McMaster Marauders head into this weekend’s Ontario University Athletics baseball championship series with a bench loaded with All-Stars.
Seven Marauders gain All-Star status this season to lead the OUA. Six players grace the First and Second All-Star teams, with head coach Wayne Gowan being lucky number seven. Gowan is awarded Coach of the Year after taking the Marauders to the OUA championship series with a regular season record of 10-8. The 2003 season marks the last winning season and championship appearance for the Marauders, who lost to Toronto in three games.
Chris Piccini (Mississauga) is named the league’s Most Valuable Hitter, ending the regular season with a .390 batting average, 21 hits and five runs-batted-in. The centrefielder makes the First Team alongside first baseman John McGregor (Ottawa), outfielder Sean Lemon (Mississauga), designated hitter Ryan Hurley (Ingersoll) and relief pitcher Greg Swan (Dundas). Rounding off the list for McMaster is catcher Devlin Connelly (Toronto) who is named to the Second Team.
Toronto’s Marek Deska (Mississauga) is named the OUA Most Valuable Pitcher. The First Team All-Star recorded a 1.11 ERA in an impressive 44 innings pitched. Joining Deska on the First Team is Blues outfielder Jamie Lekas (Toronto). The Varsity Blues add two names on the Second Team list with second baseman David Fallico (Toronto) and third baseman Mike Dahiroc (Ajax).
The Laurier Golden Hawks third baseman Ryan Panas (Toronto) is this season’s Rookie of the Year. Panas ended his first regular season with a .300 batting average, 17 hits, 4 RBIs and a .915 fielding percentage. Catcher Chris Pittaway (Paris) and shortstop Scott Mahn (Kitchener) join Panas on the First Team, with Tim Sinyard (Aurora) named as relief pitcher on the Second Team.
Waterloo adds three names to the All-Star mix. Second baseman Travis Hendry (Waterloo) is the sole Warrior on the First Team. Getting Second Team honours are first baseman Jason Diniz-Wood (Brampton) and outfielder Elliot Shrive (Rockwood), who was a First Team All-Star last season. Diniz-Wood sits second in OUA fielding for the regular season with 147 putouts.
The Western Mustangs will hand over their reign of OUA baseball this season after three consecutive titles. London’s All-Star outfielders change places this year as Andrew Salmon (Oakville) jumps from Second Team to first finishing with a .300 batting average, 17 hits and 6 RBIs. Matt Bekar (Oakville) boasts Second-Team status after being named to the 2007 First Team.
The Brock Badgers enter their fifth championship series in as many years looking to win their first OUA title since 2004. Designated hitter Tim Sogan (Hamilton) and pitcher Jason Ermers (Welland) have both been named Second Team All-Stars for the Badgers. Ermers ended the regular season with an outstanding 0.22 ERA in 32 innings pitched.
Each OUA First Team All-Star will receive a gift courtesy of Wilson Sports Equipment of Canada in recognition of their accomplishment. KR3 Custom Bats will award the OUA Most Valuable Hitter with a personalized custom bat.