Team Ontario 2020 in Review
Team Ontario Baseball had an exciting year in 2020 despite everything that took place, positioning ourselves for an even better 2021. In the midst of a global pandemic Team Ontario placed 18 players to post-secondary schools in both the U.S. and Canada.
Players from the program committed to schools in Florida, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, West Virginia and Ontario at various levels including NCAA Division I & II, NAIA and NJCAA.
CLASS OF 2020
OF Jamie Cabral, University of Maine (NCAA DI)
RHP Liam Progulske, Florida Tech (NCAA DII)
SS Shane Nixon, Radford University (NCAA DI)
IF Jesse Kool, West Virginia Tech (NAIA)
IF Gman Ramesh, Rochester Institute of Technology (NCAA DIII)
C Noah Murciano, Sussex County College (NJCAA)
IF/RHP Declan Shaw, West Virginia Tech (NAIA)
1B/OF Evan Tondera, West Virginia Tech (NAIA)
OF Aiden Ament, Connors State College (NJCAA)
IF Haden Bruce, Western University (OUA)
OF Justin Hicks, Western University (OUA)
OF/RHP Chris Komljanic, York University (OUA)
3B/RHP Cam Gillis, Brock University (OUA)
C Aiden Coutts, University of Toronto (OUA)
C Adam Cohen, Western University (OUA)
LHP/1B Joshua Lam, Wilfrid Laurier University (OUA)
CLASS OF 2021
INF Brayden Ingoglia, Salem University (NCAA DII)
INF Noah MacDonald, Monroe Community College (NJCAA)
Team Ontario saw a direct effect from the COVID-19 pandemic in March when the program had to turn the bus around in Kentucky while on the way to Florida for our annual spring training trip.
The team stayed the night in Ohio where players were forced to stay in their rooms. The organization took precautions at the hotel, which forced dinners to be delivered to players hotel rooms. The next morning the team boarded the bus and returned home to the beginning of a province-wide shutdown.
TEAM Ontario SPEAKER SERIES
Throughout the lockdown across Ontario, players were practicing virtually through Zoom three days a week, with an additional speaker series on a weekly basis to allow players to hear and learn from some baseball professionals.
Some of the speakers that appeared in front of Team Ontario players and staff included:
MLB Alumni, Darnel McDonald
Butler University Assistant Coach, Matt Kennedy
St. Louis Cardinals Hitting Coach, Joey Hawkins
St Louis Cardinals Strength Coach, Cory Ritter
Jaegar Sports, China McCarney
Team Ontario Alumni & Professional Pitcher, Jeff Gibbs
Team Canada Pitching Coach, Chris Begg
post spring lockdown
After the initial shutdown in the spring, we were able to start in-person, small group training in the facility, which allowed for eight players and two coaches at a time.
After each training session the staff sprayed down the facility with disinfectant, as well as all of the equipment used during training.
Team Ontario was able to finish the 2020 summer season with each team getting to play weekend series throughout the month of August.
September of 2020 marked the beginning of a new season for the Astros. The transition into the new season was an exciting time for Team O as we announced hiring of 10 new staff members, in both the front office and with the coaching staff, as well as fielding six teams for the 2021 season.
The fall program was successful in 2020 with all of our teams playing 15-20 games and each team closed out the fall with a record above .500. Players not only hit the field for games but were also able to practice twice a week either outdoors or in our facility, The Dugout Baseball and Softball Academy.
CPBL All-star showcase
Sam White was the lone Team Ontario representative at the first annual CPBL All-Star Showcase in Dorchester, Ontario where he stood out all weekend. White picked up three hits and caught the eyes of PBR Ontario who had this to say about him following the event:
"We don’t know yet where he ends up, but Sam White can hit, that is evident with some of the best swings we saw all week. Is it behind the dish, is it an offensive second baseman, one thing we know, put his name in the lineup as it’s knock city."
Relocating the dugout to a new, state of the art facility
The end of October was a time that helped propel Team Ontario forward with the announcement of the relocation of our home facility. The Dugout Baseball and Softball Academy moved to a new state of the art 25000 square foot facility in Vaughan which allowed us to take our training, development and organizational dynamic to another level.
The new facility features the following amenities:
- 8 batting cages with new netting and machines
- 2 150-foot long fielding areas
- Pitching lab & new pitching mounds
- New field screens & training equipment
- Team Ontario Players Lounge
- Weight room and Team Ontario private batting area
- Staff offices
- Class room
Team Ontario would like thank all of the parents and players who helped as we transitioned to the new facility. We would also like to thank everyone that helped set up the new facility with painting, moving equipment, and pulling turf... this facility upgrade could not have happened without you!
The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 difficult and different for so many people but with all things considered, we feel 2020 was a year that allowed us to set ourselves up for success, both on and off the field, over the next decade. With the hard work of our players and staff we had the most success possible despite all the ongoing and ever-changing limitations that came our way, while keeping everyone healthy and safe.
As we sit here and write this Year in Review amidst another province wide lockdown, we can only hope that as we type up a similar document acknowledging our 2021 season that COVID-19 will not be a major focus.
-Team Ontario Staff