Juniors Shutout Italy to Open Worlds

  • July 25, 2008

EDMONTON – Stosh Wawrzasek (Langley, BC) was too much to handle and the Canadian offense took advantage of some mistakes from Italy in the opening game of the World Junior Baseball Championship in Edmonton tonight as Canada would go on to win by a score of 7-0. Wawrzasek was virtually untouchable as the Milwaukee Brewers prospect would scatter only two hits collect 12 strikeouts over seven innings on the mound. He struck out the side in both the second and sixth innings. “The game plan was just to throw strikes,” says Wawrzasek. “I just went out there and pounded the zone just so I could get a feel (for the hitters) and the second time around I’d know what to do.” “It’s a good start for the whole team. It’s a great way to start our tournament, especially with the run support we have.” Canada got on the board quickly with a sacrifice fly from Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) scored Ivan Hartle (North Vancouver, BC) in the first inning and give the Canadians the 1-0 lead. With the score 2-0 for Canada going into the sixth inning, the Juniors would put the game away by putting up four runs in the frame, highlighted by Lawrie’s first home run of the tournament. “I had a 2-0 count and I knew he was going to bring me a fastball and I just put a good swing on it,” says Lawrie of his home run. The Canadians would add their seventh run in the seventh inning on a RBI double from Michael Crouse (Port Moody, BC) to bring in Marcus Knecht (Toronto, ON). In the end, the Juniors came into this game not taking anything for granted, which is exactly what JNT Manager Greg Hamilton wants out of his team. “When you play teams like that it’s never easy and you have to grind it out,” says Hamilton. “Stosh did a great job of pounding the strike zone and that’s what you need from your pitchers.” With the win, Canada is now 1-0, and they already have a chance to put themselves in the driver’s seat tomorrow after an upset earlier in the day when Puerto Rico defeated Cuba by a score of 5-4. Up next for Canada will be Chinese Taipei. They are a team that the Canadians are very familiar with having played them six times since July 15th. “We’ve got to come out with some energy,” says Hamilton. “They do the little things right and they force you to make plays. We have to come out with an intensity level that exceeds theirs and I like our chances.” Canada will face Chinese Taipei on Saturday, July 26 starting at 7:05 pm at Telus Field. Nick Bucci (Sarnia, ON) is scheduled to get the start on the mound for Canada.

Read More

Baseball Canada Announces Final Roster for the World Juniors

  • July 24, 2008

EDMONTON - Baseball Canada announces today the final roster for the World Junior Baseball Championship in Edmonton from July 25-August 3. The 18-man roster has no shortage of prospects. Leading the way is Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) who became the highest Canadian position player (fourth player overall) to be selected in the MLB First Year Player Draft. The 18-year-old catcher/infielder was chosen 16th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2008 draft. “We’re going to be real competitive,” says JNT Manager Greg Hamilton. “Offensively, we’re going to put up some runs every night and our pitching will throw strikes and we’re going to make people beat us and we got a chance to go deep into the tournament.” The Canadians will begin their quest for gold on Friday, July 25th, when they take on Italy at Telus Field. Game time is set for 7:30 pm. 2008 World Junior Championship Roster 2008 World Junior Championship Schedule

Read More

Juniors Drop Final Exhibition Game

  • July 23, 2008

OKOTOKS – The Junior National Team and the United States were tangled in a back and forth matchup until a couple of key errors allowed the Americans to take the lead for good as the Juniors dropped their final exhibition game by a score of 9-6. With the game tied 5-5 going into the sixth inning, a pair of errors allowed the Americans to score four runs in the frame and take a 9-5 lead. The Canadians would get one more run in the seventh inning when Carter Bell (Courtenay, BC) drove in Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) on a sacrifice fly, but that was all they could get. “We’re going to be real competitive,” says JNT Manager Greg Hamilton. “Offensively, we’re going to put up some runs every night and our pitching will throw strikes and we’re going to make people beat us and we got a chance to go deep into the tournament.” The Juniors would open the scoring in the first inning when Bell, who went 2-for-3 with four RBI in this game, would hit a two-RBI double to score James Kottaras (Markham, ON) and Lawrie to give the Canadians a 2-0 lead. The Americans would reduce the lead to one in the second inning when Andrew Aplin hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the first run for the U.S. and make it 2-1 for Canada. Andrew Ledger (Toronto, ON) was the starter on the mound for the Canadians and held the U.S. to one run on three hits with one strikeout in three innings of work. In the fourth inning, the Canadians added two more runs to go ahead by three when Marcus Knecht (Toronto, ON) and Michael Crouse (Port Moody, BC) would come in to score and give the Juniors a 4-1 lead. That lead was short lived as Wes Hatton would hit a bases loaded double for the Americans to drive in all three runners and tie the game 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth. The Canadians would take the lead again in the fifth when Carter Bell would drive in the third of his four RBI on a single to score Luke Willson (Lasalle, ON) and give the Juniors a 5-4 advantage. “It was a good team effort by everybody and we competed with them,” says Bell. “If you can compete with the U.S. then you can compete with anybody. We made some costly errors, but we battled in there the entire time and I think we’re just as good as they are.” But again, the lead was short lived as the Americans put four runs across in the sixth and never looked back. The Juniors completed their exhibition schedule with a riding high despite the loss and are now looking forward to Edmonton and get down to business. The Juniors will be looking to win the gold on home soil. “I think we have a really good shot at winning a gold medal,” says Bell. “I’m really happy with how things are going. The entire team is swinging the bat well, our pitching is solid and I’m really happy with the way things are going.” The Junior National Team will begin its quest for gold on Friday, July 25 against Italy. Game time is at 7:30 pm at Telus Field.

Read More

Juniors Win Okotoks Opener

  • July 22, 2008

OKOTOKS – The Junior National Team shore things up defensively in their first game in the Okotoks and the offense came alive when it had to as the Juniors would go on to take their opener in Alberta by a score of 6-3 over the Okotoks Dawgs. Pitching and defense was solid in this one as the Canadian pitchers gave up only three runs on eight hits and the defense played flawlessly as no errors were committed, a subject that was addressed over the last two days. “We had a much better energy level in this game,” says JNT Manager Greg Hamilton. “I thought we were flat in Winnipeg and when you’re flat you pay a price for that. We pretty much put together a complete game today.” The Canadians got all their runs early in this one putting four runs on the board in the second inning then adding a pair of runs in the third inning. Luke Willson (Lasalle, ON) got things started in the second with a leadoff solo-home run to put Canada ahead 1-0. After a single from Lionel Morrill (Edmonton, AB) and a double form Michael Crouse (Port Moody, BC), Maxx Tissenbaum (Toronto, ON) would drive them both in with a single and put his team ahead by three. James Kottaras (Markham, ON) drove in the fourth run of the inning with a single to score Tissenbaum. Kottaras had a solid day offensively, going 3-for-5 with the RBI and made some great defensive plays at third. “I felt pretty confident today,” says Kottaras. “I knew I had to step it up a little bit and do the best I can. Went up to the plate with everything in mind and just hope for the best.” The third inning saw back-to-back singles from Willson and Morrill to open the inning. Carter Morrison (Langley, BC) would drive in Willson with a single, then an RBI single from Jeff Hunt (Cambridge, ON) drove in Morrill giving Canada more than it would need in this game. Canada’s performance on the mound and in the field is what solidified the victory. Evan Grills (Whitby, ON), who started on the mound, gave up two run on four hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts in four innings of work. Nick Bucci (Sarnia, ON) had a solid outing in relief. His only blemish was a solo home run to the first batter he faced in the fifth inning. He would pitch three innings, allowing the one run, two hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Then, Brandon Petite (Glace Bay, NS) and Mike Monster (Kelowna, BC) shut things down in the eighth and ninth innings, both retiring the side in order and each registering a strikeout. This was a good bounce back game for the Juniors after a mediocre outing in Winnipeg. But the Canadians keep working to get to Edmonton in the best possible shape they can be to hopefully win a medal. “I think we just need to stick together,” says Kottaras. “We had a couple rough games, but just keep going out and keep putting up our numbers and making the plays and everything will be all right.” Up next for the Junior National Team is their familiar foe on this Canadian tour as they take on Chinese Taipei at Seaman Stadium at 2:05 pm on Tuesday.

Read More

Juniors Win Second in Okotoks

  • July 22, 2008

OKOTOKS – The pitching was once again the story for the Junior National Team as the Canadian hurlers would combine to allow one run on four hits and Canada would win its second in a row in Okotoks by a score of 6-1 over Chinese Taipei. François Lafreniere (St. Bruno, QC) got the start for the Canadians and had the Taiwanese hitters baffled as Taipei could only get two hits off Lafreniere. The right-hander would strikeout a pair and walk none over four innings of work. “I just tried to do what I did last time against these guys and that’s keep the ball low and make them hit it,” says Lafreniere. “I think it went well today and the defense did its job behind me.” Jake Eliopoulos (Newmarket, ON) took over for Lafreniere in the fifth inning and continued where he left off. The left-hander would pitch three innings, allowing one run in the sixth inning. He gave up two hits and struck out three in his outing. The Canadians ran into a little trouble in the eighth when Taipei loaded the bases with two outs, but Benson Merritt (Smithville, ON) got his team out of the inning by striking out Chia-Liang Hung for the third out of the inning. To close things out in the ninth inning was Jonathan Gilbert (St-Georges, QC) and he disposed of the Taiwanese in quick fashion with a one-two-three inning and giving Canada the win. “We’re starting to roll out what our lineup will be and obviously were starting to shorten things and have the lineup in place and the last couple of days have been starting to show that,” says JNT Manager Greg Hamilton. On the offensive side, the Juniors once again got on the board early and for the second day in a row it was Luke Willson (Lasalle, ON) who got things started with a solo-home run to lead off the second inning and put Canada ahead 1-0. “Ever since my first road trip with Team Canada, coach Hamilton been trying to fix up some technique issues I’ve been having and I’m finally getting it and it feels good and it’s showing,” says Willson. With a 2-0 lead entering the fifth inning, Canada added three more runs when James Kottaras (Markham, ON) and Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) each drove in a run and Kottaras would score on a passed ball to give the Canadians a 5-0 lead. Canada would score its sixth and final run in the eighth when Michael Crouse (Port Moody, BC) hit a two-out single to drive in Lawrie, who had been hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. The Junior National Team will play its final game in Okotoks on Wednesday before heading out to Edmonton to begin the World Junior Baseball Championship. Canada will take on the United States at noon at Seaman Stadium.

Read More

Errors Cost Juniors

  • July 19, 2008

WINNIPEG – In a game where the effort level can be described as modest at best, the Junior National Team committed eight errors on route to an 11-1 loss at the hands of Chinese Taipei. It started off well for the Canadians as Stosh Wawrzasek (Langley, BC) got the start on the mound as he would make quick work of the Taiwanese team in the first inning. In the bottom half of the first, the Juniors opened the scoring as Carter Bell (Courtenay, BC) drove in Ivan Hartle (North Vancouver, BC) to take a 1-0 lead after one inning. That would be the only bright spot on this day for the Canadians as the wheels would fall off soon after. Two errors in the third inning would allow two runs to score for Chinese Taipei and they would take the lead 2-1. Another error in the fifth would allow three unearned runs to score as Chinese Taipei would increase their lead to 6-1. After the Taiwanese increased their lead to 8-1, they would add three more runs in the eighth inning with the help of three more Canadian errors and Taipei took an 11-1 lead which was more than enough. “We have to do a lot better. Eight errors I think summarizes the ball game,” says JNT Manager Greg Hamilton. “You have no chance at this level winning a game when you make eight errors. It was a poor game.” However, Hamilton is not worried about his team moving forward to Edmonton for the World Junior Baseball Championship. “We didn’t play well, but I still believe we have a good team. I believe we’re going to be very competitive in the tournament. We still have to make some decisions on our roster and shore things up and get things right.” The Junior National Team will travel to Calgary on Sunday and will play their first game in the province of Alberta on Monday at 7:05 pm against the Okotoks Dawgs at Seaman Stadium.

Read More

Girls Day in Baseball to be held on Saturday

  • July 18, 2008

By DANIEL BONNER Sports ReporterFri. Jul 18 - 6:03 AM A celebration of girls baseball is set for Saturday in Windsor Junction. Baseball Nova Scotia, together with the Hammonds Plains and LWF baseball associations will host Girls Day in Baseball, a day of games, clinics and fun. Girls baseball is experiencing phenomenal growth over a short period in the province. Nowhere is this more evident than in Hammonds Plains. The association boasted 36 registered girls last year, only to have that number leap to 82 this season. Association president Holly LaPierre expects that number to expand to well over 100 next year. "It’s been very rewarding every time I have a parent sign a girl up," LaPierre said. "So what I wanted to do was just celebrate them." Arguably the highlight of the event is the attendance of women’s national team members Melanie Harwood and Autumn Mills. The pair will lead a skills camp as well as sign autographs. LaPierre believes the lack of visibility of the national team has been a problem in the past. A conversation with national team coach Andre Lachance led to the participation of Harwood and Mills. "I said, ‘Andre, I don’t know who any of your players are,’ LaPierre said. "You ask any girl hockey player and they’ll tell you Hayley Wickenheiser or Cassie Campbell. Why are you not showcasing them, why are you not sending them out?’ So he budgeted this year just for that. "These women are phenomenal, talented ball players, (and) these girls will treat them like they’re superstars."Action runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Windsor Junction Community Centre fields. The skills camp session with Harwood and Mills is set for 12:45 – 2:15 p.m.

Read More

Junior Bats Silenced in Loss

  • July 18, 2008

BRANDON – It was a tightly contested pitcher’s duel, but Chinese Taipei was able to break a 1-1 tie in the top of the ninth to earn a 4-1 win over the Junior National Team. Chinese Taipei had runners on second and third with two outs when they came thru with a two-run single to make it 3-1. An error allowed an additional run to score, giving the team from Taiwan a three-run lead. The Juniors however made some noise in the bottom of the ninth. Ivan Hartle (North Vancouver, BC) led off the inning by drawing a walk, followed by a single from James Kottaras (Markham, ON). After Marcus Knect (Toronto, ON) drew a walk to load the bases, Lionel Morrill (Edmonton, AB) hit a laser into the center field gap, but the Taiwanese center fielder came up with a great running catch to end any hopes of a Canadian comeback. “We played ok, but they played very well,” says JNT Manager Greg Hamilton. “They deserved to win tonight. They pitched well. They made some adjustments on the mound. They opened us up with some of speed pitches and tried to slow us down a little at the plate and they were very effective.” All told, the Juniors were held to one run on three hits, but Hamilton sees some definite positives in the loss. “This game helped them realize that winning a world championship is not easy. The first two games in Thunder Bay we thought we’d just have our way with these guys and maybe have our way with everybody, but sixty feet six inches is a great equalizer and they pitched well tonight.” The loss put a damper on the solid performance of the Canadian pitchers as François Lafreniere (St-Bruno, QC) and Danny Britton-Foster (Ladysmith, BC) both had solid outings on the mound in this game. Lafreniere got the start for Canada and threw four innings, giving up only one run on three hits and a walk. “I just threw strikes and tried to keep my pitch count low,” says Lafreniere. “I just tried to keep the ball low and use my defense to get some quick outs and I think I did that tonight.” Britton-Foster threw three shutout innings in relief of Lafreniere, allowing only one hit with three strikeouts in his outing. Benson Merritt (Smithville, ON) pitched a one-two-three eighth inning before getting into trouble in the ninth, allowing three runs on three hits, a walk and an error. He got the three outs of the inning via strikeout. The Junior National Team makes its way to Winnipeg on Saturday to once again take on Chinese Taipei on their Canadian tour. Game time is 7:00 pm at CanWest Global Field.

Read More

Juniors Earn Tie in Comeback

  • July 17, 2008

BRANDON – In a game that saw the Junior National Team struggle to find the strike zone on the mound, the offense stepped up and erased a five run deficit to earn a 9-9 tie against Chinese Taipei. In what was a celebration for the return of the Junior National Team to the city it won its only World Junior Baseball Championship in 1991, the game itself did not evoke memories of that championship game. The Canadian hurlers combined to allow 15 walks in the game, nine in the first two innings alone allowing Chinese Taipei to jump out to a 7-4 lead on only two hits. The Taiwanese scored two more runs in the fourth inning to go ahead by five, but the Canadians were not about to lay down without a fight. The Juniors reduced the lead to four in the sixth inning when Carter Morrison (Langley, BC) drove in Lionel Morrill (Edmonton, AB) for his fourth RBI of the game. Morrison was 2-for-4 with a three-run triple in the second inning. “I was just looking for strikes over the plate and try to drop it somewhere,” says Morrison of his second inning triple. “Luckily it ended up dropping in and scored three runs.” Down 9-5 in the top of the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded, an error by the Taiwanese center-fielder allowed Michael Crouse (Port Moody, BC) and Jonathan Gilbert (St-Georges, QC) to score. With two men on, Carter Bell (Courtenay, BC) came to the plate and hit a bases clearing double to tie the game 9-9. “This is a good team builder, knowing we can come back and compete,” says Bell. “Never say never, because we were in the top of the ninth inning down by four and came back and tied it. It was a good team builder and we can just go from there.” Mike Monster (Kelwona, BC) who pitched the eighth inning, came back out for the ninth and allowed the winning to get to third base, but got the Taiwanese leadoff hitter to pop up to first for the final out. “I think we have a good offence and we’re never out of games,” says JNT Manager Greg Hamilton. “If we can settle things down on the mound a little bit and be more consistent there we can be in most of the games we play.” The Junior National Team and Chinese Taipei will square off once again on Friday for the finale of the Brandon portion of the Canadian tour. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Read More

Juniors Blank Taipei in Thunder Bay Finale

  • July 16, 2008

THUNDER BAY – The Junior National Team scored early and often and allowed only two Chinese Taipei runners to reach third base as Canada would go on and sweep the Thunder Bay portion of the pre-world Canadian tour with a 8-0 win over Taipei. Luke Willson (Lasalle, ON) led the way offensively for the Canadians, going 3-for-5 with four RBI and a run scored. “I felt good all day today,” says Willson. “I’ve been listening to the coaches. They’ve been helping me out a lot and I’m just trying to be smart about it.” A performance like that from Willson is a welcome sight for the Canadian coaching staff as they have slotted him in the cleanup spot in the batting order behind Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) so far this trip. Willson is up to the challenge. “I really like being behind a guy like Brett because he almost always on (base). When Lawrie comes up and hits a double you know you have a chance to score the guy. There’s a little bit of pressure, but you can’t think about it. You just have to be smart. I’m really enjoying it and really thankful to be in that spot.” As for Lawrie, the 16th overall pick in this past June’s MLB draft opened the scoring in the first inning when he hit his third homer in three games to put Canada ahead 1-0. Canada scored again in the second inning when Lionel Morrill (Edmonton, AB) went deep for the second time in two days. His solo-home run put the Juniors on top 2-0. That was more than enough for the Canadian hurlers on this day as Evan Grills (Whitby, ON), Nick Bucci (Sarnia, ON) and Andrew Ledger (Toronto, ON) would combine to shut down the Taiwanese offence, allowing a combined five hits and two walks in the game. Grills started on the mound for the Juniors and was dominant, allowing only two hits and one walk with three strikeouts over three innings of work. Then it was Bucci’s turn to take over as he allowed only one hit and one free pass while striking out four in his three innings on the mound. Ledger closed things out for Canada, pitching three innings of solid baseball, allowing two hits with one strikeout. Seven of his nine outs were ground outs, including the final out of the game to seal it for Canada. “It’s nice to sweep here to get momentum going, but it’s about finding the right pieces and as part of this we’re playing well, which is good,” says JNT Manager Greg Hamilton. The Junior National Team makes its way to Brandon, Manitoba tomorrow where they will once again take on Chinese Taipei as part of their Canadian tour prior to the World Junior Baseball Championship in Edmonton starting on July 25. Game time in Brandon on Thursday is 7:00 pm.

Read More




Rawlings is the official bat, baseball and batting helmet for Baseball Canada’s National Team’s program and all National Championship tournaments. From Major League Baseball ballparks to neighborhood sandlots across the country, Rawlings is everywhere baseball is played. Since the company’s inception in 1887, Rawlings mission has always centered on enabling participation by developing and producing innovative, high-performance equipment and apparel for the professional player. Visit them at www.rawlings.com


More Partners +

MLB Canadians

Rowan Wick

Current MLB Team: San Diego Padres
Hometown: North Vancouver, BC

Umpire of the Week

Week of June 11, 2018

Trace (BC)

Shaped by our Game

Baseball Canada is pleased to introduce Shaped by Our Game, a new initiative on baseball.ca that will profile people who have used our sport to achieve success later in life. Baseball is a sport that provides great life lessons and teaches skills that are applicable for future success in life whether on the baseball field or not.

 Dominic Therrien

 Isabelle Higgins

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

What is LTAD?

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a systemic approach being developed and adopted by Baseball Canada to maximize a participant's potential and involvement in our sport. The LTAD framework aims to define optimal training, competition and recovery throughout an athlete's career to enable him / her to reach his / her full potential in baseball and as an athlete.