OUA Additions/Subtractions

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It seems every season the OUA loses a lot of gifted players due to graduation.  The hope in the future is that these great OUA programs and recruit great high school talent to replace the graduates and build for a bright future.  Here are early rumblings of players finishing school and also those who will be entering this fall.  This article is sponsored by SX3 Sports.

Brock Badgers:

Graduating:  RHP Rhys Tapper, DH Dennon Koziol, RHP Adrian Yuen, LHP Jeff Baggaley

Recruited: RHP Evan Lane, RHP Alex Emerson, RHP Jordan Gottlieb

 

Guelph Gryphons:

Graduating: 1B Matt Forer

Recruited: 1B Matt Carscadden, OF Ryan Freemantle

 

Laurier Golden Hawks:

Graduating: OF Jonathan Brouse, IF Brandon Washkevic, 1B/DH Adam Shaver, 2B John King, RHP Jake Tougas

Recruited: RHP John Carson, LHP Dustin Plant, OF/RHP Robert Brillinger, OF/RHP Jake Fabregas, LHP Adam Robertson, OF Kai Harris, C Lennon Richards, INF Remington Evelyn, INF/RHP Ryan Fiotakis, RHP Nathan Zimmerman, INF Taka Ryan, RHP Jordan Rapier, 1B/LHP Matthew Schram, RHP/INF Cooper Wismer, RHP Dustin Crocker, 1B/3B WIll Bibbings, INF Chad Meyer

 

McMaster Marauders:

Graduating: 1B Keith Woodcock

Recruited:

 

Queens Gaels:

Graduating: RHP Jordan Herbison

Recruited:

 

Ryerson Rams:

Graduating: RHP Charlie Crabb, RHP Allan Perkins,  RHP Gabe Frano

Recruited: LHP Matt MacDowell, 2B Quinn Collins, SS Phillip Seguin, 1B Aidan Dolan

 

Toronto Varsity Blues:

Graduating: C/1B Kyle Bowers, RHP Josh Graham

Recruited:

 

Waterloo Warriors:

Graduating: 3B Michael Clouthier, 2B Don Smith, OF Kyle Thalheimer, OF Cody Engel, IF Chris Bombino, C Haydon Friesen, OF Kyle Balzereit, RHP Ryne Weppler

Recruited:

 

Western Mustangs:

Graduating: RHP Leo Labine, SS Nolan Anderson, 3B Turner Spears, RHP Ryan Beckett, RHP Ben Fuhrmann, OF Hayden Woodley, RHP Sasha Gerster, RHP Derek Chiu, C Taylor Patterson, 1B Arizona Phoenix

Recruited:

 

York Lions:

Graduating: RHP/UTIL Mike Asta

Recruited:

 

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OUA Positional Power Rankings

This is the early edition of the OUA positional power rankings.  Please correct me if someone on the list is graduating or if I left off an obvious member as I thought they were graduating.  Here is the list sponsored by Stinger Bat Co.

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Catcher:

  1. Tanner Young-Schultz (TOR)
  2. Troy LaCoste (GUE)
  3. Damon Crumplen (WES)
  4. Ryley Davenport (WLU)
  5. Johnny Martino (MAC)
  6. Connor Patterson (WLU)

First Base:

  1. Jeff Martin (WES)
  2. Jeff Hunt (WLU)
  3. Matt Carscadden (GUE)
  4. Blake Stepien (BRO)
  5. Evan Britt (GUE)
  6. Peter Apostolopoulos (RYE)

Second Base:

  1. Adam Odd (TOR)
  2. Matt Legg (BRO)
  3. Don Smith (WAT)
  4. Robert Wolfer (GUE)
  5. Tyler LeBlanc (YRK)
  6. Matt Bowden (WES)

Shortstop:

  1. Noah Koffman (BRO)
  2. Lucas DaSilva (MAC)
  3. Royhei Suzuki (TOR)
  4. Stephen Ranalli (YRK)
  5. Robbie Cant (WLU)
  6. Luke Whitehouse (GUE)

Third Base:

  1. Gabriel Nakonechny (TOR)
  2. Nick Interisano (GUE)
  3. Austin O’Boyle (QUE)
  4. Jaiden Hill (BRO)
  5. Eric Beauchesne (WES)
  6. Matt Voight (WLU)

Outfield:

  1. Justin Gideon (BRO)
  2. Andrew Warner (WES)
  3. Brad Bedford (TOR)
  4. Ryan Freemantle (GUE)
  5. Michael Campagnolo (MAC)
  6. Tyler Nakamura (BRO)
  7. Matt Plut (QUE)
  8. Jake Chiaravalle (MAC)
  9. Mason Copeland (GUE)
  10. David Panchyshyn (WES)
  11. Dan Apostoli (WLU)
  12. Jesse Fishbaum (RYE)

Pitchers:

  1. Christian Hauck (WLU)
  2. Chase Porter (BRO)
  3. Graham Tebbit (Tor)
  4. Stephen Gade (WAT)
  5. AJ Padmore (WLU)
  6. Kyle Symington (WLU)
  7. Dustin Godden (WES)
  8. Alex Lamont (WES)
  9. Will Langford (QUE)
  10. Sam Salemi (GUE)
  11. Alex Nolan (BRO)
  12. Quinn Cumming (RYE)
  13. Mitch Over (GUE)
  14. Kenny Noguchi (MAC)
  15. Austin Hassani (WLU)
  16. Derek Zwolinski (BRO)
  17. Devin Burns (QUE)
  18. Nate Kramer (GUE)
  19. Mateos Kekatos (TOR)
  20. Jordan Inkol (GUE)

 

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Meet A Player – Zach Stevenson

Next up to the plate on “Meet A Player” is Zach Stevenson of the Toronto Varsity Blues.  Zach shared some very in depth answers on various baseball topics.

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Guru Question # 1:  What year, program and position are you?

Stevenson: I just finished my first year taking history and political science, I’m also a catcher on the u of t baseball team

Guru Question # 2:  What has been your favourite moment as a Blue thus far?

Stevenson:  The first day of training camp last August was definitely one of my favourite moments as a blue. Nothing out of the ordinary happened it was just a regular workout. But I felt like starting this journey with u of t baseball gave me an opportunity to start my baseball career again after a couple rough years in the elite system and just start having fun again.

Guru Question # 3:  Which veterans have really helped you out in your freshman year?  What did they teach you?

Stevenson:  All the veterans on the team have been great. Honestly from my first day here, even when I was a senior in high school looking to come here they all accepted me with open arms and tried to lead the way. Obviously playing with two of the best catchers in the OUA, Kyle Bowers and Tanner Young- Schultz was an extremely great opportunity. Continue reading

Meet A Player: Ryan Bench

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Welcome to week 2 of “Meet A Player”.  I was able to chat with Ryan Bench of my alma mater Brock University and ask him a few questions about Baseball.

Guru Question 1: What year, program, and position are you?

Bench: I’m going into my third year at Brock in the Kinesiology program and I am currently a relief pitcher.

 

Guru Question 2:  What has been your favourite moment as a Badger so far?

Bench:  Favourite moment as a Badger so far was in our playoff game against Guelph this year. I came in when we were down and managed to put up zeros on the board and after my last inning of work, Blake Stepien hit a three run shot to give us the lead and we were able to close out the win.

 

Guru Question 3:  Do you have any hobbies outside of Baseball that you participate in?

Bench:  Outside of school baseball I run a small baseball glove repair business Niagara Baseball Glove Repair doing everything from simple tightening and conditioning of gloves, to complete overhauls with new laces and leather repair. Continue reading

Meet A Player – Ryley Davenport

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I was able to sit down with Laurier Golden Hawks player Ryley Davenport to discuss some on and off the field topics.  Lets get right into the questions!

Guru Question 1: What program are you in?  Please also state your position.

Davenport:  I am in honours computer science at Laurier, and I’m a Catcher.

 

Guru Q 2: What has been your favourite moment as a Golden Hawk so far?

Davenport: I think my favourite moment as a Golden Hawk was our final game against Brock last season when we had the chance to seal the best record in Laurier baseball history. We went down early, but managed to rally and bring in a team win, making history at Laurier.

 

Guru Q 3: Since you’re a catcher, who is a pitcher on the squad that you can see breaking out in 2017 and why?

Davenport: I think all of our guys are fantastic pitchers. Kyle Symington had an amazing year as our closer and I’d like to maybe see if he can slide into a starter role, Continue reading

OUA Week 1 ‘Players of the Week’

TEAM OF THE WEEK

YORK LIONS 2-0: The Lions impressed many as they started the season off with a sweep of the Varsity Blues.  Pitching performances by Andreas Ouellette and Mike Asta propelled the Lions to victory.

Honorable Mention: LAURIER GOLDEN HAWKS 3-1

Honorable Mention: WESTERN MUSTANGS 2-0

 

HITTER OF THE WEEK

NICK INTERISANO (GUE): 8/13 AB, 5 R, 3 2B, 2 RBI, BB. Nick had a hot start to his 2016 season as he is currently hitting over .600.  He also had 4 runs in one of the ball games alone!

HM: MICHAEL CLOUTHIER (WAT): 8/15 AB, 2 R, HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB.

HM: BLAKE STEPIEN (BRO): 6/12  AB, 5 R, 4 RBI, 4 BB

 

PITCHER OF THE WEEK

RYNE WEPPLER (WAT): W, 7 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 5 K.  The proven vet had an impressive opening day start to his season year.  He was tasked against a tough Laurier offense and delivered.  Command of his numerous pitches makes Weppler effective every time out on the mound.

HM: JAKE TOUGAS (WLU): W, 7 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 5 K

HM: CHARLIE CRABB (RYE): W, CG, 9 IP, 7 H, ER, 4 BB, 4 K Continue reading

OUA Baseball 2016 League Preview

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OUA Baseball League Preview – 2016 Edition
By Justin Ayles
OUA Baseball Guru

It has been a long 10 months since Western captured the Ontario Universities Athletic championship during a weekend full of flurries, wet baseballs, and extra inning thrillers. A long offseason only stirs up the anticipation even more for a league that is growing with young talent. Coaches have been hard at work travelling to Elite, AAA, and high school games to find top talent not yet committed to schools south of the border.

This process can be a difficult one as OUA Baseball has been fighting to make their mark as a destination worth attending for grade 12 students. This offseason has been a positive one though as teams have loaded up with young talent sprinkled in with high profile transfer students from impressive U.S programs. Social media coverage for the league is at an all-time high and this fast paced season will be a roller coaster of emotions, upsets, and action. Each team is better than they were last year in some way, shape, or form and it will be documented in this preseason roundup.

Let’s start with the aforementioned 2015 OUA champs the Western Mustangs. The Mustangs were able to win on home soil and did it with an all-around team effort. Western will head into the 2016 season without a few of their veteran players. Cam Graham, Owen Boon and Adam Paish have decided to call it a career in the OUA. Graham spent six years with the Brock Badgers and the last three in purple with the Mustangs. He will go down as one of the best catchers in OUA history.

Paish is one of the most decorated OUA pitchers and can compare the differences in the league throughout those nine seasons saying: “OUA baseball has definitely experienced a lot of positive growth, especially in players. The biggest change is the depth of talent in the league. Most teams are able to bat lineups that are solid 1-through-9, whereas in years past, only a few of the top teams could do this. This makes for a far more competitive baseball season and overall a better experience for players from all schools in the league.”

This type of growth is what will make the hunt for the playoffs all the better. Ten teams vying for six spots makes for a thrilling 18 game schedule. The Mustangs still have an impressive core intact with shortstop Nolan Anderson and first baseman Jeff Martin leading the charge on offense. The pitching staff got a boost as ex-Brock Badger Ryan Beckett will be completing his Master’s Program. Beckett will join Leo Labine and Ben Smith to go along with a few other key pieces to bolster the rotation and bullpen. Look for Coach Mike Lumley to rely a bit more on young talent such as Damon Crumplen and Andrew Warner as they look to make an everyday appearance in the lineup.

Catcher Taylor Patterson will also have to take a leap forward as he will help fill Cam Graham’s spot.  The Mustangs are in great position to make a deep run in the 2016 playoffs and once again and need their key players to hit on all cylinders at the appropriate time.

The Waterloo Warriors have been a staple in the OUA playoffs for quite some time and that included a final appearance back in 2014. The Warriors stumbled at the end of last season losing their last nine games to fall out of a post-season position, but have every reason to anticipate a return. The Warriors have a core that can be counted on year in and year out. Headlining their impact players is five tool standout player Michael Clouthier. The former Boston College pitcher has transformed into a power threat with a cannon of an arm at third base. Clouthier has punished OUA pitching and there is no reason this year will be anything different.   Continue reading