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Men's Baseball

Laurier captures Brock Labour Day Classic
Laurier: 6 Ontario Terriers: 2

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. (September 4, 2011) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks Men's Baseball team captured the 2011 Brock University Labour Day Classic after defeating the Ontario Terriers U18 team 6-2 in the championship game.  

The Golden Hawks completed a perfect weekend by going 6-0 outscoring their opponents 55-20 over the course of the weekend.  This pre-season tournament featured a number of top teams from the OUA, the PBLO and the CIBA as well as a US Junior College team.  

Laurier finished the round robin with a record of 3-0 and were awarded the second seed for the playoff round.  Victories over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and Genesee Community College Cougars sent the Golden Hawks to the championship game against the Terriers.

"I'm extremely proud of our guys," commented Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE.  "This tournament was a tough test for us and our guys stepped up and met every challenge along the way.  We have17 freshmen on this team and they all got a chance to experience what it's like to play for the Golden Hawks and they all contributed to the tournament victory.  We're hungry to get the OUA season underway following this successful weekend."

Game One - Laurier 14 Genesee 8
The Golden Hawks opened the tournament playing their first ever game against a US Junior College team.  Laurier's offense answered the bell against the tough US Junior College pitching by putting up 5 multiple run innings while banging out 17 hits.  Leading the way for the Golden Hawks were 1B Tino Silvestri (4 for 5 with 3 runs and 3 RBI), 3B Ryan Panas (3 for 4 with a HR and 4 runs scored), RF James Bruce (3 for 4 with 3 RBI) and DH Nathan Loehle (2 for 4 with a HR and 3 runs scored).  Jack Malone picked up the win for Laurier as he battled through 6 tough innings giving up 6 runs on 8 hits with 3 strikeouts.  David Canavan pitched the seventh inning to finish off the Golden Hawk victory.

Game Two - Laurier 10 Guelph 0
Immediately following the game one victory, Laurier turned around and faced OUA rival, the Guelph Gyphons.  Ian Filion made an emergency start for the Golden Hawks as scheduled starter Stephen Zagrodny was unable to go due to an injury.  Filion stepped in and threw 4 scoreless innings to pick up the win.  Over 4 innings, Filion struck out 1, walked 1 and scattered 3 hits.  Freshmen McKenzie Maxwell came on in the fifth inning and closed out the 10-0 victory to earn his first save of the season.  Maxwell struck out 4 over his three innings of work.  The Golden Hawks used 3 big innings to score all of their 10 runs.  5 hits in the 2nd inning produced 3 runs, which proved to be enough on this afternoon.  The offense was led by 1B Tino Silvestri (2 for 2 with a double, RBI, SB and run scored), CF Darnell Duckett (2 for 3 with a double, RBI, SB and run scored), LF Alex Kupchak (2 for 3 with an RBI and run scored) and SS Tim Schell (2 for 3).

Game Three - Laurier 9 Toronto Mets U18 6
On Saturday morning the Golden Hawks closed out the round robin with a 9-6 victory over the Toronto Mets U18 team.  Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth, the Golden Hawks exploded for 4 runs to secure a 9-6 win.  Freshman Jordan Petruska made the start for Laurier and went 4 2/3 innings giving up 6 runs while striking out 1.  Fellow freshman Gregory Greenberg came on in relief in the fifth inning and worked 2 and 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up the victory.  The Golden Hawks were led offensively by CF Jonathan Brouse (2 for 4 with 2 RBI, 2 runs and an SB), C Andrew Czuchnicki (1 for 1 with 2 runs scored) and RF Alex Kupchak (1 for 4 with 2 RBI).

Quarter Finals - Laurier 3 Toronto 0
After finishing the round robin with a record of 3-0, the Golden Hawks matched up with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in the quarter finals.  Brett van Pelt got the start for Laurier and was brilliant.  Van Pelt threw a complete game shutout scattering 6 hits over 7 innings while striking out 4 batters.  The play of the game occurred in the sixth inning when C Adam Chong made a diving catch on a bunt attempt and then jumped up to his feet to double off the runner at first base who was stealing on the play.  This squashed a Toronto rally and was a real momentum lift for the Golden Hawks.  Laurier could not muster much offensively in this contest, however a 2 run sixth inning helped to extend the led to 3-0, the eventual final score.  1B Tino Silvestri, DH Nathan Loehle and CF Darnell Duckett each had a hit for the Hawks in the shutout win.

Semi Finals - Laurier 13 Genesee 4
Genesee upset Western in the quarter final to set up a semi-final match-up with Laurier which featured a re-match of the opening game of the tournament.  Laurier opened the scoring in the first inning when 3B Ryan Panas hit a mammoth HR to left centre field.  Genesee answered with 3 runs in the fourth inning off Laurier freshman lefthander Chris Wachon.  Laurier bounced right back to score 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-3 lead.  Genesee tied the game with a single run in the top of the fifth before the Golden Hawks exploded for 7 runs in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by a Panas grand slam to right field, his second HR of the game.  Wachon worked a solid 4 2/3 innings in his first start as a Golden Hawk.  He held the hard hitting Cougars line-up to 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.  Fellow freshman Andrew Ziedins came on with a man on base and 2 out in the fifth inning and retired his hitter to end the inning.  He worked 2 more scoreless innings to finish the game and pick up the win, the first of his Laurier career.  Laurier pounded out 11 hits and were led by 3B Ryan Panas (2 for 4 with 2 HR and 5 RBI), 1B Tino SIlvestri (2 for 4 with 2 runs scored), 2B Trevor Nyp (2 for 3 with 3 runs scored and an SB), C Adam Chong (1 for 2 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored) and LF Jonathan Brouse (2 for 4 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored).

Finals - Laurier 6 Ontario Terriers 2
The Terriers defeated Brock 8-0 in the other semi-final match-up to earn the right to compete for the championship trophy.  Freshman Adam McBride took the ball for the Golden Hawks and did not disappoint as he threw a complete game to earn the victory, his first victory for the Golden Hawks.  The Terriers took a 2-0 lead through 2 and a half innings until the Golden Hawks put up 4 runs on 4 hits in the 3rd inning.  Another 2 runs in the fifth inning were all that McBride needed on this day.  After a shaky start, the rookie righted himself and worked 7 innings giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits with 2 strikeouts.  3B Ryan Panas capped off a terrific tournament going 1 for 3 with 2 RBI.  Freshman 1B Tino Silvestri also had another great game with 2 hits, an RBI and a stolen base.  CF Darnell Duckett played a great centre field and also contributed with a single and a triple, driving in a run.

The Golden Hawks conclude their pre-season schedule with a record of 8-1 and will kick off the 2011 OUA Conference schedule on Wednesday September 7th when then host the University of Waterloo Warriors at 7pm at Bechtel Park.  Come out and support the Golden Hawks as they look to build off their strong pre-season.  Admission is free.

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