Titans “Top Five” CPBL Playoff Performers: Byers, Lanoue, Puttock, Hedrick, and Thomson

by Jim Stewart

Cameron Byers (16U), Eric Lanoue (17U), Sam Puttock (15U), Brennan Hedrick (16U), and Nolan Thomson (17U) each helped the Titans close their inaugural season in the CPBL with three sparkling quality starts and offensive fireworks befitting a Holiday Weekend.

All five student-athletes distinguished themselves with workman performances befitting the spirit of the Labour Day weekend, as the Titans Baseball Club completed its first Canadian Premier Baseball League playoff run.  

The Titans teams played with great heart and grit on the final weekend of the truncated 2021 season and eked out some nice playoff wins, but these five individual performances were particularly noteworthy. 

Cameron Byers showed he was playoff-ready as the 16U pitcher threw a complete game in his team’s 7-2 win over the Fieldhouse Pirates.  The Saint Andrew’s College student struck out 10 Pirates and walked three; he scattered 4 hits and gave up only 1 earned run during his 7 effective innings of work.  Coach Johnny Crocco was impressed with his lefthander’s strong playoff game performance:  “Cam Byers exemplified exactly what it means to be a fierce competitor. Cam attacked the strike zone with ease and kept a very good hitting team guessing all game. This is just scratching the surface of what he is capable of at this level.”

In another excellent mound performance, Eric Lanoue pitched a 7-inning complete game to pace the 17U Titans to a 7-4 win over the Terriers Baseball Club.  The Father John Redmond CHS student struck out five Terriers and yielded four earned runs on eight hits to help the 17U’s advance to the CPBL Silver finals. Coach Jeremy Uylenbroek offered this assessment of Lanoue’s mental toughness and leadership on the hill versus the Terriers:  “Lanou knew the game was key and pivotal for the team. He remained composed, despite some minor adversity. He did a good job keeping the batters’ feet moving in the box and keeping them from getting too comfortable. Eric was cool, calm, and collected in the biggest moments of the game. I felt his demeanor carried through to the rest of the team and helped focus them especially late in the game.”

The third quality start of the playoff weekend belonged to 15U hurler Sam Puttock who threw six strong innings and yielded just two runs in a narrow 2-1 loss to the Oakville Royals.  The Our Lady Queen of the World CHS student struck out seven Royals and walked only one in his team’s elimination game with the season on the line.  Titans Pitching Coordinator Eddie McKiernan praised Puttock’s  gritty playoff performance versus the Royals:  “Sam was a bulldog. He pitched to contact and got big strike outs when need be. It wasn't the result he wanted, but he did all he could for his team. Sam's future is bright; he's one of the biggest competitors I've coached.”

In addition to the three excellent pitching performances by Titans starters, two position players distinguished themselves offensively during the CPBL Labour Day playoff tournament. 

16U First Baseman Brennan Hedrick’s offensive production was impressive in terms of both average and RBI’s.  The Keswick High School student posted a gaudy .444 BA and drove in 3 runs to pace his team’s offence on the weekend.  Head Coach Jesse Barker saw Hedrick’s timely hitting as a key ingredient to the 16U Titans’ playoff success:   "Brennan continued his assault on CPBL pitching this playoff weekend, collecting 4 hits and 3 RBI over the 3 games. The hard-hitting 1st baseman has made loud contact all summer long at the plate and has been a nightmare for pitchers and fielders combined. Brennan has worked his butt off since last fall and is always looking to improve his game. I'm excited to see his work ethic continue into this offseason and expect him to be a leader of next season's 17U team."

Veteran 17U Middle Infielder Nolan Thomson cobbled together a robust .545 average in the CPBL playoff tournament.  The Huron Heights SS student hit 2 doubles and had 3 RBI in the leadoff spot to ignite the Titan offence.  Associate Head Coach Denis Bailey was not surprised by Thomson’s ability to seize the moment: “Nolan was the catalyst for our offence at the top of the order all season. He set the table all weekend and showed tremendous pitch recognition.”

Congratulations to our Top Five performers--Cameron Byers, Eric Lanoue, Sam Puttock, Brennan Hedrick , and Nolan Thomson-- for their fine performances  during the Titans’ first CPBL playoff tournaments.  

2020-2021 Ends and 2021-22 Begins 

As we flip the page from one season to the next, we are looking forward to seeing all our 2021-22 Titans on the field this coming week—especially our brand new 14U team-- as we kick off Fall Ball 2021 with practices (September 7 and 9) and inter-squad games (September 11-12).  Please check the Titans website for team-specific dates, times, and places.