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Men's Baseball goes 2-1 at Laurier Tourney
Laurier: 6 Toronto Mets U18 - Laurier Invitational: 4
WATERLOO, Ont, - The men's baseball team hosted 11 other squads this past weekend in the Inaugural Laurier Baseball Invitational Tournament. Rain played havoc with the weekend, however all teams managed to get at least three games in, with some playing four games.  There was no winner declared, however the teams used the tournament as a tune-up for their upcoming fall seasons.  Laurier went 2-1 on the weekend and are now less than a week away from their season opener on September 11th when they host the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

After rain cancelled Friday’s game with McMaster, Laurier played host to the Toronto Mets U18 team at Bechtel Park on Saturday morning. Laurier came away with a hard fought 6-4 victory. 2009 OUA rookie of the year Andrew Greenberg got the start for the Hawks in game one as he prepares to build on his terrific 2009 campaign.  Greenberg worked 4 1/3 innings before the rains came and caused a long delay in the game.  Greenberg allowed two runs (oneearned) on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts.  He left in a 2-2 game and after a 30 minute rain delay and a move from Bechtel Park to Larry Pearson Field in Guelph, the game resumed in the top of the fifth when Trent Barwick picked up for Greenberg.  With two on and one out, Barwick worked out of the jam to keep the game tied.  The Hawks picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth when Daniel Murphy drove in Ryan Panas who had walked with one out.  David Canavan worked a scoreless sixth inning for the Hawks when transfer centre fielder Nathan Loehle broke the game open for the Hawks.  With two on and a fierce wind blowing in from centre field, Loehle crushed a three run home run to straight away centre field to put the Hawks up 6-2.  The Mets mounted a comeback in the seventh inning off Hawks reliever Josh Robinson, however Brett Barwick came in to shut the door and preserve the Laurier win.  Trent Barwick picked up the victory with brother Brett recording the save.  Offensively, the Hawks were led by Loehle (1-3 with a HR and two runs scored), 2B Matt Sacheli (1-3 with a double), 1B Craig Speers (1-3), LF Daniel Murphy (1-3 with a SB) and RF James Bruce (0-1 with 2 runs scored).  

On Sunday morning, Laurier played the Windsor Selects U18 team in Guelph and came away with a 6-1 victory.  Steve Zagrodny was the starter and winner for the Hawks, as he threw well over 4 1/3 innings.  He gave up one run on three hits with five walks and four strikeouts.  Jack Malone came on to relieve Zagrodny and worked a very effective 2 2/3 innings to record the save.  Malone did not surrender a hit as he struck out six hitters and walked one. Laurier faced one of the top 18 year old pitchers in the province and battled him for five innings and then broke the game open when they got into Windsor’s bullpen in the sixth inning. Laurier opened the scoring in the first inning with Loehle, who led off the game with a double and eventually scored on a Panas sacrifice fly.  After Windsor tied the game in the bottom of the second inning, Laurier broke the tie in the top of the fifth when veteran outfielder Mike Kennedy laced a bases loaded single to right field to score Matt Sacheli.  Laurier then broke the game open in the sixth inning with two runs and added two more in the seventh inning to secure the 6-1 victory.  Offensively, the Hawks were led by Loehle (2-5 with two doubles and two runs scored), Sacehli (0-1 with three runs scored), Panas (1-4 with a double and RBI), Kennedy (1-4 with an RBI) and James Bruce (1-4 with a double and run scored).  Rookie catcher, Andrew Czuchnicki caught an excellent game for the Hawks in his debut.

On Sunday afternoon Laurier played OUA rival Brock and came out on the short end of a 6-2 score.  The Hawks loaded the bases in the first inning, however Brock starter Kurtis Robinson worked out of the jam without allowing a run.  Brock put up two runs in the first inning off Laurier starter and transfer Tyler Soucie without hitting a ball out of the infield.  Two infield singles and three walks contributed to the two run inning with saw Soucie forced from the game with an injury.  Brett Barwick came in to relieve Soucie in the first and was very effective in relief.  With Brock still up 2-0 in the top of the third, centre fielder Nathan Loehle connected on a Robinson fast ball and hit a mammoth solo HR to left field to make the score 2-1.  Brock responded in their half of the third inning as they capitalized on a costly Laurier error to score two unearned runs and push the score to 4-1.  Laurier was unable to capitalize on a couple of long innings as they left runners on base in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings and only managed to score two runs.  Brock played solid defence to secure a 6-2 win.  Loehle again led the offence going 2-3 with his third home run of the preseason. Centre Bobby Lambert had two hits and Panas also had a double for the Hawks.  Trent Barwick and Dave Canavan worked an inning of relief as well.

The Hawks have one more preseason game left as they host the Oakville Royals on Wednesday evening at Bechtel Park.  The Hawks are 4-1 through their first five preseason games and are anxious to start the OUA regular season on Saturday.

Head Coach and tournament organizer SCOTT BALLANTYNE would like to especially thank the many volunteers who helped make the tournament a success in its first year.  Thanks to Tieja MacLaughlin, Dennis Schooley, Yvonne Hunt and Bill Pegg for all their help.  In addition, a special thanks to Gary Kieswetter of Linwood Home Hardware for donating the baseballs to the tournament.
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