Titans Top Ten CPBL Performances for Week #1

by Jim Stewart

A wetter-than-normal May has played havoc with the Titans’ Opening Week and pre-season outdoor practice schedule.  The 16U’s opening weekend was rained out, the 18U’s got rained out in Newmarket and Aurora on consecutive days—the second of which led to postponing an Opening Day Ceremony at SAC where Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas was scheduled to throw out the first pitch to kick off the 2023 CPBL season.  The Ceremonial First Pitch has been moved to a Saturday, June 10th tilt-- with the Ontario Astros providing the opposition for the 18U Titans during a 9 AM start at SAC.

However, three Titans teams did manage to dodge enough raindrops and turned in many excellent performances. 14U Titan Caiden Moncada muscled his way to Offensive Star of the weekend. He batted .727 and racked up 4 XBH, 5 RBI, and 6 Steals. The 17U Titans split two games at SAC on Saturday—including a wild walk-off win versus the Nationals before getting rained out on Sunday in St. Mary’s. A quality start was turned in by 17U starting pitcher Kai Hernandez who struck out 10 Nationals in his no-decision in the walk-off.  The 15U’s split their weekend series with the Fieldhouse Pirates as starters Adam Visram and Liam Dupuis-Cundy turned in a pair of quality outings, earning impressive W’s to open 2023. 

Here are our Top Ten Titans for the weekend of May 6-7:

Caiden Moncada (14U)—Moncada had a monster weekend in which he hit a stratospheric .727 (8 hits including 4 doubles), drove in 5 runs, and stole 6 bases. 14U Head Coach John Bethune was impressed: “His ability to kick start our offense this weekend was a product of the hard work he puts in. I regularly see him in the facility working on his swing; it's great to see the on-field results match up.” 

Adam Visram (15U)-- Visram picked up right where he left off last season by providing the Titans with a qualify start.  He picked up Win #1 of the 2023 season with a 6-inning complete game; he gave up only 2 hits and zero earned runs while striking out 4.  Visram’s complete game shutout helped the 15U Titans split their opening weekend with the Pirates 2-2. 

Liam Dupuis-Cundy (15U)-- Dupuis-Cundy threw six strong innings in which he surrendered only one hit and one earned run while striking out eight Pirates. The Titans’ starter took a no- hitter into the 7th and helped his team get the 15U Titans their first win of the young season. 

Nick Halcovitch (15U) – Halcovitch’s versatility was on full display on the weekend for the 15U Titans.  Halcovitch impressed the coaching staff with his bat and his arm. He accrued 3 hits, 3 RBI, 1 double, and 9 strikeouts on the mound during his Opening Day start. 

Fionn Keon (17U)—The Titans centerfielder had an excellent day on defence, ably “patrolling the pasture” on his home field at St. Andrew’s College. The Grade 12 SAC student really used his knowledge of the home terrain to his team’s advantage when he chopped a hard ground ball to shortstop to plate Jordan Sfyndillis and walk off the Ontario Nationals 3-2. Driving in the game-winning RBI in what Guest Head Coach Denis Bailey described as the “best feeling in sports” made Keon a hometown hero and Graham Marshall the winning pitcher on Saturday afternoon.

Jordan Sfyndillis (17U)—The Titans shortstop had two hits in his team’s big walk-off win against the Nationals. Sfyndillis scored the winning run on a bang-bang play at the plate and cued the 17U Titans’ rally with a big game-tying RBI double off the right-centre fence at the bottom of the seventh to set up Keon’s heroics.

Sam Hess (14U)—Hess’s 7IP, 1 ER, and 10K performance caught Coach Bethune’s eye:  “Sammy started game 2 for us on the road Saturday in a 6-6 tie. He got ahead of 84% of the hitters he faced with first pitch strikes and had an overall 74% strike rate. He struck out 10 Pirates hitters while walking 3. Sammy also hit .400 on the weekend and continues to show the confidence needed to succeed at this level. He did everything we asked of him this weekend.”

Kai Hernandez (17U) – The Titans starter provided the 17U squad with a quality start on Saturday.  He struck out ten Nationals, walked two in the early innings, and surrendered just one earned run over five innings of work. Hernandez and Marshall combined to strike out 15 Nationals in the team’s walk-off win.

Graham Marshall (17U)—The Titans reliever picked up the W in his team’s walk-off.  Marshall went two innings in relief, striking out 5 and issuing only 1 walk in his impressive Titans’ debut.

Emmitt Doyle (14U)-- Doyle pitched 4 innings, struck out 8, and allowed only 1 earned run over two appearances, including a season-opening start on Friday night. Coach Bethune was impressed by Doyle’s durability: “He came in late Sunday to help preserve our first win of the young season. It was an impressive opening weekend for Emmitt. He played multiple positions for us and shut the door on the mound when we called on him.” 

Honorable Mention:

Rylan Copeland (14U)—Copeland earned the 14U Titans’ first win of the season on Opening Weekend. Coach Bethune noted that “Rylan started game 4 for us Sunday and battled through to earn our first win of the season. He grinded his way out of some difficult spots and was able to strand runners in big situations in the game. Rylan comes in and works hard and I'm happy to see him earn our first victory of the year.”