Big Man On Campus Week 18
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network
The pressure of the postseason isn’t fazing Canadians in college baseball. There was plethora of top performances as teams continue their playoff runs and Division I wraps up their regular season. Below is what you need to know from the past week.
Bishop and UT Tyler off the DIII World Series
After a tough Regional that saw them play seven games in four days and reel off five straight elimination game wins, the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots are headed to the 2018 College World Series for the first time in program history. The Patriots won the first game of the regional 8-5 over Aurora University and Alex Bishop (Calgary, Alta.) went 2-for-2 with a three-run home run, a walk and five RBIs. The No. 1 Wisconsin Whitewater Warhawks gave the Patriots their first loss in Game 2, dropping them 8-2. Bishop had a pair of walks in the defeat. They got right back up off the mat and downed No. 19 Franklin College 10-1 with Bishop contributing a pair of hits and two RBIs. Next was a 5-1 win over No. 13 Webster. Bishop hit a two-run home run and finished with two hits. The Patriots got their chance to get back at Wisconsin-Whitewater in their next game and took full advantage, downing them 4-1. The Canadian had a game to be proud of going 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles. That win set up a showdown with Rhodes College in which the Patriots needed to beat them twice. They did so by a 2-0 score in the first game, setting up a winner-take-all final. It appeared they had run out of steam and trailed Rhodes 4-1 heading to the bottom of the ninth when the unlikely happened. The Patriots scored four runs in the inning and walked off into the World Series spotlight. Bishop had a hit in the deciding game. The 2018 DIII College World Series will begin this week in Appleton, Wisc.
Right handed pitcher Chris Stodolka (Lethbridge, Alta.) is also a member of the Patriots and has a 2.65 ERA in 14 appearances.
Williams picks up two distinctions
Malik Williams seemed to be on a mission in 2018 and has been recognized. Williams hit .397 with 17 home runs and 78 RBIs in 60 games played as a freshman for Johnson County Community College. Those eye popping numbers earned him First Team All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference honours. He was also named First Team All-Region VI.
Stevenson named MAAC’s best, other Griffs garner recognition
J.P. Stevenson (New Glasgow, PEI) was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Pitcher of the year, becoming the second Canisius Golden Griffin Canadian to win the award following Shane Davis (Belmont, Ont.) in 2008. Stevenson had a 9-1 record with a 2.46 ERA. He held opponents to a .182 average, striking out 85 over 87 2/3 innings. For his efforts he was also named First Team All-MAAC.
Joining Stevenson as a First Team All-MAAC selection was Liam Wilson (Ayr, Ont.). Wilson lead the Griffs in average at .377, while clubbing nine home runs and driving in 47. The infielder had another good week to help his team end the regular season with a sweep. He set the tone in Game 1 of the Griffs series with Marist by going 4-for-5 with a solo home run in the first inning. In an 8-7 Game 2 win he had a hit and a RBI. The Griffs completed the three-game set with a 4-3 Game 3 win behind a hit, a RBI, a hit by pitch and a stolen base from Wilson.
Pitcher Jared Kennedy (Calgary, Alta.) and catcher Nick Capitano (Bolton, Ont.) were named to the MAAC All-Academic team.
Howie named to OVC team
Nick Howie (Oakville, Ont.) has been recognized for his play before the Eastern Kentucky Colonels open Ohio Valley Conference tournament play. Howie was named Second Team All-OVC after posting a .317 average, hitting nine home runs and driving in 46. He reached base at a .399 pace and had a .507 slugging percentage. The sophomore was also 15-for-17 in stolen base attempts over 55 games played, 53 of which were starts.
Brash pitches NU to MAAC tournament, Tevlin chips in
The Niagara Purple Eagles are heading back to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the first time since 2006. Matthew Brash (Kingston, Ont.) tossed 8 2/3 innings in a winner-moves-on game against the Manhattan Jaspers. Brash allowed four hits and an unearned run in the 3-1 victory. He walked two and struck out eight. For his performance he was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week. The Pitcher of the Week honour wasn’t the only one he received recently as he was named to the 2018 MAAC All-Academic team.
Joseph Tevlin (Toronto, Ont.) went 2-for-4 in a 9-3 Game 1 win over the Jaspers. Although NU lost Game 2, Tevlin went 2-for-3 with a RBI. In the postseason clinching win he had a hit and earned a walk. Tevlin was also rewarded for his work in the classroom this year by being named to the MAAC All-Academic team.
Cottam named one of SEC’s best
It has been a year to remember for Kentucky’s Kole Cottam (Knoxville, Tenn.) The junior hit a team leading .346 with 18 home runs and 49 RBIs to go along with a .435 on-base percentage and a .650 slugging. He has started all 55 games the Wildcats have played and been the heartbeat of the lineup. He has been named First Team All-Southeastern Conference for his stellar campaign. Along with the all-conference nod he was has also been named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy that is given to the top collegiate player in the nation for their performance on the field. Cottam is one of 35 finalist and the winner will be announced June 15th on the MLB Network.
Seven Canadians from Monroe Community College head to NJCAA Division 2 championship
The NJCAA Division 2 National Championship with see a lot of familiar Canadian faces. The Monroe Community College Tribunes have seven Canadians on their roster and head to the big dance after scoring two runs in the bottom of the 10th to erase a 3-2 University of Connecticut at Avery Point lead in the Eastern District final.
Right handed pitcher/outfielder Jordan Bryant (Mitchell, Ont.), right handed pitcher Dylan Clark (Milton, Ont.), left handed pitcher Liam Devine (Guelph, Ont.), left handed pitcher Evan Lang (Burlington, Ont.), right handed pitcher Stuart Martin (Eden Mills, Ont.), infielder Matt Pilarczyk (Milton, Ont.) and right handed pitcher/outfield Matt Wagner (Pembroke, Ont.) are all on the Tribunes squad.
Martin carries a 3-2 record with two saves and a 5.51 ERA into the tournament, including two appearances and three scoreless innings last week in the District tournament. Pilarczyk is hitting .375 so far this season. Wagner has been a bit of a dual threat hitting .295 and posting a 3.38 ERA over five appearances on the mound.
Matt Turino (Scarborough, Ont.) and Jefferson College will also be on the grand stage. More on him in a bit.
Three Canadians on Southern Idaho Golden Eagles head to national championship
The Southern Idaho Golden Eagles will put their 50-10 record on the line when the lights are shining the brightest. Outfielder Brett Resch (Saskatoon, Sask.), infielder Shawn Grandmont (Lethbridge, Alta.) and left handed pitcher Stephen Wade (Vancouver, BC) all represent the birds. Resch has hit .256 so far during the 2018 season. Grandmont has also been a key contributor hitting .277 with six homers and is 10-for-11 stealing bases.
Julien named a top freshman
After hitting .268 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs during the regular season, Auburn Tigers freshman Edouard Julien was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. His 14 home runs and 57 RBIs lead the team.
UBC closes season at NAIA Opening Round
Niall Windeler (Toronto, Ont.) worked around four hits and six walks to last 7 2/3 innings in the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 4-3, 10 inning win over No. 12 Middle Georgia State in Game 2 of the NAIA Opening Round. Windeler allowed two runs and struck out five in UBC’s only win. The Thunderbirds went 1-2 and were bounced from postseason play.
Mitch Robinson (Surrey, BC) went 3-for-4 with a double, a solo homer and a hit by pitch in the Thunderbirds 19-8 opening Opening Round loss to Judson. He had a hit, a RBI and was hit by another pitch to back Windeler’s outing in Game 2. Judson handed the Thunderbirds their second and final loss of the season 15-5 in Game 3. Robinson went 2-for-5 with two RBIs to close the season.
Six Thunderbirds earned conference accolades for their play in 2018. Braeden Allemann (Surrey, BC), Robinson and Windeler were named to the All-NAIA West team. Allemann went 3-2 with a 3.55 ERA on the mound and hit .214 in conference action, Robinson hit .342 and Windeler went 4-2 with a 3.12 ERA against conference foes.
Austen Butler (Port Coquitlam, BC), Kyle McComb (Surrey, BC) and Robinson picked up Gold Glove awards. Butler owned a 1.000 fielding percentage in conference games, while McComb and Robinson had .955 and .935 fielding percentages, respectively.
Canadians flashing the leather
Two Canadians were named to the Region 16 All-Defensive Team for their play with the glove. Kobe Morris (Victoria, BC) and Matt Turino were given the distinction of being some of the best on defence. To go along with his strong play in the field Morris also hit .408 with 11 home runs and 65 RBIs. Turino posted a 1.000 fielding percentage and had five outfield assists to compliment his .350 average. He also ranks tied for second in NJCAA DI in games played.
Dalton a workhorse for Sacramento State, Morretto hits
When in doubt, give the ball to Tanner Dalton (Lethbridge, Alta.). That appeared to be the philosophy for the Sacramento State Hornets in 2018. Dalton made three more appearances last week, running his total to 29. In a 5-2 loss to the Arizona Wildcats he threw two scoreless innings with a walk and three punch outs. Dalton was back on the mound in Game 2 of the Hornets series with Utah Valley, throwing a scoreless inning with a pair of strikeouts in a 10-4 win. In the series and regular season finale he worked two scoreless innings, surrendering a hit, a walk and striking out three. Dalton’s 29 appearances leads the team. He owns a 2.41 ERA over 37 1/3 innings with 10 saves, which also leads the team.
Steven Morretto (Coquitlam, BC) had two hits, a solo home runs and walk in the loss to Arizona. He then went 3-for-4 with another solo blast and two RBIs in the Hornets Game 2 win. In the final game of the series he had a hit in an 8-2 win.
Pompey heads into postseason with a bang
Tristan Pompey (Toronto, Ont.) should be heading into the postseason feeling pretty good about himself after wrapping up another solid regular season last week. Pompey went 4-for-6 with four RBIs courtesy of a grand slam in the Wildcats 14-2 thumping of Murray State. He also had a double and stole a base for good measure. He chipped in a hit and a RBI in the Wildcats 8-1, Game 1 loss to Vanderbilt. In Game 2 he had another hit and a walk before recording a third hit in the series in Game 3 and earning a pair of walked. The Commodores swept the final series of the regular season. Pompey finishes the regular season slate second on the team in average at .343, second only to fellow Canadian Kole Cottam.
Toikka takes the ball
Braeden Toikka (Vancouver, BC) was another busy Canadian arm last week. Toikka appeared in all three games of the University of Illinois-Chicago’s series with Youngstown State as they closed their regular season. In Game 1 he went a scoreless 1 1/3 with three strikeouts in a 6-2 win. The Flames thumped their way to a 12-0 Game 2 win and Toikka threw a scoreless inning, allowing a hit, a walk and striking out two. In the finale, an 8-5 win, he struck out two over a scoreless inning. The Flames play at Curtis Granderson Stadium, named after the UIC alum and current Toronto Blue Jays outfielder. Toikka finishes the regular season with a 1-2 record with a 2.63 ERA as they now prepare for the Horizon League tournament.
Ontario Blue Jays grad Brandon Hillier (Orangeville, Ont.) pitched 6 1/3 innings of relief for the Indiana Tech Warriors
Hillier strong in relief
Despite 6 1/3 innings of relief from Brandon Hillier (Orangeville, Ont.) the Indiana Tech Warriors fell to the Faulkner Eagles For Indiana Tech Hillier scattered eight hits over the outing, allowing a run and walking one. The Warriors went 2-2 in the NAIA Opening Round, losing twice to Faulkner who is off to the NAIA World Series.
Reid gets the ball in Game 3 of Central Regional
Brandon Reid (Toronto, Ont.) went six innings, allowing three hits and three unearned runs but the Central Missouri Mules dropped Game 3 of the Central Regional 9-6 to Augustana. Reid walked two and struck out two in the outing.
Diaz absolutely dominant
Iowa Western was ready to go in Game 1 of the Northern District tournament and beat Olney County Community College 8-0. Indigo Diaz (Vancouver, BC) got the start and threw a complete game, one-hit shutout to improve to 11-0 on the season. Diaz didn’t issue a walk and struck out 14.
Bourassa gets the Dons a W
Landen Bourassa (Lethbridge, Ont.) worked six innings and allowed four unearned runs as the San Francisco Dons dug deep to beat Kansas State 7-5 in Game 3 of their series. Bourassa gave up three hits, walked two and struck out eight to salvage a win in the three-game set after K-State took the first two.
Winnipeg South Chiefs Drake Pilat (Winnipeg, Man.) had five hits in the Jamestown Jimmies finale.
Pilat, Jamestown’s season comes to an end
They put up quite a fight but in the end a pair of losses to No. 5 Oklahoma City University in the NAIA Opening Round ended the No. 18 Jamestown Jimmies season. Drake Pilat (Winnipeg, Man.) had five hits, three RBIs, three walks and a stolen base as the Jimmies went 4-2. It was a good season for them as they went 45-11 and started the year 23-1.
Maryland swept by Indiana, miss Big Ten tourney
The University of Maryland was swept in a three-game series at the hands of the No. 19 Indiana Hoosiers this past week, sealing their fate as tournament bystanders. It started with a 6-5 Game 1 loss where Taylor Wright (Vancouver, BC) went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base. The second game finished in a 5-1 defeat for the Terrapins and Taylor worked a walk. Game 3 wasn’t pretty for Maryland as the Hoosiers scored six runs in the first three innings and extending their lead to 10-3 after five on the way to a convincing 13-3 win. Wright went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to conclude his season.
Marriott and Mitchell eliminated
The regionals would be the end of the line for Eric Marriott (Niagara Falls, Ont.) and Mitchell College after going 1-2. It wasn’t without a strong showing from Marriott who went 3-for-5 in a heartbreaking 3-2, 11 inning loss in Game 1 against Keystone. He had a hit and a RBI in a 9-3 in a 9-3 win over Suffolk. Mitchell dropped a 6-0 decision to Ramopo to end their season. Marriott had a hit to close things out.
MacDonald shows strength, Red Wolves set for Sun Belt tournament
It appears Kyle MacDonald (Mississauga, Ont.) wanted to power the Arkansas State Red Wolves into the Sun Belt Conference tournament after a good final week. MacDonald hit a solo home run in the sixth inning of a 15-8 midweek loss to Ole Miss. He wasn’t done there, however, hitting a two-run blast one inning later. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock provided the final tune-up before the SBC tournament. Game 1 went the way of the Red Wolves 7-6 and MacDonald hit another two-run shot and a solo shot in the win. He also walked and was hit by a pitch. He had a hit and three walks in a 4-1 Game 2 win. He walked twice more as Little Rock took the final game of the series 6-2. The Red Wolves will now face the University of Texas at Arlington to open conference tournament play.
Lantigua performs but OKWU’s season comes to an end
John Lantigua (Quebec City, Que.) went 4-for-4 with a double, a home run and five RBIs as the University of Oklahoma Wesleyan Eagles downed No. 4 Taylor in Game 1 of the NAIA Opening Round. The Eagles were handed their first loss in Game 2, 3-2, by the Freed-Hardeman Lions in a game Lantigua went 2-for-6. They got back in the win column as Lantigua went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in a 3-2 nail biter over No. 3 Cumberland. Unfortunately for the Eagles the Lions feasted again in Game 4, handing them a 5-0 loss. Lantigua stroked a double as the Eagles were eliminated.
Plenty of Canadians are getting recognized for their hard work in 2018. All of college baseball is now either in or entering the postseason and the pressure is on. Check back next week for more updates.
If you know someone deserving of a mention in the weekly BMOC column please email Matt Betts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note our week runs Monday-Sunday.