ERA stands at 4.17 over 41 innings.
Julien jolting Auburn offence
Joining Mathieu Gauthier in the Raleigh Regional will be fellow Canadian Edouard Julien (Quebec City, Que.) of the Auburn Tigers. Julien is having a stellar freshman campaign hitting .266 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs. He is coming off a Southeastern Conference tournament that saw him named to the All-Tournament team. The Tigers prepare for Northeastern in Game 1.
Demons look to carry winning ways to Corvallis
Jose Vasquez has been rock solid out of the Northwestern State Demons bullpen. Vasquez is 6-1 with four saves and a 2.17 ERA heading into the regional. He picked up the win in the Southland Conference championship game over New Orleans that completed a 4-0 tournament and propelled his team to the Corvallis Regional. The Demons will take on national power Oregon State to begin the tournament that also sees LSU and Sand Diego State University taking part.
Former Ontario Blue Jays Cooper Davis (Mississauga, Ont.) has appeared in nine games for Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt off to 13th straight regional
OF Cooper Davis (Mississauga, Ont.) is off to Clemson with the Vanderbilt University Commodores. Davis hit .182 in nine games for the 2014 national champions. The Clemson Tigers also play host St. John’s and Morehead State. The Commodores open their 13th straight regional appearance with a game against St. John’s.
Davis helping leading defending champs
Volunteer assistant coach Lars Davis (Grande Prairie, Alta.) and the Florida Gators are looking for back-to-back College World Series and it starts on home soil in the Gainesville Regional. The Gators are 42-17 on the year but are coming off a disappointing Southeastern Conference Tournament that saw them go 1-2, losing to Arkansas and Louisiana State University. They will try and rebound in Game 1 against Columbia. Jacksonville and Florida Atlantic will also head to Gainesville. The last team to win back-to-back national championships was the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2010 and 2011.
The NCAA Regionals run from June 1-4.