OTTAWA- Six players who helped Canada to a 4th place finish at the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championships in Thunder Bay are starting their freshman seasons on college campuses all over the United States. The Junior College baseball season is well underway while Division 1 programs begin play on February 18th.
Brian Bardis-LHP (St. Constant, QC)
Bardis’ season with the St. Petersburg Junior College Titans has already begun and he has helped his squad to an 8-5 record through the first three weeks of the season. Bardis was solid coming out of the Junior National Team bullpen all summer and will look to continue that success for the Titans. The current edition of the JNT will face Bardis and the Titans on March 1st at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.
Jordan Boston-INF (Brampton, ON)
Boston will be bringing his bat to Alcorn State University in Mississippi where the Braves compete in the competitive Southwestern Athletic Conference. Boston will be looking to help the Braves win the East Division and ultimately the conference championship. Boston used his versatility as both an outfielder and first baseman while with the JNT.
Alex Calbick- 3B (Burnaby, BC)
Calbick is one of five Canadians on the University of Maine Black Bears roster and joins fellow JNT alumnus Jeff Gibbs (Toronto, ON) and Kyle Benoit (Brampton, ON) on the squad. Calbick was named a tournament All-Star at the 2010 World Juniors and will look to continue his success with the Black Bears as they compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference.
Mike Ellis –RHP (Surrey, BC)
Ellis is on the campus of Florida International University where he looks to earn a spot in the Panthers starting rotation. Coming off a Sun Belt Conference championship, Ellis and the Panthers are poised to repeat their success which has them ranked amongst the Top 50 Division 1 programs according to pre-season polls. Ellis was a key member of the JNT pitching staff in 2010.
Jonathan Paquet- RHP (Ancienne-Lorette, QC)
Another key member of the JNT pitching staff, Jonathan Paquet, is on campus at the University of Kentucky and ultimately playing in one of the toughest conferences in all of college baseball, the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Paquet hopes to earn a spot on the Wildcats pitching staff while keeping alive the Canadian contingent of talent heading into the UK program.
Rowan Wick- OF/C (North Vancouver, BC)
Power hitting Wick will look to break into one of college baseball’s top programs with the St. John’s University Red Storm in New York. The Red Storm are ranked 23rd by Baseball America in their pre-season poll and they have also listed Wick as the starting DH making him the only freshman on the roster to start. Wick enjoyed a solid World Junior at the plate where he hit .301 with 2 homeruns and 6 RBI.
Notes: Other graduating players from the JNT program in 2010 will be entering their first Spring Training camps with various MLB clubs. The following players were drafted and signed in 2010:
- Brandon Dailey (Brantford, ON) – Cincinnati Reds
- Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC) – Texas Rangers
- Evan Grills (Whitby, ON) – Houston Astros
- Joel Pierce (Windsor, ON) – Milwaukee Brewers
- Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, ON) – Toronto Blue Jays
- Brian Smith (Pickering, ON) – Chicago Cubs