WATERLOO, Ont. (November 27, 2013) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawk men's baseball team hosted their eighth annual awards banquet on Saturday evening.
This event was extra special for all involved as the team celebrated its first OUA Baseball Championship. Each year the fourth and fifth year student-athletes are recognized for the contributions that they have made to the program during their time at Laurier. Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE also presented the annual Major Award winners as part of the evening that also included a raffle and silent auction.
Many alumni attended the event including Scott Smith, Scott Mahn, Curtis Young, Brian MacDonald, James Bruce and Mike Kennedy. Smith was honoured as the Inaugural Alumnus of the Year for his continued involvement with the program since he graduated in 2002. The Alumni in attendance also announced a new Alumni Leadership Award named in honour of Head Coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE. The inaugural winner of this award was fifth year senior Daniel Murphy. This award will be funded through Alumni contributions and will be presented each year to a graduating player who has exhibited strong leadership qualities.
109 people attended the event in what proved to be the largest banquet in team history. Below is a recap of the players who were recognized.
Fourth Year Athletes
- Brett van Pelt
Fifth Year Athletes
Major Award Winners
- Andrew Ziedins - Co-Most Improved Player
- Andrew became an extremely important part of our pitching staff as the season wore on and threw some very important innings for us. He had thrown 7 innings combined in his first 2 years and threw over 25 innings this year, picking up 2 wins and racking up 21 strikeouts. His best performance came at Western when he made his first career start and shut down the Mustangs over 8 innings for Lauriers first win over Western in 5 years.
- Adam Shaver - Co-Most Improved Player
- In 2012 Adam earned the starting job in his first season and showed that he had the potential to be a great OUA player. He lived up to that potential in 2013 as he earned a spot on the OUA All-Star team. His defence improved steadily over the course of the season and he improved his batting average by over 130 points over his freshman campaign.
- Adam Raithby - Comeback Player of the Year
- A pre-season injury in 2012 put Adam on the shelf for the majority of the season. He worked his way into a couple of games late in the season, but only ended up with 2 at bats. In 2013 he came to camp ready to win a spot in the line-up and as the season wore on proved he was deserving of a role in the starting line-up. His mix of speed and athleticism is hard to match and he finished the season as the teams clean-up hitter and played a huge role in Lauriers post-season success.
- Ian Filion - Ultimate Team Player Award
- This award goes to a player who puts the needs of the team ahead of his own needs. In his fourth year Ian stepped up to help carry the team both on and off the field. He has been instrumental in fulfilling the obligations the team has made off the field and he had his most productive season on the mound. He was instrumental in his on field leadership and will do anything to win. His no-hitter at Toronto clinched the Golden Hawks a playoff spot and his start against Brock in the OUA Championship game will go down as one of the gutsiest performances in team history.
- Alex Kupchak - Silver Slugger Award
- Alex had a break-out season in 2013 after showing the coaching staff that he had the potential during his first two years. He hit over .325 in the regular season, including a grand slam homerun. He hit .364 in the OUA Championships and was 7/11 in the OUA/OCAA championships, a performance that earned him the tournaments top hitter.
- Daniel Apostoli - Gold Glove Award
- Daniel came to Laurier having played the majority of his career as a middle infielder. He had some experience as a catcher and was asked by the coaching staff to come prepared to get some time behind the plate. He worked hard and earned a spot as one of our top two catchers. He is a real student of the game and showed great game calling and blocking skills for the team all season.
- Noah Ivanyi - Most Valuable Rookie Pitcher
- Noah led the freshmen pitchers in innings pitched, strikeouts, games and wins. He made a spot start for Laurier against McMaster when the originally scheduled starter got hurt 10 minutes before the game was supposed to start. He held his own and kept his team in the game and got the victory. He finished the year with a very strong outing against St. Clair College in the OUA/OCAA tournament.
- Callum Murphy - Most Valuable Rookie Position Player
- Callum was was highly recruited out of the Ontario Terriers program. Laurier had a need to fill in the infield with the shortstop and third baseman from 2012 both not returning in 2013. Callum came in with a chance to win a starting spot in the infield. He had a great pre-season and earned the job as the starting shortstop. He played in 19 conference games as a freshman and was very steady defensively and showed some power at the plate. In the OUA Conference tournament his defence was one of the real keys to Laurier's success as he made every play to stabilize the infield defence.
- Jordan Petruska & Brett van Pelt - Co-Most Valuable Pitchers
- Any championship team needs solid pitching and defence and Laurier had both this year. Laurier was led by two of the top pitchers in the league and both Jordan Petruska
and Brett van Pelt were named Co-Most Valuable Pitchers. Combined they started half of Lauriers conference games and went 9-1. The duo was 4-0 in the post season and gave the team a chance to win each and every time they pitched.
- Jonathan Brouse - Most Valuable Position Player
- Jonathan player has been a standout player at Laurier for the past 3 years. He has twice been named an OUA All-Star and is one of the most feared hitters in the league. He finished second in the OUA in batting average and carried that right into the post season where he had a 4 hit game against Brock. His defence is outstanding in the outfield and he is one of the top players in the league.
- Daniel Murphy - Post Season MVP
- After a slow start to the year hampered by a knee injury, Daniel made the most of his last season as a Golden Hawk. He had a great regular season as led the league in stolen bases, but he saved his best performance for the post season. He had the game winning RBI single in Laurier's 3-2 win against Guelph and had 3 hits in the OUA Championship final against Brock. He was named the OUA Championship MVP and he caps off his Laurier career as our 2013 Post Season MVP.
The 2013 Laurier Golden Hawks finished with a record of 25-14 and captured the first OUA Championship in school history.
- written by SCOTT BALLANTYNE