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Canada begins Olympic Qualifiers with no-hitter over Columbia

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Andrew Albers tossed seven no-hit innings and two relievers followed to complete a no-hitter as Canada defeated Colombia 7-0 in their opening game of the Olympic Qualifying tournament in West Palm Beach, Florida (Photo: WBSC/Baseball Canada)

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – Larry Walker made Canadian baseball history becoming just the second Canadian-born player elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2020.

BOX SCORE

He threw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday night before Canada’s opening game at the WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier against Colombia, sat down in the stands and watched history unfold as three Canadian pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter as part of a 7-0 win.

Veteran hurler Andrew Albers (North Battleford, SK) was brilliant on the mound working seven innings with  seven strikeouts and retiring 20 batters in a row after a one-out hit-by-pitch in the top of the first inning.

“I can’t say enough about (Albers),” said Canada manager Ernie Whitt. “He commanded the strike zone, changed speeds and had their hitters off balance and when they did put the ball in play we defended very well.”

Relievers Brendan McGuigan and Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, MB) both tossed scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to preserve the no-hitter and win for Canada.

The no-hitter is the first thrown in Baseball Canada national team history since London, Onatrio’s Harry Muir no-hit France, 10-0, at the World Youth (U18) Championships in Cuba in 1990.

“It was a great way to start the tournament,” said Albers. “It’s really nice when the offence goes out and puts up six runs for you and we played great defence behind me so all in all it’s a great night for us and a great start.”

Canada’s offence was led by Jacob Robson (Windsor, ON) who collected three hits including a bases clearing triple in the second inning to put Canada in front by five after he scored a run as part of a two-run first.

Connor Panas (Etobicoke, ON) followed with a single to centre to score Robson and chase Colombia starting pitcher Erling Moreno from the game.

In the seventh, Canada’s Eric Wood (Oshawa, ON) drilled a monster solo home run to left that gave Canada a 7-0 lead.

“We’ve been talking about cutting (our) swings down and putting the ball in play so that things can happen (offensively),” said Whitt. “Colombia had three errors today and walks so that helped too.”

The story of the game was Albers who has pitched in some big contests over the last ten years with a national team uniform on including picking up the win when Canada won a gold medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games.

At 35-years-old, he’s counted on as a leader in Canada’s clubhouse.

“It’s nice coming here, getting into this environment where everything that goes on during a game, good or bad, it doesn’t matter as long as you win,” he said.

Canada will travel to St. Lucie tomorrow to face Cuba (0-1) at Clover Park with the first pitch set for 7PM ET.

The game can be seen on the CBC Sports streaming platform in Canada and ESPN + in the United States.

Links:

WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier website
CANADA Roster
CANADA Bios

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Baseball Canada Championships

Baseball Canada announces roster for 18U Friendship Series

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AJAX, ON – Baseball Canada is pleased to announce the names of 30 athletes selected to represent Canada in a seven-game Friendship Series against the United States’ 18U National Team in Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Bradenton, Florida from September 3-9.

The roster was selected following Junior National Team Training Camp held at the Ajax Sportsplex in Ajax, Ontario from August 18 – September 2 where 38 athletes participated in daily practices and intrasquad games.

With the postponement of 2021 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida to 2022, the Friendship Series will be used as a final event for the 2003 age group with the start of the next Junior National Team program cycle (2021/2022) beginning with the Fall Instructional League Camp in Florida this October.

“We’re extremely fortunate to be able to provide our players with an international baseball experience given the difficulties of running our program over the last 18 months,” said Junior National Team Head Coach and Director of Men’s National Teams Greg Hamilton. “Our players will be challenged against a formidable opponent in the United States, and we look forward to the opportunity of competing and representing Canada down in Florida.”

The first three games of the series will take place at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, the spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles, from September 3rd to 5th before moving to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, on September 4th. The series will shift to Bradenton and the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, LECOM Park, for games on September 7th and 9th with a game at Pirate City in between on September 8th.

FULL SCHEDULE

Junior National Team Head Coach and Director of Men’s National Teams Greg Hamilton will lead a coaching staff that includes three former national team players in Cole Armstrong, Mike Johnson and Pete Orr.

All games of the Friendship Series will be streamed on USA Baseball’s Facebook Page.

Stay up to date on the Friendship Series by following @BaseballCANJNT on Twitter.

2021 Junior National Team Roster:
(Name; Hometown, Position)

Liam Adamson; London, ON; RHP

Micah Bucknam; Abbotsford, BC; RHP

Parker Burgess; Douro-Dummer, ON; RHP

Caleb Clark; Orillia, ON; LHP

Cameron Chee-Aloy; Toronto, ON; OF

Colin Cymbalista; Pickering, ON; C

Louka Daoust; Repentigny, QC; INF

Ty Doucette; Dartmouth, NS; 1B

Matthew Grabmann; Dartmouth, NS; RHP

Alexis Gravel; Repentigny, QC; OF/LHP

Cameron Gurney; Scotland, ON; C

Tyrus Hall; Victoria, BC; INF

Ty Hamilton; Orleans, ON; OF/LHP

Max Hartman; St. Albert, AB; OF

Carson Hindmarsh; Saskatoon, SK; LHP

Joshua Jones; Blainville, QC; OF

Chase Marshall; Surrey, BC; RHP

Anson McGorman; Parksville, BC; RHP

Owen Millar; Burlington, ON; RHP

Jacob Miller; Oshawa, ON; C/OF

Myles Naylor; Mississauga, ON; 3B/SS

Nate Ochoa Leyva; Burlington, ON; 3B/SS

Jérémy Pilon; Valleyfield, QC; LHP

Turner Spoljaric; Lisle, ON; RHP

Reece Usselman; Langley, BC; LHP

Robin Villeneuve; Gatineau, QC; 1B/LHP

Boston Warkentin; Delta, BC; RHP

Sam White; Aurora, ON; 3B/1B

Jordan Woods; Oakville, ON; LHP

Jacob Zibin; Langley, BC; RHP/3B

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Baseball BC

Abbotsford’s Raine Padgham invited to Baseball Canada showcase

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Abbotsford’s Raine Padgham is attending the Baseball Canada’s Women’s National Team Showcase in Quebec in August. (Submitted)

Pink-haired pitching phenom attending women’s national team showcase in Quebec in August

By Ben Lypka – The Abbotsford News

July 30, 2021 – Abbotsford’s Raine Padgham has received an invite to Baseball Canada’s Women’s National Team Showcase.

The event is set for Aug. 8 to 13 in Trois Rivieres, Que., and is the first in-person event for the team in two years.

Padgham is one of 41 athletes invited to the six-day camp that will see participants partake in physical testing, baseball-specific testing using the latest in technology, daily practices and inter-squad games at Stade Quillorama, the home of the Frontier League’s Trois-Rivières Aigles.

She is one of nine 16-year-olds and two 15-year-olds attending the showcase. She is listed as a pitcher/infielder on the player invite list.

The News first reported on the Abbotsford Senior Secondary student back in 2017, when she made headlines by becoming the first-ever player to suit up for both a boys’ and girls’ team at the Western Canadian Baseball Championships.

In the years following, she attended the Trailblazer Series in California presented by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball. She also participated at the 10th annual Girls Baseball Development Camp put on by the Team Canada women’s national team in February.

After that camp, Padgham earned a spot on the Team Canada prospect team at the Senior Women’s Invitational Championships hosted by Baseball Canada. She also received an invite to the 2019 Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series in Florida. That camp was for girls aged 14 to 18, and was hosted by MLB and USA Baseball.

Padgham then went on to be the first-ever girl to play on the Abbotsford Cardinals of the British Columbia Premier Baseball League. She continues to be involved with the Cardinals today.

In 2020, she turned heads at the Baseball B.C. High Performance Camp by tossing a fastball at an impressive 83 miles per hour. That pitch was likely the fastest ever baseball throw by a female and by a girl at the age of 15.

Her efforts in 2020 saw her named to the Canadian Baseball Network’s Most Influential Canadians in Baseball list.

Padgham also plans to play women’s rugby, women’s volleyball and senior football with the Abbotsford Panthers during the school year.

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Baseball Alberta

Red Deer’s Hayley Lalor invited to Baseball Canada’s WNT showcase

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Red Deer’s Hayley Lalor (middle) has been invited to the Baseball Canada’s Women’s National Team showcase later this month in Quebec. (Photo courtesy of Baseball Canada)

By Byron Hackett
Red Deer Advocate

August 3, 2021 – Red Deer’s Hayley Lalor is set to compete with the top female baseball players across the country.

Lalor, 21, was one of 41 players invited to participate in a six-day showcase camp in Trois-Rivières, Québec from Aug. 8 to 13. The camp will feature daily practices and inter-squad games.

“Mostly looking forward to getting to play a bunch of games and be out there with a lot of the girls that I’ve played with before who are my friends. Just a chance to get to do something that we haven’t got to do in quite a while,” Lalor said.

It will be the second national team camp for Lalor — she earned an invite in 2019, after helping Alberta to bronze in the 2019 Women’s Baseball Invitational Championships in Okotoks.

Lalor hasn’t been able to play much baseball over the last two summers because of the COVID-19 pandemic but has been putting in work on the field this season with her dad Dwayne and her sister Kelsey.

“I haven’t been playing with a team because our women’s team, with the circumstances all over the province we weren’t able to have a team. I’ve been out with my sister and my dad, we’ve been practicing a lot,” said Lalor, who figures to play outfield at Canada’s camp.

Hayley’s sister Kelsey, also an outfielder, was an all-star for Canada at the 2019 Women’s Baseball World Cup.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the 2020 WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup to be postponed and it’s still undetermined when it will be played. Canada won a bronze medal at the last World Cup event in 2018 and came in at third in the latest WBSC Women’s Baseball World Rankings.

The national team camp at the very least is a chance for Canada’s best women to get on the baseball field again.

“We’re thrilled to be in a position where we can have athletes participate in-person, in team and individual baseball activities,” said Women’s National Team program director André Lachance.

“Like the rest of the world, the past year and a half has been a challenge for our program so having this showcase camp is something that we feel fortunate for, and we intend on taking advantage of our time together.”

In the fall, Hayley will enter her fourth year at MacEwan University and play her third season with the Griffins women’s basketball team.

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