|With very little fanfare, Collingwood’s Bantam Select AA baseball team had themselves quite a season. The Collingwood Jays play in the York Simcoe Select Circuit and compete against teams from Uxbridge, Markham, Aurora, Newmarket and Bolton. During this past season the Jays went undefeated during their regular season posting an impressive 16-0 record. The Jays feature a balance of solid offence, strong pitching and a stingy defense anchored by catcher Jamie Hanna.|
During the regular season the Jays scored 182 runs while only giving up 49. The runs scored were actually much higher but league rules require only a 10 run surplus may be recorded. The Jays mercy ruled their opponents on 9 different occasions.
The York Simcoe finals were held over the Civic Holiday weekend in Markham. The Jays continued their winning ways winning both games to get to the final against the Uxbridge A’s. Under league rules pitchers are only allowed to pitch a maximum of 4 innings in a game. With the game tied 4-4 after 2 innings Collingwood pitcher Liam Jacques took the mound. Liam pitched a perfect game the rest of the way. No runs, no hits, no walks and struck out 8. The Jays offence kicked in and the Jays mercy ruled the A’s 14-4 in 6 innings to win the York-Simcoe Championship.
The winner of the York Simcoe Select Circuit earns the right to represent the Circuit at the Ontario Provincial Finals which were held over the Labor Day weekend in Mississauga. Twelve of the best teams from around Ontario competed in a double loss knock out tournament to determine the Ontario Champion. The Jays played 8 games between Friday evening and Monday morning. Along the way they knocked out the Melrose Mud Hens from the Belleville area, Brampton, Cambridge, Oakville, Waterdown, West Hill and Erindale to make it to the final. The final featured the defending champion Mississauga Majors AAA team against our boys from Collingwood. Unfortunately the Jays ran out of gas and dropped a hard fought final 6-0.
Coach John Hanna told the team to hold their heads high. The Mississauga Majors have over 700 kids try out each year and draw from a population of over a million people, our little town of 16,000 had 13 kids show up and that is our team. Jays Pitcher Spencer Penyige was awarded Top Defensive Player of the Tournament and 3rd Baseman Adam Vander Hayden received the Most Sportsmanlike Award.
The core of this team has actually been together for years. John Hanna of Hanna Ford in Collingwood has a true passion for baseball and has brought this team up through the levels. John has supplied all the coaching, equipment and uniforms and funded the travel and accommodations for kids when needed without ever bringing any attention on himself. The parents and kids would like to thank him. He is truly an amazing, giving person who is a great role model for the boys.
The Jays will be moving into the midget level next year but they face some major hurdles to continue to play in Collingwood. One of the requirements of the midget level is that teams must be able to host night games in their home park. There is currently no facility at this time, but we are working with the Town and hope for a positive outcome.
Collingwood Bantam AA Baseball – The Blue Jays
Coach Ryan Nobes
Submitted by Penny Jacques