By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
All those turns in the batting cage.
All those line drives off the L screen.
All those times hitting the ball the other way, then pulling the ball and then lifting the netting ...
The time spend inside the netting at Pro Teach Baseball was all worth it for OF Michael Deluca. Deluca led the Etobicoke Rangers 17U at the plate as they spent spring break going 6-0 in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Deluca went 11 for 18 (.611) with five doubles and two triples, scoring six times.
Etobicoke, coached by former Florida Marlin, Greg O’Halloran, scored 56 runs and allowed only 17 in running the table, thanks to a dominant pitching staff.
The Rangers edged the Ontario Blue Jays 17U 8-7 in a Nate-vs.-Nate match-up. RHP Nate Zimmerman started for the Rangers allowing one run in seven innings making two appearances. Against the Ontario Blue Jays Zimmerman pitched three innings and left with a 4-1 lead. Nate Holmes started for the Ontario Blue Jays. Chris Parsons also pitched for Etobicoke.
RHP Chris Wyslobocki allowed one run in six innings and had two appearances.
RHP Max Mancini pitched four innings striking out eight.
RHP Harshan Sahota gave up one run in six innings and had two appearances. Sahota departed after four hitless innings against Cheshire Academy (CT) in an 8-0 Rangers win. McKeon (two innings) and Deluca (one) finished up to combine on the shut out.
Next to Deluca, SS Ryan O’Halloran was the hottest hitter going 9 for 19 (.464) with two doubles and two triples .
OF McKeon went 7 for 20 (.350) with a double and a homer, the Rangers first of the season. C Ethan Diamandas was 6 for 17 (.353) with four doubles, while OF Matthew Garner went 6 for 18 (.333) with three triples.
Etobicoke knocked off The Hun School (NJ) 9-1 as Dustin Plant picked up the win, The Rivers School (MA) 10-6 with Wyslobocki and Mancini pitching, The Gunnery School (CT) 9-3 thanks to seven triples -- two each by Deluca and O'Halloran and West Orange HS (NJ) 12-0.
While the wins were nice ... so too was meeting Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who stopped by to say hello.
Dusty Baker, Washingto Nationals new manager speaks with Greg O'Halloran (Mississauga, Ont.) before a spring game.