Saints play like devils, win 2nd straight

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st. clair

* The St. Clair Saints scored back-to-back wins over the Brock Badgers to win the  OUA/OCAA championship at Lacasse Park in Tecumseh — their second straight title. ….

2014 Canadians in the Minors … Canadians in College
2015 Canadian draft list
Letters of Intent

By Bob Elliott

Call it two.

The hard way.

After being edged by the Brock Badgers, St. Clair College Saints had to win a pair against the same Brock team, the OUA champs

The Saints edged Brock 3-2 to force a winner-take all game and then St. Clair nipped Brock 7-5 to win the OUA/OCAA championship at Lacasse Park in Tecumseh.

For coach Dave Cooper and his Saints it was their second successive title, while Joel Cooper (Lasalle, Ont.) earned tourney MVP honours.

The Badgers rallied for a 2-1 win over St. Clair in round-robin — only the Saints second loss ot the season — earning a spot in the final of the double elimination tournament. The Saints scored an 11-0 win over the Durham Lords to gain the re-math.

St. Clair scored twice in the fifth and two more in the sixth for a 6-2 lead. Brock came back with three in the sixth.

The Saints scored a pair in the first and Brock tied the score in the second.

Rob Cooper (Belle River, Ont.) earned championship game MVP honours for St. Clair with two singles and two RBIs, including a run-scoring fly ball.

Joel Cooper (Lasalle, Ont.) going 3-for-4 with three singles two RBIs and a stolen base and Ryan Kerstens (Kingston, Ont. — Canada’s first capital) doubled.

Taylor Pappin (Brantford, Ont.) registered the win working four innings as he allowed two runs on two hits and nine walks, while striking out five. Rob Cooper pitched two innings allowing three runs — one earned — on one hit and two walks. Kyle Breitnerkyle_breitner-2014-20152(Mississauga, Ont.) picked up the save allowing one hit and striking out one.

Ben Kirby (Burlington, Ont.) was Brock’s player of the game with a two-run double, while Ricky Ferri (St. Catharines, Ont.) singled.

Phil Owen (Richmond Hill, Ont.) was chaged with the loss allowed four runs — three earned — on three hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings.

Shane Courtney (Windsor, Ont.) picked up the win in the first St. Clair win over Brock, pitch 6 1/3 innings giving up two runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out five. Rob Cooper recorded the final two outs for the save.

Crannel Jerald (Lasalle, Ont.) had two singles and knocked in the winning run, while Derrick Fortier (Windsor, Ont.) and Joel Cooper each had singles and knocked in runs.

Justin Gideon (Pickering, Ont.) doubled, singled and knocked in a run for Brock, while Dan Nicoletta (Newmarket, Ont.) hit two singles and drove in a run. Jeffrey Baggaley (Whitby, Ont.) pitched three innings allowing three hits and one run on one hit and one walk. Ryan Beckett (Tiny, Ont.) was charged with the loss as St. Clair scored a pair in the fourth to break a 1-1 tie.

“Us college guys love beating up on the universities,” Eric Cunningham told Bob Duff of the Windsor Star. “I guess they think they’re a little bit better than us, so it’s always a lot of fun.”

Championship All-Star Team selections.

Dylan Harkness (Durham College)
Justin Gideon (Brock University)
Ben Kirby (Brock University)
Rob Cooper (St. Clair College)
Crannel Jerald (St. Clair College)

Most Valuable Player – Joel Cooper (St. Clair College)

Eric Cunningham (LaSalle, Ont.) was the OCAA player of the year. He was third in league batting .458 and in hits with 27. He was eric cunninghamalso fourth with 21 runs scored. Cunningham led the league in stolen bases with 16. He also contributed 12 RBIs. He caught a pitching staff with a league-low ERA of 1.44, over 2 1/2 runs better than the next best team. Cunningham is also a league all-star.

Francisco Mata (Caracas, Venezuela) of Seneca College is the OCAA rookie of the year. Mata was third in the OCAA in strikeouts with 31, leading his team with 32 2/3 innings pitched. He was the winning pitcher in each of Seneca’s two victories on the season.

Andrew Murrell (Pickering, Ont.) of George Brown was the OCAA batting champ hitting .492. He was an all-star.
Breitner of St. Clair was the two-time OCAA pitcher of the year, finishing among the league leaders in several statistical categories, going 5-0 with an 1.48 ERA in 33 innings. He struck out 28, walking only 11. He is also a league all-star.

St. Clair’s Dave Cooper was the coach of the year as the Saints were near-perfect at 19-1, having lost three games in two regular seasons. Offensively, St. Clair led OCAA in several offensive categories, including runs, hits, RBI, stolen bases and team batting average. Defensively, the Saints led the OCAA in ERA, shutouts, batting average against and runs against.

St. Clair leads the OCAA with six all-stars, including Cunningham and Breitner. They are joined by outfielder Anthony Buonaiuto (Toronto, Ont.), shortstop Joel Cooper, infielder Kerstens and pitcher Pappin.

2014 OCAA MEN’S BASEBALL AWARDS

Player of the Year
Eric Cunningham, St. Clair

Rookie of the Year
Francisco Mata, Seneca

Batting Champion
Andrew Murrell, George Brown

Pitcher of the Year
Kyle Breitner, St. Clair

Coach of the Year
Dave Cooper, St. Clair

All-Stars
Ben deBoer, Durham
Paul Lytwynec, Fanshawe
Sean Refflinghaus, Fanshawe
Andrew Murrell, George Brown
Daniel Campos, Humber

Sean Mattson, Humber
Kyle Breitner, St. Clair
Anthony Buonaiuto, St. Clair
Joel Cooper, St. Clair
Eric Cunningham, St. Clair

Ryan Kerstens, St. Clair
Taylor Pappin, St. Clair

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