Top 12 of 2012: #8 – Ontario repeats as Baseball Canada Cup champs
As part of Baseball Canada’s year in review, we are counting down the Top 12 Stories of 2012. Many great stories have occurred over the course of the year and today we take a look at #8.
The Baseball Canada Cup brings some of the top 17 and under players in Canada together to decide a National Champion. With the event in their own backyard at historic Labatt Park in London, Team Ontario was on a mission to repeat as National Champions after winning the 2011 event in Moncton, NB.
Not only did they repeat, but they did so in dominant fashion.
Ontario capped an undefeated week by going 8-0 and earning a thrilling 9-8 win over BC in the gold medal game to win back-to-back titles for the first time since 2005, 2006.
Four players (Daniel Procopio, Justin Orton, Blake Weston, and Jake Lumley) returned from the 2011 championship team to win their second consecutive title.
Veteran Blake Weston (Oakville, ON) struck out three of the final four batters he faced to give Ontario the win.
Ontario had taken a 9-4 lead after scoring four runs in the top of the fifth only to see BC storm back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth and two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Malik Collymore (Mississauga, ON) paced the Ontario offence in the gold medal game as he had a triple and five RBIs as part of a 3-for-4 day at the plate.
Ontario rolled through the tournament with eight win between round-robin play and play-off games during the five day event and outscored their opponents 43-26.
For Head Coach Marc Picard, a two-time winner of the Lionel Ruhr Coach of the Year Award (1987, 1996), the gold medal was his fourth as Head Coach of Ontario since the tournament began in 1989.
Picard’s first two wins came in back-to-back years in 1990 and 1991 in Trois-Riviéres and Regina, respectively. At the 2011 event in Moncton, Picard led Ontario to a 3-2 triumph over upstart Saskatchewan in the gold medal game.
Ontario will have a chance for a three-peat in 2013 when the event is played in Sherbrooke, QC as part of the Canada Summer Games.
Top 12 Stories of 2012
12. Les Smeyers becomes 20,000th coach
11. Baseball Canada adopts Challenger Baseball
10. Eight umpires at International Events
9. 23 Canadians in MLB in 2012
8. Ontario repeats as Baseball Canada Cup champs
7. To be revealed Dec. 7