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T12 Stories | Baseball Academy

2019 T12 Stories

T12 Recaps for September 20

Team Maroon 5, Team Navy 5

Dominic Hambley allowed one hit and no earned runs across three innings en route to co-Player of the Game honours for Team Navy in a tie with Team Maroon.

The 17-year-old right-handed pitcher out of Victoria, B.C., struck out two and allowed just one walk, but was ultimately settled with a no-decision despite a superb performance.

"I felt pretty good, I was definitely more in control than I thought I was going to be," Hambley said post-game. "It was a really good feeling when I could focus in and not allow the outside space to bother me, I was just focusing on me and my catcher."

Dante Wright (Pickering, Ont.) led Team Maroon offensively, finishing 1-for-2 with two RBIs.

Maroon received three innings of work from Tyler Boudreau (Middle Sackville, N.S.), who allowed three hits and two earned runs on the day. His two strikeouts matched the two walks allowed.

Player(s) of the Game: Dominic Hambley, J.J. Dutton

Team Orange 5, Team Red 4

A third inning rally led by Bryce Arnold carried Team Orange to a win over Team Red.

The 18-year-old from Grimsby, Ont. recorded two hits and one run in two at bats.

Swift Current, Sask., native Brody Alexandre, who had a hit, a run, and two RBIs in four at bats, and Burlington, Ont.'s Nicholas Thibodeau, who had a run, two hits, and one RBI in just as many at bats, helped filled up the Team Orange stat sheet.

Alejandro Cazorla Granados, of Okotoks, Alta., was also a key figure, hitting a huge triple off Coquitlam, B.C.'s Giordano Mezzomo and cementing his standout tournament play with a batting average of .364.

"I just kept the same approach all tournament long," Cazorla Granados said. "Me and my dad talk about it all the time: You can only control what you can control on that - your attitude and effort. If you hit balls hard you can't control where you put the ball on the field, right? So you've just got to hit the ball hard and the rest is up to God."

Player(s) of the Game: Alejandro Cazorla Granados

Team Maroon 5, Team Black 1

Making his only start of the Tournament 12 event, Levi Abbott struck out four batters in three scoreless innings to lead Team Maroon to a victory over Team Black.

It was the second-to-last official game of the 2019 event, and the 18-year-old made it count.

"It's hard to expect what you think is going to happen," he said. "You're facing a lot of good hitters, so I just try to keep my head down and go to work, and things turned out well. I'm happy with the game."

Team Maroon took control of the action early on, and never let Team Black come close.

Shortstop Yosuke Fujie led Team Maroon offensively, scoring two runs and adding an RBI single.

Treyson Smith was the only batter to have a multiple-hit performance for Team Black, while Louka Daoust scored the team's only run.

Player(s) of the game: Levi Abbott

Team Navy 5, Team Green 1

Caleb Clark pitched three scoreless innings, allowing one walk and four hits while striking out four batters for Team Navy in their victory over Team Green.

The now 16-year-old acted anything but young, appearing poised and balanced despite it being a special day.

"I was feeling good," Clark said with a smile. "Excited to play to my birthday."

Adding to the strong performance from the mound, Team Navy saw Tyson Gomm put up solid numbers yet again.

After being named Player of the Game Wednesday, Gomm had two hits, one run scored, and two RBIs against Team Green. Teammate Mason Dobie contributed with two hits and two RBIs.

Austin Gomm scored Team Green's only run of the game after a single by Max Grant.

Player(s) of the Game: Caleb Clark

T12 Recaps for September 19

Navy def. Black 6-2

Team Navy grabbed its first win of Tournament 12 following a five-run fifth inning.

Alexis Gravel and Tyson Gomm were solid contributors in the victory.

Gravel, of Repentigny, Que., finished 1-for-4 with one run, two RBIs runs and a stolen base, with almost all of his damage coming in the fifth inning. Mississauga, Ont., native Gomm posted three hits and one RBI.

Originally a catcher, Gomm played second baseman as his team needed someone to step up at the position. After the game, he pointed out the relation between both positions.

"I definitely compared them (catcher and second base positions)," he said. "There are things that are definitely similar, like footwork, fielding a ground ball, throwing down to second. And when you play in the infield, your arm slot is pretty similar to catching."

Team Navy's coach and former 11-year Major League pitcher Jeff Francis had good things to said about Gomm after the contest.

"Anytime you can stick out it's a positive," said the coach. "He (Gomm) plays with intensity; it's impressive to see. He's been a guy who grinds out the at-bat, he's a progressive swinger."

Player Of The Game: Tyson Gomm

Marron, Orange tie 4-4

Team Maroon and Team Orange featured an even game decided only in the final pitches, with the latter tying it after a sacrifice fly RBI in the seventh RJ Mayor scored in Alejandro Cazorla Granados.

For Team Maroon, David Calabrese was the storyline once again. The Maple, Ont., native put up solid numbers for the second consecutive game, highlighted by a triple and RBI.

Teammate Darius Armorer, of Whitby, Ont., had an RBI and a stolen base.

Armorer isn't taking anything for granted at Tournament 12 considering his struggles with injuries last season.

"Last year really sucked. Having to miss a tournament like this and having to recover so quickly because baseball is always going on in my life," said Armorer. "Now I get my chance, I'm trying to make the best of it."

Brody Alexandre, of Swift Current, Sask., was a big part of Team Orange's bounce-back performance, earning a hit and two RBIs.

Player Of The Game: Darius Armorer

Red def. Black 5-4

Left-fielder Tyrese Johnson's aggressiveness, combined with a couple of opponents' errors, played a factor in Team Red's comeback win over Team Black.

The Calgary native finished the game with a triple, one RBI, one stolen base, and two runs scored. His fourth-inning triple sparked Team Red's triumph as they recovered from a 4-1 deficit.

"I take base running very seriously," he said. "Whenever I can take a bag or change the game, I try to."

An exciting performance also helped Johnson, who felt the pressure in his first Tournament 12 last year but showed himself more prepared in 2019. After impacting his team's 8-8 tie with Team Green Wednesday, he now has five runs scored, compared to only one run in three games in 2018.

"Last year, when I came in, I was shaking in my boots for my first at-bat. This year I feel a lot more settled in and confident in my ability here."

Tanner Almond led the way for Team Black, batting in two of the four runs scored by his team in a strong fourth inning. He went 2-for-4 with one hit in the contest.

Player Of The Game: Tyrese Johnson

Green, Orange tie 2-2

Both Team Green and Team Orange saw their pitchers stepping up in the final game of Tournament 12's Day 3, finishing all squared up.

Team Orange's Gabriel Archambault and Cameron Byberg were on the mound for the first five innings, combining for just three hits and two walks while not allowing a single run.

"The guys were more calm, like attacking the batter with a fastball, come back with a curveball," said Archambault. "I think all the pitchers can be out there for a long time, they can enter as the starter or later in the game

"Anyone on team orange could throw a complete game. (It has) some of the best pitchers in this tournament."

Caden Shapiro couldn't keep up with his counterparts, as he walked four batters and earned one run in two innings played. The Toronto native threw a wild pitch on the top of the seventh that resulted in a tying run for Homer Bush Jr.

On the other side, Louis-Philippe Langevin (three innings pitched), Kevin Millar (two), and Dryden Howse (two) allowed just five hits, four walks, and two runs, while striking out eight batters.

Nicholas Thibodeau led Team Orange's batters with one RBI in four at-bats, while Julio Vasquez contributed with one hit and one walk in two at-bats for Team Green.

Player Of The Game: Gabriel Archambault

T12 Recaps for September 18

Red def. Navy 5-3

Team Red outfielders Simon Menier and Owen Caissie powered their team to the first victory of the 2019 Tournament 12.

Menier, of Chicoutimi, Que., came up clutch in the top of the seventh. With men on second and third, he smacked a single to right-field to score the go-ahead runs.

The 18-year old had two hits and three RBIs for the winners. Teammate Owen Caissie, of Burlington, Ont., went 1-for-2 with an RBI double, two walks, two runs scored, and two stolen bases

After playing in last year's tourney, Caissie came prepared for his final prospect showcase at the Rogers Centre.

"Last year put in perspective what I needed to get better, what I needed to do to be one of the best in Canada," said Caissie. "I worked, worked, and worked, and finally had a chance and showed it."

Pitcher Drew Howard, of Whitby, Ont., picked up the win, throwing two perfect innings of relief.

Riley Silva led the way for Navy, going 1-for-2 with a run and two stolen bases. The Cambridge, Ont., native hit a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning that tied the game at 3-3.

Player of the Game: Owen Caissie

Green def. Maroon 8-3

An offensive explosion from the Team Green bats led them to a dominant 8-3 victory over Team Maroon in the second game of the 2019 T12.

Max Grant, of Fredericton, N.B., was a catalyst in the victory, collecting three hits, two RBI, and adding two runs scored. The 17-year old also stole home on a heads up play in the first inning, scoring from third as Team Maroon attempted to catch Green teammate Austin Gomm stealing second.

Green took full advantage of their scoring opportunities, hitting 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Four players had multiple hits in the victory.

Ottawa, Ont., native Benjamin Adams picked up the win, allowing just one run on two hits and two walks while striking out four across three innings of work.

Maple's David Calabrese was the lone bright spot for Maroon, going 2-for-3 with an RBI triple and a stolen base.

The steal is no surprise for Calabrese, who posted the fastest 60-yard dash at Tuesday's workout day, completing his sprint in 6.43 seconds.

"I think for me, speed is my No. 1 tool," said Calabrese in a post-game interview. "I really try to utilize it as much as I can. I really work hard on consistently getting myself faster and faster and that's the one area that I really try and improve on every single day."

Player of the Game: David Calabrese

Orange def. Black 9-0

Team Orange was firing on all cylinders in their opening game of the 2019 T12, shutting out Team Black 9-0 in the third game at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday.

Mississauga, Ont.'s Connor O'Halloran, the number one ranked prospect in Ontario, was dominant in his start, spinning three shutout innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out a Wednesday high seven batters.

O'Halloran and reliever Theo Milas combined to strike out 10 of the first 14 batters they faced. Both were awarded co-player of the game honours.

"I'm always trying to throw strikes," said O'Halloran. "I'm always trying to get people out quick. That's what I tried to do today, get two strikes and put him away.

"It was a great start, first game coming out here, everyone's putting up zeros," said Millas, who went two innings with four strikeouts. "It was a good mark that we hopefully can obtain throughout this whole tournament."

Orange put forth a total team effort on offence. Seven different batters crossed the plate, while all but one batter got on base.

Swift Current, Saskatchewan's, Brody Alexandre provided the knockout blow, lining a bases-loaded double to centre field to drive in three runs and give his team a 7-0 fourth-inning lead.

Player of the game: Connor O'Halloran and Theo Milas

Green ties Red 8-8

Arlen Peters' RBI single in the top of the seventh, salvaged an 8-8 tie for Team Green against fellow Day Two winner Team Red, in Wednesday's final T12 matchup.

After a leadoff walk and subsequent wild pitch put Abbotsford B.C.'s Carlin Dick in scoring position, allowing Peters, of Schazenfeld, MB, to drive him home for the tie.

The teams went back and forth all game long, in a game that saw three lead changes. Green jumped out to 2-0 and 5-2 leads, but Red came back each time, taking 7-5 and 8-7 leads of their own.

Whitby, Ont.'s Drew Howard, who was awarded player of the game, gave Red the 8-7 seventh inning lead when he smacked a line drive down the third base line that was too hot for the third baseman to handle.

Howard, who pitched and picked up the win in Red's first game of the day, went 2-for-4 and scored a run of his own.

"I'm focused on getting good pitches in the zone and taking good, quality swings at them," said Howard in a post-game interview.

The speed of Team Green came into play as it did in their first game of the afternoon.

After stealing total five bases in their 8-3 victory over Team Maroon, Homer Bush Jr. (son of the former Blue Jays infielder), Mississauga's Austin Gomm, and Alfonso Villalobos, of Kirkland, QC., each stole a base in the evening game, leading to two early runs.

Player of the Game: Drew Howard

Elijha Hammil, SS | Ontario

Hammill will be making his second appearance at T12 this September after debuting on the Futures Navy team in 2018 as a 14-year-old. Add this on top of Hammill's play with the Junior National Team and the Ontario Terriers, and the young infielder is putting himself on the map in a hurry.

The exposure of T12 is exciting for Hammill, whose belief in his own game leaves him confident that he'll make a strong impression in front of the many college and professional scouts at Rogers Centre. The bright lights of the Major League stadium might seem a little more normal the second time around, but Hammill is still looking forward to the experience to play against the country's best young players.

 Hammill is a dynamic athlete and switch hitter whose infectious energy can impact the game in all phases.

"I love to play with a lot of confidence," Hammill said, "very hyped in moments where it gets hyped. I love to get everyone into the game and start the game off by getting on. I love to steal bases and start the aggressiveness early with the team." 

 As he continues to develop, Hammill is hoping to develop his right-handed swing more to round out his offensive game. He remains confident, though, that his all-around game brings plenty to the table.

"My strengths are both offensively and defensively. I love to swing from both sides of the plate," Hammill said. "I'm powerful on both sides. Defensively, I love playing second base. I'm always aggressive, always love diving for balls, making plays and making my pitcher feel good."

Hammill has seen plenty of young Canadian players just a few years older than him go on to college scholarships and professional opportunities, and T12 is a key part of that process. A total of 21 Canadians who participated in T12 were selected in the 2019 MLB Draft, which set a new high. As Canadian players take on some of the world's best in pro ball, young players like Hammill will now have a chance to do so at Rogers Centre.

 When asked which other Canadian players he looks up, Hammill doesn't hesitate. 

"Dasan Brown," he said. "He plays with a lot of confidence and a lot of style. I love to look up to him. He's full of confidence all the time. No matter who he's playing against, he always goes up there hacking."

 That certainly fits Hammill's description of how he likes to play the game. Brown, who played for Ontario Black in the 2018 T12, was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the third round of the 2018 MLB Draft. The 17-year-old has enjoyed a strong start to his pro career in the Gulf Coast League and already profiles as one of the most athletically-gifted players in the Blue Jays' system.

Brown, like the many other T12 and Junior National Team alumni who have gone on to college or professional ball, offers a path for young players like Hammill, who are still in the early stages of their journeys.

 At this point of Hammill's career, things can get hectic. There are responsibilities with the Junior National Team, provincial play, club play and showcases. This all comes on top of being a 15-year-old with school, a social life and other responsibilities, which is where Hammill's maturity can really be valuable as he goes through this process. 

 When he does get some time away from the ball park, Hammill and his friends try to stay active any way they can. Sometimes, that's a game of basketball. Other times, he stays involved in sports with his younger sisters.

 "I spend time with my family. My sisters play sports, as well," Hammill said. "My little sister loves to play soccer, so I'll play some soccer with her if I can. My other younger sister, she likes to play some baseball here and there, so I might throw the ball with her and just watch her have fun."

Calvin Ziegler, RHP | Ontario

Ziegler left last year's tournament with a number of goals. The 6-foot, 170-pound hurler wanted to not only improve all of the pitches in his repertoire, but also knew he needed to get better at locating them. He also aimed to add some velocity and strength to his game, as well as trying to maintain a sense of calmness of the mound when faced with tough situations.

"I've worked with dozens of people to try to do that," Ziegler said. "And really when I work with people, I try to pick out what I like from what they've said and take the things that apply to me and throw it all together to see if it works. If it doesn't, I'll try something new."

What has worked most consistently for Ziegler throughout his amateur career so far has been his fastball. The young flamethrower first hit 90 mph before last season and has since gotten it up to 93 mph this season.

"That's my biggest strength," he said. "I throw a pretty heavy and pretty fast one, so that's a go-to for me, especially when it's going well. I first hit 90 on the radar gun not last offseason, but the one before that. I just skimmed it and I was really surprised because I wasn't throwing very hard at the time.

"I didn't believe it at first, to be honest. I thought everybody was joking with me. They were all screaming and telling me it was 90, and I just thought, 'No way, don't lie to me.' They showed me on the radar gun, and I didn't know what to say. It came out of nowhere."

Ziegler is hoping that as he continues to improve the pitch and his craft, he can take the success he's found at home with him to the University of Connecticut, where he is committed to the Huskies, and eventually into professional baseball.

"Obviously as a 16-year-old baseball player, my goal is to make it to the Majors," Ziegler said. "Every 16-year-old, no matter what level they play at, is going to so that. But going into college, I'm really excited to get the experience because it's really big. And I'm excited to have that as a backup plan -- if something doesn't go my way in baseball, I'm going to have an education so I can stay focused and live a decent life."

Wherever it takes him, the future is bright for Ziegler.

"Cal is starting to mature as a player," Baseball Canada's director of national teams Greg Hamilton said. "He's got a really good arm, his arm works really easy, and good feel for his breaking ball with good rotation on it. He's got a chance to have a real starter's repertoire and he's got a bulldog mentality -- he's a competitive kid -- and all those things are going to serve him well.

"He's got an opportunity to be an impactful national team player going forward, he's got an opportunity to impact the collegiate game at a very high level, and he's got a really good opportunity to be a really good pro going forward."

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2018 T12 Stories

2018 Tournament 12 All-Stars

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September 16, 2018 | Featured Story

September 15, 2018 | Featured Story

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September 13, 2018 | Featured Story

Jaden Brown, SS | Ontario

Owen Diodati, C | Ontario

Jackson Fraser, RHP | Prairies

Micah McDowell, CF | Atlantic

Theo Millas, RHP | British Columbia

Mike Soroka, RHP | Alberta

Nicolas Tremblay, OF | Quebec

Cesar Valero, SS | Alberta