2017 College Baseball Season Year in Review

Although some teams are continuing their playoff pushes into and through their conference tournaments, and regionals with hopes of making it to their College World Series’, for most, it is time to get to summer leagues or head home to re-charge for the 2018 season.  Here are some of our Ontario Blue Jays Alumni who had strong 2017 seasons.

NCAA Division 1

Sophomore SS Royce Ando (Mississauga, ON) played in 50 Games this season for the Michigan State Spartans, hitting .281 with 7 doubles, 2 home runs, and 19 runs batted in.

Junior LHP Steven Dressler (Burlington, ON) logged 67 2/3 innings this Spring for the University of Texas – San Antonio Roadrunners with a 3.99 ERA, 37 strikeouts whiling allowing only 27 walks.

Freshman RHP RJ Freure (Burlington, ON) made an impact early in his University of Pittsburgh career, throwing 38 innings out of the bullpen for the Panthers, earning a 4-1 record while striking out 46 and allowing only 20 walks.

Freshman CF Nick Howie (Oakville, ON) had a stand out first year with the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, hitting .290 with 8 home runs, and 41 runs batted in, while starting all 56 games in Centerfield this season for EKU.  In addition, Howie took home the Eastern Kentucky University Freshman of the Year award and was named to the Ohio Valley Conference All-Rookies Team.

Junior RHP Zach Pop (Brampton, ON) finished his Kentucky Wildcats season with a 3.48 ERA and a 1-1 record over 20 2/3 innings pitched while striking out 20 and allowing only 13 walks.

Junior 1B Josh Williams (Toronto, ON) finished his first year at the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff with a .365 batting average, and 7 RBIs over 15 games.

NCAA Division 2

Freshman OF Johnny Liu (Mississauga, ON) took home the Davis and Elkins College batting championship in 2017, hitting .370 in 34 games for the Senators adding 15 runs batted in and 4 stolen bases.

Junior IF Connor Stevenson (Keswick, ON) played in 39 games this year for the East Central University Tigers collecting 7 home runs and 34 runs batted in while hitting .296 on the season.

Junior OF Daniel Szpik (Toronto, ON) was a leader for the Florida Tech Panthers in 2017, starting all 50 games while hitting .330 with 12 doubles, 11 home runs, 45 runs batted in and added 11 stolen bases.

NAIA

Junior RHP Christian Botnick (Brampton, ON) lead the way for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds bullpen in 2017 as he threw 32 innings with a 1.41 ERA and 3-1 record along with 1 save while striking out 28 and allowing only 12 walks.

NJCAA

Sophomore OF Troy Daring Jr. (Brampton, ON) put together a solid season for the Johnson County Cavaliers hitting .340 with 9 doubles, 8 home runs, while driving in 30 runners.

Freshman SS Max Hewitt (Midhurst, ON) tore the cover off the ball in 2017.  Hewitt finished 2nd in the NJCAA in Hits (103) and 15th in Batting Average (.436) all while starting all 60 games for the Connors State Cowboys.  In addition, Hewitt had 19 doubles, 3 home runs, and added 60 runs batted in.

Freshman C Tony Hrynkiw (Brampton, ON) put together a great offensive year at Connors State College while starting behind the plate 55 of the Cowboys 60 games, hitting .409 with 11 doubles, 3 home runs and 60 runs batted in.

Sophomore SS Conner Morro (Cheltenham, ON) lead the the Chattanooga State Tigers offence, hitting .402, with 17 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs with 42 runs batted in while starting in all 51 games at shortstop.  Morro was also named 2nd Team All-Conference Shortstop.

Freshman C Reese O’Farrell (Burlington, ON) had a strong first season at Howard College, hitting . 314 in 35 games while adding a home run and 30 runs batted in.

Freshman 1B Ryan Rijo (Barrie, ON) joined fellow alumni Max Hewitt at the top of the NJCAA offensive boards.  Rijo finished 3rd in the NJCAA in Doubles (26) and 6th in Runs Batted In (77).  Rijo hit .391 on the year, adding 13 home runs for the New Mexico Thunderbirds.