WATERLOO, Ont. (October 7, 2012) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's baseball team capped off a roller-coaster season with a 14-7 victory over the Waterloo Warriors at Jack Couch Park in Kitchener on Saturday afternoon.
The victory leaves the Golden Hawks with a conference record of 9-12 (17-14 overall), one game short of the post-season. The Toronto Varsity Blues defeated Queen's 15-0 on Saturday to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot with a record of 10-11. Toronto joins Brock, Western and Guelph in the OUA Championship tournament which will be played next weekend in St. Catharines.
The big story on this day was Ryan Panas, as the fifth year third baseman from Toronto needed 3 hits to tie the OUA career hits record held by Mike Walker of Brock. Panas went 3-for-6 and tied the record, finishing his five year Laurier career with 100 hits in conference play. Panas is a three-time OUA All-Star and has truly left his mark on the OUA.
Laurier got off to a quick 3-0 lead in this one only to let Waterloo back in the game with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first. With starting pitcher Ian Filion having to come out of the game after one inning due to arm soreness, sophomore Adam McBride came into the game in the second inning and worked six shutout innings to give his team a chance to win. The Golden Hawks offence responded with a single run in the fourth inning and then they exploded for seven runs in the fifth inning to blow the game wide open. Laurier added two more in the eighth before Waterloo pushed across four runs across in the bottom half of the inning, but it was too little too late as Laurier closed out a 14-7 win.
Adam McBride earned the win with a gutsy six innings of relief giving up zero runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Andrew Ziedins and Zachary Danilewitz worked the eighth and ninth innings respectively. Offensively, the Hawks were led by Panas and his three hits which included a double, two runs scored and three stolen bases. C Ryan Belz went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored in his best game as a Golden Hawk. LF Daniel Murphy went 2-for-4 with his first career HR with three runs scored, three stolen bases and two RBI. CF Jonathan Brouse went 2-for-5 with a triple, two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. SS Colin McKeen went 2-for-6 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. 2B Trevor Nyp went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored and RF Riley Robinson hit a 2-run homerun to cap off the 15 hit attack.
"This was a great way to end an up and down season," commented Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE after the game. "I am thrilled for Ryan that he was able to tie the record as he has had a tremendous career for us. We're disappointed that we did not achieve our goal of winning an OUA Championship, however I am proud of our guys and all the adversity that they have been through this season. We are a young team and all but three guys are eligible to return next season and we will work hard in the off-season to get back to the top of the league."