ETOBICOKE, ON: The 2018 National College Baseball Championship kicked off on Thursday afternoon at Connorvale Park in Etobicoke under intermittent clouds and with thermometer pushing 10 Celsius.
Humber Hawks 10 vs Holland Hurricanes 7 (extra innings)
WP: M. Stoddart
LP: T Bank
Hits: Holland – J. Oram 3, Humber – A. Thomson 2
The Hurricanes blew in and jumped on the Hawks, scoring three runs in their first at-bat. Humber, as it did all day long, battled back and held a 4-3 lead after scoring twice in both the third and fourth inning. Holland, refusing to let Humber tack on, threw a four-spot on the board. The Hurricanes were aggressive, forcing the OCAA champion Hawks into a couple of misplays along the way.
Down by three, Humber used a bout of wildness by a pair of Holland pitchers and some well-timed pass balls to score three to knot up the game. In the bottom of the sixth, with the time limit coming into play, it was Hawk relief ace Matt Stoddart who snuffed out a bases loaded situation and forcing extra innings.
Humber combined some aggressive base running and a couple of key hits to score three runs and take a 10-7 lead. Holland, by way of the international tie break rule were granted runners on first and second with no outs. Stoddart finished the game, just as he finished the scary sixth inning by not allowing a Hurricane to cross the plate.
Matthew Stoddart was selected as the Humber Player of the Game, while J.J. Oram was chosen as the Holland Hurricanes top player.
Fanshawe Falcons 8 vs TRU WolfPack 2 (6 innings)
WP: M. Bowden
LP: J. Dartnell
Hits: TRU – L. Shibata – 3, Fanshawe – 4 players with 1
The one way to describe this game was long, so long that the time limit kicked in after two hours in the sixth inning. There were base runners on base in almost every inning, with the sacks be juiced on more than one occasion. Fanshawe jumped out to a quick one run lead after their first at bat, but the WolfPack scored in two consecutive innings to hold a slim one-run lead. After the Falcons scored two in the fourth to take a lead they would not relinquish, it was the fifth when it all unraveled for the BC based team. A number of walks and errors - four in total for the game, contributed to a five run fifth inning to put the game out of reach.
TRU doubled the Falcons in the hit parade, by a mark of 8-4.
L. Shibata was selected as the TRU Player of the Game, while Matt Bowden was chosen as the Fanshawe top player.
St. Clair Saints 1 vs TRU WolfPack 0
WP: Evan Ferguson
LP: T. Moskalyk
Hits: TRU - 4 players with 1, St. Clair - Miguel Cienfuegos – 2
This matchup between the St. Clair Saints and the TRU Wolfpack was purely a pitchers duel, with the Saints Evan Ferguson coming out the victor on a 1-0, 2-hit shutout. Give full credit to Wolfpack hurler T. Moskalyk as he only gave up four hits along the way.
TRU started strong, but were unable to push a run across in their first at bat, despite placing runners on second and third with one out. Saints Ferguson bared down and set the tone for the rest of the game.
St. Clair put back-to-back base runners on base in the fifth, but ran themselves out of a potential big inning with aggressive base running.
It was the bottom of the sixth where the Windsor based squad manufactured the only run of the game. After placing runners on first and third with one out, K. Gagnon stepped up and flied out for the SAC fly and game winning RBI.
As expected, the two pitchers were the players of the game for their respective teams.
Humber Hawks 3 vs Ahuntsic Indiennes 2
WP: Braden Taylor
LP: V. Baril
Hits: Humber – 3 players with 1, Ahuntsic – 6 players with 1 hit
It was another pitchers duel in this affair, with Ahuntsic's V. Baril carrying a one-hitter into the bottom of the seventh, as his Indiennes squad held a slim 2-1 lead. Humber's Braden Taylor was also marvelous, going the distance with a two-run, six hitter.
Fast forward to the bottom of the seventh, and cue the walk off. OCAA batting champion Andrew Thomson slapped a one-out single and after swiping second was doubled in by Brandon Costa's double. With the game tied, an error by the visitors first baseman allowed Costa to cross the plate with the winning run.
With the win, Humber has secured first place in their pool and has earned a bye directly to the semi-finals on Friday.
Costa, by way of his heroics, was selected as the Humber Player of the Game. Ahuntsic's Baril took the Indiennes nod.
St. Clair Saints 3 vs Fanshawe Falcons 1 (6 innings)
WP: Garik Godard
LP: Noah Campagnolo
Hits: No team with players with more than 1 hit
In what was the third straight pitchers duel at Connorvale Park, it was the defending champion St. Clair Saints who rebounded from a 1-0 deficit late to take the game 3-1. With the win, the Saints finish atop the pool and will advance directly to the semi-finals on Friday.
Simply put, Fanshawe had two hits, while St. Clair was one better, with three. Neither team were able to muster any offence through the first three innings. The Falcons pushed across the first run by way of an errant throw to first, allowing a Falcon to scamper home.
The top of the sixth is where the Saints capitalized on every minor miscue by the London based Fanshawe squad. The two keys to the inning was a close play at third, seeing the Saints player ruled safe. The second was a bang-bang play, which saw the Falcons shortstop unable to cut down St. Clair's second run at the plate. The final run was pushed across by a bases loaded walk.
Garik Godard was selected as the Saints Player of the Game, while Kevin Bowden got the Falcons nod.
Ahuntsic Indiennes 11 vs Holland Hurricanes 5 (5 innings)
Hits: Ahuntsic – Archard, Juneau – 2 hits, Holland – Brittany – 2 hits
Holland, as in game one, raced out to an early lead, holding a 4-0 lead after their first at-bat. But, just as they did earlier in the day, they were unable to hold or build on the difference. By the end of the third it was the Quebec school that fought all of the way back to lead 6-5. Ahuntsic put up a five-spot in the fifth to salt away the game.
The game was not pretty at points, as the two teams combined to commit five errors on the night.
Brett Bull was the Holland Player of the Game, while winning pitcher Samual Sonigo was chosen as Ahuntsic's best on the day.
A POOL STANDINGS
1.St. Clair (2-0)
B POOL STANDINGS
1. Humber (2-0)
10:00 am (3A) TRU vs (2B) Ahuntsic
1:00 pm (2A) Fanshawe vs (3B) Holland
4:00 pm (1A) St. Clair vs Winner 10 am game
7:00 pm (1B) Humber vs Winner 1:00 pm game