Ravens men’s baseball heading to nationals

The Carleton Ravens men’s baseball team is heading to the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association (CCBA) Nationals, which will be held in Fredericton, N.B., from Oct. 19-22, where the top six teams in the CCBA will compete for the title of national champion.

Last year the Ravens disappointingly missed out on making it to nationals after a defeat at the hands of the University of Montreal in the Northern conference playoffs.

The Ravens were able to secure their nationals spot in a semi-final series win against the Concordia Stingers. The Ravens and Stingers took the field on Oct. 7 for back-to-back games, with the Ravens winning the first, 4-2 and the second, 4-0.

The series win gave the Ravens a second place finish in the CCBA Northern conference behind the McGill Redmen, who they will face in the conference finals on Oct. 14.

The Ravens will be in tough competition against the McGill team who has gone undefeated this season and has won all four games that the Ravens have played against them. The Redmen have held their opponents to an impressive 32 runs against in 16 games, compared to the Ravens’ 68 runs against in 18 games.

McGill will also be attending the national championship where they have taken home the trophy for the past three years.

The Ravens have had a strong season this year and will be looking to keep the momentum up as they enter the conference finals and nationals. The Ravens swept the O-Train Series against cross-town rivals, University of Ottawa (U of O)  Gee-Gees, and were able to go 21-7-1 in pre-season tournament play and regular season.

The Ravens have been strong offensively this season scoring a total of 112 runs in the past 18 games. Ryan Burnside and Manny Restrepo have been the top performers for the team. Burnside has put up an impressive batting average of .451, and slugging percentage of .708 with a total of 22 runs batted in. Restrepo has been similarly effective with a batting average of .433 and an on base percentage of .519.

Pitchers Troy Clarke and Derek Harkin have also helped the Ravens rack up the wins defensively. Clarke has pitched in 10 games with 46 total innings pitched. He’s led the team to six wins with an earned run average (ERA) of 1.67 and walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) of 0.89. Harkin has pitched another 40 innings with three wins and an ERA of 1.03.

The other teams attending nationals from the Northern Conference are McGill and either Concordia or the Montreal Carabins, who will play a series to decide who gets the final spot. From the Atlantic Conference, Saint Mary’s University, Dalhousie University and either University of New Brunswick  or Acadia University will attend.

Photo by Pedro Vasconcellos