BMOC I: Diewert, Kirwer, Nakamura, Pop, Pouwells, Ross

BMOC Week 1
By Matt Betts

The college baseball season is upon us. As a lot of Canadians sit and wait for the frigid temperatures to pass there are some who have already begun to light the baseball world ablaze. Let us take a look at which players are off to a quick start.

Nakamura tallies four hits for Taft
It didn’t take Quintin Nakamura (West Vancouver, BC) long to get comfortable in the batter’s box for the Taft College Cougars . Nakamura stroked four hits in two games to open the 2017 season. His big game came in the second contest, a 16-3 thumping of Barstow College Vikings in which he went 3-for-5 including a two-run home run. He finished the game with six RBIs and four runs scored.


Wilson with three hits
Dayton Wilson (Ladner, BC) must have been watching his Taft teammate closely. Wilson contributed a pinch hit in his teams 6-3 loss to Feather River in their season opener. He proved to be integral in the Game 2 win over Barstow collecting a pair of hits and a walk while stealing a base and driving in a run.


Diewert does his thing
Zach Diewert (Chemainus, BC) can do a little bit of everything on the ball field and that was on full display during opening weekend for the Polk State Eagles. In Game 1 of their season against Lake Sumter State, Diewert launched a two-run home run and drew a walk in the Eagles 4-3 win. He picked up right where he left off in Game 2 against Eastern Florida State by going 2-for-4 in a 5-2 win. He then reached base four times against Webber International University JVs with a hit and three walks. He would also swipe two bases in the convincing 10-2 win. His team then clobbered Indian River State 13-4 in a midweek game behind a solo shot from Diewert. He also had another hit and stolen base in that one.

Warken working for Polk State
Diewert wasn’t the only Polk State player to enjoy early season success. Cole Warken (Regina, Sask.) stroked a double and drove in two runs against Lake Sumter State. After collecting another RBI in Game 2 he finished the weekend with another hit, three walks and a RBI in Game 3. In the midweek contest against Indian River State he went 2-for-4 with a double, triple and a walk. He also drive in three runs and score three more.

Kristjan Storrie (Langley, BC), Cooper Misic (Surrey, BC) and Kyle Ross (Maple Ridge, BC).

Kristjan Storrie (Langley, BC), Cooper Misic (Surrey, BC) and Kyle Ross (Maple Ridge, BC).

Langley boys lock it down for Galveston
The Galveston College Whitecaps have a pair of Canadian arms to thank for their 4-2 victory over Brookhaven. Kyle Ross (Maple Ridge, BC) tossed 4 2/3 innings, surrendering two runs on three hits. He would strikeout three and walk one en route to the win in the seven inning game. It was  Kristjan Storrie (Langley, BC) who clamped things down for his first save of the season. He worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts. RHP Cooper Misic (Surrey, BC) retired the only man he faced.

 

Seward County with a little pep in their step
It was a good start to the season for the Saints of Seward County. They disposed of McCook Community College 7-4 and 16-4 in a pair of opening weekend games. Jordan Pepper (Seaforth, Ont.) made his college debut in Game 2 and threw a scoreless inning with two punch outs.

Multiple hits for McCook
Three different McCook hitters would collect multiple hits over two games against Seward County. Jason Hill (Surrey, BC) and Tanner Zeggil (Stayner, Ont.) both went 2-for-2 in their teams Game 2 loss. Hill also drive in a run. Mike Sookdeo (Mississauga, Ont.) had a hit in both games, including a double in the nightcap. He drove in three of his teams eight runs over the two games.

Pouwells reaches five times    
LSU Shreveport’s Ryan Pouwells (Surrey, BC) was instrumental in two wins for his team over the weekend. In a Game 1, 9-5 win against Wiley College the junior had a hit and two walks to go along with two RBIs. In the Game 2, 6-5, 10 inning win he had another hit and two RBIs. Pouwells is an El Paso Community College transfer.

Kirwer named Preseason All-MAAC
Tanner Kirwer’s (Sherwood Park, Alta.) impressive sophomore season helped him garner Preseason All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference honours as voted on by the leagues coaches. Kirwer hit .327 with two home runs and 29 RBIs in 2016 to go with a .409 OBP and a .458 SLG. He played in 42 games, starting 40 for the Niagara Purple Eagles.

Pop ranked a top prospect
The University of Kentucky Wildcats season may not get underway until February 17th against North Carolina but the preseason honours are already rolling in for Zack Pop (Brampton, Ont.). Pop was ranked #74 on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 draft eligible prospects heading into the season. He posted a 0-2 record for the Wildcats in 2016 with a 5.21 ERA. The righty made six starts over 19 appearances and struck out 24 in 38 innings. He continued his development in the summer with the Wareham Gatemen of the prestigious Cape Cod league. While with the Gatemen he had a 2-3 record with a 4.45 ERA in nine games, six starts. He punched out 26 in 32 1/3 innings.

Week 1 of the college season is just the start. Continue to follow the BMOC each week for more updates.

If you know of someone that deserves a mention in the weekly BMOC column please contact Matt Betts at mattbetts41@gmail.com

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Matt Betts

Matt Betts was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1992. From a very young age, he loved all things baseball ... but even more, all things Canadian. His baseball career began with the Brantford Junior Red Sox, followed by three years (2008 thru 2010) with the Ontario Terriers program of the PBLO - twice winning the Most Proficient Pitcher award. The past four years he pitched at the University of West Alabama of the Gulf South Conference – twice earning Most Dedicated Player honours. Summer baseball experience includes pitching for the Hamilton Cardinals, and the Licking County Settlers (2013 Great Lakes League champs) and again this summer the Hamilton Cardinals. As an Integrated Marketing Major at UWA, he wrote extensively for the university newspaper, with a focus on baseball. His lifelong dedication and love for the game is indisputable, but his passion for sports writing and broadcasting/analysis has grown with each passing year. There is something very satisfying about “digging a little deeper” to reveal the “story within the story.” After four years of life in the United States, he is thrilled to be back home in Canada, ready to cover and promote Canadian sports and players.