Recap - 2021 Team Ontario Fall Trip

by Jason Booth

Butler university - ncaa division i (Indiana)
thursday, october 7

The trip opened up with a travel day on Wednesday, Oct. 6 that saw the team of 41 players and four coaches fly to Chicago, Illinois and then bus to Indianapolis ahead of the opener on Thursday. There couldn't have been a better way to open the trip than a visit to a Division I program with the Butler Bulldogs in Indiana. 

Despite not putting a runner across the plate against the Big East opponents, J.P. Tibbits was a major standout with three base-knocks against a good looking Bulldogs pitching staff. On the mound it was Julian Robertson who led the way with a scoreless inning to close out the game, allowing just one hit and striking one. 

pG underclass southeast select fall championships (atlanta) | day one
saturday, october 9

With both a Grey team and an Orange team competing in the tournament in Atlanta, it was the Orange (2023s) team that jumped at the opportunity. They took the first game by a score of 16-0 and closed out the day with a 7-4 win to send them into the championship round on Sunday. 

David King and Tyler Repath were the biggest standouts on day one with each of them reaching base four times. King went 4-for-4 with three RBI, four runs scored and an HBP while Repath went 3-for-5 with a double, walk, RBI and three runs scored. Brett Brannon, David DeStefano and Tristan DesRochers each chipped in with two hits apiece. 

sunday, october 10

After starting the tournament 2-0 and scoring 23 runs, they picked up right where they left off winning their quarter-final matchup by a score of 9-3. Brendan Clarke got the start and allowed three earned runs over 4.2 innings of work. Matt Marsh came out of the bullpen to pitch the final 2.1 innings and didn't allow an earned run while striking out five. It was King who led the way once again with three hits, an RBI and two runs scored while Dylan Ceresne went 1-for-1 with a double and a walk.

The semi-finals saw Frank-Anthony Caietta take the ball for the Grey Team and go 4.2 strong innings allowing just two runs while striking out six. Brandon Langley was dominant in relief, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings in relief. Repath and Ryan Nuernberger each picked up a pair of hits to help lead the squad to a 7-2 victory and send them to the championship game.

In the championship it was a combination of good pitching and a high-powered offence that led to a 12-3, five-inning mercy rule win. Evan MacFadden allowed just one hit and two talks over three innings while Robertson shut the door in the final two innings, striking out a pair without allowing a run. Desrochers, Xavier Gonsalves and Brett Johnston each had a triple, while Caietta came through with a double. Jesse Myers and Gonsalves each led the way with two hits in the most important game of the weekend.

Caietta would go on to be named the Most Valuable Pitcher in the tournament.

lenoir community college - NJCAA DII (north carolina)
monday, october 11

The fifth day of the trip saw Team Ontario's second matchup against a college program, this time against NJCAA DII Lenoir CC in North Carolina. It was a pair of seven-inning games against the Lancers that saw nearly every arm throw just one inning and offensive input from many different faces. On the mound we saw three arms throw scoreless innings... Marsh, Ryan Parent and Caleb Wurzer. 

Max Barzo led the way offensively with a pair of hits, including a double and two runs scored while Jalal Latif went 1-for-1 with two walks. Daniel Savage was another standout on the day with a base-hit and a walk. While neither of the games went down to the wire, it was another chance for our players to get experience up against college level players. 

split-squad vs. wvu potomac state (njcaa dI)/garrett college (njcaa dii)
tuesday, october 12

The sixth-day of the fall trip saw a pair of nine-inning games with one against Potomac State (West Virginia) and another against Garrett College (Maryland). The squad in Maryland took Garrett College to the brink, falling 16-15 despite posting 22 hits. Gonsalves put together quite the day at the dish, going 4-for-5 with a double, two RBI and three runs scored while Max Barzo also posted four hits with two RBI's and two runs scored. Eric Del Fatti and Matthew Hodgins also put up big performances, picking up three hits on the day against the Lakers. On the bump it was Christian Fava who impressed during one inning of work which saw a clean inning and a pair of strikeouts. Robertson also struck out two during 0.2 innings out of the bullpen.

It was a different story in West Virginia as the second half of the split-squad took on a Division I JUCO program that went 35-8 this past season. King, Caietta, Johnston,Alex DiGiacinto, Matthew Dubrick and Luca Scarano each chipped in with base hits but it wasn't enough against one of the stronger junior college lineups on this side of the country. Savage had the biggest hit of the day, leaving the yard against Garrett College.

virginia commonwealth university - ncaa division i (virginia)
wednesday, october 13

The nine-inning matchup in Richmond, Virginia was one of the more exciting days on the trip for our players. VCU shares their stadium with the Double-A Richmond Squirrels, a farm team in the San Francisco Giants organization. Not only was it a great experience for our players to play in a professional stadium, but they got the chance to go up against one of the premiere mid-major programs in the country. 

VCU threw all first-year arms on the day but you wouldn't have known with the serious velocity coming out of the Rams bullpen. Team Ontario mustered up just four hits in the game off the bats of Barzo, Del Fatti, Scarano and Will Jackson. Another standout was Tibbits who despite not picking up any hits, reached base three times via the walk. On the bump it was Robertson once again who impressed, throwing one inning and while allowing just one hit on no runs, no walks and one strikeout. Parent came on to close out the game, striking out the only batter he faced. 

It was an incredible experience for our young athletes to see how a first-class, Division I program is run from a pre-game/practice standpoint as well from an athletic and performance standpoint. We had several players who jumped at the test and showed their skills in front of the VCU coaching staff.

pastime tournament - wood bat national championships (indianapolis)  | day one
saturday, october 16

Following a two day hiatus due to a bus malfunction in West Virginia, players were rearing to get back at it. Just like the Perfect Game tournament in Atlanta, Team Ontario sent a pair of teams to Grand Park looking to claim glory in the Wood Bat National Championships. On the opening day of the tournament, the Orange team went 2-0 while the Grey team split at 1-1. 

After failing to win a game in Atlanta, the Orange team came out looking for revenge and it showed in their game with a pair of complete games from Jax Nyberg and Sheadon Sullivan. With the strong performance on day one with a pair of mercy rule victories, the Orange Team claimed the first seed heading into championship Sunday.


It was a thrilling final day in Indianapolis that saw both Team Ontario teams combine to go 4-0 but most importantly, the Orange team took home a ring after a 4-0 performance on the weekend. The first game of the day for the Orange team saw a walk-off base hit from Jackson send the team to the championships. Fava got the start on the mound and kept the team in it before the bats woke up late and elevated the team to victory. It was as exciting a game as they come with it coming down to the final pitch of the game and energized the team heading into the championship game against Precision Baseball.

The team went down 6-0 early on in the championship matchup and when it almost looked out of reach, the relief pitching was strong and kept the game within reach for the offence. The bats rallied in the middle of the game and continued to tack on important runs as they eventually rallied back to take an 8-6 lead. Matt Marsh got the start and finished strong despite the early woes and Brandon Marimuthu was dominant in the final few innings. 

It was a strong weekend for both squads as the Grey team fell just a couple runs short of moving into the championship bracket. Ultimately, each of our teams ended the fall trip with a championship ring.

davenport university - ncaa dii (michigan) | aquinas college - naia (michigan)
monday, october 18

The final day of the college trip gave our players multiple games and several takeaways from each. Both games were played on Davenport's campus which has several beautiful, state-of-the-art athletic facilities highlighted by their full-turf baseball field with seating. The first game of the day came against Davenport themselves, a Division II program who went 33-16 last year, winning the GLIAC conference handedly before going 3-2 in the NCAA Midwest Regional where they fell one game shy of going to the DII College World Series. With a lot of arms hurting after the lengthy two-week trip, the Panthers offence came out strong and racked up the runs during the seven-inning affair. 

While there wasn't a ton of bright spots on the mound during the first game, the Team Ontario offence looked comfortable going up against several high-end arms from Davenport's program. It was yet another great test for our program going up against an elite program at the NCAA level. 

The final game of the day saw Team Ontario close out the trip with their first win over a college opponent, a goal the team set for themselves heading into the trip. The offence broke out early and gave the pitching staff some runs to work with. Sullivan was strong yet again as he got the start for Team Ontario and Nyberg was also strong in relief. It was the perfect ending for Team Ontario's first visit to the United States since the coronavirus pandemic began.