Photo by Christian Bender

Fishbaum becomes first Ram named an OUA all-star

By Ontario University Athletics (OUA)

BURLINGTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is pleased to announce the 2017 OUA Baseball major award winners and All-Stars.

Hitter of the Year – Ryley Davenport, Laurier

Helping the Laurier Golden Hawks to a second place finish in both the regular season and the championships, Ryley Davenport (Oshawa, Ont.) has earned Hitter of the Year honours in 2017; the second straight winner from the Waterloo-based school.

The 3rd year Computer Science major, who also earns a 1st Team All-Star nod, swung a hot stick all year, to the tune of a league-leading .473 AVG, .522 OBP, and .636 SLG%. Not only was Davenport a threat to get on base, however, he was one of the most productive hitters in the conference, being the only player to top the 20 RBI mark for the season – finishing with 21 – and collecting a grand total of 26 hits (4 2Bs, 1 HR).

Joining the Golden Hawk’s catcher as an OUA 1st Team All-Star is SS Robbie Cant (Oakville, Ont.), while the trio of 1B Nick Cook (Port Colborne, Ont.), 2B Taka Ryan (Toronto, Ont.), and SP Kyle Symington (Burlington, Ont.) earn 2nd Team All-Star nods for their stellar seasons.

Coach of the Year – Scott Ballantyne, Laurier

Leading the talent-laden Hawks team – including the aforementioned five collective All-Stars – is head coach, Scott Ballantyne. For his role in helping Laurier earn a 12-4 regular season record and silver medal on the province’s biggest stage, Ballantyne is recognized as the Coach of the Year for 2017. Ballantyne picks up the award for the second time in his career, with the first coming in 2007, capping off his eleventh season at the helm – one in which he was also received honourable mention on the list of 100 Most Influential Canadians in Baseball (January, 2017). 

Pitcher of the Year – Graham Tebbit, Toronto

When it comes to pitchers, meanwhile, there was no more dominant threat on the mound this season than Toronto’s Graham Tebbit (Mississauga, Ont.). Tebbit’s numbers were impressive to say the least, as he proved to be a consistent and integral cog in the Blues championship winning season.

The second-year player collected a tidy 0.55 ERA over 33 IP, surrendering just two runs all year long. Not only that, but Tebbit also managed a 43:7 K:BB ratio and 11.73 K/9. His five wins (including two complete games) were a big part of the Blues success this season, and his impactful start and relief appearance during championship weekend was just the feather in the cap on an award-winning season. 

Rookie of the Year – Michael Deluca, Toronto

Tebbit wasn’t the only major award winner from Toronto; however, as newcomer Michael Deluca took home Rookie of the Year honours. Deluca, a speedy outfielder from Richmond Hill, Ont., was a menace at the plate all year for the Blues, finishing up with a .326 AVG in his first season, while also ranking third on the offensive powerhouse U of T squad with a .436 OPB. Deluca, who was as consistent as they come this season, went just four games without recording a hit, en route to five multi-hit games as well. The first-year player also added six steals to his impressive stat line, showing that not only is he a threat to get on base, but one to watch once he’s there too.

Certainly, the future looks bright for the new OUA champs, but the accolades don’t stop there. To go along with 1st Team All-Star recognition for SP Tebbit and LF Deluca, 3B Gabriel Nakonechny (Toronto, Ont.) and RF Sebastian Lech (Dundas, Ont.) also earn top honours. Not to be outdone, C Tanner Young-Schultz (Stratford, Ont.) and CF Bradley Bedford (Burlington, Ont.) round out the Blues standouts with 2nd Team honours. 

Joining the collection of Toronto and Laurier All-Stars is a host of other schools’ standouts. A pair of Badgers have made the 1st Team, as 2B Matt Legg (Vancouver, B.C.), CF Justin Gideon (Pickering, Ont.), and DH Nick Spillman (St. Catharines, Ont.) headline Brock’s pennant winning roster. Brock’s SS Noah Koffman (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and RF Tyler Nakamura (Concord, Ont.) have also been named as 2nd Team All-Stars.

Rounding out the list of 1st Team All-Stars are McMaster RP Quinn Finch and Western 1B Jeff Martin (Ajax, Ont.). A pair of fellow Mustangs - LF Christopher Nolfi (Toronto, Ont.) and RP Dylan Jacober (Calgary, AB) – earned spots as 2nd Team All-Stars, joining the likes of Queen’s 3B Austin O’Boyle (North York, Ont.) and Ryerson DH Jesse Fishbaum (Toronto ,Ont.).

The complete list of 2017 Baseball All-Stars and Major Award winners is as follows:

Hitter of the Year – Ryley Davenport, Laurier
Pitcher of the Year – Graham Tebbit, Toronto
Rookie of the Year – Michael Deluca, Toronto
Coach of the Year – Scott Ballantyne, Laurier

1st Team All-Stars
Catcher – Ryley Davenport, Laurier
1st Base – Jeff Martin, Western
2nd Base – Matt Legg, Brock
Shortstop – Robbie Cant, Laurier
3rd Base – Gabriel Nakonechny, Toronto
Left Field – Michael Deluca, Toronto
Right Field – Sebastian Lech, Toronto
Center Field – Justin Gideon, Brock
Designated Hitter – Nick Spillman, Brock
Starting Pitcher – Graham Tebbit, Toronto
Relief Pitcher – Quinn Finch, McMaster

2nd Team All-Stars
Catcher – Tanner Young-Schultz, Toronto
1st Base – Nick Cook, Laurier
2nd Base – Taka Ryan, Laurier
Shortstop – Noah Koffman, Brock
3rd Base – Austin O’Boyle, Queens
Left Field – Christopher Nolfi, Western
Right Field – Tyler Nakamura, Brock
Center Field – Bradley Bedford, Toronto
Designated Hitter – Jesse Fishbaum, Ryerson
Starting Pitcher – Kyle Symington, Laurier
Relief Pitcher – Dylan Jacober, Western


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