Tag: Giants

15U, 16U and 17U Canadian Premier Baseball League playoffs set to start

Following championships at the youngest and oldest levels of the Canadian Premier Baseball League, with the Ontario Blue Jays taking the 18U crown and the Great Lake Canadians Black 14U squad earning a trophy, the league will see its next winners crowned at the 15U, 16U and 17U levels at the end of this week and over the upcoming weekend.

The 17U event is set to begin on Thursday and run until Saturday, with Sunday to be utilized if a rain date is needed. All 17U games will take place between the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys and the Field of Dreams in Dorchester. Six teams will face a double-elimination format to see who will leave champions of the 2019 season after the Ontario Blue Jays Travers squad finished atop the regular season leaderboard.

The league’s 16U postseason play will take place over the same set of days, between Rivergrove Park in Mississauga and Stuart Burnett Field in Aurora, hosted by the Ontario Astros and the Ontario Blue Jays. At the 16U level, eight teams will battle through the double-elimination format to find a champion, after the Great Lake Canadians finished atop the standings at the end of the regular season.

At the 15U level, playoffs will begin on Wednesday and run through to Friday, with Saturday as an alternate date if necessary because of weather. Games will also be played at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as well as at the Field of Dreams, in addition to Citywide Sports Complex in London. The 15U champion will be crowned out of eight teams at the level, with the Great Lake Canadians Black squad coming out on top of the regular season standings.

As a reminder, the CPBL bylaws will be followed for all games. Matchups will be seven innings in length, and limited to two-and-a-half hours, with extra innings permitted within the time limitations. The higher seeded squad in the league standings will be the home team throughout the playoffs. The run rule remains in effect for the entire tournament.

If a game is tied as time expires, the international tie-breaker rule will come into effect. Each team will start their half of the inning with the previous two batters from the inning prior on first and second base with none out.

Games will run ahead of schedule when and wherever possible, and we wish the best of luck to all players and teams participating in the upcoming event.

14U Canadian Premier Baseball League playoffs set to get underway

As the summer continues and various age groups complete their seasons, the Canadian Premier Baseball League will see its next winner crowned at the 14U level.

The playoffs at the youngest age group in the circuit follow a win at the highest level of the CPBL by the Ontario Blue Jays, taking the 18U championship earlier this year.

Atop the 14U leaderboard to finish out the regular season sits the Great Lake Canadians Black squad, one that lost only three games all season long. Not far behind are two OBJ squads, with Collymore sitting at the No. 2 seed in the standings and Naylor in third place. All standings are based upon winning percentage, with ties taken into account.

The postseason for all 14U teams is set to begin this Thursday and finish on Saturday, with all games played between the Field of Dreams in Dorchester and the Rotary Field at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, hosted by the GLC organization. Eight teams will face a double-elimination format to see who will leave champions of the 2019 season. Sunday will be utilized as a rain date for any 14U games that may be postponed throughout the postseason.

As a reminder, the CPBL bylaws will be followed for all games. Matchups will be seven innings in length, and limited to two-and-a-half hours, with extra innings permitted within the time limitations. The higher seeded squad in the league standings will be the home team throughout the playoffs. The run rule remains in effect for the entire tournament.

If a game is tied as time expires, the international tie-breaker rule will come into effect. Each team will start their half of the inning with the previous two batters from the inning prior on first and second base with none out.

Games will run ahead of schedule when and wherever possible, and we wish the best of luck to all players and teams participating in the upcoming event.

Fourth CPBL season underway and thriving

The fourth season of the Canadian Premier Baseball League got off to another rain-hindered start, with postponements, rain delays, field issues, and the like, but most teams have finally had a chance to hit the field and take on their circuit opponents ahead of another successful summer, and the excitement is only building.

Just a couple of weeks away from Major League Baseball’s upcoming draft, the league’s 18U teams have all been on the field for at least two games apiece, with statistical leaders already emerging and names changing atop the leaderboard. While the same can be said at the 17U level, the highest number of games played so far are at the 16U age group, with the Great Lake Canadians leading the charge, with a 5-1 record.

As the league looks ahead to the bulk of the schedule, there’s no better time for a reminder of the alterations to the CPBL bylaws and changes made throughout the off-season. One change was the move to BBCOR bats at all levels, and another was the move to having no mercy rule at the three highest age groups. Player ejection and suspension rule updates are also outlined within the bylaws.

After last year’s five CPBL crowns were split between the Toronto Mets and GLC organizations, with the former winning championships at the 16U and 17U age groups, and the latter taking home the trophies at the 14U, 15U and 18U levels, every organization is excited to embrace what this season has to hold and fight for the 2019 titles.

Tri-City Giants looking to compete among the CPBL’s best at 15U and 16U levels

As the Tri-City Giants head into the fourth Canadian Premier Baseball League season, they are looking to build on a strong off-season and add some accolades to their resume throughout the upcoming year.

Competing at the 15U and 16U levels of the circuit this season, after matching up against the competition in the younger age groups in the past, the Giants are hoping to focus their efforts in the CPBL and make an impression in their divisions.

“Unless you walk away with that trophy at the end of the year, there is always a sense of disappointment,” Tri-City pitching coordinator and 15U manager Travis Kayler said. “But taking away the positives, we improved as the summer went on, stayed healthy, and we were able to set a benchmark for where we need to be heading into 2019.

“The entire CPBL is such a close group. Each year we see more and more parity, which continues to drive the competitive engine of our players. It’s a special experience for the guys in each division to share the field with so many passionate baseball people. There’s a real sense of growth for the game and commitment to the players in CPBL action that you just can’t find anywhere else.”

Even though last year’s experience in the league didn’t end with a championship trophy for the Giants, the organization racked up plenty of other accolades and was helped by the circuit to some of those accomplishments.

“CPBL play was able to prepare us to play in tournaments south of the border, where we saw great success,” Kayler said. “Each Giants team represented the organization extremely well in these tournaments, with our 14U team bringing back two gold medals. Despite a mid-season CPBL slump, we were able to dig ourselves out and rally to play some of our best baseball by the end of the summer, and it left our players hungrier for even more heading into the winter and 2019 season.

“The Giants were represented extremely well by Calvin Ziegler, who made the first Giants appearance at Tournament 12 and on the Canadian Junior National Team circuit, and that is just the beginning, as we continue to see true growth in the program.”

Throughout the off-season this year, the Giants have made some significant additions to their staff and changes to their program in the hopes of seeing improvements on the field during the upcoming year.

“This winter we have made huge changes to our off-season development program,” Kayler said. “We have worked for months with our staff to build out plans not only to prepare us for 2019 but for well beyond that as well. Our coaching staff has expanded this off-season to help build our knowledge and resource base for effective development.

“Our new strength coach Scott Bisonette has been working tirelessly with all Giants to improve mobility, strength and awareness of the body as they continue to add size and ability to their growing frames. Players do sessions with him three times a week in addition to his player-specific programming for those taking it beyond the facility to school, home, or their local gyms.

“Zach Kaal and I have launched a new throwing program using Driveline Baseball resources with athletes to improve arm health and strength as we focus on the pitchers. Zach’s experience in the game and willingness to train alongside the players has been a huge motivator for players who are really pushing themselves to take the next step. We have a completely revamped hitting program as well. Mike Battochio has combined his years of experience playing for high-level coaches and programs with his months of endless training and research to be able to adapt to the ever-improving landscape of player development.”

With the additions and upgrades, Kayler and Tri-City are looking forward to seeing what their teams and players can do when they are finally able to get outside and put their hard work to the test.

“We have so many great players and coaches in the CPBL, I cannot wait to see the on-field product,” he said. “We all hide indoors at ball facilities throughout the winter so it’s always great seeing the results of all that training. Knowing in a few months we’ll be smelling freshly-cut grass, feeling the clay under our spikes and being able to compete is something we are all excited about.”

CPBL to use BBCOR bats at all levels

As the Canadian Premier Baseball League prepares to head into its fourth year of play, the circuit would like to announce that as the nation’s top college development league, it will be using BBCOR bats at all levels of play, beginning in the 2019 season. 

BBCOR bats are utilized at every level of college baseball across the United States, and this exciting transition for the CPBL will better aid the transition for the league’s players as they prepare for the next level of their baseball careers. Not only will hitters be able to gain comfort in the use of aluminum bats, pitchers will have easier adjustments to the game at the next level, and it will aid in the defensive transition for all players heading to the next level. 

As the most progressive league in development for the future college baseball player, the CPBL  is proud to pioneer this transition. 

“We at the CPBL consider ourselves the leading US college development league in the province of Ontario,” said Rich Leitch, director of baseball for the Toronto Mets and a CPBL league executive. “The switch to BBCOR bats, coupled with the elite level of competition our league offers, will give our players another added advantage over our counterparts.

“Players will now be evaluated on a level playing field with their American competition, while at the same time providing the opportunity for our players to decrease the learning curve they may experience when arriving on campus as freshmen, by using the same equipment they will be using when competing in collegiate baseball.” 

This change will not only help the players in the CPBL as they move on, but it will add to the recruitment process for colleges. 

“The recent decision made by the CPBL to transition to BBCOR bats gives Canadian high school players a significant advantage when pursuing US schools,” said Indiana State University recruiting coordinator Jordan Tiegs. “Not only does this allow for them to be evaluated on the same level as American players throughout the recruiting process but this will also allow for players who do receive scholarships to be that much more prepared to compete on campus their first fall.”

Added Joey Hawkins, current assistant coach at St. Louis University and former Ontario Blue Jays and Missouri State University shortstop: “Switching to BBCOR will help hitters potentially find their offensive identity a little earlier and prepare them for a typical calendar year of work at an American college where you swing metal bats nine months out of the year. It will also help the pitchers learn how to attack and pitch to hitters with a BBCOR bat in their hands prior to heading to school.”

With the advantages provided by the use of BBCOR bats, the decision for the progressive league to transition was simple. 

“As much as I don’t like the sound, I believe going back to the aluminum bat at the high school level here in Canada is a common-sense move that needed to happen,” University of British Columbia head coach Chris Pritchett said. “Besides the obvious cost savings to families, the fact of the matter is that most of our athletes are developing their skillset to compete at the college level, where the aluminum bat is used. From a recruiting standpoint, it will also put both the Canadian hitters and pitchers on an even playing field with their American counterparts, who already use the aluminum bat at the high school level.”

Tri-City Giants look for repeated success in CPBL

A staple at the youngest level of the Canadian Premier Baseball League through its first two seasons, the Tri-City Giants have added to the fold throughout the off-season are excited for what more is to come in the third year of the circuit. 

Winning two championships in the inaugural season of the CPBL and continuing to embrace everything it has to offer, the Giants are proud to be a part of the league and have been happy with everything it has provided their program so far. 

“It’s been great,” Giants president Jeff Young said. “We’ve obviously seen a better level of competition, which is what we wanted when we started the Giants program. We’re entering our fourth season now, and when we started the program that was the whole idea, to expose the kids to a better level of competition day in and day out. 

“The CPBL has definitely been able to provide that. That’s the biggest benefit. The league has done a great job of being organized and keeping everybody on the same page, and looking out for the best interests of all the kids. It’s been refreshing to see a league developed to help the kids pursue their baseball dreams, whatever they may be, collegiately, professionally, OUA, and they’ve provided that conduit for them so that’s been great to see.” 

During the most recent winter, the Giants organization expanded to bring additional teams into the fold, and will head into the third CPBL season with squads playing at both the 14U and 15U levels. During the off-season, the program also utilized a brand new facility in the Waterloo Region to help its players get ready for the upcoming season. 

“We’ve grown this off-season,” Young said. “We were a single team back in 2015 and now in our fourth year, we’ve grown to field teams ranging from 11U team all the way up to 17U. We have two teams in the CPBL. 

“And we’ve had the benefit this off-season of moving into a new facility here in Kitchener, The Athlete Factory, and that’s been phenomenal. It’s really been a benefit for the development of our players. It allows them access to the batting tunnels, pitching mounds, gymnasium space, and workout centre, year round. It’s provided the flexibility for our players to get their work in while continuing with their winter sports or activities outside of baseball.”

Excited to get its teams out on the field to show what they can do and how they use everything they gained throughout the winter, the Giants program looks forward to more of the same of what they’ve experienced in the CPBL. 

“We just want to continue to build on the success that we’ve had with the program over the years,” Young said. “We’ve been fortunate, whether it’s the CPBL or other leagues, or tournaments we’ve been in, to be successful on the field. We certainly want to continue those successes, and we want to continue to develop the players.”

As Tri-City continues to expand its program and help build futures for its players, Young is hoping the league is a conduit for success both on the field and off. 

“We recognize that for a lot of these kids it’s not just about their baseball dreams,” he said. “We certainly want to encourage them and give them the opportunity to continue to pursue those baseball dreams but at the same time provide an environment for them to be successful in other sports, other interests they may have, and most importantly their academic pursuits that will stay with them throughout their lives long after baseball.”

Tri-City Giants are inaugural CPBL champs at 12U and 13U levels

In its inaugural season, the Canadian Premier Baseball League welcomed teams from seven programs and at five different age groups, with winners crowned at the three youngest divisions to end the month of June.

The Tri-City Giants finished as champions at both the 12U and 13U levels, with the Fieldhouse Pirates winning the 14U division in the circuit’s first year. Playoffs at the two highest age groups will finish their seasons at the end of July.

After finishing second in the regular season with an 11-6-2 record to a tough Great Lake Canadians squad that went undefeated and racked up 21 wins, the Fieldhouse Pirates completed their post-season run in Kitchener to come out victorious in their age bracket, reaping the benefits of the CPBL competition throughout the entire year.

“The competition our 14U team played at home, week in and week out, was incredible,” said Jimmy Richardson, director of player development for the Pirates program. “Having the opportunity to have our players compete against the best in the province at their age level has been a huge bonus to their overall development.

“The playoff tournament was intense. Every inning and every at-bat is magnified in a double-elimination tournament, and our guys were able to pull off a couple wins in one-run ball games against some good teams. The whole organization is proud of the way our 14s played and competed over the weekend, and it bodes well for our future.”

The 13U Giants held their reign atop the CPBL after going 16-1 in the regular season to finish in first place, and the 12U squad from the Tri-City area came out on top after finishing second in the regular season to the Ontario Blue Jays Naylor team.

“Our 12U team had a number of great matchups that enabled them to improve every weekend throughout the season,” said Jeff Young, the president of the executive board for the Giants. “This served them well as they headed into the championship weekend.

“Our 13U team, for the most part, cruised through the regular season. However, once the playoffs hit the intensity level increased and the games became much closer. Our 13s have a solid core, and came together as a unit after losing their opening game to run the table, capturing the championship.

“Both teams enjoyed being able to play a high level of baseball in front of their local family and friends to wrap up their CPBL seasons.”

Both organizations have been extremely proud of their squads and excited about the first year of the new league, and are looking forward to what more will come as both the circuit and their own programs progress, for all involved.

“The Giants are extremely proud of our championship 12U and 13U teams,” Young said. “Throughout the off-season we knew we had something special with these kids and they came together both on and off the field, which was a joy to watch throughout the season.”

Programs that participated in the inaugural CPBL season included not only the Giants, Pirates, Canadians and Ontario Blue Jays, but also the Toronto Mets, Ontario Nationals and Team Ontario.