BMOC Week 15
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network
It’s time for week 15 of our Big Man on Campus series and it was another jam packed week in college baseball. A lot has gone on over the last week as schedules continue to heat up. Some schools have begun postseason play while others are in the home stretch of the regular season. Canadians continue to push towards championships for their schools. Here’s a look at who stood out for their teams.
Quark pitches Campbellsville to MSC Championship
It was the biggest win of the year so far for Nelson Quark (Winnpeg, Man.) and the Campellsville University Tigers. The opposition was Lindsey Wilson and the task was simple, win and be crowned champions. Quark came on in relief and tossed 4 1/3 innings, giving up just a single hit, no runs and two walks with three strikeouts. He was the pitcher of record, improving to 2-2. Campbellsville is the 2016 Mid South Conference champions, the eighth conference championship in program history. They now await their fate for the NAIA Regional as qualifiers are announced Friday.
Wood is GAC Player of the Year
Corey Wood (Fredricton, NB) would get a hit in the final game of the regular season for the University of Arkansas Monticello against Southern Arkansas, a 4-3, 10 inning loss. Next up for the Boll Weevils was the opening round of the Great American Conference tournament. In Game 1 against Harding he would go 3-for-4 with a walk, seven RBIs and four runs. In those three hit were a double and a pair of three run blasts. He would also be hit by a pitch in the contest. In Game 2, also against Harding, he would go 2-for-4 with a walk and a two-run shot. Arkansas Monticello now advances to the Great American Conference Final Four with Game 1 against Southeastern Oklahoma State in Arkadelphia, Ark.
Wood was also named 2016 Great American Conference Player of the Year. He is the first UAM player in history to garner the honour. He is currently hitting .364 (first on the team) with an astounding 21 home runs and 69 RBIs to go along with nine stolen bases. He was also named to the All-GAC Team with a first team selection. It is the second year in a row he was named to the team. In 2015 he was a second team All-GAC pick. He was also named as one of 30 semifinalists for the 2016 D2 Baseball News Tino Martinez Award, which is presented each year to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division II baseball. The award is narrowed down to its finalists prior to the D2 College World Series with the winner being announced June 6th.
Bishop hitting his stride for University of Texas at Tyler
It was LeTourneau that provided the first test for the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots at the American Southwest Conference Championship. The Patriots would come out on top 8-4 and it was fueled by the bat of Alex Bishop (Calgary, Alta.). He would go 2-for-5 in the game with a three-run home run. He would finish the game with five RBIs. Concordia Texas was next and it was more of the same from Bishop and the Pats. He would have a hit and draw a walk in the 4-3 win. After being issued a walk in UT Tylers only loss of the weekend, 9-7 to Texas Dallas, Bishop was out for revenge. He would get just that as UT Tyler would take down Texas Dallas 7-2. Bishop would go 2-for-3 in the game with a triple and a RBI. The Patriots now take on Hardin-Simmons in a three game set for the ASC Championship. The conference tournament began with two, four team tournament brackets and UT Tyler and Hardin-Simmons are the only two remaining. The winner receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.
Holgate, UWA bow out in three
It was a disappointing weekend for Mitch Holgate (Windsor, Ont.) and the University of West Alabama at the 2016 Gulf South Conference Championship. The defending conference champions got off to a rough start by losing to the University of West Georgia Wolves 7-3. Holgate would do his best to kickstart the offence going 2-for-4 while stealing a base. With their backs against the wall the Tigers had a date with the #1 seed and host University of West Florida Argonauts. Behind a two double performance from Holgate UWA would down UWF 4-3 to stay alive. He would also steal another base in that one. The conference tournament would end the next game for the Tigers as they lost a hard fought battle with the University of Alabama Hunstville, 4-3. Holgate would have a hit, a walk and a stolen base in the loss. Holgate was named to the GSC All-Tournament team. Like many other teams West Alabama cross their fingers that their name is called in the Regional selection show. The selection show for the NCAA Division II Regional tournament brackets takes place Sunday.
Ridgewater with two wins thanks to Rybak
The Raiders of Central Lakes College would be just fine if they never had to face Braedon Rybak (Winnipeg, Man.) ever again. Ridgewater would take the front half of the doubleheader with the Raiders 7-4. Rybak would pick up the win in relief by going five innings, scattering three hits, allowing no runs while walking one and striking out four. It was Rybak’s first win of the season. He must have liked the feeling of picking up the win because he was right back at it in the night cap. He would come on again in relief throwing a clean 1/3 of an inning while picking up the second win of the doubleheader and his second win of the season.
UBC 3rd at NAIA West Grouping
Home field advantage wasn’t enough for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds as they would win one and lose two in the NAIA West Grouping Championship. The Thunderbirds would pick up the win in the opener downing the College of Idaho 4-3 in 10 innings. Tyler Enns (East St. Paul Man.) would go 3-for-4 with two RBIs, two stolen bases was hit by a pitch and drove in the winning run in the walk-off win. Vinny Martin (Pender Island, BC) and John Whaley (Oakville, Ont.) would have two hits each, Martin also drove in a run. Connor Noble (Vancouver, BC) was solid in his start going seven innings, allowing five hits, three runs, two walks with four strikeouts. It was Tyler Gillies (London, Ont.) who would pick up the win with 2 1/3 innings of relief. He would give up a single hit, no runs and strikeout two.
Game 2 wasn’t as exciting if you were a UBC fan. They would drop a 3-0 decision to #3 Lewis-Clark State. One of the lone bright spots offensively was Enns who had a hit and was hit by a pitch in the shutout loss. Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, BC) threw six scoreless innings to hold the Warriors at bay. He would give up just four hits and would punch out 10 in front of at least four cross checkers.
The tournament would come to an end for the T-Birds in Game 3 as the College of Idaho got the last laugh between these two. The Yotes would take the game 12-9 despite some solid offensive performances. Tyler Enns would stroke a double and Griffy Goyer (Burnaby, BC) would have two hits and reach via a walk. Anthony Cusati (Burnaby, BC) would triple, walk twice, be hit by a pitch, have two RBIs and score twice himself. It was a hit, a walk, a hit by pitch, RBI, run and stolen base for Lucas Soper (Vancouver, BC) in the loss. Aiden Goodall (Nanaimo, BC) would be the lone bright spot on the mound as he went 2 1/3 innings of relief giving up just one hit and a walk with two strikeouts. The Thunderbirds finished third at the tournament and now await their positioning in the 45 team NAIA Opening Round of the College World Series.
It’s Webb’s World
UBC’s Alex Webb was awarded the NAIA West Pitcher of the Year accolade after finishing the year with a of 9-1 record in 14 appearances. Webb had the fourth lowest ERA in the grouping at 1.36 while leading in strikeouts with 111. His nine wins also tie for a season high in the West Grouping.
Webb also won Cascade Conference pitcher of the week for the fourth time in the 14-week season. He earned the honor in Week 5, Week 6, Week 12 and Week 14.
Lots of action for Douglas College
They may have dropped 3-of-4 games but the Douglas College Royals had some standouts on the diamond this past week. Game 1 would see them suffer an 11-2 loss to Olympia. Shoma Sasaki (Delta, BC) went 2-for-5 with a stolen base while Shane Wlodarczak (Richmond, BC) would hit a double as part of a two hit game with a pair of RBIs. A hit would also be chipped in by Jacob Robazza (Surrey, BC). Jay Kim (Abbotsford, BC) and Ethan Fox (Campbell River, BC) would work a walks in the loss.
In Game 2 Sasaki would stroke a double and Surya Viswanathan (Surrey, BC) would have a hit and a RBI as well. Douglas dropped the game 5-2.
Game 3 would see even more solid performances despite Olympia taking the contest by the score of 5-4. Sasaki would have another hit and a walk, Kim would go 2-for-5 with a double and RBI and Robazza would hit a double while recording a RBI and a stolen base. Matt Whitehead (Calgary, Alta.) would launch a solo home run in the loss. On the mound Liam Kano-McGregor (Langley, BC) would go seven innings, giving up eight hits, four runs and two walks with three strikeouts. It was Brett Sakaki (Surrey, BC) who would take the loss despite some solid relief. He would go four innings giving up four hits. He would also allow four runs with a walk and three strikeouts.
The Royals would finally pick up a win in Game 4 by downing Olympia 6-5. Kim would have two walks, two stolen bases and would score twice in the win. Wlodarczak, and Robazza would have two hits and a RBI apiece. A nice game was had by Ethan Fox who mashed a double with two walks. Viswanathan would also chip in with two hits including a double and a walk behind a very solid start from Scott Doucet (White Rock, BC). Doucet would go eight innings, giving up just five hits and two runs. He would walk three against 10 strikeouts. He would give way to reliever Matt Courneya (Edmonton, Alta.) who would pick up the win. He improved to 1-1 on the year.
Douglas has four games remaining in the regular season as they face Edmonds Community College to round things out.
Clarke with solid weekend despite losses
Tristan Clarke (Brampton, Ont.) had himself quite the weekend for Eastern Oklahoma State. In Game 1 versus Northeastern Oklahoma A&M he would hit a solo home run. Eastern Oklahoma lost the game 10-2. In Game 2, he went 3-for-4 with a walk, double and a RBI. He would follow that up with a 2-for-4 performance with a RBI against Northeastern Oklahoma State again. Unfortunately for Clarke and Eastern Oklahoma, they dropped all four games to NEO A&M. Clarke is currently No. 11 on the Canadian Baseball Network Draft List.
Robson helps Mississippi State rip Mizzou
It was a good weekend to be a Bulldog. Jacob Robson (Windsor, Ont.) and Mississippi State swept away the Mizzou Tigers. In Game 1, a 8-2 win, Robson went 2-for-5 with a RBI. Game 2 would see the Bulldogs take down the Tigers 4-3 with Robson having a hit and a RBI. Mississippi State would take the finale 3-1 to complete the sweep.
Giller most Outstanding Senior
Jordan Giller (Toronto, Ont.) would close out his regular season with a bang going 3-for-5 with a RBI in Oswego State’s 12-6 win over Rochester Institute of Technology. The State University of New York Athletic Conference Baseball Championship was next on the docket for the Lakers. First up was a date with Brockport. Giller would have a hit, walk and a RBI in the 10-8 loss. Game 2 would see Oswego State pitted against Fredonia. The Lakers would squeak out a 3-2 win and Giller would walk in the contest. It was Brockport again in Game 3 and this time Oswego State would get the win, 9-8. Giller would again have a hit, walk and a RBI. The conference tournament would come to an end with a 3-1 loss to Cortland, the 2015 National Champions. Giller would finish the game going 2-for-2 with two walks. He hit to a .316 average and 33 RBIs. To go along with those solid numbers he was also named Male Outstanding Senior as named by Oswego State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Suzuki strong for WV Tech
It was tourney time as well for Ryohei Suzuki (Toronto, Ont.) and West Virginia Tech University. In Game 1 of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament play WV Tech would take on Asbury. They would take the game 8-2 behind a hit and run scored from Suzuki. Game 2 would see them take on the University of Rio Grande. They would lose 10-1 but Suzuki would have a hit. He would have his best game in Game 3 against Brescia in a 17-3 win. He went 3-for-5 with two triples, a hit by pitch and two RBIs. They would close out the tournament with a 7-3 loss to Indiana University Southeast. Suzuki would earn a walk in the finale. On the season the Toronto Mets alum has hit .329 with three home runs and 27 RBIs.
Pompey displays pop for Kentucky
Tristan Pompey (Toronto, Ont.) had a walk in a midweek contest with Eastern Kentucky to start of his stellar week. He would then have a hit and a RBI in Game 1 of the Wildcats series with South Carolina, a 10-5 loss. He would make his biggest impact in Game 2 when he hit a solo home run and added a walk to his totals. He would also score two runs as the Wildcats would go on to down the Gamecocks 6-0. Kentucky would go on to win Game 3, 5-4, to take the series.
Caputo hits fourth
1B Johnny Caputo (Etobicoke, Ont.) hit his fourth homer, singled and knocked in a pair of runs as the Stony Brook Seawolves fell 14-9 to the Farifield Stags. CF Toby Handley (Whitby, Ont.) added a single. Handley hit his fourth triple in a 4-1 win in the opener of a weekend series against the UMBC Retrievers. Caputo had two hits and Handley one as Stony Brook fell 6-3 in 11 innings.
Lumley comes up large for Griffs
Jake Lumley (Windsor, Ont.) would start of his week with a 2-for-5 game with a RBI in Canisius’ 8-5 loss to St. Bonaventure. In Game 1 of their weekend series with Fairfield he would go 3-for-4 with a walk and a RBI while adding a hit, walk and RBI in Game 2. Canisius would drop 2-of-3 in the series.
Wilson comfortable with Canisius
It’s obvious Liam Wilson (Ayr, Ont.) isn’t out of place in the Canisius College lineup. In a midweek 8-5 loss to St. Bonaventure he went 2-for-5. In Game 1 versus Fairfield, a 5-3 loss, he would contribute a hit. Canisius would get a win in Game 2 by a 12-3 score. Wilson had himself a hit and three RBIs in that game. In the finale, a 7-3 loss, he would collect a hit and score a run.
Lloyd has loud bat for Iowa Western
Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, Alta.) had five hits and reached base seven times this past week for Iowa Western. His best game came in Game 3 of their series against Muscatine. Lloyd went 4-for-5 with two home runs. He finished the game with three RBIs and four runs scored.
Robinson with four hits in three games
It was a Region 1 best-of-3 showdown with Cochise this past week for Central Arizona. Game 1 would go the way of the Vaqueros, 4-3. Robinson would have a hit and two RBIs in the opening win. Central Arizona would drop Game 20-18. Robinson would go 2-for-6 with a RBI and four runs scored in the loss. Cochise would clinch the series with a 7-4 Game 3 win. Robinson would hit a double in that one to close out the series.
Seminole boys keep on hitting
The performances that Philippe Berthiaume (Lac St-Charles, Que.), Louis Philippe Pelletier (Montreal, Que.) and Abraham Toro (Longueuil, Que.) keep putting up is getting scary. In a 12-7 Game 1 win over Rose State, Berthiaume went 2-for-4 with a walk and a RBI. Pelletier had himself a nice day going 2-for-5 with a RBI and Toro went 3-for-5 with two triples, three RBIs and three runs scored. Game 2 would go to Seminole State (OK) 14-2. Berthiaume would walk and steal a base, Pelletier would go 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base while Toro would best both of them by going 2-for-3 with a double, three walks, two RBIs and three runs scored. Game 3 ended as a 9-2 Seminole State (OK) win. Berthiaume went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, Pelletier had a walk and a RBI and Toro had two home runs and finished with three RBIs.They would each collect a hit in a Game 4, 9-8 loss. Berthiaume would also work a walk.
Leblanc reaches eight times
It was a good week for Charles Leblanc (Laval, Que.) as he reached base eight times. He would get it started in Pittsburgh’s 9-1 win over Maryland Eastern Shore. He would go 2-for-4 with a walk and RBI in that one. In Game 1 of a weekend set with Notre Dame he had a hit, Pitt would take it 4-2. He would have his best game of the week in Game 2, a 8-5 win, as he went 3-for-5. He would finish his week with a hit in a Game 3 loss.
The postseason seems to be bringing out the best of the Canadians in college baseball. For those not in postseason play yet, they are still putting up big numbers to finish their regular season. Check back next week as there are sure to be more great performances.
If you know of some who deserves a mention in tis weekly column, please email Matt Betts @ email@example.com