BMOC XVIII: Baker, Gingras, Osborne, Spearing

Former Toronto Met J.D. Osborne (Whitby, Ont.) earned First Team All-American honours 

Former Toronto Met J.D. Osborne (Whitby, Ont.) earned First Team All-American honours 

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

It is that time of the year in college ball, as the weeks pass teams are playing for championships. Honours also continue to be handed out, with a Canadian being named an All-American this week. 

Although some seasons have ended Canadians continue to push on for the teams that are still alive. Below is what you need to know about the past week.
 
Osborne’s an All-American
JD Osborne (Whitby, Ont.) was recognized for one of the best seasons in college baseball by being named a American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings First-Team All-American . The University of Tampa Spartan hit .387 with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs. His 86 RBIs is third all-time for a single season in Spartan history.
 
Lloyd named to All-Tournament Team
Indiana may have gone 1-2 in the Big Ten Conference Tournament but that was enough time for Matt Lloyd (Okotoks, Alta.) to make an impression. In Game 1 against the University of  Minnesota, Lloyd had a hit and two RBIs in the 5-4 loss. The Hoosiers got the win column the next game with a 5-4, 13 inning win over Michigan. Lloyd impacted the game in a couple of ways, knocking in a run, while also throwing 2 1/3 innings, surrendering two hits and a run with two strikeouts. Lloyd and his teammates were bounced the following game by Minnesota, losing 9-8. The former Okotoks Dawg went 4-for-4, including a solo home run with three RBIs. He was honoured by being named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team. Indiana is off to the Lexington Regional with Kentucky, North Carolina State and Ohio.

North Shore Twins grad Luis Boyd (North Vancouver, BC) 

North Shore Twins grad Luis Boyd (North Vancouver, BC) 

Boyd battles in the box
The final series of the regular season for the University of Arizona saw them host California. Louis Boyd (North Vancouver, BC) took full advantage of the tune up for the regionals. In Game 1, a 10-3 Wildcat win, Boyd went 2-for-4 with a RBI. Game 2 went the way of the Golden Bears but not before another two hits from Boyd. He was also hit by a pitch in the 9-6 loss. He went 2-for-4 again in the rubber match, a game California took 7-4. Boyd and the Wildcats now look to the regional after posting a 37-19 record. They will take part in the Lubbock Regional along with host Texas Tech, Sam Houston State and Delaware. They take on Sam Houston State in Game 1. The Wildcats lost in the third and deciding game of the 2016 College World Series.
 
Despite disappointing SEC Tournament, Kentucky hosts regional
It wasn’t how the University of Kentucky Wildcats drew it up but they are preparing to host a regional at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Southeastern Conference Tournament got off to a good start for the Wildcats as they clipped the Gamecocks of South Carolina 7-2 in Game 1. Kole Cottam (Knoxville, TN) sparked the offence by going 2-for-3 with a solo home run. Tristan Pompey (Brampton, Ont.) went 2-for-4 with a walk in the opening win. Game 2 was all kinds of ugly for the Wildcats as they dropped a 10-0 decision to Louisiana State University. Both Cottam and Pompey had a hit in the blowout loss. Their tournament came to an end the next game as South Carolina got revenge, taking a 3-1 final. Cottam went 1-for-3, while Pompey went 1-for-4 with a walk. Luckily for Kentucky their strong regular season record earned them the right to be one of sixteen teams to host a regional.
 
Gingras, St. John’s off to Clemson Regional
A 2-2 showing at the Big East Tournament didn’t overshadow a 42-11 regular season record as St. John’s University earned an at-large bid to the regionals. Gui Gingras (Levis, Que.) had himself a strong conference tournament which he certainly hopes translates to regional success. In Game 1, a 13-3 loss to Xavier, he came on to pinch hit and got himself a knock. He also drove in a run in the loss. He was in the starting lineup for the Red Storm in their next game against Seton Hall, a game they took 3-2. Gingras went 2-for-4 with a triple and a RBI. His strong play continued in a 10-2 win over Creighton when he recorded a hit, a walk and two RBIs. He hit his fourth home run of the season to help keep his teams tournament alive. It lasted just one more game as it was Xavier again who handed them their second loss, this time by a 7-6 score. It was a 2-for-5 game with three RBIs for Gingras. He hit his fifth home run of the season in the defeat. St. John’s take on Vanderbilt in their first game of the regional.
 
Lumley and Stevenson show well in MAAC Tournament
Jake Lumley (Windsor, Ont.) and J.P. Stevenson (New Glasgow, PEI) had solid performances for the Canisius Golden Griffins in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament. Game 1 saw the Griffs take down Rider 11-8. Lumley went 2-for-4 with a walk and stole a pair of bases. Marist was next and it was Stevenson’s turn to be in the spotlight. He tossed seven innings, giving up eight hits and five runs (two earned) with six strikeouts and a walk. Unfortunately for the Griffs, Marist walked away with a 6-2 win. The season came to an end for them a game later as they lost 5-2 to Iona. Lumley had a pair of hits in his final college game. He finished the year leading the team in hitting at a .355 clip and was 17-for-21 in stolen base attempts. Stevenson went 9-5 with a 3.65 ERA in 15 starts.

Ontario Nationals grad Nate Borges (Brooklin, Ont.). Photo: Sabrina Byrnes/Metroland.  

Ontario Nationals grad Nate Borges (Brooklin, Ont.). Photo: Sabrina Byrnes/Metroland.
 

Borges wins only game of conference tournament for Northeastern
After dropping Game 1, 5-3 to Delaware, Northeastern needed a win. They handed the ball to Nate Borges (Brooklin, Ont.) and got exactly what they were looking for. Borges picked up the win against the College of Charleston by tossing 6 1/3 innings, scattering five hits, four runs (two earned) with strikeouts and issuing four walks. It would be the only game Northeastern won in the tournament as they were ousted the next game, losing 10-1 to the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Borges finished his senior season with a 5-3 record and a staff leading 2.93 ERA.
 
Spearing’s spectacular, Indian Hill’s loses heartbreaker
He did all he could. Jared Spearing (Winnipeg, Man.) went 8 1/3 innings in the Northern District Tournament and gave up just one run but it wasn’t enough as Wabash Valley walked away with a 1-0 walk off win to end Indian Hills’ season. Spearing allowed six hits, walked three and recorded three strikeouts.
 
Scheftz appears twice for UCF
The University of Central Florida Knights prepare for Auburn in Game 1 of the Tallahassee Regional and they will have a Canadian competing for them in Jordan Scheftz (Irvine, Calif.). They earned the bid by going 40-20 so far this season. Central Florida went 2-2 in the American Athletic Conference Championship last week. Scheftz made two appearances for the Knights in the tournament with the first coming in Game 2, an 8-3 win over Tulane. He tossed a scoreless inning, allowing a hit and striking out one. His next action was in what was UCF’s final game of the tournament, a 4-0 loss to East Carolina. He worked two scoreless innings with two strikeouts and two walks.

Etobicoke Rangers grad Nick Follett (Toronto, Ont.) Nationals grad Nate Borges (Brooklin, Ont.). Photo: Sabrina Byrnes/Metroland.

Etobicoke Rangers grad Nick Follett (Toronto, Ont.) Nationals grad Nate Borges (Brooklin, Ont.). Photo: Sabrina Byrnes/Metroland.

Follett brings home honourable mention
Nick Follett (Toronto, Ont.) was named honourable mention All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference for his performance in 2017. He hit .293 with 40 games, knocked in 17 and scored 19 runs. He also stole a pair of bases for the College of the Desert Roadrunners.
 
Baker named to All-Academic Team
TJ Baker (Acton, Ont.) hit .281 with six home runs and 30 RBIs for the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in 2017. He also posted a sparkling .996 fielding percentage. Baker didn’t just do well on the field, however, as he also had a 3.867 GPA in the classroom. For that, he was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team. It is the second time Baker has been named to the A10 All-Academic Team.
 
Rijo ranks among best in doubles, RBIs
Former Ontario Blue Jay Ryan Rijo (Barrie, Ont.) finished his freshman season at New Mexico Junior College in the top 10 of the National Junior College Athletic Association in doubles and RBIs. He ranked third in doubles with 26 and seventh in RBIs with 77.
 

Ontario Blue Jays grad Max Hewitt (Midhurst, Ont.) 

Ontario Blue Jays grad Max Hewitt (Midhurst, Ont.) 


Hewitt finishes No. 2 in hits and No.15 in average
Max Hewitt (Midhurst, Ont.) finished the 2017 campaign ranked No. 2 in hits in the NJCAA with 103 and No. 15 in average at .436.
 
It is the most exciting time of the year for college baseball players and fans. Big games means the opportunity for big performances. Canadians continue to pursue championships as the postseason continues. Check back next week to see who advances and who stands out for they school.
 
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.