All-Stars struggle on the mound and at the plate


McMaster’s Carlos Cabrero

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues scored six first-inning runs off 2011 Ontario University Athletics pitcher of the year Adam Lentz en route to an 8-2 victory over the OUA All-Stars at the 2012 OUA All-Star Baseball Showcase at Rogers Centre on Sunday (May 20).

Waterloo’s Lentz (Calgary, Alta.), who posted a near-perfect 0.76 ERA in the 2011 regular season, was pounded for six hits in his one inning. He also walked a batter and hit a batsman.

The All-Star Showcase, in its sixth annual installment, features the reigning OUA baseball champion taking on a team of all-stars from the other seven participating universities. Toronto was appearing as the reigning champion for the first time since the inauguration of the all-star contest in 2007. The reigning champion has now won three games, and the all-stars two, with one tie.

Toronto opened the bottom of the first inning with a single from leadoff man and left fielder Steven Hersch (Toronto), followed by a walk of centre fielder Jonathan Isaac (Toronto). Cleanup man Harrison Carmichael (Charlottetown, PEI) drove in Hersch with a single, and first baseman Brent Page (Hamilton) sent Isaac home with a sacrifice fly. After a further single and hit batsman, catcher Kyle Bowers (Toronto) had an RBI single, followed by a two RBI single from shortstop Orion Katayama (Mississauga). Eleven Toronto batters came to the plate before Lentz finally retired the side.

The Blues had a further two-out rally in the sixth inning, taking advantage of a throwing error that should have ended the inning, and the inability of McMaster pitcher Carlos Cabrero (Burlington) to find the strike zone, to load the bases with a series of walks. Cabrero proceeded to walk in two consecutive runs, giving the Blues an 8-0 lead.

The All-Stars were kept off the scoreboard until the eighth inning, when Brock centre fielder Ricky Ferri (St. Catharines) reached first on a fielding error at the start of the frame, and Laurier left fielder Jonathan Brouse (Whitby) walked at the next plate appearance. Two batters later, Western first basemen Graham Fulton (Vancouver) drove in both runners with a two-run single, marking the only offensive tallies for the All-Stars.

Toronto managed the victory without an extra-base hit, finding the base paths with a mixture of 11 singles, nine walks, and two hit batsmen. The Blues stranded 12 runners on base, and closed out both the second and sixth innings with the bases loaded.

Katayama was Toronto’s top offensive performer, with a pair of singles and three RBIs. Hersch also had two hits and a pair of RBIs.

Toronto starter Tyler Wilson (Port Hope, Ont.), the first of six Toronto hurlers of the evening, pitched two shutout innings, allowing just a pair of hits. Varsity pitchers kept the All-Stars to six hits, and allowed just three combined walks. A total of five All-Stars were left on base.

The All-Stars sent seven pitchers to the mound, with the strongest performance coming from Western’s Bryn McDonnell (Whitby), who retired three Toronto batters in the eighth inning on called third strikes.

OUA ALL-STAR SHOWCASE RESULTS

2007 – May 9 – Western 5, All-Stars 5
2008 – May 4 – Western 7, All-Stars 5
2009 – May 3 – All-Stars 8, McMaster 2
2010 – May 30 – All-Stars 4, Western 3 (10 innings)
2011 – May 8 – Brock 11, All-Stars 8
2012 – May 20 – Toronto 8, All-Stars 2