WATERLOO - Riding the high of a double header sweep at the expense of the McMaster Marauders, the 2005 Wilfrid Laurier Men’s Baseball team hosted the Baseball Alumni in the first ever WLU Baseball Alumni game on Sunday afternoon at Bechtel Park. The game was designed as a chance for the Alumni to come back to town to challenge this year’s edition of the team.
Laurier sent freshman pitcher Andrew Dienst
to the mound to take on the Alumni. The Alumni team countered with 2002 Team MVP and current assistant coach, SCOTT BALLANTYNE
. Ballantyne worked 2 scoreless innings to begin the game. His Alumni teammates got to Dienst early. 2003 Team MVP and OUA record holder for most times being hit by a pitch, Matt Snoei, was hit in the shoulder to begin the game. He claims he didn’t lean into it, but his Alumni teammates know better. SS Terry Arges was also hit by Dienst. 2001 Team MVP, John Bell stepped into the box for the first time since he played his last game for Laurier back in 2001. He promptly doubled off the right field fence to score both Snoei and Arges.
Mark Eccleton was next to pitch for the Alumni team and faced his brother and current Laurier SS, Damien Eccleton
in the 3rd inning. Mark enduced Damien to pop up in the first ever 'Battle of the Eccletons'. The Alumni built a 6-3 lead into the 7th inning when the current team battled back to score 4 runs off current WLU assistant coach, Bob Elliot
t. Scott Smith, who spent his entire Laurier career as a catcher, came in to relieve Elliott and struck out Eccleton with the bases loaded to end the rally. The Alumni pushed across 3 runs in the 7th to take a 9-6 lead. The current team got one back in the 8th to pull to within 2 runs. Rob Thompson came in to pitch in the 8th inning for the current team. John Bell was the first batter he faced and …WHAMMY…Bell took a Thompson curveball deep over the fence in right field. Bell ended the game with a double and a homerun, not a bad day’s work for someone who hadn’t picked up a wooden bat in 4 years. The Alumni team turned the ball over to 2004 closer AJ Iafrate in the 9th and he shut the door to preserve the victory for the Alumni team, 10-7. Smith picked up the win in relief with Iafrate earning the save.
Other game highlights included a spectacular catch in foul territory by Alumni 3B, and original Golden Hawk, Brad Boegel, and a tremendous diving play by Laurier 3B Scott Mahn
to rob Snoei of a base hit.
Making up the roster for the Alumni were:
Matt Snoei / SCOTT BALLANTYNE
Terry Arges / Mark Eccleton
Scott Smith / Phil Cervoni
John Bell / Bob Elliot
Jason Dupuis / Kevin Albrecht
Brad Boegel / AJ Iafrate
Tim Henderson / Steve Sadoff
Derek Rapini / Frankie Coccia
The afternoon was a great chance for the Alumni to connect with the current edition of the Hawks and share stories of years gone by. The hope is for this to become an annual event.
The 2005 team gets back to regular action next Saturday when they take on cross-town rivals, the University of Waterloo. First pitch at Jack Couch Park in Kitchener is scheduled for 1pm. Next home action is next Sunday when Western comes to Bechtel Park to take on the Hawks for a double header starting at 1pm.