The Ontario Terriers were given the cook’s tour of historic Wrigley Field by fellow Canuck Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, BC). The Terriers ...
Back row (left-right): Joe Iannuzzi (coach), Christian Bottero, Michael Stremlaw, Mihai Aron, Aidan Pickering, Connor O’Halloran, Matty Ward, Greg O’Halloran (coach).
Front (l-r): Ayden Cooke, Michael Manning, Owen MacNeil, Campbell Ellis, Ian Bala (coach), Steven Phillips, Ryan Dempster, Dante Wright, Connor Carr-Matthews, Brayden Heleno, Jack Iannuzzi.
Down 5-3 in the fifth inning of Game 2 -- after losing the opener of the Firecracker Classic -- the Ontario Terriers turned their fortunes around.
And righting the ship were Michael Stremlaw and Jack Iannuzzi.
Each tripled as the Terriers put up a five-spot to beat the Total Baseball Academy 10-6 at Ann Arbor Mich. The Terriers were not stopped until the final. They won the championship final 4-2 against Total Baseball Academy at newly refurbished Oestrike Stadium, home of the Eastern Michigan University Eagles campus in Ypsilanti, Mich.
It was a double-dip victory as the Terriers also won the 17U division as well with a 6-2 victory.
And from there they headed west to the Best of the Great Lakes Northwestern University tourney in Evanston, Ill. Also included was a side trip to the north side of Chicago. And Chicago Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, BC) vice-president, took the Terriers on a private tour of newly renovated Wrigley Field and a tour of the Cubs clubhouse.
Coach Greg O’Halloran (Mississauga, Ont.), the former Florida Marlins catcher, set up the tour through Dempster who has won more games in the majors than any Canadian with the exception of another Cub great Fergie Jenkins (Chatham, Ont.). Both were given World Series rings with 108 diamonds after the Cubs broke their 108-year drought last October edging the Cleveland Indians in extras of Game 7.
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Stremlaw (Toronto, Ont.) led off the Terriers fifth with a triple and scored on a Dante Wright (Pickering, Ont.) two-run single up the middle, which also scored Matt Ward (Mississauga, Ont.), hit by a pitch to tie the game.
Then, Iannuzzi (Waterdown, Ont.) hit a three-run triple into the left field corner. Ayden Cooke (Ajax, Ont.) scored Iannuzzi singling to right to make it 9-5, while Connor O’Halloran (Mississauga, Ont.) scored the 10th Terrier run on a single by Brayden Heleno (Mississauga, Ont.).
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Game 1 was a 3-2 loss to the Michigan Monarchs. The Terriers had eight hits and moved the tying run to second in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t push it across.
Liam Bavington (Caledon, Ont.), Michael Manning (Pickering, Ont.), Stremlaw, Wright, Iannuzzi, O’Halloran and Ward had hits in the loss.
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Owen MacNeil (Georgetown, Ont.) and Stephen Phillips (Bolton, Ont.) combined to beat JTB Baseball 6-4 earning the team a spot in the final. MacNeil pitched five innings fanning seven before being relieved by Phillips, who struck out four.
Christian Bottero (Toronto, Ont.) and Cooke reached on a walk and a hit by pitch, with Stremlaw in the middle of things. A passed ball and a fly ball by Ward gave the Terriers a 2-0 lead in the seventh.
JTB tied the game in the fourth, but the Terriers rebounded immediately in their half of the inning with three runs.
Connor O’Halloran hit a two-run double down the right field line, scoring Heleno and Iannuzzi. O’Halloran, much quicker than his father, scored on a first and third double steal to make it 5-2. JTB made it a one-run game in the sixth. O’Halloran knocked in his third run of the day with a double to close the scoring.
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At Northwestern, the Terriers went 1-3 against older competition beating tournament finalist Homestead Ranchers Texas on the Northwestern campus and Kerry Wood Cubs Field.
The 16U Terriers are managed by Joe Iannuzzi with coaches Ian Bala, Mike Cardinale, Chris Hartery, Greg O’Halloran and founder Danny Thompson.
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Devon Yogendran (Mississauga, Ont.) started and battled through three innings before handing the ball off to Sam Worthen who hurled the final four, allowing two hits as the 17U Terriers beat the Michigan Bulls 4-2 advancing the 17U semi-final.
Yogendran has support from Udhay Bal (Brampton, Ont.), who knocked in a pair of runs, while Matthew Kemp (Richmond Hill, Ont.) had one. Jamal Armstrong (Toronto, Ont.), Sawan Bhatnagar (Mississauga, Ont.), Cristian Forgione (Toronto, Ont.) and Max Von Gemmingen (Brampton, Ont.) each had hits.
Bhatnagar was a driving force in a 12-1 win over the Michigan Orioles hitting two doubles and driving in three runs.
Forgione doubled in a pair of runs, while George Tsiflikiotis (Hamilton, Ont.), Dylan Johnson (Toronto, Ont.) each singled in a pair. Armstrong had an RBI double, while Von Gemmingen doubled. Armstrong stroked a run-scoring double, Bal a run-scoring single and Kemp singled.
Zach Bayfield (Toronto, Ont.) picked up the win allowing one hit in five innings.
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The 17U Terriers also fell 8-7 as Bal had three hits while Johnson and Von Gemmingen each had two.
Rick Johnston manages the 17U team with coaches Omari Briscoe, Rick Gallo and Morgan Kielty.