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Laurier to Host Inaugural Preseason Tournament
WATERLOO, Ont. - When Laurier Baseball Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE saw the 2010 OUA Baseball schedule had been reduced by four games from 18 games to a 14 game schedule, he was not discouraged.  "This gave us an opportunity to host a tournament and play some much needed exhibition games before the season kicks off," commented Ballantyne.  The reduction laid the groundwork for the Inaugural 2010 Laurier Baseball Invitational Tournament.  The tournament will take place on Labour Day weekend at four venues with Bechtel Park playing host to the championship games.  Twelve teams will compete in this preseason event with three groups of four teams competing at Bechtel Park in Waterloo, home of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, Jack Couch Park in Kitchener, home of the University of Waterloo Warriors and Larry Pearson Field in Guelph.  Two games will also be played at Dickson Park in Cambridge.

The tournament will see six OUA teams compete against five teams from the PBLO (Premier Baseball League of Ontario) and one college team from Quebec (Lafleche College).  The OUA teams competing will be the host team from Laurier, Guelph, Waterloo, McMaster, Brock and Toronto.  The Oakville Royals U18, Windsor Selects U18, Toronto Mets U18, Terriers U18 and Terriers U17 will make up the 6 PBLO teams.  The PBLO is the marquee elite league for Ontario baseball players age 18 and under and the majority of the players on these teams end up playing baseball at the post-secondary level either in the US or Canada.

Ballantyne hopes that this tournament will serve as a tune-up for the OUA teams and will also give the PBLO players a chance to see what OUA baseball is all about and allow them to prepare for their fall seasons.  "Over the past few years we’ve seen a lot of elite level players stay in Canada to pursue their post-secondary education and the calibre of play in the OUA has continued to grow and is a viable option for these student-athletes," noted Ballantyne.

The tournament kicks off on Friday, September 3rd with each team playing one game on Friday, two games on Saturday and then two more games on Sunday.  Coach Ballantyne is optimistic that the Golden Hawks will be around on Sunday competing for the championship trophy.  "Our training camp kicks off on Friday and we expect to have a very competitive team in 2010.  This tournament will be the perfect tune-up for us to see how we stack up against the best players in Ontario."

See below for a full tournament schedule:

Friday, September 3rd

Location                               Time                      Teams

Bechtel Park                      4 p.m.                      Laurier  vs. McMaster
Jack Couch Park               4 p.m.                      Waterloo vs. Brock
Larry Pearson #3              4 p.m.                       Guelph vs. Toronto
Bechtel Park                     7 p.m.                       Windsor Selects U18 vs. Toronto Mets U18
Jack Couch Park              7 p.m.                       Terriers U17 vs. Oakville Royals U18
Larry Pearson #3              7 p.m.                       Lafleche College vs. Terriers U18

Saturday, September 4th

Location                               Time                      Teams

Bechtel Park                      10 a.m.                     Laurier vs. Toronto Mets U18
Jack Couch Park               10 a.m.                     Terriers U17 vs. Waterloo
Larry Pearson #3               10 a.m.                     Lafleche College vs. Guelph
Bechtel Park                       1 p.m.                       McMaster vs. Windsor Selects U18
Jack Couch Park                1 p.m.                       Brock vs. Oakville Royals U18
Larry Pearson #3                1 p.m.                       Terriers U18 vs. Toronto
Bechtel Park                       4 p.m.                       Toronto Mets U18 vs. McMaster
Jack Couch Park                4 p.m.                       Brock vs. Terriers U17
Larry Pearson #3                4 p.m.                       Toronto vs. Lafleche College
Bechtel Park                       7 p.m.                       Windsor Selects U18 vs. Laurier
Jack Couch Park                7 p.m.                       Oakville Royals U18 vs. Waterloo
Larry Pearson #3                7 p.m.                       Terriers U18 vs. Guelph

Sunday, September 5th

Location                               Time                      Teams

Bechtel Park                       10 a.m.                     Semifinal #1
Bechtel Park                       1 p.m.                       Semifinal #2
Bechtel Park                       4 p.m.                       Championship Game
Bechtel Park                       7 p.m.                       Consolation Game

NOTE: Teams not qualifying for the semifinal round will each play two games at Jack Couch/Dickson Park or Larry Pearson #3.

Come on out to catch some great baseball action.  Admission to all games is free.
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