Battle of all-stars highlights OUA baseball playoffs

The Brock Badgers head into this weekend’s baseball semifinal with a field full of Ontario University Athletics All-Stars.

The most valuable hitter award goes to shortstop Shaun Valeriote (Guelph). The rookie had an impressive break-out season finishing second in the league with a batting average of .500. Valeriote leads the league in hits with 26. Brock’s catcher, Cam Graham (Sarnia) was named an All-Star along with teammate left fielder Justin Parro (Brooklin). Graham is ranked 11th in the league with a batting average of .367 and has 13 runs in the regular season. Parro has 16 hits and 10 runs-batted-in.

The Badgers’ final All-Star is relief pitcher Justin Ayles (Brampton).

The Guelph Gryphons also have a line up of All-Stars for the 2010 season. First baseman Craig Howse (Milton), who has 91 put outs this year, second-baseman Steve Fleisher (Brampton) and right fielder Josh Kennedy (Fitzroy Harbour) make the list. Fleisher is ranked fifth in OUA for his .431 batting average. He is second in hits with 22 and had 13 runs. Kennedy is tied for first in OUA for homeruns, holds a batting average of .489 and has 15 RBI on the season. Guelph’s Matt Griffin was named Coach of the Year.

Reigning champs, the Western Mustangs, will host the finals this year after securing top spot and have one important All-Star. The most valuable pitcher award goes to Adam Paish (Mississauga). The starting pitcher has an ERA of 1.33 and recorded 25 strike outs, good for third in the league.

Waterloo will face Western in the OUA semi-finals Friday and look to the leadership of Thomas Biskup (Markham). The fourth-year vet was named to the All-Star team as the best designated hitter in the league. With a slugging percentage of .540 and 18 hits on the season, Biskup will be looking to come up swinging on Friday.

Lastly, Laurier Golden Hawks centerfielder Nathan Loehle (Cambridge) was named OUA rookie of the year. Along with his recognition as the best rookie in Ontario, he was named to the All-Star team. Loehle’s break out season saw him acquire two homeruns, 15 hits, 12 runs and 13 RBIs. The rookie leads the Hawks in runs and RBIs.

The OUA baseball major award winners and All-Stars are determined by a vote of the head coaches of the league’s eight member teams.

Each OUA All-Star will receive a gift courtesy of Wilson Sports Equipment in recognition of their accomplishment. KR3 Custom Bats will award the OUA Most Valuable Hitter with a personalized custom bat.