BMOC Week XVII: Clarke, Howie, Senior, Wilson

Ontario Blue Jays grad OF Nick Howie (Oakville, Ont.) of the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. 

Ontario Blue Jays grad OF Nick Howie (Oakville, Ont.) of the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. 

Big Man On Campus Week 17
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network

What a week. The NCAA Division I regular season is now in the books and it’s all about the postseason across each level. More awards were handed out as Canadians continue to power their teams in hopes of bringing home a championship. Below is what you need to know about the past week in college baseball.

Howie joins OVC’s top rookies
It didn’t take Nick Howie (Oakville, Ont.) long to get his feet wet in college baseball. The Eastern Kentucky University freshman hit .290 with eight home runs, 41 RBIs, a .394 OBP, a .481 SLG and was a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen bases. Those numbers were good enough for him to be named to the Ohio Valley Conference All-Rookie Team.

Wilson named top Freshman
Jake Wilson (New Lowell, Ont.) had a strong final week of the regular season for Bowling Green State to solidify his Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year honour. In a game against Dayton, he went 2-for-4 with a walk, hit by pitch and RBI. He then went 5-for-6 with a RBI and stolen base in a series opening loss to Elon. Bowling Green dropped Game 2 despite a three-hit game with a stolen base from Wilson. He hit .305, which led the team, with eight stolen bases for the Falcons.


Handley brings home Player of the Year honour
The Stony Brook Seawolves took 2-of-3 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County last week behind four hits and two walks from Toby Handley (Whitby, Ont.). The big news, however, came when Handley was named America East Player of the Year. Handley hit .346 with five home runs, 34 RBIs and swiped 17 bases to earn the honours. The team now shifts their focus to the America East Conference Tournament.

Okotoks Dawgs LHP Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, Altaaa.) earned Second Team honours. 

Okotoks Dawgs LHP Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, Altaaa.) earned Second Team honours. 

Big Ten sees Lloyd’s value
Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, Alta.) was named to the All-Big Ten 2nd Team. Lloyd did it all for the Indiana Hoosiers this year, hitting .313 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs, while going 3-1 with nine saves, a 2.39 ERA over 18 appearances and 26 1/3 innings on the mound. He didn’t slow down to end the year, picking up saves No. 8 and 9 in 4-3 wins over Louisville and Ohio State in the final week.
 
Acosta-Tapia, Oklahoma Wesleyan World Series bound
Christopher Acosta-Tapia (Laval, Que.) and the Oklahoma Wesleyan University Eagles are off to the NAIA College World Series after a 3-1 week at the NAIA Opening Round. In Game 1 against Midland University, Acosta-Tapia went a stellar 4-for-5 with a stolen base in the 10-5 triumph. Game 2 of the Opening Round saw the first of three consecutive meeting against Indiana Tech. The Eagles took the first meeting by a 15-14 score behind a 2-for-4 performance with a RBI from Acosta-Tapia. Indiana Tech didn’t back down, taking the next game 18-14 but OKWU got the last laugh and a trip to the World Series with a 14-6 win. Acosta-Tapia went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs to lead his team to the win. The Eagles take on Missouri Baptist in Game 1 of the World Series.
 
Brash is MAAC’s top rookie
Matthew Brash (Kingston, Ont.) was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year and if you are looking for a reason why, take a look at last week as a sample. In a Game 1, 4-3 win against Canisius, he picked up his second save of the year by tossing a scoreless inning. He came back and pitched again in Game 3, a 7-3, 13 inning Canisius victory. He worked 6 1/3 innings of relief, scattering six hits, four runs -- one earned -- with five strikeouts and three walks. On the year he went 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA over a staff leading 77 1/3 innings. He struck out 63 in 17 appearances, including 10 starts. His 2.79 ERA is fifth best in Niagara history and he is the first Purple Eagle to garner Rookie of the Year honours since 2004.
 
Kirwer garners third straight All-MAAC honours
Matthew Brash wasn’t the only Niagara Purple Eagle to have the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference recognize their strong season. Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) was named an All-MAAC First Team selection. He led the conference in runs (47) and stolen bases (23). He hit the second most doubles in the MAAC with 20, which is also 2nd most in NU history. He ended the year hitting .335 after a six hit final week. He caught peoples attention with his glove as well with a sparkling .992 fielding percentage.

A perfect 10: Toronto Mets Of Eric Senior (Toronto, Ont.) 

A perfect 10: Toronto Mets Of Eric Senior (Toronto, Ont.) 

Senior recognized three times
It’s hard to argue a conference MVP, an All-Conference and All-Region selection when you hit .398 with 17 home runs and 91 RBIs. Those are Eric Senior’s (Toronto, Ont.) numbers and those are the awards he took home.
 
 
Pompey takes SEC by storm
Tristan Pompey (Brampton, Ont.) came through for his team with a grand slam in Kentucky’s 12-4 Game 1 win over Florida. Despite dropping the next two and the disappointment of losing the series, Pompey must have had a smile on his face when he was named 1st Team All-Southeastern Conference. He finished the regular season hitting .369 with with nine home runs and 40 RBIs. He had a .410 average in SEC play. The Wildcats are now taking part in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
 
Cottam heating up at right time for UK
It was a walk and a RBI for Kole Cottam (Knoxville, Ont.) in a 10-1 win over Northern Kentucky to start the week. He got his offensive mojo going in Kentucky’s three-game set with Florida. He went 3-for-5 with two RBIs in a Game 1, 12-4 win. He launched a home runs and two hits in total with two more RBIs in the Wildcats Game 2 loss. They dropped the rubber match but not before Cottam went 2-for-4.
 
Big Week at Canisius
The accolades found the Canisius Golden Griffins in a big way last week. Jake Lumley (Windsor, Ont.) was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year. He hit .358 and was 61st in the nation in hits with 77. 
Liam Wilson (Ayr, Ont.) joined Lumley on the All-MAAC First Team. He hit .346 during the 2017 regular season.
JP Stevenson (New Glasgow, PEI) was an All-MAAC Second Team selection. He tied for the league lead in wins (9), which was a career high after posting seven as a sophomore. He owned a 3.74 ERA over 86 2/3 innings for the Griffs during the regular season.
Nick Capitano (Bolton, Ont.), Jared Kennedy (Calgary, Alta.), Josh Shepley (Windsor, Ont.), Zachary Sloan (Brampton, Ont.) and Stevenson were recognized for their work in the classroom, being named to the MAAC All-Academic Team.
Griffs Head Coach Mike McCrae picked up his 400th career victory last week.

Victoria Eagles grad Kobe Morris (Victoria, BC) 

Victoria Eagles grad Kobe Morris (Victoria, BC) 

Crowder off to NJCAA World Series
Kobe Morris (Victoria, BC) had himself a week in the South Central District and it helped send Crowder College to the NJCAA World Series. He reached base 15 times, seven by the way of hits, and eight by walks. He got it going with two hits, three walks, a RBI and a stolen base in a 17-6 win over Jefferson. He had a hit, two walks and a RBI in a 10-8 win over Delgado, followed by a 2-for-3 game with a solo home run in a 2-1 loss to Seminole State (OK). After a hit and a walk in another win over Delgado, he had a hit, two walks and a RBI in a 7-2 win over Seminole State (OK) to get Crowder’s revenge and send them to the national championship tournament. Kyle MacDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) went 7-for-18 with two home runs, eight RBIs and a 1.283 OPS. Tyler Duncan (Sooke, BC) went 7-for-17, also with two home runs, seven RBIs and a 1.242 OPS. Crowder is off to Grand Junction, Colo. for the NJCAA College World Series. Their first game will see them face Chipola.
 
Cina, NCCC off to World Series
Niagara County Community College wrapped up the Region III Tournament last week with three games. In Game 1 versus Erie, Zarley Cina (Kitchener, Ont.) had a hit and two RBIs in a 5-2 win. Next up, NCCC topped Genesee 6-4 and Cina had a hit, two walks and two RBIs. He saved his best performance for Hudson Valley. He went 4-for-6 with two RBIs in the 18-8 win. Cina and his teammates are now off to the NJCAA Division III World Series where they will meet Delta in Game 1. He also received All-Region honours as he hit .389 in 50 games.
 
Patterson named to Second Team
Blake Patterson (Calgary, Alta.) was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings NCAA Division III All-Region Second Team. He hit .331 with seven home runs, 31 RBIs, a .388 OBP and a .574 SLG for the Golden Eagles.
 
Clarke finishes strong heading into Southland tournament
No one wants to go into the postseason on a low note. Tristan Clarke (Brampton, Ont.) doesn’t have to worry about that. In New Orleans’ midweek 8-6 loss to Tulane, he went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. The Privateers finished their regular season with a three-game sweep of Northwestern State. Clarke went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run in the opener. He had a hit and a RBI in Game 2 and went 2-for-3 with a walk and RBI in Game 3. For his good season he was an All-Southland Conference honourable mention. He hit .298 with 10 home runs and 43 RBIs. New Orleans takes on Southeastern Louisiana in the opening game of the Southland Conference Tournament.

Team Ontario grad Eric Marriott (Niagara Falls, Ont.) 

Team Ontario grad Eric Marriott (Niagara Falls, Ont.) 

Marriott strong despite Erie’s elimination
Eric Marriott (Niagara Falls, Ont.) had a hit and two walks in a 9-8 win to start the week for Erie Community College against Herkimer. They then lost to Niagara Community College 5-2 to start the Region III tournament even though Marriott did all he could going 4-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base. Hudson Valley ended Erie’s season, handing them an 8-3 loss. Marriott went 2-for-5 with a stolen base in the game. Marriott had 17 stolen bases this year. had a hit and two walks in a 9-8 win to start the week for Erie Community College against Herkimer. They then lost to Niagara Community College 5-2 to start the Region III tournament even though Marriott did all he could going 4-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base. Hudson Valley ended Erie’s season, handing them an 8-3 loss. Marriott went 2-for-5 with a stolen base in the game. Marriott had 17 stolen bases this year.
 
Young heads into conference tournament on a personal high
Jared Young (Prince George, BC) had a hit in each of Old Dominions first two games last week, an 8-4 loss to Virginia Tech and a Game 1, 6-1 loss to Florida Atlantic. He one-upped himself in Game 2 and 3. He pounded out three hits in each, including a walk, RBI and his fourth triple of the year in Game 2. His team walked away with just one win on the week. Old Dominion takes on Florida International in Game 1 of the Conference USA Tournament.
 
Rock deals, Mayville State goes 0-2
Kody Rock (Canora, Sask.) went 8 1/3 innings, allowing six hits, three runs -- one earned -- with three strikeouts but was dealt the loss as Campbellsville University scored two runs in the bottom of the 9th to take the first game of the NAIA Opening Round. The College of Idaho took the next game and that was it for the Comets. They can hang their hat on taking home the North Star Athletic Conference Tournament title until next year.
 
Tough end for Tampa
The University of Tampa Spartans went 2-2 in the South Regional and saw their season come to an end. In Game 1 against Miles, J.D. Osborne (Whitby, Ont.) went 3-for-4 with a walk and RBI in the 12-1 win. They were upended 2-1 by Nova Southeastern in Game 2. Osborne had a hit and a RBI in that game. The Spartans got back on track and kept their season alive with a 14-5 win over Valdosta State in Game 3 where Osborne went 4-for-6 with a two-run home runs, two doubles and three RBIs. It was the West Alabama Tigers who ended the Spartans, taking them down by 7-6 score. Osborne had a hit in what was the season finale. It was a great season for Osborne individually as he improved on many of his numbers from 2016. He hit .387 (.363 in ’16), he had 20 home runs (13 in ’16), 86 RBIs (59 in ’16), a .429 OPS (.418 in ’16) and a .743 SLG (.668 in ’16).

Ontario Blue Jays grad RP Owen Stubberfielld (Georgetown, Ont.) 

Ontario Blue Jays grad RP Owen Stubberfielld (Georgetown, Ont.) 

Stubberfield with two appearances, Alabama A&M ousted
In Game 1 of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament Owen Stubberfield (Georgetown, Ont.) threw a scoreless inning of relief but it was Texas Southern who walked away with a 7-4 win. The Bulldogs season came to an end the next game with a 6-2 loss to Southern University. Stubberfield tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing a hit, a walk and recording a strikeout.
 
Borges helps Northeastern to sweep
Nate Borges (Brooklin, Ont.) went six innings and allowed just one run to lead Northeastern to a 4-3 win over James Madison. He allowed just four hits, walked four and had five punch outs. He improved his record to 4-3 with the win.
 
Cumberland loses heartbreaker
Truett McConnell College outlasted the University of the Cumberlands 10-9 in 11 innings in the first game of the NAIA Opening Round despite seven strong innings of Noah Gapp (St. Albert, Alta.). Gapp gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits with eight strikeouts and three walks. The Patriots beat Saint Thomas University before Truett McConnell eliminated them with a 3-1 win.
 
Bourassa with two scoreless appearances
All Landen Bourassa (Lethbridge, Alta.) gave up was a walk over five innings and two appearances last week for Lane Community College. He struck out four opposing hitters.
 

Toronto Mets grad Connor Ledger (Toronto, Ont.)

Toronto Mets grad Connor Ledger (Toronto, Ont.)

Ledger lead Norse to sweep
Game 1 of Northern Kentucky’s series with Oakland was a tight one. Connor Ledger (Toronto, Ont.) went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run and three RBIs in the 12-11 win. He was back in Game 3 and went 2-for-4 to help the Norse complete the sweep. They take on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Game 1 of the Horizon League Tournament.
 
Arruda wins a pair
Nathan Arruda (Brampton, Ont.) picked up a pair of wins for Tabor College last week in the NAIA Opening Round. The first was in a 12-11 walk-off win over Concordia University where he threw a scoreless 9th inning with a hit and a walk. Tabor scored twice in the bottom of the 9th to erase an 11-10 Concordia lead. He tossed 7 1/3 innings the very next game against Clarke in an 8-7 win and allowed six hits and five runs. He walked three and struck out five. Missouri Baptist upended Tabor 9-6 in the championship game.

Liu leads the pack
Ontario Blue Jays OF Johnny Liu (Mississauga, Ont.) led the Davis and Elkins College Senators in hitting as a freshmen. Liu batted .370 with six doubles and 15 RBIs in 34 games for the Senators, who finished the season 11-34. As well, he was 4-for-7 stealing bases, while compiling an .883 OPS. RHP Arman Lakhani (Brampton, Ont.) was 2-5 with a 7.59 ERA in 16 games making four starts. The former Ontario Athletics walked 12 and struck out 15 in 32 innings.

 

 


It was a week filled with excitement. The following week’s should provide more of the same for Canadians in college baseball. Check back next week to see what big things have happened.
 
If you know someone deserving of a mention in the weekly BMOC column please contact 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.