ST. MARY'S, Ont. (August 30, 2011) - After four full days of practice, the 2011 Laurier Golden Hawks Mens Baseball team kicked off their non-conference schedule with a double header at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys against the University of Windsor Lancers.
The two teams split the double header with Laurier winning game one 12-2 and Windsor, who will compete in the CIBA in 2011, responded with a 7-4 victory in game two.
The Hawks used a veteran laded line-up in game one and took advantage of a couple of early Lancer errors to take a 1-0 lead through 2 innings. The Hawks broke the game open in the third inning as the top of the order put together 4 consecutive hits to push across 3 runs. A huge 6 run seventh inning capped a great start to the Hawks season. Offensively the Hawks were led by CF Darnell Duckett who was 5 for 6 in his debut as a Golden Hawk after transferring from Darton Jr. College in Georgia. 2010 OUA All-Star 3B Ryan Panas had a big day going 4 for 5 2ith a double and 2 RBI. SS Tim Schell was 2 for 6 with 3 RBI and 1B Tino Silvestri was also 2 for 6 with a double. Steve Dunlop also had 2 hits and DH Nathan Loehle, RF James Bruce, 2B Trevor Nyp and C Adam Chong each chipped in with a hit. On the mound, Brett van Pelt made his Laurier debut after sitting out the 2010 season following Tommy John Surgery. Van Pelt was great in his debut working 2 strong innings to pick up the win. Also making appearances on the mound for the Golden Hawks were Jack Malone, Justin Newbold, Ian Filion and David Canavan.
In game two Laurier used a primarily rookie line-up to get a look at some of the young talent that helps make up the core of the team. Windsor took an early 2-0 lead and expanded their lead in the sixth inning with a 4 run inning to break the game open. Laurier clawed back to make the game close, but fell short 7-4. CF Daniel Murphy
, RF Alex Kupchak
and LF Yoon Jae Chung each had 2 hits for the Golden Hawks. 2B Chad Keohane
, 1B Tyas Montgomery
, 3B McKenzie Maxwell, DH Ian Filion
and 2B Jeff Slasor each had a hit for Laurier. The highlight of the game for Laurier came defensively in the eighth inning when freshman CF Jonathan Brouse
came across from centre field into left field to make a spectacular diving catch on a ball that LF Yoon Jae Chung lost in the sun. Steve Zagrodny started for Laurier and was tagged for 2 early runs, but settled in and pitching 2 solid innings. Veterans Wes van Luven and Brett Barwick
threw 3 great innings for Laurier and freshmen Gregory Greenberg
and Andrew Ziedens also make their Golden Hawks debut.
"This was a great start to the pre-season for us," commented head coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE
. "It's nice to get away and play against some tough competition. St. Mary's is a beautiful venue for us and there is a lot of baseball history in the small town. I was pleased with the way we hit the ball today as our veteran players set the tone with a huge offensive game to start the year. We're looking forward to the tournament this weekend in Brock when we'll get a chance to play against more top competition."
The Golden Hawks continue their pre-season schedule with a game in Coach Ballantyne's hometown, Kincardine, on Wednesday night followed by the Brock Labour Day Classic starting on Friday. The OUA season opener will take place on Wed. Sept. 7th when the Golden Hawks will host the Waterloo Warriors at Bechtel Park for a 7pm start.