St Clair College announces MLB sanctioned baseball program
by Michael Hugall
St. Clair College’s recent successes in Men’s baseball have been recognized this past year. As a result, St. Clair vice-president Ron Seguin and assistant baseball coach Bernie Labute are introducing a Major League Baseball affiliate program to the region.
The St Clair Green Giants will participate in the the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League for the upcoming 2017 season. The team is comprised of players from American colleges as well as members from the Saints baseball team. They will play a schedule of 42 games in 52 days.
Windsor currently has two professional and one semi-professional sports organization in the city. The Windsor Stars soccer club and the Windsor Express basketball organization and the Windsor Spitfires Ontario Hockey League franchise.
The St. Clair Green Giants will be the first semi-professional baseball team in Windsor-Essex County and the second in the province.
Labute said the motivation behind starting the team in Windsor came from the president of the GLSCL Jim DaSana, who had always expressed interest in starting a team in Windsor, a city which has a history of winning baseball championships.
“The Windsor Chiefs, Windsor Selects, Windsor Stars,Tecumseh Thunder they’ve won championships and continued our great tradition for 30-40 years,” said Labute.“We’re hoping to bring the closest thing to a minor league franchise here to Windsor… the highest calibre possible, the best players that we can secure.”
The Green Giants will play all 21 of their home games at Lacasse Park in Tecumseh. A decision made by Tecumseh mayor Gary McNamara which Labute called, “welcoming.”
To run the day-to-day operations, the Green Giants will be relying on the students from St. Clair College.
President of the Student Athletic Association and sports management student Tristian Bouchat said the Green Giants is a program like no-other and aims to take advantage of the resources at the college.
“It’s real work experience for all of our students,” said Bouchat. “From sports management to business and public relations it allows them to experience work in a professional organization.”
A key resource for the Green Giants will be the St. Clair Saints men’s baseball team.
The Saints have won the Ontario Colleges Athletics Association Championship three-years in a row and are coming off a season in which they captured a Canadian silver medal, five of their players are on the roster for the 2017 Green Giant inaugural season.
Infielders Roberto Duncan and Max Ayarza made the Green Giants. They will be joined by pitchers Taylor Pappin and Miguel Cienfuegos and outfielder Austin Oulds. The five made the roster filled with athletes from across the United States of America.
See roster below
Tyrus Barclay / Garden City CC / Sophomore / Wyoming,ON
Bryce Beauchamp / Sierra CC / Freshman / Loomis,CA
Duncan Hewitt / Butler U. / Sophomore / Indianapolis,IN
Roberto Duncan / St. Clair College / Junior / Panama City, Panama
Nicholas Enrico / Hartnell CC / Junior / Honolulu, HI
Jesse Gonzales / Garden City CC / Junior /Arvada, CO
Cooper Marshall / Kellogg CC / Junior / Battle Creek, MI
Adam Tanoue / ASA College / Senior / Aiea, HI
Max Ayarza /St. Clair College / Junior / Bocas del Toro, Panama
Patrick Adams / Wayne State U. / Senior / Warren, MI
Nicholas Howie / Eastern Kentucky U. / Freshman / Oakville, ON
Austin Oulds / St. Clair College / Sophomore / Chatham, ON
Chase Rollin / Central Michigan U. / Sophomore / Weidman, MI
Pedro Julio Astacio Jr. / Paradise Valley CC / Freshman / Greenwood Village, CO
Hunter Brown / Wayne State U. / Sophomore / Saint Clair Shores, MI
Miguel Cienfuegos / St. Clair College / Sophomore/ Laval, QC
Ramon Monje / Garden City CC / Sophomore / Evans, CO
Taylor Pappin /St. Clair College / Senior / Brantford, ON
Guillermo Sanchez / Hartnel CC / Junior/ Santa Ana, CA
Nigel Ward / Santa Ana CC / Junior / Santa Ana, CA
St. Clair Saints shortstop Matthew Skyes has been playing baseball in the city for many years, he said this could be an outlet for younger athletes looking to further pursue a professional career.
“I think a lot of guys from St. Clair would have played on this team,” said Sykes. “ I think it would have helped a lot of guys get to the next level and I think it will be a great thing for Windsor baseball, we’re just a little late getting to it.”
Bouchat said the goal is to get as much community involvement as possible.
The Green Giants are planning on working with minor baseball organizations from around the city and are looking to implement a “Little Giants” program.
“ The program is still in the works,” said Bouchat. “We’re looking to aim for kids 12 and under and it will allow them to run the bases, get a free t-shirt, meet the players and really give them a front row experience on what these players go through.”
Bouchat adds there is still a lot of work to be done before the season starts in June.