Excelling at JUCO level: Clarke, Lloyd, Pelletier, Robinson

 Canadian Junior National Teams grads (clockwise from the top left) Tristan Clarke (Brampton, Ont.), Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, Alta.), Mitchell Robinson (Surrey, BC) and Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Montreal, Que.) are all enjoying break out springs at the JUCO level.

Canadian Junior National Teams grads (clockwise from the top left) Tristan Clarke (Brampton, Ont.), Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, Alta.), Mitchell Robinson (Surrey, BC) and Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Montreal, Que.) are all enjoying break out springs at the JUCO level.

May 4, 2016

2014 juniors terrorizing junior college pitching

By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA – The 2014 edition of the Junior National Team will be best remembered for winning a bronze medal at the COPABE 18U Pan American “AA” Championships in La Paz, Mex. that earned Canada a spot in the 2015 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup and also surviving Hurricane Odile that delayed the teams’ departure from the country.

Four players from that squad, OF Tristan Clarke, INF Matt Lloyd, 2B LP Pelletier and 3B Mitch Robinson, moved on to college ball following the bronze medal and are currently putting up ridiculous offensive numbers at their respective junior colleges.

Clarke (Brampton, Ont.), is in his second season at Eastern Oklahoma State and has been on a roll since the beginning of the season when he homered in each of Mountaineers’ first three games. Clarke hit safely in the Mountaineers’ first 19 games and has recorded 15 multi-hit games. He’s currently hitting .393 with 14 home runs and 48 RBI to go along with 11 stolen bases in 47 games played. Clarke is committed to the University of New Orleans for the 2017 season.

Lloyd (Okotoks, Alta.) underwent Tommy John surgery following the 2014 campaign that caused him to miss the 2015 season with Junior College powerhouse, Iowa Western. Lloyd has made a seamless transition back to the baseball diamond since his return contributing to the Reivers success on both sides of the ball. Offensively, he’s hitting .416 with seven home runs and 53 RBI, and also has seven stolen bases. To make matters more impressive, Lloyd is 7-0 on the mound in ten appearances including eight starts and has a 2.61 ERA with 50 strikeouts over 41.1 innings pitched. He is committed to the University of Indiana for the 2017 season.

Mitch Robinson (Surrey, BC) opted to leave Florida International University following the 2015 season and headed to Central Arizona College where he’s at or near the top of virtually every offensive category for the Vaqueros. A 2014 draft choice of the Miami Marlins, Robinson is hitting .382 in 54 games and has nine home runs and 59 RBI with an OPS of 1.047. Robinson has had driven in more than one run in a game on 14 occasions and has hit safely in all but 10 of his 54 games played.

Perhaps the biggest Canadian story coming out of Junior College baseball is taking place at Seminole State College in Oklahoma where three natives of Québec, including Junior National Team alum LP Pelletier, are lighting it up for the Trojans. Pelletier, who is joined by teammates Abraham Toro and Philippe Berthiuame, is having a monster season as he belted 23 home runs and driven in 59 runs while hitting .467. His OPS is an off the charts 1.474 and he’s added 14 stolen bases in 46 games played for good measure. Not far behind Pelletier are Toro who is hitting .438 with 17 home runs and 77 RBI, while Berthiuame has contributed eight home runs and 36 RBIs to go along with a .396 batting average. The Trojans are currently 37-10 and are ranked sixth in the nation.

Worthy of a mention, and also a member of the 2014 junior team, is Charles LeBlanc, a sophomore shortstop at the University of Pittsburgh. LeBlanc has been on a tear all season long and is currently among the top ten hitters in all of Division 1 college baseball with a .426 average with just over two weeks remaining in the regular season.


Adam Morissette

Adam Morissette was born and raised in Ottawa, Ont. where sports were always a big part of his life whether it be baseball, hockey or football, including playing two seasons as centre for coach Pat Sheahan with the Queen's University Golden Gaels in Kingston -- Canada's first capital. Morissette has always have been passionate about baseball and has fond memories of attending Montreal Expos games with his father, Mike, and listening to his recollection of watching baseball in Montreal at Jarry Park and stories about Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Steve Rodgers. Morissette could often be found in a near empty Lynx Stadium watching Joe Siddall, Bert Heffernan, Curtis Pride and Jamie Carroll soaking in a beautiful summer night at the ballpark. He was a member of the provincial championship Orleans Red Sox Little League teams also played with the Ottawa White Sox for the late Lyle Anderson and Todd Burke in OBA Midget and American Legion play and the Capital City Crushers (NCBL), primarily as a catcher. Has also spent time coaching Little League in Orleans and South Ottawa. He wanted to turn his passion into a career and enrolled in Sport Business Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2007. After working for the Ottawa 67's OHL team as the Ticket Coordinator, Morissette jumped at the opportunity to become the Media and Public Relations Coordinator with Baseball Canada in 2010. He loves watching and reading about pro, college or amateur baseball and is a long-time subscriber to Baseball America. Morissette is thrilled about the idea of writing about baseball and is interested in covering any story that his car -- and time -- will allow him to cover.