Laurier: 6 Kick-Off Tournament - McMaster: 2
GUELPH, Ont. (September 12, 2011) - The inaugural OUA Baseball Kick-Off tournament was held this past weekend at Larry Pearson Park in Guelph.
The event featured all 8 OUA Baseball teams playing 4 games each at one venue and served as a great opportunity for each team to see the other teams in the league. Laurier finished the weekend at 3-1 and currently sit at 4-1 in conference play (12-2 overall) and in first place in the OUA.
Game One - Laurier 6 McMaster 2
The first game of the weekend saw a strong pitching match-up, as Laurier sent Brett van Pelt to the hill against Geoff Strong, the ace of the McMaster staff. Both pitchers were previously at Division I schools in the US and runs in this game were hard to come by. McMaster capitalized on two Golden Hawk errors in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Van Pelt shook off the tough first inning and held McMaster at bay through 5 innings keeping his team in the game. The Golden Hawks offense got rolling in the third inning when, with 2 runners on, CF Darnell Duckett
singled into right field to score two runners and then aggressively ran the bases to force 2 errors and ended up scoring himself on the play to put the Golden Hawks up 3-2. A sacrifice fly by LF James Bruce
scored 1B Tino Silvestri in the 4th inning and Laurier put the game away in the 6th inning scoring 2 more runs to take a 6-2 victory. Van Pelt (2-0) worked 5 solid innings giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 1 hit with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. Freshman pitcher McKenzie Maxwell took over in the 6th inning with the score 4-2 and worked 2 great innings to pick up the save. 3B Ryan Panas
led the way offensively going 3 for 4 with a double, stolen base and run scored. Duckett also contributed with a 1 for 3 effort with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. RF Alex Kupchak
, Silvestri, SS Tim Schell and 2B Trevor Nyp
each chipped in to pace the 8 hit attack.
Game Two - Laurier 2 Brock 0
The story of this game for Laurier was pitching and defence as the Golden Hawks shut out Brock behind a great effort from freshman starting pitcher Jordan Petruska
. Petruska found himself in trouble in the first inning as Brock, the defending OUA Champions, loaded the bases with nobody out. Petruska struck out the Brock clean-up hitter and then his defence helped him out as CF Darnell Duckett
made a nice running catch in centrefield and promptly threw back to second base to double up the Brock runner who strayed too far from the base. In total, Laurier turned 4 double plays on the afternoon and those double plays were a huge factor in the outcome of the game. Freshman LF Jonathan Brouse
led off the third inning by beating out an infield groundball with his great wheels. DH Nathan Loehle
bunted him to second base and 3B Ryan Panas
drove him in with a 2 out RBI single to give the Golden Hawks a 1-0 lead. The Golden Hawks added to the lead in the fifth inning with a similar storyline to the third inning. Brouse singled through the right side, Loehle bunted him to second base and Duckett singled to put runners at first and third for Panas. With Duckett on the move, Panas hit a sharply hit ground ball that Brock was unable to turn a double play on, allowing Brouse to score his second run of the ball game. Petruska gave way to fellow freshman, Chris Wachon with one out and a runner on second base in the sixth inning and Wachon induced 2 routine fly balls to end the inning. Wachon worked around a Laurier error in the 7th inning and 2B Chad Keohane
turned an unassisted double play to end the game and secure a 2-0 Laurier win. Petruska (1-0) went 5 1/3 innings giving up 0 runs on 7 hits with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. Brouse and Panas were the offensive stars for Laurier as Brouse was 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored while Panas was 1 for 2 with 2 RBI. Duckett had the other Laurier hit on the afternoon.
Game Three - Western 5 Laurier 2
The Western Mustangs put an end to Laurier's 10 game winning streak on Sunday with a 5-2 win. Western capitalized on 8 walks issued by Golden Hawk pitching to walk away with the victory. Freshman Adam McBride
(0-1) got the start for the Golden Hawks and took the loss, as he worked 3 1/3 innings giving up 4 runs, all earned, on 4 hits with 6 walks with 1 strikeout. Andrew Ziedins
and Wes Van Luven both worked in relief for Laurier, getting their first action of the 2011 OUA regular season. 2010 OUA Pitcher of the Year, Adam Paish, kept the Laurier hitters off balance all afternoon as he went to distance to earn his second win of the season. The Golden Hawks could only muster 3 hits on the afternoon with 2B Trevor Nyp
and 1B Tino Silvestri each adding a double and an RBI and DH Nathan Loehle
chipping in with a single.
Game Four - Laurier 6 Toronto 5
The Golden Hawks closed out the weekend with a wild 6-5 victory in extra innings against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. This was a see-saw affair that saw 3 homeruns and multiple lead changes. The Varsity Blues added single runs in the first and second innings off Laurier starter Ian Filion
. The Golden Hawks responded in the third inning as CF Darnell Duckett
ripped a three-run HR to left centre field to score SS Chad Keohane
and LF Jonathan Brouse
to give the Golden Hawks a 3-2 lead. Freshman 1B Tino Silvestri blasted a two-run HR in the fourth inning to put the Golden Hawks up 5-2. Filion went 5 strong innings for Laurier before giving way to veteran David Canavan
in the sixth inning. The Varsity Blues mounted a rally in the top of the seventh inning as with one out, Canavan walked back-to-back hitters. He was replaced by Trent Barwick
who induced an infield pop up for the second out of the inning. Toronto was down to their last out when their first baseman hit a three-run HR to tie the game at 5-5. The Golden Hawks loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but failed to cash the runners. Barwick worked a scoreless eighth inning to set up a dramatic bottom half of the inning. With one out, 2B Trevor Nyp
continued his solid day at the plate by lacing a double into the right field corner. Toronto intentionally walked pinch hitter Steve Dunlop and struck out C Adam Chong
to bring freshman Brouse to the plate with 2 on and 2 out. Brouse hammered a pitch deep to left field that bounced just in front of the fence and was more than enough to score Nyp with the game winning run. Barwick (1-0) picked up the win while Filion threw 5 innings giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits with 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. Laurier recorded 9 hits and were led by Duckett (2 for 4 with a HR and 3 RBI), Silvestri (1 for 4 with a HR and 2 RBI), Nyp (2 for 4 with a double and run scored) and Brouse (1 for 2 with an RBI, run, walk and sacrifice bunt).
"This was a very good weekend for us," commented Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE
. "We played some good teams and faced some really tough pitching. Our team continues to mature and get better with each game that we play and I'm pleased with our 4-1 start to the OUA conference schedule. A number of different guys stepped up and contributed to our 3 victories this weekend and it shows the depth of our roster."
Laurier will be back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Guelph to take on the Gryphons at Hastings Stadium at 7pm. The Golden Hawks will return home on Sat. Sept. 17th with a double header against the Queen's Gaels as part of their annual Alumni Day. There will be a BBQ and bar down the first base line during the double header which starts at 4pm.