OTTAWA – Baseball Canada is pleased to announce the names of 28 athletes selected to represent Canada at the 2019 WBSC Premier12® that will take place from November 2 - 17.
The 12-nation event will see Canada compete in Group C at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea with opening round games against Cuba, host South Korea and Australia. The top two teams in the group will advance to Japan to compete in the Super Round from November 11-16.
Two spots in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be awarded at Premier12 with one going to the highest-placed finisher from the Americas and one to the highest finisher in the Super Round/Finals from the Asia/Oceania region.
Former American League Most Valuable Player (2006) Justin Morneau and 2016 American League All-Star Michael Saunders highlight 11 players named to the squad with Major League Baseball playing experience including Phillippe Aumont, Chris Leroux, Adam Loewen, Scott Mathieson, Dustin Molleken, Dalton Pompey, Scott Richmond, Rene Tosoni and Rob Zastryzny.
The roster also includes 14 players (Aumont, Wes Darvill, Dustin Houle, Jordan Lennerton, Leroux, Jonathan Malo, Will McAffer, Molleken, Connor Panas, Tristan Pompey, Richmond, Evan Rutckyj, Tosoni and Eric Wood) that helped Canada capture a silver medal at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru last August.
Ernie Whitt returns to his familiar role as manager of the men’s national team for the 18th time in his career and will be joined on the coaching staff by former National League Most Valuable Player Larry Walker, former Toronto Blue Jay and Montréal Expo Denis Boucher, former Toronto Blue Jays first base coach Tim Leiper and Baseball Canada’s Director of National Teams Greg Hamilton.
“It is truly an honour to be asked to manage this team so I’m thankful for the opportunity to once again represent Canada,” said Whitt. “Our staff is very pleased with the roster we’ve been able to put together and we’re looking forward to fielding a competitive team at Premier12.
“The intense and emotional environment that international baseball provides is something that I always look forward to and I know our players do as well.”
Twenty-six players named to the roster have represented Canada in previous international competition, while Brandon Marklund and Zastryzny will be making their national team debuts at Premier12.
Canada will travel to Okinawa, Japan in late October for exhibition contests against the Japan National Team on October 31st and November 1st at Cellular Stadium before taking on the Industrial Yushu All-Stars on November 3rd. Canada opens Premier12 Group C play on November 6th against Cuba.
The Canadian men’s baseball team that will represent Canada at Premier12 includes:
Phillippe Aumont - Gatineau, QC
Brock Dykxhoorn - Goderich, ON
Chris Leroux - Mississauga, ON
Adam Loewen - Surrey, BC
Brandon Marklund - North Vancouver, BC
Scott Mathieson - Aldergrove, BC
Will McAffer - North Vancouver, BC
Dustin Molleken - Regina, SK
Daniel Procopio - Toronto, ON
Dylan Rheault - Garson, ON
Scott Richmond - Vancouver, BC
Evan Rutckyj - Windsor, ON
Rob Zastryzny - Edmonton, AB
Kellin Deglan - Langley, BC
Dustin Houle - Penticton, BC
Wes Darvill - Richmond, BC
Charles Leblanc - Laval, QC
Jordan Lennerton - Langley, BC
Jonathan Malo - Joliette, QC
Justin Morneau - New Westminster, BC
Eric Wood - Oshawa, ON
Andy Yerzy - Toronto, ON
Gareth Morgan - Toronto, ON
Connor Panas - Etobicoke, ON
Dalton Pompey - Mississauga, ON
Tristan Pompey - Mississauga, ON
Michael Saunders - Victoria, BC
Rene Tosoni - Port Coquitlam, BC
Ernie Whitt (Clinton, MI) – Manager
Larry Walker (Maple Ridge, BC) - Coach
Denis Boucher (Lachine, QC) – Coach
Tim Leiper (Whittier, CA) – Coach
Greg Hamilton (Peterborough, ON) – Coach and Director National Teams
The II WBSC Premier12, which will feature the Top 12 nations in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings, will be staged over 32 games from 2-17 November. Qualifying for the major international event are the Men’s National Baseball Teams of world No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Korea, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 5 Cuba, No. 6 Mexico, No. 7 Australia, No. 8 Netherlands, No. 9 Venezuela, No. 10 Canada, No. 11 Puerto Rico and No. 12 Dominican Republic.
The most important international baseball competition in recent history, the flagship WBSC Premier12 will award two tickets to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in addition to $5.2 million USD in prize money.