BMOC Week 17
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network
It was another huge week for Canadians in college baseball. Multiple teams are off to their respective World Series tournaments and more personal honours continue to roll in. Here is the latest as far as the top Canadian performers go.
Diewert with five hits in FCSAA Tournament
Polk State Community College would go 2-2 in their Florida College System Activities Association Tournament this past week and Zach Diewert (Chamainus, BC) had himself a nice four games. He would record a hit and draw a walk in their opening game against St. John’s River State College. Diewert and the Eagles would also win the game 4-3 in 10 innings. He would have his best showing in their Game 2 win over Gulf Coast State College. In that one he would tally a 3-for-4 day with a RBI and swipe three bases. Unfortunately for Polk State that would be their last win of the tournament as they would drop Game 3, 8-4, to Sante Fe College and Game 4, 5-4, to Gulf Coast State College. Diewert would finish things up with a hit, a walk and a RBI over the last two games. He hit .338 with seven home runs, 38 RBIs, 57 runs scored, a .416 OBP and a .525 SLG on the year.
Johnson finishes up big year with honours
Let’s take a trip back to the Mountain East Tournament. It was there that Curtis Johnson (Sudbury, Ont.) put his stamp on what was an excellent season for the right hander. His West Virginia State Yellowjackets went 3-2 in the tournament and Johnson made three appearances. His first appearance was in Game 1 against West Liberty where he threw a scoreless inning allowing a hit while punching out one. He would collect his eighth save of the year against Notre Dame College in Game 2 by throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. His final appearance would come in another win against West Liberty, this time by a 5-3 margin. He would record his team and Mountain East leading ninth save of the year by going two innings and giving up just a single hit. He was named a Mountain East first team selection, a first team All-Tournament selection and a D2CCA All-Atlantic Region 1st Team selection. Not a bad year for the kid from the Nickel City.
McEachern, Trinity heading back to College World Series
Carter McEachern (Thunder Bay, Ont.) and his Trinity University teammates are heading back to the NCAA Division III College World Series in Grand Chute, Wisc. They earned the berth by taking home the West Regional crown this past week and McEachern had a lot to do with it. After scoring a run in their opening 7-3 win over Pacific Lutheran he would really get the bat going against the Case Western Reserve. Trinity would roll to a 10-0 win over the Spartans behind a 3-for-4 day from McEachern that included a two-run blast and four RBIs in total. The offence would keep coming against the University of Texas at Tyler as they blew past the Patriots with 14-2 win. McEachern would go 2-for-5 with three runs scored in the win. They would secure their berth in the World Series by downing Pacific Lutheran yet again, this time by a 12-7 mark. He would stroke two doubles on his way to a three hit day and three RBIs. It is Trinity’s second consecutive trip to the Division III College World Series. They will take on Wisconsin La Crosse in Game 1 at Fox Cities Stadium.
UBC’s run comes to an end
It was a great run for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds but all great things must come to an end. The T-Birds would get off to a good start in the opening round of the NAIA National Championship by downing Olivet Nazarene 12-2. Bruce Yari (Waterloo, Ont.) would lead the offensive charge with a 3-for-4 game with a double and two RBIs. Tyler Enns (East St. Paul, Man.) would also have three hits, one of which was a triple. He would also walk and drive in two runs. Vinny Martin (Pender Island, BC) would find his way on base three times with two hits and a hit by pitch. John Whaley (Oakville, Ont.) would reach base four times in UBC’s three games which started with a walk in Game 1. Twelve runs weren’t necessary for UBC starter Alex Webb (Surrey, BC) as he would go five innings, scattering three hits, two runs (one earned) with two walks and four strikeouts. He finishes the season with a 10-1 record.
Game 2 would prove to be a lot tougher against Georgia Gwinnett. The Grizzlies would shutout the Thunderbirds 3-0 to push UBC’s backs against the wall. Tyler Enns would contribute a hit and Yari would be hit by a pitch in the loss. Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, BC) did his best to keep his team in it but it wasn’t enough on this day. He would go 6 2/3 innings, giving up four hits, three runs with four walks and 12 strikeouts. He would take the loss and drop his record to 9-4.
The run would come to a close in Game 3 of the tournament with a 8-4 loss to Lindsey Wilson College. Whaley would go 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs in the loss while Enns would collect a hit, walk and steal a base. The starting pitching gave the Thunderbirds a chance yet again as Connor Noble (Vancouver, BC) would go six innings, allowing nine hits, four runs, three walks while striking out five. It was some tough luck for Tyler Gillies (London, Ont.) as he took the loss and lowered his record to 3-1. He would throw the final three innings, giving up four hits and four runs. Only one of the runs were earned however, and he did not walk or strike out a batter. The Thunderbirds finish the year an impressive 39-22 record. They went 1-2 in the opening round of the National Championship in 2015 as well.
Bishop bashes his way to good year
The West Regional didn’t go so well for Alex Bishop (Calgary, Alta.) and the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots but it was a very good year for the Calgarian. He would hit a triple, walk and drive in three runs in the Pats opening game win against Cal Lutheran. He would then hit a double, walk and knock in a run in their Game 2 win as well. They would go on to lose the next two games and be eliminated from the tournament. On the year Bishop hit .407 with six home runs, 53 RBIs, a .524 OBP and a .667 SLG. He would also field at a .967 clip.
Bishop isn’t the only Patriot who had a good season at the Texas school. Chris Stodolka (Lethbridge, Alta.) would appear in three games in the West Regional and collect a win. His first appearance came in their opening game 4-3 win over Cal Lutheran. He would throw a scoreless inning allowing two hits. He would then pick up the win in UT Tyler’s next game against Whitworth by working an inning. His final appearance would come in a 3-2 loss to Pacific Lutheran as he worked 2/3 of an inning, giving up two hits and striking out one. He would get into 15 games in 2016 and have a 1-0 record with a respectable 3.86 ERA.
Spartans shocked in D2 South Regional
I don’t think too many people saw the University of Tampa Spartans going two and out as hosts of the South Regional. Gulf South Conference opponents Delta State and West Georgia would be the Spartans downfall. In Game 1 against Delta State, a 7-5 loss, J.D. Osborne (Whitby, Ont.) went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. He would be held without a hit in the Spartans 4-3 loss to West Georgia in Game 2. The disappointing team outcome shouldn’t overshadow the season that Osborne had. He would finish the year hitting .363 with 13 home runs, 59 RBIs, a .418 OBP and a .668 SLG. Sunshine State Conference rival Nova Southeastern would win the South Regional with a 3-1 after Delta beat them 3-1 to force a winner take all final game.
Four Canadians at Monroe off to Juco World Series
Monroe Community College won their East District Championship and are off to the NJCAA Division II Junior College World Series in Enid, Okla. The Tribunes have four Canadians who will make the trip with them to try and bring home the national title. In their first game of the district tournament against Westchester Connor Lewis (Brampton, Ont.) would go 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in the 5-4 win. Ryan Bothwell (Napanee, Ont.) would contribute a double. The Tribs would then squash Dean College 13-2 as Lewis had a hit and a RBI. They would then pound Dean again, this time by a 14-4 score in their next game. Lewis would go 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. Connor Hurst (Mississauga, Ont.) would pick up the win on the mound tossing five innings, allowing four hits, two runs and a walk. Monroe heads to the World Series for the first time since 2009. Tyler Riehl (Kitchener, Ont.) is also on the Monroe roster.
Lloyd helps lift Iowa Western to World Series
Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, Alta.) would have a hit, a walk and a RBI in a 7-0 win over Triton and the Iowa Western Reivers are off to the NJCAA Division I Junior College World Series. Lloyd is hitting .383 with nine home runs and 57 RBIs heading into Grand Junction, Col.
San Jacinto also off to D1 Juco World Series
San Jacinto booked their ticket to the NJCAA Division I Junior College World Series with a four wins in their last four games. Max Wood (Vancouver, BC) would reach base in all four games starting with a 2-for-4 game with a RBI in their 9-1 win over Bossier Parish. Game 2 would see them again score 9 runs while shutting out Panola. Wood would have a hit and two walks in the win. Next up was a 2-1 win over Wharton County. It would be a walk and a run scored for Wood in the Game 3 win. He would collect a hit in the clinching game, a 4-1 win over Wharton County.
Cina, NCCC off to DIII National tournament
Zarley Cina (Kitchener, Ont.) would collect a hit against Jefferson, Onondaga and Herkimer as Niagara County Community College is off to the DIII Juco World Series in Kinston, NC. He would also drive in a run over Jefferson and walked against Herkimer. Niagara would take down Jefferson 5-0, Onondaga 9-0 and Herkimer 10-3. Laine Renaud (Hamilton, Ont.), Janet Loran (Acadia Valley, Alta.) and Travis Tomlinson (Dundas, Ont.) are also part of the Thunderwolves who open up the World Series May 28th.
More Canadians off to the biggest stage
Eric Hegadoran (Victoria, BC) is a member of Yavapai College who is off to the Division I Junior College World Series
Three Canadians on Western Oklahoma State
Left handed pitcher Braeden Toikka (North Vancouver, BC) currently owns a 5-0 record over 20 appearances and a 6.75 ERA for the Pioneers of Western Oklahoma State. Nicolas Favaro (Burnaby, BC) has played in 13 games and is hitting .179 with a home run and five RBIs for the Pioneers. Matteo Vincelli (Burnaby, BC) owns a 1-2 record over 11 appearances with a 8.83 ERA for Western Oklahoma State so far this season. All three are off to the Division III Junior College World Series.
Clapperton and GateWay to DII National tourney
Billy Clapperton (Calgary, Alta.) and GateWay Community College will take part in the 2016 NJCAA Division 2 National Championship tournament.
Boyd with four hits against Oregon
It was a four hit weekend for Louis Boyd (North Vancouver, BC) of the Arizona Wildcats as they dropped 2-of-3 to Oregon. In Game 1, a 3-0 loss, Boyd would go 1-for-2 with a walk. He would then go 2-for-4 in a Game 2, 4-2 loss. Arizona would salvage a game with a 5-4 Game 4 win. Boyd would collect a hit and draw a free pass in the finale.
Leblanc an All-ACC selection
Another Canadian has been rewarded for a stellar season. Charles Leblanc (Laval, Que.) had himself a nice season ending weekend this past week. He would have a hit in Pitt’s Game 1 Atlantic Coast Conference series loss to Duke. In Game 2’s 7-5 loss he would go 2-for-5 with a RBI. Game 3 would be cancelled and end the Panther’s regular season at 25-26 (12-13 ACC). Leblanc certainly didn’t have himself an average season. He hit .405 on the year which was tops on the team. He also had two home runs, 46 RBIs, a .494 OBP and a .513 SLG with seven stolen bases. He was named a 1st Team All-ACC selection.
Habeck throws six scoreless against Georgia Southern
It was exactly what Georgia State needed from Marc-Andre Habeck (Winnipeg, Man.) after they dropped Game 1, 6-0 to Georgia Southern. Habeck threw six scoreless innings, allowing three hits, four walks and striking out six en route to a 6-4 win. Habeck would pick up the win and up his record to 2-5. He finishes the regular season with the 2-5 record and a team leading 4.59 ERA. He made 14 appearances, 13 starts on the year while throwing 66 2/3 innings, striking out 49 and walking 29. Opponents hit .293 off of him in 2016.
Boll Weevils bow out in Regional final
The University of Arkansas Monticello’s attempt at a national title came to an end this past week in the final of their regional.
In the opener against Missouri Western Evan Comeau (Halifax, NS) went 3-for-5 with a walk and three RBIs out of the leadoff spot. Fellow Canadian Corey Wood (Fredricton, NB) went 3-for-5 with a walk as well. He also drove in two runs in the 15-0 win. Arkansas Monticello would be handed there first loss of the tournament in Game 2 against Minnesota State. Travis Steinke (Red Deer, Alta.) would collect a pair of hits including a double in the loss. They would keep their season alive in the next game with a dramatic 2-1, 10 inning win over Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Emporia State would be next and they would take that one 18-7 behind a pair of hits and three walks by Comeau. Wood also pitched in with a huge 4-for-6 performance with seven RBIs. He would hit two home runs in the game, a solo and a three-run shot. The Boll Weevils would get some revenge on Minnesota State downing them 13-6 to move onto the regional final. Comeau had a pair of hits, would added another four and Mitchell Dornblut (Surrey, BC) hit a solo home run in the win. Unfortunately for UAM they would drop the final to the Mules of Central Missouri, 7-4. Wood and Dornblut had a pair of hits each, with Wood launching another home run. It was Wood’s 26th home run of the year.
Lamont New Mexico Highlands Athlete of the Week
Joel Lamont (White Rock, BC) was named New Mexico Highlands Athlete of the week for his seven inning complete game four hit shutout over CSU-Pueblo. He struck out an impressive 13 along the way. It is the second time he has garnered the honour.
With so many Canadians off to their respective World Series and others continuing or entering postseason play soon it is sure to be a big week to come in college baseball. Canadians are coming up clutch down the stretch for their schools. There is never a dull moment when following the Canadians competing for the ultimate prize. Week 17 was a big one for Canadians. Make sure to check back next week to see what week 18 has in store.
If you know of someone who is deserving of a mention in this weekly column, please email Matt Betts @ email@example.com.