Entering into the start of their season, the Laurier Golden Hawks baseball team is shaping up to be quite a strong contender for 2009. The boys are looking to bounce back this year after failing to qualify for a playoff position last season - the first time since 2003.
Laurier’s roster boasts the most OUA all-stars of any team in the OUA and the squad has a solid core of veterans who know what it takes to succeed in the league. The team has been working hard in the off-season to prepare for this year, and the graduating vets are driven to leave the nest on a high note.
In their fifth year, captains Scott Mahn
(Kitchener, Ont.) at second base and Chris Pittaway
(Paris, Ont.) behind the plate, lead the core of vets as three and two-time OUA all-stars respectively.
Last season’s OUA and Laurier Rookie of the Year Ryan Panas
(Etobicoke, Ont.) controls third base, while OUA homerun leader Brian MacDonald
(Markham, Ont.) mans first. As the most experienced player on the team, short stop Pat Kropf
(Waterloo, Ont.) relives Mahn who had to step into the position last year.
In the field, former OUA all-star Jeff Brunsek takes the left side, with speedster James Bruce
in right. Rounding off the starting line up is three-time OUA all-star Elliott Shrive
(Rockwood, Ont.) in center field, a post grad from the University of Waterloo. Steven Ayotte
(Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) comes from the University of Waterloo as well. Expect to see strong performances from him on the infield, and as the team’s designated hitter. Also expected to step up and deliver as catcher is rookie Steven Bowes
On the mound, the Hawks rely on David Canavan
(Whitby, Ont.) to throw the heat this season. Canavan threw the first no-hitter in Laurier history in 2008. Other key returning pitchers are Stephen Zagrodny
, WESLEY VAN LUVEN
, Matthew Hall
, and Joshua Robinson
. Look for up and coming rookies like Andrew Greenberg
, Trent Barwick
and Jeffrey Cooper
to play big roles as well.
Overall, Laurier’s offence is strong top to bottom, with a solid group of players coming off the bench.
The Hawks face McMaster for their home opener in a double-header Saturday September 12. Game times are 1:00 and 3:30 pm at Bechtel Park; admission is free.