16U 2021 Season Preview

by Jason Booth

The 16U Team Ontario squad enters 2021 still carrying momentum from an impressive fall schedule that saw them roll through opponents to a record 14-5. Despite the cold weather in the fall, the bats broke out early and propelled the 16U's throughout September and October as they averaged a whopping 12+ runs scored per game.

The offensive numbers jump out across the board  as the team batted .378 with 46 doubles, 27 triples (Cancian, 5) and five home runs (Johnston 2, Caietta, Brannon, King).

The highlight of the fall may have came during a midweek game when they put up 21 hits on their home turf in Aurora, culminated by a magical eight run 7th inning. Marc Terry put a halt to the game with a walk-off base hit and closed out the game for what was a huge team victory and helped bring the young 16U team together. 

"While the offensive numbers stood out and definitely helped lead us to several wins, we had big pitching performances from many different arms throughout the fall. The offense and pitching fed off each other at times, with the pitchers shutting down opponents early on which allowed our bats to jump out and take early leads in many of our game," says 16U head coach, Kyle McKay.

The 16U's fittingly finished the fall on a cold, windy day that saw a combined no-hitter thrown between Robert Watters and Fionn Keon. Another big moment for the pitching staff was a 22 strikeout performance between Brett Brannon, Evan McFadden, Alex DiGiacinto and Luca Karanopolous with the four also combining to allow just two hits. 

There was another two-hit performance for the pitching staff earlier in the fall between Ryan DiPrata and Karanopoulos as well as a one-hitter  (Cietta, Karanopoulos, Watters, McFadden) on the opening weekend of the fall between Frank-Anthony Caietta, Karanopoulos, Watters and McFadden.

The 16U coaches were thrilled with the way their team performed to start the 2020-2021 season and how they've continued to develop and work on their game despite some of the restrictions that came along throughout the fall and winter.  As so many players on the team begin to enter that point in their high school career where they begin to think about baseball at the college level, it's an important summer for the players, especially on the U.S. tournament circuit.

"In 2020 it looked to be very strong group we had in place, along with a strong U.S. schedule, and we were looking forward to showcasing our talented roster to college coaches and scouts. Myself, Daryl Ringwald, Sean Gonsalves and John Izumi are extremely excited to take our high powered offensive team to the U.S. for some big time events," explains McKay.

The 16U's have felt confident over the past year in the talent they possess, although they haven't had many opportunities to prove it due to the lack of exposure since the beginning of the pandemic. The team is eager to get back on the field and carry the momentum they built throughout an incredible six-week run during the fall.