WATERLOO, (July 27, 2017)- The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s baseball team has finalized its non-conference schedule for the 2017 fall season.
“We are excited at the non-conference schedule that we have put together this year” commented Head Coach Scott Ballantyne
on this year’s pre-season baseball schedule. “The non-conference games in the past have always provided us a great opportunity for our younger players to get a taste of what Ontario University Athletics (OUA) baseball is all about and that depth proved invaluable to us down the stretch last season”.
The Golden Hawks will open the non-conference season on Saturday August 26th, with a double-header at Bechtel Park versus the Ontario Royals U18 team. This will give Coach Ballantyne a chance to see some of his incoming freshmen in action as well as a chance for the returning players to get into game action.
Next up for the Golden Hawks is a Laurier tradition, a double-header at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Mary’s on Tuesday August 29th. Laurier will take on the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) powerhouse, the St. Clair Saints, in what is always a great day of Canadian Baseball history and tradition.
Laurier will then return to Bechtel Park on Wednesday August 30th, to take on the Humber Hawks in a double-header starting at 12pm. Humber has announced a lot of strong recruits and are expected to compete with the top teams in the OCAA again this year.
Laurier will then head east for the Labour Day weekend with five games in Scarborough, Ont. as part of the Inaugural Blues Tournament at Dan Lang Field, home of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. On Friday September 1st, Laurier will play the host, University of Toronto Varsity Blues and new Head Coach Mike Didier, and then take on the McGill Redmen. McGill is coming off another Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association (CCBA) championship in 2016 and will be a formidable opponent for the Golden Hawks. Laurier swept McGill in a double-header early in the 2016 season and look forward to another tilt with a very strong program from Quebec. Laurier will then play Ryerson and McGill again on Saturday in another set of two games in a day. Laurier will finish off the weekend with a single game versus Toronto on Sunday. Laurier will take a couple days off before hosting the Ontario Terriers U18 team on Wednesday September 6th, at Bechtel Park to conclude its pre-season non-conference schedule.
“We will play 12 games before our first conference game which will allow us an opportunity to mix and match to find a line-up that we will feel comfortable with to start our season” stated Ballantyne. “McGill, St. Clair College, Humber College, Toronto and Ryerson are all very strong teams and will prepare us for our conference season. Getting off to a fast start is a big key to a short season and our tough non-conference schedule will allow us the opportunity to gel as a unit before the start of the conference schedule”.
These 12 pre-season non-conference games will prepare the Golden Hawks for their OUA conference opener at home on Saturday September 9th, when they host the Queen’s Gaels in a double-header at Bechtel Park. During the course of the season, Laurier will play non-conference games against the likes of the Fanshawe College, Great Lake Canadians U18 and the Toronto Mets U18. All of these U18 programs are highly regarded and have produced some top notch players in recent years, including many who have gone on to play for the Golden Hawks.
The OUA conference schedule will consist of 18 games in 2017. The OUA Championship tournament will be hosted by the Ryerson Rams at the Pan Am Fields in Ajax from October 13th to 15th, where Laurier will look to re-gain the Championship that has eluded them since 2013.