(Photos: Shelley Apostoli)
BURLINGTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is excited to announce the 2016 OUA baseball major awards and all-stars.
After an outstanding season at the plate, Laurier Golden Hawks OF Jonathan Brouse (Port Perry, Ont.) has been named OUA Top Hitter and a first-team all-star after leading the conference in batting average (.462) and runs batted in (RBIs) (27).
Brouse, who is currently enrolled in teachers college at Wilfrid Laurier University, also finished in the top five in doubles (8), home runs (2), total bases (44), on base percentage (.507) and slugging percentage (.677). This is the fifth all-star award for the former OUA Rookie of the Year and the third time in his career he has been honoured with a first-team selection.
From hitting to pitching, the Golden Hawks had it all this season on their way to a first-place finish in the regular season with a 15-3 record.
No pitcher in the conference was more dominant this season than Laurier's Christian Hauck (Orangeville, Ont.) who has been selected as OUA Top Pitcher and a first-team all-star in just his second year. The Orangeville, Ont. native started in four games this season for Laurier and led the conference with a 0.67 earned run average (ERA) and finished second with 30 strikeouts.
Joining Brouse and Hauck is Golden Hawks rookie reliever Kyle Symington (Burlington, Ont.) who has been named an OUA first-team all-star in just his first season with the club. In 9.2 innings, the Burlington, Ont. native recorded six saves while striking out 13 batters.
Golden Hawks second baseman Jeff Hunt (Cambridge, Ont.) will represent Laurier as a second-team all-star.
Despite a disappointing season and missing the playoffs, the future is bright for the McMaster Marauders as 2B/SS Lucas DaSilva (Toronto, Ont.) has been named OUA Rookie of the Year following a fantastic freshman campaign. DaSilva, who previously attended St. Michael's College and is studying engineering at McMaster, appeared in all 18 games this season for the Marauders, hitting .406/.446/.478 with five doubles and six stolen bases.
Despite narrowly missing the postseason, Queen's Gaels head coach Jeff Skelhorne-Gross has been selected by his peers as Coach of the Year. Under the guidance of Skelhorne-Gross the Gaels finished seventh in the conference with a 6-11-1 regular season record.
After being named OUA Rookie of the Year in 2014, Austin O'Boyle (Toronto, Ont.) has been selected as an OUA all-star for the first time in his career as he is the lone Gaels representative on the second-team this season.
After a 14-4 regular season record, the defending OUA champion Western Mustangs lead the conference with six all-star selections, including three first-team nods.
First baseman Jeff Martin (Ajax, Ont.) is an OUA all-star for the first time in just his second season in the conference after he hit .429/.515/.607 to go along with a home run and 10 RBIs. Martin, who transferred from Northwestern Oklahoma State prior to last season, had his biggest game of the season back on Sept. 24 against Guelph when he went 3-for-3 with a triple, stolen base and three RBIs in a 14-4 Mustangs victory.
In his fifth and final season, shortstop Nolan Anderson (London, Ont.) is an OUA first-team all-star for the second consecutive season. Playing in all 18 games for his hometown Mustangs, Anderson led OUA in runs with 25, while his 29 hits ranked him tied for second behind the aforementioned Brouse.
Joining Anderson as an OUA first-team all-star is outfielder Hayden Woodley (Caledon, Ont.). The speedy Woodley had 11 stolen bases this season, the third highest mark in the conference. Woodley, who also plays for the Ilderton Red Army in the Southwestern Senior Baseball League, scored 16 runs to go along with 12 RBIs. This is the first all-star award of his OUA career.
Outfielder David Panchyshyn (London, Ont.), designated hitter Turner Spears (Guelph, Ont.) and starting pitcher Ryan Beckett (Midland, Ont.) have all been selected to represent the Mustangs on the OUA second-team. This is the first all-star nomination for Panchyshyn and Beckett, while Spears was named a second-team all-star in 2014.
The OUA championship hosts, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, will have two OUA first-team all-stars taking the field on Friday as catcher Kyle Bowers (Toronto, Ont.) and second baseman Gabriel Nakonechny (Toronto, Ont.) have been honoured following outstanding regular seasons.
Appearing in all 18 games for the Varsity Blues, Bowers who is currently completing his Masters of Teaching, hit .351/.457/.386 to go along with 14 runs and six stolen bases. However, behind the plate, the Toronto, Ont. native only allowed three stolen bases while throwing out two would be base stealers.
Nakonechny is an OUA all-star for the second time in just two seasons after he led the Blues in runs (19), hits (25), triples (3) and RBIs (14). The speedy second baseman was a terror on the base paths for the Blues as he snagged 18 stolen bases and was only thrown out once all season.
Nick Interisano (Guelph, Ont.) and his hometown Gryphons enter this weekend's OUA championship as the hottest team in the conference, having won their last six games. Interisano, a third-year physical science student-athlete, is an OUA all-star for the first time in his career, after he slashed .439/.446/.561 is 17 games this season for the Gryphons. The Guelph, Ont. native led the conference in sacrifice flies with four during the regular season.
Interisano isn't the only Gryphon to be selected to an all-star squad as rookie catcher Troy Lacoste (Oakville, Ont.) has been named an OUA second-team all-star.
While the crosstown rival Golden Hawks lay claim to this year's OUA Top Hitter, the Waterloo Warriors have likely the most feared player at the plate in third baseman Michael Clouthier (Guelph, Ont.) who is an OUA first-team all-star for a third consecutive season. Clouthier, who was named OUA Rookie of the Year in 2013, mashed the ball all season, finishing the year with a .742 slugging percentage to lead OUA. The Guelph, Ont. native clobbered a league high seven home runs, three more than the next closest player.
In his fifth season with the Warriors, OF Kyle Thalheimer (Richmond Hill, Ont.) is an OUA second-team all-star for the second time in his career after he previously took home the honour following the 2014 season.
A season after being selected as an OUA second-team all-star, York OF Michael Asta (Toronto, Ont.) will represent the Lions on the first-team. Asta appeared in all 18 games hitting .393/.469/.482 with five doubles. Not only did he see time in the outfield, but Asta also started six games for the Lions, going 2-4 with a 5.50 ERA.
Following a strong 2016 season, Lions SS Stephen Ranalli (Maple, Ont.) has been selected as an OUA second-team all-star.
Brock finished the regular season with a 14-4 regular season and it's fitting that they enter the OUA championship this weekend as the No. 3 seed as a trio of Badgers have been selected as OUA second-team all-stars. 1B Blake Stepien (Guelph, Ont.), OF Tyler Nakamura (Concord, Ont.) and RP Nick Subramaniam (Mississauga, Ont.) will all look to help the Badgers reclaim the Jason Guindon Trophy on Sunday.
The OUA baseball major award winners and all-stars are determined by a vote of the head coaches of the league's ten member teams. There will be an on field presentation recognizing major award and individual OUA all-star awards, prior to the start of each team's opening games at the championship this weekend.
OUA BASEBALL MAJOR AWARDS
OUA Top Hitter – Jonathan Brouse – Laurier Golden Hawks
OUA Top Pitcher – Christian Hauck – Laurier Golden Hawks
Rookie of the Year – Lucas DaSilva – McMaster Marauders
Coach of the Year – Jeff Skelhorne-Gross – Queen's Gaels
Kyle Bowers – Toronto Varsity Blues – Catcher
Jeff Martin – Western Mustangs – First Base
Gabriel Nakonechny – Toronto Varsity Blues – Second Base
Nolan Anderson – Western Mustangs – Shortstop
Michael Clouthier – Waterloo Warriors – Third Base
Jonathan Brouse – Laurier Golden Hawks – Outfielder
Michael Asta – York Lions – Outfielder
Hayden Woodley – Western Mustangs – Outfielder
Nick Interisano – Guelph Gryphons – Designated Hitter
Christian Hauck – Laurier Golden Hawks – Starting Pitcher
Kyle Symington – Laurier Golden Hawks – Relief Pitcher
Troy Lacoste – Guelph Gryphons – Catcher
Blake Stepien – Brock Badgers – First Base
Jeff Hunt – Laurier Golden Hawks – Second Base
Stephen Ranalli – York Lions – Shortstop
Austin O'Boyle – Queen's Gaels – Third Base
David Panchyshyn – Western Mustangs – Outfielder
Tyler Nakamura – Brock Badgers – Outfielder
Kyle Thalheimer – Waterloo Warriors – Outfielder
Turner Spears – Western Mustangs – Designated Hitter
Ryan Beckett – Western Mustangs – Starting Pitcher
Nick Subramaniam – Brock Badgers – Relief Pitcher