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(Photo Credit: Tina Chong)
(Photo Credit: Tina Chong)
Hawks snag playoff berth with win over Gaels
Laurier: 11 Queen's: 6

KINGSTON, Ont. (October 11, 2011) - The Wilfrid Laurier Mens Baseball team closed out the OUA Baseball conference schedule with an 11-6 win in Kingston against the Queens Gaels.  

The victory leaves the Golden Hawks with a conference record of 12-9 (20-10 overall) and clinched a play-off spot.  A year after missing the post season by one game, Laurier bounced back to record the most regular season victories in school history in 2011.  The OUA Championship tournament will be hosted by Laurier at Bechtel Park from Oct. 14-16.  Four teams have qualified for the post season with Toronto, Brock and Western joining Laurier in the Championship tournament.  Brock and Western conclude their regular season on Sunday with first place on the line.  Toronto, Laurier and Waterloo all finished tied with a 12-9 record; however Waterloo fails to qualify for the playoffs as the OUA tie breaking rules put Toronto in third and Laurier in fourth due to their head-to-head records between the tied teams.

Laurier 11 Queens 5
The Golden Hawks jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning and Queens responded with one in the first, 3 in the second and another run in the third inning to take a 5-2 lead through three innings.  Laurier broke out for 5 runs in the fifth inning to take the lead for good.  2 more runs in the sixth inning and another 2 runs in the seventh inning sealed an 11-5 victory for Laurier.  Adam McBride (1-1) was solid on the mound for Laurier as he worked 6 innings to earn the win.  Veteran relievers Wes van Luven and David Canavan worked the final 3 innings to close out the game for Laurier and they recorded 6 strikeouts between them.  Laurier pounded out 17 hits in the 11 run effort.  LF Jonathan Brouse led the way offensively as he had a banner day to conclude his first conference season with Laurier.  Brouse was 4 for 5 with 2 runs, 2 RBI and 2 SB and helped his case in the OUA Rookie of the Year voting.  1B Tino Silvestri had a great day at the plate as he was 3 for 6 with 3 singles, an RBI and 2 SB.  DH Nathan Loehle hit his first HR of the season and capped off a solid weekend as he continues to battle back from a shoulder injury suffered this summer.  3B Ryan Panas, SS McKenzie Maxwell and 2B Trevor Nyp all had 2 hits for Laurier.  LF Yoon Jae Chung came on as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and doubled, for the first hit of our OUA career.  C Bobby Lambert and PH Steve Dunlop also recorded hits for Laurier.

This was a great way for us to finish off our most successful regular season in school history, exclaimed Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE following the game. We hit the skids leading up to this weekend, but we played well in these last three games and have some momentum leading into the playoffs.  We have had a lot of success in the two tournaments that weve competed in this year and I like our chances heading into the OUA Championship tournament in our park next weekend.

Full Laurier conference statistics can be found at:

Notes: Laurier is 9-1 in tournament play this year between the Brock Labour Day Classic Tournament and the OUA Kick-off Tournament...5 Golden Hawks recorded 20 hits in conference play (Panas, Duckett, Brouse, Silvestri and Nyp)Duckett and Panas led the team with batting averages of .397 and .394 respectivelyBrett van Pelt led the pitching staff with a 4-0 record and an ERA of 1.08Laurier will play Brock in the OUA Championship semi-final at Bechtel Park at 3pm on Friday Oct. 14thIf Laurier wins, they will play the winner of the other semi-final (Toronto vs. Western) at 2pm on Saturday Oct. 15thIf Laurier loses, they will play the loser of the other semi-final in an elimination game at 10am on Saturday Oct. 15thplease check back later in the week for a full preview of the OUA Championship tournament.

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