BMOC IV: Arruda, Jafine, Lloyd, Osborne, Pop, Senior, Thibideau

BMOC Week 4
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network

The Division I college season has started and there were plenty of standout performances by Canadians. The rest of college baseball also had stellar performances by players from north of the border. Here is the best of the best from the past week.

Osborne earns Player of the Week honour
Let’s start off with one of the best performances from anyone in college baseball. It is tough to beat the week J.D. Osborne (Whitby, Ont.) had for the Tampa Spartans. In Game 1 of their series with No. 23 Southern Indiana, Osborne went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run. The Spartans took the opener 5-3. In Game 2, an 11-10 loss, Osborne again had two hits including another home run. This time it was a three run blast in the bottom of the first. He would finish with four RBIs in the game. Despite two very productive games at the dish, he would one-up himself in the finale. Tampa took Game 3, 15-7, behind a 4-for-4 game with a walk from Osborne. He again left the yard with a three run shot to cap his week. He was named Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week, which should be no surprise.

Another weekly honour
Another Canadian garnered weekly recognition but this time it was on the mound. Adam Jafine (Toronto, Ont.) was named Mountain East Conference Pitcher of the Week for Charleston Eagles start against Millersville. He worked 6 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits and three runs with six strikeouts and two walks. 

Canisius splits with Gardner Webb
Led by manager Mike McRae (Niagara Falls, Ont.) the Canisius Golden Griffins earned a split in their four game set with Gardner Webb. Jake Lumley (Windsor, Ont.) proved to be a driving for in the series for the Griffs. He pounded out four hits, walked, scored four runs and stole two bases in their season opening 10-7, 12 inning win. He finished with four hits, two walks and two stolen bases over the final three games of the series. Canisius won Game 2 and dropped Games 3 and 4.

In Canisius’ Game 2 win it was J.P. Stevenson (New Glasgow, PEI) who earned the win on the mound. He worked six innings, giving up five hits and three runs (one earned). He struck out two and walked one in improving to 1-0 on the year.

Kirwer bashes Baylor
After a long winter Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) was certainly enjoying the warm Texas weather. His Niagara Purple Eagles travelled to Waco, Tex. to open their 2017 campaign against Baylor. He got his bat going in Game 2 with two hits, one of which was a solo home run. In Game 3 he went 3-for-5 with two doubles, three RBIs and two stolen bases. Unfortunately for the Purple Eagles, Baylor swept the three game series.

Turcotte makes debut
Former Ontario Terriers Sam Turcotte (Toronto, Ont.) got his first taste of college action this past weekend when his Stonybrook Seawolves battled Missouri State. The freshman held his own by throwing four innings of relief. He surrendered just two hits and a run to go along with three punch outs and three walks. Missouri State blanked Stonybrook 7-0

Pop goes the fastball
Zach Pop (Brampton, Ont.) was throwing flames for the Kentucky Wildcats in their season opening series at North Carolina. He made two appearances without allowing a run. His fastball topped at 98 mph. UNC would sweep Kentucky in the three game series.

Another first
Another Canadian picked up his first win of his collegiate career as Division I baseball kicked off. R.J Freure (Burlington, Ont.) earned the win in the Panthers 3-2 win over Delaware. He threw an inning and registered a strikeout in the triumph. 

Clarke off to hot start at UNO
Tristan Clarke (Brampton, Ont.) and the University of New Orleans Privateers should both be happy with the way their seasons started this past weekend. In Game 1 against Southern, a 5-0 win, Clarke went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Game 2 was not much different. He went 2-for-3 again with a pair of doubles this time and a hit by pitch. UNO topped Chicago-Illinois 8-5. They closed out their weekend with a clobbering of Prairie View A&M, 14-0. Clarke again had two hits and a walk. His most impressive performance came in a midweek with No. 2 Louisiana State University. Clarke again had two hits with one being a solo home run against the Tigers. New Orleans would top LSU 10-8 in front of 2421 spectators at Maestri Field in New Orleans.

Garon bats in the middle
J.F. Garon (Terrebonne, Que.) hit fourth, then fifth and then third in the Bradley University batting order over three games against Texas A&M Corpus Christi. He seemed to like the fourth and third spot the best. In Game 1, he smashed a two-run home run in a 10-7 loss. After drawing a walk in a 9-5 win he went 2-for-4 with a ninth inning solo home run to give his team a 7-6 lead. Bradley held on to that lead to take the series. Next up for Bradley is a series with Tennessee Tech. 

Howie with a hit
Nick Howie (Oakville, Ont.) also got his first hit of his career for the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. He also walked and was hit twice in EKU’s 16-13 loss to Arizona.

Kelley helps Northern Kentucky
Pat Kelley (Regina, Sask.) helped the Northern Kentucky Norse to a 5-3 win over Campbell by throwing five innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits. He also had three strikeouts and one walk.

Thrower with four hits, four RBIs for UB
The University of Buffalo only won once in three tries against the University of Tennessee Martin but Alex Thrower (Toronto, Ont.) had four hits and four RBIs in the three game series. He also stole a base against the Skyhawks.

Dimitroff drives the ball for UALR
Facing off against Oral Roberts in their series opener, Bryce Dimitroff (Burlington, Ont.) had a good showing. In Game 1, a 10-4 loss, he went 2-for-5 with a stolen base. Oral Roberts won Game 2 on a walkoff home run in the 13 inning. They also took Game 3 but not before  2-for-4 day for Dimitroff that included a home run to lead off the game. 

Scheftz strong for UCF
Jordan Scheftz (North York, Ont.) had a good showing for the University of Central Florida to start the season. He appeared in two games, throwing a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in each.

Thibideau’s tough for UNF
Chris Thibideau (Dartmouth, NS) had a double, a walk and a stolen for the University of North Florida in a 9-0 win over Radford. He followed that up with a 3-for-5 day with a solo shot in an 8-7 loss. UNF won their final game of the week and Thibideau chipped in with a double, three RBIs and a stolen base.

Mayo beats Mississippi Valley State
Zach Mayo (Mather, Man.) was on his game for North Dakota State University in their 9-3, Game 3,  win over Mississippi Valley State. He tossed five innings, giving up just one hit and one run. He struck out seven and walked four. Mayo is now 1-0 on the year.

Lloyd looms large for Indiana
The Indiana Hoosiers dropped Games 1 and 4 of their season opening weekend to Oregon State but won the middle two contests against Gonzaga to break even over the weekend. Lloyd had three hits and two walks in his first four games as a Hoosier. 

Webb leads Concord to first two wins
It was not the greatest start to the season for the Concord University Lions but it got better this past weekend with the help of Canadian Evan Webb (Whitby, Ont.). He went 2-for-3 with a walk and a RBI in his teams first win of the season against Winston-Salem State. The Lions had lost five straight heading into the contest. They made it back-to-back wins in Game 2 behind a 2-for-4 day with two RBIs from Webb. Winston-Salem State would take the final two games of the series despite three hits and two RBIs from Webb over the contests.

Weirsma with three multi-hit games
Evan Webb was not the only Concord Lion eager to end their losing skid. Trevor Weirsma (Vancouver, BC) had a multi-hit game in Games 2, 3 and 4 of their series. Included in those games were a pair of doubles and a stolen base. He also had a hit and RBI in Game 1 and was hit by a pitch in Games 1 and 2.

Lanferman with two home runs
Jake Lanferman (Sherwood Park, Alta.) certainly enjoyed his weekend. He kicked it off with a 3-for-5 game with  solo home run and three RBIs in a win against Oklahoma Panhandle State. He launched a two run shot in Fort Hayes State’s series opener with Colorado Christian. He had two hits and three stolen bases in that one, as well. Over the final two games of the series he stroked a double, was hit by a pitch and stole two bases. Fort Hayes State took 2-of-3 in the series.

Mules call Minute Maid home
The Central Missouri Mules played their weekend games at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, as part of the Houston Winter Invitational. The bright lights sure did not bother Taylor Burns (St. Albert, Alta.) as he picked up the win versus Tarleton State. He tossed six inning of relief in the extra inning win, allowing just three hits and a single run. He also struck out five en route to improving his record to 1-0.

Justin Graff-Rowe (Waterloo, Ont.) got good use out of the big league base paths. He went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a stolen base in an 8-4 win over Arkansas Fort-Smith. He collected two hits and a walk in his teams 5-4, 10 inning win over Tarleton State. Central Missouri completed their three wins in three tries with a 3-2 win over Chico State in Game 3. Graff-Rowe walked in that game. 

Central Missouri is now set to open Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association action this week against Jake Lanferman and Fort Hayes State.

Pair of three-hit games for Braun
Dustin Braun (Landmark, Man.) had two, three-hit games against the College of Idaho over the past week. He finished the week with five RBIs and a stolen base.

Close or Start, doesn’t matter to Graham
Mid America Nazarene’s Phil Graham (St. Chrysostome, Que.) does not seem to care if he starts a game or finishes it. He did both over the weekend for the Pioneers. In their 7-5 midweek win over Bethany he earned his first save of the year by throwing a scoreless inning allowing a hit with a strikeout and a walk. He bounced back on the weekend and threw six innings, allowing three hits, a run (unearned) with three strikeouts and four walks. He currently holds a 1-0 record with a save and a 0.75 ERA.

Shaw picks up wild win    
Giving up eight runs in a start usually does not get a player into the BMOC. That is until you realize seven of them were unearned. Jake Shaw (Fredricton, NB) pitched five innings, giving up six hits and eight runs (one earned) on the way to his second win of the season. He struck out six and walked three in the outing. The University of Indianapolis made five errors in the 16-12 win.

Burns, Weagle help Garden City to wins
Garden City Community College could not get Connor Burns the win despite a solid outing from the Canadian. In a 5-2 win over New Mexico Military he worked four innings of one run baseball. He allowed five hits with a strikeout and two base on balls. 

Danny Weagle (Brantford, Ont.) picked up a save in a 5-4 win over New Mexico Military by throwing a clean ninth inning in his second appearance of the week. Through five appearances Weagle owns a 4.76 ERA.

Sweet relief
Jesse Anderson (Brantford, Ont.) threw four innings of relief for Jackson State in their 3-1 loss to Morehead State. He surrendered just two hits and a walk in the appearance.

Another Brantford boy
The Telephone City had another standout on the mound. Brady Cappe (Brantford, Ont.) made his first collegiate start and it was a good one. Cappe of Lake Land College threw five innings allowing one run with five strikeouts and four walks in a 3-1 loss to Volunteer State.

Rupnik roughs up Wayne State
Newman University lost 2-of-3 to Wayne State but Paul Rupnik (Newmarket, Ont.) got his licks in at the dish. He went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a stolen base in Game 1, the only game Newman won. In Game 2 he had a 3-for-3 game with a walk, he was hit by a pitch and he drove in two runs. He added another two hits, two RBIs and a stolen base in Game 3. He leads Newman with a .400 average on the year.

Chenier appears twice
Avery Chenier (Georgetown, Ont.) made two appearances for Newman University this past week. His best came in the first one as he picked up the win by throwing a scoreless inning.

Arruda with win No. 2
Four innings allowing two runs was enough for Nathan Arruda (Toronto, Ont.) to pick up his second win of the season. He allowed three hits with five strikeouts and a walk in a 13-2 thumping of Dakota Wesleyan.

Three homers in wins for Warkentin
Matt Warkentin (Leamington, Ont.) launched three home runs in Johnson County’s series with Ellsworth. He hit solo shots in Games 2 and 3 and a two-run blast in Game 4. Johnson County swept the four game set.

Harvey with a win and save    
Dodge City Community College was helped to two wins by Dalton Harvey (Cambridge, Ont.) this week. He picked up the win with 1 2/3 innings of work in Game 2 of their series with Otero. He then picked up the save in Game 3 by throwing another inning.

Hrynkiw reaches nine times
Connors State’s Tony Hrynkiw (Brampton, Ont.) had five hits and four walks for the Cowboys this past week. He also drove in six runs along the way.

Daring with a slam
Johnson County Community College put a beating on Ellsworth in Game 3 of their series by a 17-7 score. Troy Daring (Brampton, Ont.) was right in the thick of it as he hit a grand slam on the way to a 3-for-5 day with a stolen base. He drove in two more runs to push his total for the game to six.

Senior with six hits, three home runs
Eric Senior (Toronto, Ont.) had himself a nice week. The Midland College outfielder had six hits, three home runs, in three games for the Chaparrals. His best game came in Game 2 against McLennan when he went 4-for-6 with six RBIs. When all was said and done he had driven in 12 runs.

First collegiate hit for Craig Spencer
Craig Spencer (Calgary, Ont.) notched his first hit for MacMurray College this past week in their loss to Maryville. He reached base three more times on walks over the three game series.

Moore on eight times
Darcy Moore (Sharon, Ont.) reached base eight times in Freed Hardeman’s past week of games. His best game came in their first meeting with Central Methodist. In that game he had two home runs and a double to go along with three RBIs. He also went 3-for-4 with a home run in their finale against Roosevelt.

Hewitt hitting .500
It would be hard for Connors State to ask for much more out of Max Hewitt (Midhurst, Ont.). Over the ten games he has played he is hitting .500 with a home run, five RBIs and three stolen bases. He helped himself to those numbers with nine hits this past week including four two-hit games.

Morro feasts on JV’s
The JV’s from Covenant College and Shorter College had their hands full when Connor Morro (Caledon, Ont.) strolled to the plate. The Chattanooga State player went 3-for-4 with two walks, a home run, a double and two RBIs in their first game against Covenant. After a hit and a walk in Game 2 he had back-to-back multi-hit games against Shorter. He also walked twice, drove in three and stole two bases in the final two games.

Morello solid against Millersville, Bloomsburg
Gianfranco Morello (Toronto, Ont.) of the University of Charleston had a hit in both games against Millersville this past week. UC took Game 1, 8-3 and dropped Game 2, 5-3. Next up was Bloomsburg and Morello would pound out four hits over two games, including a home run in the first game as UC again split the mini two-game set.

Nistor with a quality start
After making an appearance the game previous, Chase Nistor (Regina, Sask.) took the mound for Taft College in a start against Antelope Valley. He would throw six innings, allowing seven hits, a pair of runs while recording there strikeouts.

Follett with four hits
Nick Follett (Etobicoke, Ont.) recorded four hits for the College of the Desert this week. He also walked to reach five times in two games.

Boehm bashes Feather River
It was four RBIs for Malcolm Boehm (Ladner, BC) against Feather River in their 7-6 win. He added two hits and a walk in the win. He finished his weekend with three hits and a stolen base.

Rossit relishes time at Cabrillo
A double and a RBI was not good enough for Adam Rossit (Stoney Creek, Ont.) in Cabrillo Colleges 8-3 loss to San Joaquin Delta. He went on to have two multi-hit games with an RBI in each to close out his week. Cabrillo won Game 2, 2-0 but dropped the final game 8-5.

UBC opens season
Connor Noble (Surrey, BC) threw six scoreless innings as the University of British Columbia picked up a 3-0 win over Antelope Valley. Noble allowed five hits, and had seven strikeouts with one walk in the game.

Pat Van Den Brink (Surrey, BC) was called upon twice by the UBC Thunderbirds in their season opening week. He threw two scoreless innings with two strikeouts and two walks in the 3-0 win over Antelope Valley. He again threw two scoreless innings in a 9-7 win over Westmount. He had four punch outs in that game.

Christian Botnick (Brampton, Ont.) and Liam Stroud (Maple Ridge, BC) both picked up saves for the T-Birds, Botnick against Antelope Valley and Stroud against Westmount.

It was Mitch Robinson (Surrey, BC) who led the way offensive for the UBC Thunderbirds this past week. His best game came in the 9-7 win over Westmount where he went 3-for-4 with a three-run home run. He reached base seven times in three games. Mackenzie Parlow (Qualicum Beach, BC) and Vinny Martin (Pender Island, BC) also homered versus Westmount.

Fonseca helps Cypress to two wins
Cypress College used a hit and two walks from Trevor Fonseca (West Vancouver, BC) to help them during three games this past week. Cypress beat the College of the Desert 16-0, lost to Merced 6-2 and then beat Moorpark 6-0.


These were the best performances from Canadians around college baseball this past week. Along with the familiar faces there may just be some new ones in the weeks to come. Keep checking back to see which players are making an impact for their teams.

If you know of someone who is deserving of a mention in the weekly BMOC column please email Matt Betts at mattbetts41@gmail.com

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.