ST. CATHARINES, Ont. (September 4, 2012) - The Wilfrid Laurier Baseball team successfully defending their championship at the Labour Day Classic hosted by Brock.
In a re-match of the 2011 final, the Golden Hawks knocked off the Ontario Terriers U18 to capture the championship. The Terriers had defeated Brock earlier in the day to advance to the finals. Laurier went 6-0 over the course of the weekend and conclude the pre-season with an 8-1 record.
On Friday, Laurier kicked off the tournament with a 9-3 victory over the Terriers U18 team, the team they eventually ended up playing in the tournament final. Brett van Pelt got the start and picked up the win working 4 innings giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits with 6 strikeouts and 6 walks. He battled control issues early in the game, but made an adjustment and settled in to earn the victory, his second of the pre-season. Veteran reliever Trent Barwick worked 3 very effective innings of relief to pick up the save. Offensively the Golden Hawks pounded out 11 hits and used a very balanced attack. LF McKenzie Maxwell led the way with a HR and 3 RBI. 3B Ryan Panas was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. CF Jon Brouse was 2 for 3 with a triple, RBI and 2 runs scored. 2B Trevor Nyp was 2 for 3 with 2 doubles and an RBI and SS Colin McKeen was also 2 for 3 with a double.
The Golden Hawks completed a perfect Friday with a 7-1 victory over Guelph in a preview of the season open which will take place on Wednesday night at Bechtel Park in Waterloo. Jordan Petruska was outstanding in his 6 innings of work for Laurier to earn the victory. He worked 6 innings giving up 1 run on 7 hits with 0 walks and 7 strikeouts. McKenzie Maxwell worked a clean 7th inning striking out 2 Gueph hitters. Offensively the Golden Hawks took advantage of some early control issues from the Guelph starter to put up 4 runs in the first and capped off the ball game with 3 more in the 6th inning courtesy of a 2 run HR from pinch hitter Andrew Czuchnicki. LF John King added 2 RBI and RF Brandon Manley was 1 for 2 with an RBI double.
On Satruday the Golden Hawks started the day with a 6-4 victory over the Team Ontario U18 team. Adam McBride got off to a rocky start giving up 3 runs in the first inning, but settled in to work 5 innings to pick up the win. He gave up 4 runs (all earned) on 7 hits with 2 walks and 1 strikeout. Greg Greenberg picked up the save as he finished off the final 2 innings giving up 2 hits with 2 strikeouts. Offensively, Laurier put up 4 runs in the first and and added single runs in the second and fifth innings. LF Riley Robinson led the way against his former team going 2 for 3 with a double, RBI and stolen base. RF Alex Kupchak was also 2 for 3 with a double and 2 RBI. CF Jon Brouse scored 2 runs and stole 3 bases and 1B Ryan Panas added a double with 2 runs scored and stole 2 bases.
The final round robin game saw the Golden Hawks beat the St. Clair College Saints by a score of 12-2 in a six inning game with the mercy rule taking effect. Ian Filion had one of his best starts of his Laurier career to pick up the win. Filion went 5 innings giving up 2 earned runs on 3 hits with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts before giving way to Andrew Ziedins who struck out 2 hitters in his one inning of work. Offensively the Golden Hawks again put up a big number in the first inning, scoring 5 runs on route to the victory. CF Jon Brouse was 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI to lead the offense. 1B Ryan Panas was 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI while DH McKenzie Maxwell was 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored. 2B Trevor Nyp contributed with 3 RBI of his own. Other hits went to 3B Colin McKeen, RF Brandon Manley and SS Chad Keohane.
The Golden Hawks finished the round robin play with a record of 4-0, good enough for first place in their group. In the semi-finals on Sunday the Golden Hawks matched up with Genesee Community College, a Division II Junior College from Batavia, New York, as they had finished second in their group. Justin Newbold was the story of this game as he threw a complete game shutout for his first win of his career as Laurier upended Genesee 4-0. Newbold was outstanding giving up 5 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. As was the case the whole weekend, the Golden Hawks jumped out to an early lead, putting up 3 runs in the first inning and that proved to be enough offense. SS Colin McKeen and C Riley Robinson led the way in this one as McKeen was 2 for 3 with a double and 3 RBI and Robinson was 2 for 3 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored.
The Terriers U18 team defeated Brock 8-2 in the other semi-final to set up a re-match of the 2011 final when Laurier defeated the Terriers 6-2 to capture the 2011 Brock Labour Day Classic Championship trophy. This time around the story was very similar as Laurier walked away with a 6-1 win and their second consecutive Labour Day Classic Championship. Freshman Zachary Danilewitz got the start and was terrific for Laurier as he went 6 innings giving up 1 unearned run on 4 hits with 0 walks and 0 strikeouts. Andrew Ziedins got the final three outs to secure the championship for Laurier. Offensively, Laurier put up runs in 5 of the 6 innings that they batted in and had runners on base all afternoon. CF Jon Brouse, 1B Adam Shaver, LF John King and SS Colin McKeen each had 2 hits while 3B Ryan Panas, C Adam Chong and RF Riley Robinson each added hits to pace the 11 hit attack.
"This was a great weekend for us and the boys really came together as a unit this week." commented Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE. "We used 27 different players in this tournament and each guy made a significant contribution to the championship win. The OUA conference schedule is a grind, as we play 21 games in a short period of time and this weekend showed us that we are a very deep team and can rely on our entire roster to get the job done when called upon. We got 6 excellent starts from our starting pitching and our bullpen did not allow a single run all weekend. Our offence was tough and we applied pressure on the other teams right from the beginning of the game and the combination of pitching and offence that we saw this weekend was a very positive sign for us as we kick off our conference schedule this week."