2019 Review | The Alumni

by Darryl Reid

Toronto, ON - The year 2019 was very kind to many of our Alumni on the baseball field. As we say good bye to 2019 and welcome a brand new year and decade, we look back on the success that was with our Alumni.

Canadian Baseball Network - All Canadians

Hall of Fame writer Bob Elliott has been naming the best Canadian College baseball players playing South of the border for the last 20 years. The amount of Canadian players has grown from 490 in year one to 780 last spring. 

The voters consist of 16 writers, 13 coaches from elite programs and five college coaches on both sides of the border; 14 scouts, 11 executives, four players and two radio broadcasters. 

The All Canadians are named to three teams and honourable mentions. This season a total of 11 Toronto Met Alumni were named to the Canadian Baseball Network 2019 All Canadian College Baseball Team.

In the history of the All Canadians, there have been two Toronto Mets Alumni who have been named the Canadian College Baseball Player of the Year.

2015 _ 3B Connor Panas (Toronto, Ont.) of the Canisius Golden Griffins, 33 of 45 ballots (73.3).

2012 _ 2B Maxx Tissenbaum (Toronto, Ont.) of the Stony Brook Seawolves, 40-for-58 (69).

DH _ Liam Hicks (Toronto, Ont.) Mineral Area Cardinals.

Hicks batted .440 with 19 doubles, 14 homers and 56 RBIs. He had a stunning 1.374 OPS in 49 games.

His best outing was a 4-for-4 game in a win over Shawnee as he hit a solo homer. As well, he had a three-hit outings facing Nunez (homer, four RBIs), Crowley’s Ridge (two doubles, three RBIs), Crowder (RBI), North Central Missouri (double, three RBIs) and St. Louis (double).

He had two hit-games against at Snead State (with a double, homer, three RBIs), Bevill State (double), Nunez (two homers, three RBIs), State Fair (solo homer), Hannibal Lagrange (homer, four RBIs), Hannibal Lagrange (two doubles, six RBIs), Crowder (RBI), St. Charles (two homers, three RBIs), St. Louis, St. Louis (RBI), St. Louis (double, two RBIs), Jefferson (MO), Metropolitan, Three Rivers (double, RBI), Three Rivers, North Central Missouri (double, RBI) and State Fair (double, solo homer),

Hicks earned Honourable Mention All-American honours by the NJCAA, the first baseball Cardinal to ever be so acknowledged. Hicks had a .567 on-base percentage. He was named Region 16 Player of the Year. 

Left-hander _ Niall Windeler (Toronto, Ont.) British Columbia Thunderbirds.

Windeler made 14 appearances for UBC -- 13 starts -- going 5-3 with a 3.93 ERA. He walked 26 and struck out 101 in 87 innings.

Windeler whiffed an NAIA West-leading 99 hitters in conference play. His highlight came when he tossed the Thunderbirds’ first-ever solo nine-inning no hitter against Oregon Tech, earning NAIA Pitcher of the Week recognition.

He had wins over Lewis-Clark State, Oregon Tech, Idaho (twice) and Corban, while losing to Oregon State, Corban, Lewis-Clarke State and Southeastern.  

Windeler and Lewis-Clark State’s Tyler Burch shared the Cascade Collegiate Conference and NAIA-West Co-Pitcher of the Year honors.  Windeler was named to the All-NAIA West Team.

Outfield _ Evan Webb (Whitby, Ont.) Concord Mountain Lions.

There was a time when Webb pitched and played first. He may have switched positions but his bat remained potent. Webb hit .397 with 16 doubles, a triple, eight homers and 54 RBIs. In 49 games he had an OPS of 1.174. Webb led the Mountain Lions in average, at-bats, doubles, RBIs, total bases, as well as shared the lead in hits.

He had a four-hit games against Shepherd (with a double), while managing three-hit outings against Salem (triple, six RBIs), West Virginia Wesleyan (two doubles, two RBIs), Glenville State (two doubles), Charleston (double, RBI), Bluefield State (double, RBI) and Virginia-Wise (two RBIs).

As well, he had two-hit games against Ohio Valley, Wheeling Jesuit (double, two RBIs), Notre Dame (RBI), Winston-Salem State (solo homer), Fairmont State (double), West Virginia State (two doubles, two RBIs), West Virginia State (two RBIs), Bluefield State (RBI). West Virginia Wesleyan (home run, four RBIs) and Ohio Valley (homer, six RBIs).

The former Toronto Met was voted to the All-Mountain East Conference Honorable Mention Team this spring and received Canadian Baseball Network Honourable Mention honours in 2017.

Second base _ Tyler Black (Toronto, Ont.), Wright State Raiders.

He batted a lofty .353 with 11 doubles, five triples, seven homers and 41 RBIs. Black had an OPS of 1.069 in 52 games and was 8-for-11 stealing.

His best games were a 4-for-5 outing against Xavier (four RBIs, double) and three-hit games playing Indiana (home run, three RBIs), Northern Kentucky (double, two RBIs) and Oakland (two doubles, triple, RBI). 

Black had two-hit games against Utah, Illinois-Chicago (RBI), Youngstown State (triple, homer, three RBIs), Northern Kentucky (double), Xavier (triple, homer), Milwaukee (double), Youngstown State (double, two RBIs), Oakland (triple, two RBIs), Northern Kentucky (two RBIs) and Illinois-Chicago.

Outfielders _ Matt Turino (Toronto, Ont.) Jefferson Vikings

Turino had a 1.039 OPS and went 30-34 stealing bases in 56 games.

He had three-hit games against Mississippi Gulf Coast (double, homer, two RBIs), Bryant & Stratton College (double), St. Charles (double, triple, three RBIs) and Mineral Area (two RBIs).

He managed two-hit outings against Mississippi Gulf (two RBIs), Webster (double, RBI), Bryant & Stratton (double, RBI), Quincy University JVs (double, two RBIs), North Central Missouri (RBI), Metropolitan (two RBIs), Crowder, St. Louis (RBI), St. Louis (double, RBI), St. Louis (two RBIs), Lewis & Clark (RBI), Mineral Area (two doubles), Mineral (double), North Central Missouri (double, homer, three RBIs), Webster (triple, RBI), Harris Stowe (two doubles), Three Rivers (triple, home run, three RBIs), State Fair (double, two RBIs), State Fair (two RBIs), Metropolitan (double, triple, two RBIs) and Metropolitan.

Turino also earned Region XVI All-Region team second team honours.

Relievers _ Adam Parker (Toronto, Ont.) Jefferson Cavileers

Adam Parker threw in 11 games for JEFF-CO, he was 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA. The Left hander was able to strikeout 22 hitters in 26 innings of work.

First base _ Tyler Dobie (Toronto, Ont.) Point Park Pioneers

The RS Junior enjoyed a very successful first season with Point Park. The hard hitting Right Hander hit .364 with 14 doubles and three home runs. He had an OPS of 1.007 with 33 RBI's on 44 hits in 121 at bats.

Outfielder _ Gianfranco Morello (Toronto, Ont.) Charleston (WV) Golden Eagles

Gianfranco Morello enjoyed a fantastic Senior season. In 59 games for the Golden Eagles, he hit .374, with three home runs, four triples, and a very impressive 22 doubles. Morello was able to rack up 73 hits with an OPS of 1.038 in 195 at bats while adding 29 stolen bases. Morello was also named a Mountain East Conference first team all-star.

Outfielder _ Adam Plouffe (Toronto, Ont.) Mars Hill Lions

Adam Plouffe had a very solid Sophomore season for the Lions of Mars Hill. The Toronto native was able to hit .321 with an OPS of 1.068. He added four home runs, two triples, seven doubles, and scored 20 runs in 84 at bats.

Outfielder _ Anthony Vavaroutsos (Toronto, Ont.) Shippensburg Raiders

For Tony Vavaroutsos it is tougher to have a better freshman season than what he posted in 2019. The smooth left handed hitting outfielder was named the PSAC Freshman of the year and selected as a second team conference all-star. He batted .336 with seven home runs and drove in 38 runs. he belted 12 doubles on 46 hits in 137 at bats.

DH _ Matt Hilderbrandt (Bowmanville, Ont.) Limestone Saints

Matt Hilderbrandt continued to hit with power during his junior season and first with Limestone College in South Carolina. The big left handed hitter smashed 10 home runs, and drove in 29 runs while hitting .260 in 150 at bats.